Washington: Experts are increasingly recommending cognitive behavioural therapy, sometimes called talk therapy, over sleeping pills for treating people with insomnia.Research has suggested cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT, can be as effective as drugs in treating chronic sleep problems.In fact, CBT has been shown to improve not only insomnia but also overall well- being and some symptoms of depression, Live science reported.A recent study has also suggested that taking sleeping pills to treat insomnia may shorten people’s lives. “There are major benefits for CBT over medication,” said Dr. David Plante, a sleep specialist at the University of Wisconsin.“You have long-term benefits, even after the treatment is done, which isn’t usually the case for sleeping pills,” he stated.CBT can treat insomnia without the use of sleeping pills. With the help of a sleep specialist, a person with insomnia learns to develop good sleeping habits and is taught skills to cope with sleep anxiety.Insomnia can last several weeks, and it can be a sign of other health problems, including sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, substance abuse or mental disorders.“Chronic insomnia is a public health issue. With any patient, we try to weigh the benefits and risks of appropriate treatment,” Plante said.Although some studies suggest the use of sleeping pills can be dangerous, experts still see them as beneficial for the short term.“It’s worthwhile to use sleep medications if someone is going through acute stress, or grief, for probably a month. But after that, they should be tapered off,” said James Findley, a behavioural sleep specialist at the University of Pennsylvania.
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