Mass General Hospital

Harvard Medical School

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In Brief: CBT for Menopausal Sleep Problems Produces Lasting Effects

 

Peri- and postmenopausal women frequently complain of insomnia or poor sleep quality. Sleep disturbance is often attributed to nocturnal hot flashes; however, many menopausal women may have a primary sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome.

Various pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic options are available for the treatment of menopause-related insomnia.   The findings of a recent study using cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for the management of menopausal sleep problems was presented by Dr. Vivek Pillai at SLEEP 2016: 30th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

The participants were randomly assigned to 6 weeks of CBT for insomnia (n = 35), 2 weeks of sleep restriction therapy or SRT (n = 28), or a 6-week information-only control condition (n = 25).  Both CBT and SRT reduced insomnia and fatigue; however, the beneficial effects of CBT, but not SRT, were robust and persisted even 6 months after the end of treatment.

Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD

Menopausal Insomnia: CBT May Offer Robust, Long-term Relief (Medscape – free subscription)

 

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