Study: Slight insomnia behavioral treatment helps seniors

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Seniors who received two small doses of behavioral therapy two weeks apart recorded notable improvement in sleep-quality measurers, compared with peers who only received information on insomnia, researchers say.

Nearly twice as many study subjects (71% to 39%) also noted significant improvement in daytime symptoms of depression and anxiety, according to investigators from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Study subjects kept a sleep diary and were measured by self-tests and doctor-administered means six weeks after the first therapy intervention.

More than half (53%) of those receiving behavioral therapy qualified as putting their insomnia into remission, compared to just 17% of those who received only information.

Insomnia affects a majority of nursing home residents, according to experts, who also point out that sleep difficulties can lead to many other problems, including heightened daytime stress and night time risk of falls. Results of the study can be found in the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.