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If insomnia is so inexpensive to treat, why is it still so prevalent?

I've long suspected that insomnia is often ignored by the medical profession since treatment is often billed under a psychological code which pays poorly (compared to sleep apnea which normally costs around $10,000 to treat and is usually fully covered by insurance).

I recently came across an article confirming my suspicion that insomnia treatment is relatively inexpensive. Apparently, it ranges from $200 per year for sleep aids up to $1,200 for cognitive behavioral therapy. If insomnia is so inexpensive to treat, why is it costing the United States $63 billion per year?

I suspect the real issue here is the fact that there is no single universal insomnia treatment that works for everyone. Finding an individual cure for insomnia takes time - time that many doctors often don't have, and can't afford to give. That's no excuse, though.

We need to encourage insomnia sufferers to seek medical advice rather than ignore their lack of sleep. Cognitive behavioral therapy needs to be more widely available, and more affordable for those without insurance. Furthermore, insurance companies shouldn't be denying coverage to those with insomnia.

Source: International Business Times

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Last updated: March 12, 2013

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

Leave a Comment

  • Stephan
    November 23, 2011, 6:34 pm

    Great question. I think it has to do with the fact that most insomnia is primary, meaning without a true medical basis. Those with primary insomnia typically have some combination of bad sleep habits and excessive worry about the idea of sleep causing their problems, and therefore need to look beyond typical medical solutions.

    And most primary care physicians, unless they have taken extra courses and training in sleep disorders and sleep medicine, aren’t well equipped to deal with nonmedical solutions for sleeping problems.

    A bigger problem yet are the millions who are being sold a promise of sweet dreams through a pill. Many experts argue that drugs only treat the symptom and not the true cause for primary insomnia. But that’s another story.