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Experts discuss treatments for insomnia
Too often we hear someone say, “I could not sleep last night,” “I was tossing and turning all night,” or even, “I think I may be suffering from insomnia.” It’s not always easy for people to realize when their sleeping troubles could mean they need help.
Local doctors have shared their expertise on identifying the symptoms of insomnia, new treatments and tips on how to have a more restorative slumber. The main approaches to treating insomnia include pharmacological, maintaining good sleep hygiene and cognitivebehavioral therapy (CBT).
Dr. Jeffrey P. Barasch, medical director of The Valley Hospital’s Center for Sleep Medicine, says that medications usually give a more rapid improvement, but tend to leave dependency – which can be physiological or psychological. When medications are stopped, the sleep problems may return. Cognitive-behavioral therapy takes longer to become effective, but once this approach begins to work, it has a longer lasting benefit.
“Sometimes we will combine these to get a more rapid response with medications and more sustained improvement with the cognitivebehavioral therapy,” says Barasch.