Community-Based CBT Workshop for Insomnia

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Sleep Research community-based, Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) workshops can be effective and accessible for participants suffering from symptoms of insomnia. Although insomnia is highly prevalent, individuals seek help infrequently and accessibility of treatment is often limited. The current study examined the effectiveness of large scale, one-day CBT-I workshops. These workshops were advertised and open to the public. Those who participated (n=151) were randomly assigned to either attend an experimental workshop and follow up sessions immediately (n=75), or to the waitlist control group (n=76).

The CBT-I workshops were significantly effective in reducing insomnia symptoms among participants at a 3-month follow-up. According to ratings on the insomnia severity index, symptoms reduced 17.6% in the experimental group, but only 3.5% in the control group. Participants also completed sleep diaries which support these results. The workshops proved to be accessible to the public, as 50% of participants had never sought help in the past. Further, they were rated as “very high” in satisfaction, with 90% of participants feeling “mostly or completely satisfied.”

This study indicates that treatment for insomnia can be delivered quickly and effectively within a large group (about 30 participants at one time). Further, CBT-I workshops designed for the public may increase the accessibility of effective treatment for individuals who might not otherwise seek help.

Swift, N., Stewart, R., Andiappan, M., Smith, A., Espie, C.A., & Brown, J.S.L. (2012) The effectiveness of community day-long CBT-I workshops for participants with insomnia symptoms: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Sleep Research, 21, 270-280.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy is Effective for Sleep Disturbances in US Military Vets

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) may improve sleep and reduce daytime PTSD symptoms among military veterans. The current study compared Prazosin (a pharmacological treatment for sleep disturbance) versus a CBT sleep intervention against a placebo control. Fifty US military veterans were randomly assigned to either the Prazosin group (n = 18), the CBT group (n = 17), or the placebo group (n = 15). Both active groups (Prazosin and CBT) showed greater reductions in insomnia and daytime PTSD symptom severity. Overall sleep improvements were noted in 61.9% of those who completed the active treatments and 25% of those in the placebo group. These results suggest that both pharmacological and CBT interventions may improve sleep and reduce PTSD symptoms among military veterans.

Germain, A., Richardson, R., Moul, D. E., Mammen, O., Haas, G., Forman, S. D., Rode, N., … Nofzinger, E. A. (2012). Placebo-controlled comparison of prazosin and cognitive-behavioral treatments for sleep disturbances in US Military Veterans. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 72, 2, 89-96.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy and other Evidenced Based Treatments are New Standards for Certain Sleep Disorders

After a consensus meeting in May 2009, members of the British Association for Psychopharmacology set new guidelines for treatment of certain sleep disorders.  These guidelines established evidence-based treatment as the leading model of therapy for insomnia, parasomnias, and circadian rhythm disorders.  The results were published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. Among the evidenced-based treatment protocols was Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT).  CBT was recommended as a primary treatment for chronic insomnia.  CBT was also recommended during the tapering of long-term hypnotic drugs, since it has been proven to be effective in improving outcomes.  Behavioral strategies were specifically recommended for children with sleep problems. The decision by the British Association for Psychopharmacology to update guidelines for certain sleep disorders illustrates the efficacy of evidence-based treatments such as CBT.