The New York Times published a detailed article on for 6-8-15, “The Evidence Points to a Better Way to Fight Insomnia.” The article discusses the author’s own problems with insomnia, research that he did about treatments, a summary of what he learned about “comparative effectiveness research” on insomnia treatments. This type of research directly compares the results of one treatment against another, and is probably the best way to evaluate treatment effectiveness- but until recently these studies have been relatively rare.
The current head-to-head comparisons of insomnia treatments find:
- “sleep medications are not the best (treatment) for a cure, despite what the commercials (for medications) say”;
- CBT for insomnia, or CBT-I, is a treatment that goes beyond “sleep hygiene” training and addresses anxious thoughts about sleep problems;
- CBT-I is increasingly found, in head-to-head comparison with sleep medications, to “lead to larger and more durable improvements in sleep.”
The author goes on to provide quite a bit of detail about CBT-I studies and how CBT-I treatment is implemented, with many links to other resources.
My take: this article is an informative summary about the current status of sleep treatments for behavioral professionals, and is very suitable for providing to interested consumers of our services.