Therapy to Improve Sleep may Benefit Psychiatric Disorders


A clinical trial for treatment of insomnia and depression has concluded and findings were reported at the joint meeting of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society in Minneapolis. Those results showed what was learned from the 150 enrollees at medical centers at Stanford and Duke Universities and the University of Pittsburgh.

Patients received either cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTI) or a control insomnia psychotherapy as well as antidepressant medication. Over the sixteen-week study, subjects participated in seven hour-long, insomnia-focused individual psychotherapy sessions and took escitalopram, sertaline, or venlafaxine-XR. Medication selection was based on previous antidepressant use, treatment response, and tolerance. Some changes in medication were made during the trial, if clinically indicated.

Initially, the enrollees had an average Insomnia Severity Index of 22 and Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression of 22. Those who received CBTI showed greater improvement in insomnia than those who received the control therapy. Depression eased among all participants, but those who slept better thanks to the CBTI were less depressed than were those whose insomnia scores did not change appreciably.

This study corroborates another study done on 21 veterans in the Veteran's Administration healthcare system who received CBTI and saw improvement.


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