Chronic insomnia - Lancet 2012 review

Insomnia is a common condition that can present independently or comorbidly with another medical or psychiatric disorder.

Treatment of chronic insomnia

Benzodiazepine-receptor agonists (BzRAs) and cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) are supported by the best empirical evidence.

Benzodiazepine-receptor agonists (BzRAs) are effective in the short-term management of insomnia, but evidence of long-term efficacy is scarce. Also, most hypnotic drugs are associated with potential adverse effects.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is an effective alternative for chronic insomnia.

CBT is more time consuming than drug management but it produces sleep improvements that are sustained over time.

However, CBT is not readily available in most clinical settings. Access and delivery can be made easier through:

- telephone consultations
- group therapy
- self-help approaches

How to succeed? Get more sleep

In this 4-minute talk, Arianna Huffington (founder of The Huffington Post) shares a small idea that can awaken much bigger ones: the power of a good night's sleep. Instead of bragging about our sleep deficits, she urges us to sleep our way to increased productivity and happiness -- and smarter decision-making.


Chronic insomnia. The Lancet, Volume 379, Issue 9821, Pages 1129 - 1141, 24 March 2012.
Image source: A halo around the Moon. Wikipedia, GNU Free Documentation License.

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