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Did You Know?: Talk Therapy for Insomnia

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Air date: May 31, 2009

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Did You know?
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Did you Know? is presented by Wishard Health Services, becoming Eskenazi Health in 2014.




It's true: talk therapy may help people overcome insomnia.

Millions of people suffer form insomnia, an inability to fall asleep or get a good night's rest. Among other treatments, doctors of prescribe sleeping pills like Ambien and Lunesta. Youíve probably seen the commercials, with the sleep-inducing butterfly.

Now a new study says that talk therapy is better than drugs for treating insomnia over the long run. During the first, six-week part of the study, group therapy and sleep meds helped patients sleep better. But in the six-month follow-up period, individual, bi-monthly therapy sessions worked better than pills at helping people continue to beat insomnia.

Now, the study was relatively small, involving only 160 subjects, and tested only one drug, Ambien. So itís not conclusive. But sleeping pills can have serious side effects, including morning drowsiness and hallucinations. Plus, addiction is a common problem.

So the study is significant for suggesting how insomniacs could rely less on pills, and more on talking their way to better sleep.

And now you know.