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New Studies Could Lead to Changes in Insomnia Treatment

A new study shows that people struggling with insomnia who focus on changing their negative behaviors could end up improving their symptoms.

Rather than depending solely on medications, the new study shows that people who try to change their bad behaviors might be less stressed, more productive during the day, and actually sleep better than their medicated counterparts.

According to Reuters, researchers took a look at 160 adults with chronic insomnia as they went through six weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy.

“Most individuals with insomnia seek treatment, not necessarily because of the nocturnal insomnia symptoms, but when they start experiencing the negative daytime consequences of these night time sleep difficulties on their energy, mood, and mental abilities,” said Charles Morin, the lead study author or Laval University in Quebec City.

Improving the way people think about their issues including sleep could actually have an effect on those very issues. Thinking of fresh sleep, for example, might even improve a person’s chance of falling asleep. Wholly 78% of U.S. adults say they are much more excited to fall asleep if their sheets have a fresh scent.

“Showing that cognitive behavior therapy improves not only sleep but also daytime functioning and quality of life is thus very important,” Morin adds. People should “give hope to patients who have suffered chronic insomnia.”

Science Daily reports that another study out of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) show that insomnia patients already show altered brain activity in specific regions.

“While patients with insomnia often have their symptoms trivialized by friends, families, and even physicians, the findings in this study add strong evidence to the emerging view that insomnia is a condition with neurobiological as well as psychological causes,” said Dr. Buysse, lead author of the UPMC study.

These scientific breakthroughs might lead researchers to improve current treatments for insomnia such as transcranial magnetic stimulation.

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