Monday, March 02, 2009

Treating insomnia in primary care

Most people who go and see their GP have some problems sleeping. 50% report occasional insomnia and 19% chronic insomnia. Sleep problems can lead to more health concerns, less physical activity, less vitality and more emotional problems. The most common treatment is sleeping tablets but behavioural treatment is just as effective, has no side effects and lasts longer. A U.S. study looked at the effectiveness of a brief treatment provided by psychologists based in G.P.'s surgeries. The treatment included sleep-hygiene education (telling the participants to avoid coffee, alcohol, smoking and napping and to take more exercise), stimulus control (only going to bed when sleepy, not reading or watching TV in bed, getting up and doing something else if unable to sleep), relaxation techniques and a self-help book 'Say Good Night to Insomnia.' By the end of the study 83% of the 29 participants were spending more than 85% of the night asleep compared to only 14% at the beginning.

Goodie, Jeffrey L. ... [et al] - Using behavioral health consultants to treat insomnia in primary care: a clinical case series Journal of Clinical Psychology March 2009, 65(3), 294-304

No comments: