Guidelines for Insomnia, Sleep Disorders

LONDON, Sept. 4 (UPI) — The British Association for Psychopharmacology has created guidelines to help psychiatrists and physicians treat those with sleep problems, researchers say.

Members of the association met with clinicians and sleep disorder experts from the United States and Europe to develop a consensus statement on best evidence-based treatment of sleep and circadian rhythm disorders.

The guidelines, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, point out insomnia can often be improved with specialist cognitive behavioral therapy targeted at insomnia that is as effective as prescription medications for short-term treatments for chronic insomnia, but such therapy is likely to have a longer-lasting effect than drug treatment.

“Stress, life changes, a new baby, or shift work are typical factors that can trigger insomnia, but for some people this acute insomnia persists into a chronic state. Anxiety about sleep, maladaptive sleep habits and the possibility of an underlying vulnerability in sleep regulating mechanisms are all likely causes, as are other co-morbid disorders such as anxiety and depression and diseases including cancer or arthritis,” the guideline authors say in a statement.

The recommendations address issues such as pregnancy, menopause, aging, childhood disorders and other specific factors that may play a role in sleeping disorders.

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