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Tackling sleeplessness: Psychological treatment options for insomnia

Authors Dautovich ND, McNamara J, Williams JM, Cross NJ, McCrae C

Published 30 March 2010 Volume 2010:2 Pages 23—37

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NSS.S7063

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Natalie D Dautovich1, Joseph McNamara2, Jacob M Williams3, Natalie J Cross4, Christina S McCrae3

1Department of Psychology, 2Department of Psychiatry, 3Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; 4Department of Veterans Affairs Community Based Outpatient Clinic, Greenville, NC, USA

Abstract: The purpose of the present paper is to review and summarize the research supporting nonpharmacologic treatment options for insomnia. The different treatment approaches are described followed by a review of both original research articles and meta-analyses. Meta-analytic reviews suggest that common nonpharmacologic approaches exert, on average, medium to large effect sizes on SOL, WASO, NWAK, SQR, and SE while smaller effects are seen for TST. Stimulus control therapy, relaxation training, and CBT-I are considered standard treatments for insomnia by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). Sleep restriction, multicomponent therapy without cognitive therapy, paradoxical intention, and biofeedback approaches have received some levels of support by the AASM. Sleep hygiene, imagery training, and cognitive therapy did not receive recommendation levels as single (standalone) therapies by the AASM due to lack of empirical evidence. Less common approaches have been introduced (Internet-based interventions, bright light treatment, biofeedback, mindfulness, acupuncture, and intensive sleep retraining) but require further research. Brief and group treatments have been shown to be as efficacious as longer and individually-administered treatments. Considerations are presented for special populations, including older adults, children and teens, individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds, insomnia comorbid with other disorders, and individuals who are taking hypnotics.
Keywords: insomnia, nonpharmacologic, psychological, behavioral, treatments, sleep

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