Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sleep deprivation prompts quick improvements with chronic insomnia therapy

Sleep deprivation added to traditional therapy resulted in a superior treatment response for chronic insomnia, a new study shows.

Intensive Sleep Retraining (ISR) uses sleep deprivation over a 25-hour period to counteract insomnia. Sleep deprivation facilitates a series of quick sleep onsets, the study’s authors said. ISR has the potential to produce rapid improvements in sleep, daytime functioning and psychological variables.

The study looked at adding ISR to traditional therapy for chronic insomnia sufferers. The results showed rapid improvements in the time it took to fall asleep and in total sleep time. Other significant improvements were noted in sleep quality and daytime functioning. And 61 percent of patients participating in ISR-enhanced therapy reported “good sleeping” status. Researchers said treatment gains were largely maintained throughout the follow-up period to six months.

The study appears in the January issue of the journal SLEEP. Australian researchers treated 79 volunteers with chronic sleep-onset insomnia. The participants were randomly assigned treatments of either ISR, stimulus control therapy (SCT), ISR plus SCT, or a control group receiving sleep hygiene therapy. There were 20 participants in the group receiving ISR plus SCT.

Read more about insomnia and common sleep disorder treatments. Additional stories about insomnia and sleep deprivation can be found in the Sleep Education Blog.

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