Three-quarters of patients with acute insomnia were cured by a 60-minute cognitive-behavioural therapy session, new research has found.
Dr Jason Ellis, a Professor of Sleep Science in Northumbria University’s Department of Psychology who led the study, said:
“The results of our study clearly showed that a single therapy session had successful results, with an improvement in sleep quality for some 60% of those with acute insomnia within one month.
The longer-term benefits were even better with almost three quarters of those who received the intervention not developing chronic insomnia.
The researchers studied 40 adults who had been suffering from insomnia for less than three months.
They were given standard instructions on how to manage their insomnia.
(See the end of the article for link to some useful tips.)
Fighting insomnia at the earliest possible stage is the key, Professor Ellis said:
“Despite considerable evidence supporting the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for chronic insomnia, it remained untested for acute insomnia until this study.
Chronic insomnia is a considerable health burden both on the individual and the economy and has been linked to the development of, or worsening of, a number of physical and psychiatric conditions.
It is also a highly prevalent and largely unrelenting condition, so anything we can do to stop acute insomnia developing to the chronic stage will be of real benefit.”
Professor Ellis continued:
“There are numerous advantages to treating insomnia during an acute phase.
If successful there is potential for significant savings in terms of long-term healthcare, lost productivity and accidents.
This becomes more pertinent when the costs associated with other illnesses, such as depression, for which insomnia is known to be a risk factor, are taken into account.”
The study was published in the journal Sleep (Ellis et al., 2015).
• Read on: 6 Easy Steps to Falling Asleep Fast
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
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