Spending less time in bed can help beat insomnia

March 15th, 2009 - 3:23 pm ICT by ANI  

Wellington, Mar 15 (ANI): Can”t get to sleep? Well, then stay up, say researchers at Auckland University who have discovered a potential breakthrough treatment for insomnia.

According to scientists, the key to sleeplessness is to force bad sleepers to spend less time in bed.

First, insomniacs are first told to keep a detailed diary of the time they spend in bed asleep and awake. Then, they are told to change their habits, reducing the time they spend in bed each night by the number of hours they would usually spend lying awake.

After a couple of weeks of this sleep “deficit”, many patients discover they are tired enough to start sleeping better.

The team has just completed analysis of a pilot study into the treatment.

The findings have excited interest from the British Medical Journal, which has published details.

According to senior lecturer Tony Fernando, who led the study, the results had huge public health consequences if adopted by GPs.

“It means the millions we spend on drugs, herbal medicines and special mattresses looking for an answer can actually be solved by something very simple, The Sunday Star Times quoted him, as saying.

Fernando’’s study of 40 participants over two years targeted primary insomniacs those whose insomnia has no obvious cause such as depression, anxiety or other sleep disorders.

When the insomniacs in the study underwent a four-week “sleep rescheduling protocol”, 80 to 90 percent said their insomnia had improved. (ANI)

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