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July 20, 2015

Talk Therapy to Treat Insomnia and Depression

18 million Americans in any given year suffer from depression, more than half of them also have insomnia.  A recent study revealed that treating insomnia with talk therapy rather than drugs, doubles the chance of a full recovery.  87% of patients who resolved their insomnia also saw their depression lift and dissolve after eight weeks of treatment.  Whether patients were on an antidepressant or a placebo did not alter the outcome.  However, patients who were not able to shake their insomnia did not fair as well: patient who resolved their insomnia were twice as likely to recover from their depressions than those who did not.

While clinicians have long known that sleep problems are intertwined with mood symptoms, only recently have researchers focused on designing studies where both are treated at the same time.  What makes this NIH funded study interesting is that talk therapy outperformed antidepressant treatments, which were only slightly better than placebo.

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