An insomnia therapy that scientists just reported could double the effectiveness of depression treatment is not widely available nor particularly well understood by psychiatrists or the public. The American Board of Sleep Medicine has certified just 400 practitioners in the United States to administer it, and they are sparse, even in big cities.That may change soon, however. Four rigorous studies of the treatment are nearing completion and due to be reported in coming months. In the past year, the American Psychological Association recognized sleep psychology as a specialty, and the Department of Veterans Affairs began a program to train about 600 sleep specialists. So-called insomnia disorder is defined as at least three months of poor sleep that causes problems at work, at home or in relationships.
"Psychiatrists have long thought that depression causes insomnia," wrote the New York Times editorial board this weekend, "but new research suggests that insomnia can actually precede and contribute to causing depression."Small studies have shown that cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) can be of serious benefit to people with depression. "If the results [of this research] hold up in other studies already underway at major medical centers," they write, "this could be the most dramatic advance in treating depression in decades."That really is a substantial assertion.
Curing insomnia in people with depression could double their chance of a full recovery, scientists are reporting. The findings, based on an insomnia treatment that uses talk therapy rather than drugs, are the first to emerge from a series of closely watched studies of sleep and depression to be released in the coming year.
The new report affirms the results of a smaller pilot study, giving scientists confidence that the effects of the insomnia treatment are real. If the figures continue to hold up, the advance will be the most significant in the treatment of depression since the introduction of Prozac in 1987.
(HealthDay News) — There appears to be a link between the common sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea and major depression, a new study suggests.
In people with obstructive sleep apnea, soft tissue in the back of the throat blocks the upper airway during sleep. This results in pauses in breathing and other sleep symptoms such as snorting, gasping and snoring.