Sunday, September 11, 2005

Start sleeping with behavioral therapy

Back to the basics this time - getting a good night's sleep.

According to a HealthDay story, a new online, six-week behavioral therapy program that costs $35 could help.

The HealthDay story goes on to say, "Insomnia, to a large extent, is a learned problem," explains developer Gregg Jacobs, an insomnia specialist at the Sleep Disorders Center of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston. "It is due to the way people think about their sleep and their sleep behaviors. These actually cause the insomnia, but they can be changed to eliminate the insomnia."

Although medications can help people sleep, they are no cure for insomnia, Jacobs says. He says that an NIH consensus panel of experts endorsed cognitive behavioral therapy as being more effective, and the preferred treatment for chronic insomnia over sleeping pills.

Cognitive behavioral therapy teaches poor sleepers how to modify stressful thought about their sleep, modify negative or disruptive sleep behaviors, improve relaxation skills, and improve lifestyle practices, Jacobs says.

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