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Insomnia Treatment May be Key to Treating Depression

November 19, 2013|Counseling & Psychotherapy

A simple new approach to treating insomnia could be the key to treating depression.

New research studied clients with depression and sleep difficulties who received just 4 bi-weekly sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). Those who resolved their insomnia were almost twice as likely to also resolve their depression within 8 weeks. In fact, 87% of those who saw their insomnia resolve also saw their depression resolve in that short time period.

These findings are remarkable and suggest that focused insomnia treatment, not just the more common sleep hygiene that most psychologists suggest, may need to be a core component of depression treatment, at least among those who are experiencing sleep disturbance.

Excerpt and link to article below:

Doctors have long considered poor sleep to be a symptom of depression that would clear up with treatments, said Rachel Manber, a professor in the psychiatry and behavioral sciences department at Stanford, whose 2008 pilot trial of insomnia therapy provided the rationale for larger studies. “But we now know that’s not the case,” she said. “The relationship is bidirectional — that insomnia can precede the depression.”

Full-blown insomnia is more serious than the sleep problems most people occasionally have. To qualify for a diagnosis, people must have endured at least a month of chronic sleep loss that has caused problems at work, at home or in important relationships. Several studies now suggest that developing insomnia doubles a person’s risk of later becoming depressed — the sleep problem preceding the mood disorder, rather than the other way around.

via Sleep Therapy Seen as an Aid for Depression – NYTimes.com.

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