Sleep Disorder


Cognitive behavioral therapy and medication

Treatment Summary: Different treatments can help people with different kinds of sleep problems. For example, relaxation treatments can reduce the physical tension that prevents some people from falling asleep at night, while medications may be helpful for problems like narcolepsy. Medication is considered a primary treatment, but other ways for helping people regulate their sleep problems include cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral treatment is often preferred for patients suffering insomnia who have had partial success with pharmacologic treatments, and for patients who may not be good candidates for pharmacologic treatments. However, CBT in considered superior to single component treatments, like relaxation training, educational programs, or pharmacotherapy.

  • Reference: Ong, J., Cvengros, J., & Wyatt, J. (2008). Cognitive behavioral treatment for insomnia. Psychiatric Annals, 38(9), 590-596. doi:10.3928/00485713-20080901-06. Neubauer, D. (2009). New directions in the pharmacologic treatment of sleep disorders. Primary Psychiatry, 16(2), 52-58. Retrieved October 20, 2010 from PsycINFO database.
  • Submitter: N/A


Treatment Summary: treatment begins with identifying the type of sleep disorder presented as the problem.Polysomnography identifies the five stages of sleep and the duration, which gives an indicator, based on age and other variables, of the quality of sleep the client is experiencing. Generally treatment can be grouped into four categories Behavioral and psychotherapeutic treatment: this model is for patients with sleep disorders associated with other mental disorders. Determination is made based on tests such as the Beck and Zung inventories. Rehabilitation and management: sleep education and lifestyle changes are two areas that encourage rehabilitation and management. Medication: medication type is dependent on the type of sleep disorder. Sedative or hypnotic medications are associated with insomnia due to temporary stress; trazodone is associated with chronic insomnia that is unresponsive to other treatment. There are many other medication available based on the clients collected data. Other treatments: these are eclectic and can range from meditation to melatonin. Note: no one treatment plan should be considered, specific treatment should be based on diagnosis, medical and psychiatric history, preference, and the expertise of the clinician. On the occasions that the client is experiencing sleep disorder due to a primary disorder, the sleep disorder should be resolved with treatment for the primary disorder.

  • Reference: Frances, A., Pincus, A. H., & First, B. M. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, (4th Ed.). Washington, D.C.
  • Submitter: Suzanna McNamee

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Treatment Summary: Research and clinical studies have shown Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to be very successful and an effective method when treating sleep disturbances, specifically insomnia. In CBT, the therapist and client work together to identify irregular sleeping patterns, as well as correct thoughts and beliefs that contribute to sleep disturbances. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy educates the client with proper information about sleep norms, age-related sleep changes, the influence of naps and exercise and reasonable sleep goals are set in order to avoid sleep-incompatible behaviors in bed.

  • Reference: Phillips, T.G., Holdsworth, J., & Cook, S. (2001). How Useful is cognitive behavioral therapy (cbt) for the treatment of chronic insomnia?. The Journal of Family Practice, 50(7), 569.
  • Submitter: Melodi Howard


Treatment Summary: During the 4 week clinical trial, the participants were administered 5mg of melatonin mixed with carboxymethylcellulose in a fast release tablet at 7:00pm. If the participant was under the age of 6, they received a dosage of 2.5 mg of melatonin at 6:00pm. Parents and caregivers were given a diary and were present daily to observe the sleep latency time, sleep onset time, wake up time, number of night wakings, duration of night wakings, and totals sleep time. Results: Mean sleep latency decreased by 29 minutes. Mean sleep onset increased by 34 minutes. Mean number of night wakings per night decreased 0.42, and the duration decreased by 17 minutes. Overall, mean total sleep time increased by 48 minutes.

  • Reference: Braam, W., Didden, R., Smits, M., and Curfs, L. (2008). Melatonin treatment in individuals with intellectual disability and chronic insomnia: a randomized placebo-controlled study. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 53, 256-264.
  • Submitter: Uquay Robinson
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