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Ex­perts dis­cuss treat­ments for in­som­nia

201 Health - - Sleep Issues - WRIT­TEN BY JAIME WAL­TERS

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.

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