Insomnia symptoms are so common within our community and carry with them a high burden.
Whenever most people have chronic trouble sleeping, they reach for a tablet, whether it’s a prescription or over-the-counter medication. When Australians visit their GP with a sleep complaint, 95% of them will walk away with a prescription.
The review and position statement summarises treatment outcome research and suggests Cognitive Behaviour Therapy-Insomnia as a recommended first-line treatment. CBT-I should be used whenever possible, and medications should be limited to the lowest necessary dose and shortest necessary duration.
Improving access to CBT-I is an important issue which will involve raising awareness of the effectiveness of CBT-I, increasing the number of trained practitioners, and the development of effective low intensity treatments that can be offered in the first instance.
We hope this paper will help to educate and raise awareness about effective long term insomnia treatments.
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3. Do you have any ideas to expand upon this research? Are you looking for collaborators?
Insomnia is a condition which very often has a chronic course, therefore requiring treatment that is effective in the long term. CBT-Insomnia is such a treatment and it would be wonderful to see it delivered as part of routine care. Delivery of 4 session, CBT-Insomnia treatments in primary care would likely be both cost and clinically-effective, however, more real world, effectiveness trials are required to build this case.