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Surprise: We’re still not treating insomnia properly

Unfortunately, doctors are rarely able to cure insomnia and they're often too eager to prescribe medication instead of permanent treatment options.

This has been the case for a number of years and it would appear that little has changed (I know from reading comments in my insomnia support forum that many insomnia sufferers are less than impressed with their doctors).

According to interviews and focus groups in the UK involving patients with insomnia and healthcare professionals, doctors are likely to recommend sleep hygiene changes as a first course of action.

This can leave many sufferers frustrated since that is often a technique that - although normally effective - has often been tried by sufferers before they visit their doctor.

The focus groups also revealed that doctors were recommending sleep hygiene improvements even though they believed their patients would not even attempt them.

Consequently, to avoid confrontation, doctors would typically prescribe sleeping pills - often for longer than originally intended.

Unfortunately the most effective form of treatment for insomnia (cognitive behavioral therapy) was rarely, if ever, offered as a treatment option.

This was largely down to the fact that doctors were unconvinced over its benefits or had no experience of patients using the treatment.

It's time for changes to be made.

First, we need to take insomnia more seriously.

Secondly, we need to develop treatment guidelines for insomnia that are based on techniques that work.

Third, we need to put all this into practice.

Is this too much to ask?

Source: Health Expectations

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Last updated: September 11, 2013

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

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