Update On Insomnia Treatments: CBT-I vs. Medication, CBT-I Is Best

The New York Times published a detailed article on for 6-8-15, “The Evidence Points to a Better Way to Fight Insomnia.” The article discusses the author’s own problems with insomnia, research that he did about treatments, a summary of what he learned about “comparative effectiveness research” on insomnia treatments. ┬áThis type of research directly compares the results of one treatment against another, and is probably the best way to evaluate treatment effectiveness- but until recently these studies have been relatively rare.

The current head-to-head comparisons of insomnia treatments find:

  • “sleep medications are not the best (treatment) for a cure, despite what the commercials (for medications) say”;
  • CBT for insomnia, or CBT-I, is a treatment that goes beyond “sleep hygiene” training and addresses anxious thoughts about sleep problems;
  • CBT-I is increasingly found, in head-to-head comparison with sleep medications, to “lead to larger and more durable improvements in sleep.”

The author goes on to provide quite a bit of detail about CBT-I studies and how CBT-I treatment is implemented, with many links to other resources.

My take:  this article is an informative summary about the current status of sleep treatments for behavioral professionals, and is very suitable for providing to interested consumers of our services.

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