Benefits of non-drug techniques top most popular sleeping pill, Ambien
A study by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Harvard Medical School has found cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is more effective than sleeping pills in treating chronic sleep-onset insomnia. The findings, which appear in the Sept. 27 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, show non-drug techniques yield better short and long-term results than the most widely prescribed sleeping pill, zolpidem, commonly known as Ambien. It is the first placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the separate and combined effects of CBT and pharmacological therapies in treating insomnia in young and middle-aged adults.
"Sleeping pills are the most frequent treatment for insomnia, yet, CBT techniques clearly were more successful in helping the majority of study participants to become normal sleepers. The pills were found to be only moderately effective compared to CBT and lost their effectiveness as soon as they were discontinued," said study leader Gregg Jacobs, Ph.D., insomnia specialist in the Sleep Disorders Center of BIDMC and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. "Our results suggest CBT should now be considered the first line treatment for insomnia, which is experienced on a nightly basis by one-third of the nations adult population," added Jacobs.
Marty Querzoli | EurekAlert!
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