Sleep News

INSOMNIA: 3 potential ways to treat sleeplessness that you might not know about

ONLINE INSOMNIA HELP

BeHealth Solutions offers a unique, physician-supported online cognitive behavior therapy solution for insomnia. SHUTi, short for Sleep Healthy Using the Internet, is an innovative six-week program for adults with insomnia which can be completed online at home. SHUTi promises “an evidence-based program to help you sleep” which employs the latest in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques. The website includes pricing, a free insomnia assessment, and information about insomnia, including the risks for not treating it. SHUTi is offered at a reduced rate by physicians and clinics that belong to the Welltrinsic Sleep Network, but you can sign up without going through a physician. Testimonials can give you an idea how and whether this solution works.

THE SLEEP RETREAT

You’ve heard of a spa retreat, a silent retreat, a spiritual retreat. What about a sleep retreat? There’s a charming English mansion in Hampshire, UK that offers such a thing: a program based on clinical research from worldwide sleep experts which aims to put an end to their residents’ insomnia.

The Sleep Retreat offers a “four pillar” approach to treating chronic sleeplessness. The clinical pillar addresses sleep issues using evidence-based research and non-pharmaceutical techniques to achieve sleep. The wellness pillar includes activities designed to improve sleep. The nutritional pillar addresses eating habits that more mindfully improve sleep. Finally, the social pillar offers art, music and other relaxing practices seems to be a hit among participants (testimonials here, too) and may be a worthwhile vacation-style therapy for some, which is legitimate: a sleep vacation (even, and especially, camping) is often the only way some people can reset their sleeping habits.
designed to encourage good sleep. Albeit pricey, the retreat service

VOLUNTARY COMMITMENT?

Image courtesy University of
Chicago Medical Center

Research recently published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics suggests that a voluntary commitment to a specialized hospital for 2 weeks might fix your insomnia problems. The 162-subject study, which took place in small groups over 3 years, focused on an “intensified CBT-I program” in an inpatient setting lasting 14 days. Researchers employed polysomnography (PSG) and combined single and group therapy sessions with quality monitoring to help patients achieve better sleep hygiene, give them relief from insomnia and assist them while tapering from sleep medications. Findings suggest that after treatment, several objective measures of sleep quality–time in bed, sleep latency and wake time after sleep onset–“significantly decreased .” Meanwhile, measures of sleep efficiency improved for subjects. The researchers observe that more work needs to be done to prove this approach to insomnia can have a reasonably successful outcome for most patients with variable levels of insomnia severity, but they feel the results in this case still “demonstrate the feasibility and therapeutic potential of an inpatient CBT-I program.”

They acknowledge that the program itself is too costly to implement at this time, but some of its more expensive aspects, such as the polysomnograms, proved to be exceptionally valuable; using PSG to examine disturbed sleep perceptions and measure the changes in sleep following therapy were particularly useful. In addition, close medical supervision of subjects enhanced their ability to quit medications.

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