This is a clinically important finding, as sleep disorders are the most common residual symptoms of antidepressant treatments that are not aimed at improving sleep and there is a higher risk of relapse in patients with persistent insomnia. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for sleep disorders is a structured program that helps you identify thoughts and behaviors that cause or worsen sleep problems and replace them with habits that promote healthy sleep. Ideally, treating sleep disorders would improve the quantity and quality of sleep, improve daytime function (greater attention and focus), and have minimal side effects from medications. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for sleep disorders, sometimes referred to as CBT-I, is an effective treatment for chronic sleep disorders and is usually recommended as a first line of treatment.
What is the first drug treatment for sleep disorders?
Blood tests may also be prescribed to rule out underlying conditions that lead to insomnia symptoms. There are five benzodiazepines approved by the FDA to treat sleep disorders, and all are Schedule IV controlled substances. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, delayed-release melatonin was associated with improvements in sleep and diurnal parameters, including sleep latency, sleep quality, and morning alertness, after three weeks of treatment in adults with primary insomnia. Zolpidem, an imidazopyridine class tranquilizer, has a rapid onset of action and a short duration of action.
Although there are no good studies that compare benzodiazepines directly with Z-hypnotics, indirect comparisons suggest similar effectiveness.