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Two-Week Stay at Specialized Hospital can Treat Insomnia

Update Date: Sep 04, 2014 01:46 PM EDT

Insomnia is a sleeping disorder characterized by the inability to fall or stay asleep during the night. When left untreated, it can lead to severe sleep deprivation, which negatively impacts people's physical and mental health. In a recent study, researchers tested a new treatment method for insomniacs and found that a two-week stay at a specialized hospital could potentially be beneficial.

For this study, the researchers created an inpatient treatment program, CBT-I (cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia) program that lasted 14 days. From 2009 to 2012, there were a total of 162 patients who participated in the program. The patients were divided into groups of seven to eight.

"This programme was intended to (1) improve diagnostic evaluation by using polysomnography (PSG), (2) offer a more intense treatment approach by combining single and group sessions, (3) relieve patients from their daily routines and responsibilities, (4) ensure better monitoring of proper application of therapy elements and (5) handle potential complications when tapering off hypnotics," the authors wrote. "In the development of this programme, special emphasis was put on a short duration for socio-economic reasons, feasibility and economic us of therapeutic resources."

At the start of the study, four people dropped out. Overall, the inpatient therapy helped improve the patients' symptoms. Time spent in bed, sleep latency and wake time after sleep onset all decreased while sleep efficiency increased. Despite the improvements, the researchers found that the mean level of insomnia was still considered moderate to severe.

The researchers concluded that the CBT-I therapy program has the potential to be an effective treatment.

The study, "Fourteen-Day Inpatient Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia: A Logical and Useful Extension of the Stepped-Care Approach for the Treatment of Insomnia," was published in the journal, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.

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