Insomnia is a very common problem and can lead to depression and high blood pressure. Researchers at Laval University in Quebec looked into the effectiveness of counselling and medication for insomnia and found that in the long-term counselling was more effective. In the first six weeks weekly group therapy and nightly medication worked equally well and helped about 60% of the participants to get to sleep more quickly and sleep longer. However over six months those who had 'refresher' group therapy sessions slept better than those given drugs when they needed them. In the group therapy counsellors told the participants not to read, watch TV or worry in bed, to get up if they could not get to sleep after 20 minutes and to go back to bed only when they were sleepy again. The drug used in the study was Zolpidem which can be effective for short periods but may cause problems with dependence in the long term.
You can find out more about this research at