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Posts Tagged ‘insomnia treatment’

insThe New York Times (8/11, D5, Schaffer) reported, “Web-based programs to treat insomnia are proliferating, and two small but rigorous studies suggest that online applications based on cognitive behavioral therapy can be effective.” The University of Virginia’s “SHUTi program, which spans nine weeks, advises patients to get out of bed if they wake and are unable to return to sleep for more than 15 minutes. It also uses readings, vignettes, animation, and interactive exercises to help patients,” while warning against using the bedroom for recreational or work purposes, and limiting caffeine. After recruiting 45 adults, investigators noted in their Archives of General Psychiatry paper that “participants’ sleep efficiency…improved by 16 percent and their nighttime wakefulness decreased by 55 percent.” Patients in Canada participated in a similar program. And, 35 “percent of those who completed” it “described their insomnia as ‘much improved’ or ‘very much improved,’ compared with just four percent of those who remained on the waiting list,” according to the paper in Sleep. This research is seen as noteworthy, because “in-person cognitive behavioral therapy is not readily available to many of the sleepless.”

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insHealthDay (7/24, McKeever) reported that “the head of a Texas sleep study facility” is saying that “stress, worry, caffeine, alcohol, and watching TV in bed — factors known as ‘poor sleep hygiene’ — are the major reasons why people can’t shut down their bodies when it’s time for sleep.” Such habits, explained Dr. Sunil Mathews, of Baylor Medical Center, “can also lead to taking sleep-aid medications that could interfere with alertness the next day.” This “can turn into a vicious cycle.” Dr. Mathews offered several recommendations that can help people “develop good sleep hygiene.” He said that people should not exercise “within four hours of bedtime,” and should “avoid caffeine, alcohol or sugary items within eight hours.” It is also important to “maintain a regular sleep schedule, even on weekends,” among other things.

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