Tuesday August 20, 2019

Treating insomnia in young people can ease mental health problems like Anxiety, Depression: Study

The study is published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal

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A study published Wednesday found that treating insomnia in young people could ease mental health problems such as anxiety and depression
A study published Wednesday found that treating insomnia in young people could ease mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. VOA

London, USA, September 7, 2017: Treating young people who suffer from insomnia by using online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) could reduce debilitating mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, scientists said Wednesday.

In a large trial published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, researchers at Oxford University’s Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute also found that successfully treating sleep disruption eased psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations and paranoia.

“Sleep problems are very common in people with mental health disorders, but for too long insomnia has been trivialized as merely a symptom, rather than a cause, of psychological difficulties,” said Daniel Freeman, a professor of clinical psychology who led the work.

“This study turns that old idea on its head, showing that insomnia may actually be a contributory cause of mental health problems.”

The research involved 3,755 university students from across Britain who were randomized into two groups. One group had six sessions of online CBT, each lasting about 20 minutes, and delivered via a digital program called Sleepio. The others had access to standard treatments but no CBT.

Freeman’s team monitored participants’ mental health with a series of online questionnaires at zero, three, 10 and 22 weeks from the start of treatment.

The researchers found that those who had the CBT sleep treatment reduced their insomnia significantly as well as showing small but sustained reductions in paranoia and hallucinatory experiences.

The CBT also led to improvements in depression, anxiety, nightmares, psychological well-being, and daytime work and home functioning.

Andrew Welchman, head of neuroscience and mental health at the Wellcome Trust health charity, which helped fund the research, said the results suggested improving sleep may provide a promising route into early treatment to improve mental health.

Freeman added: “A good night’s sleep really can make a difference to people’s psychological health. Helping people get better sleep could be an important first step in tackling many psychological problems and emotional problems.” (VOA)

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People Suffering from Insomnia Might have Increased Risk of Coronary Artery Disease, Heart Failure and Stroke

These observational studies were unable to determine whether insomnia is a cause, or if it is just associated with them

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Insomnia, Heart Disease, Heart Failure
According to researchers, previous observational studies have found an association between insomnia, which affects up to 30 per cent of the general population and an increased risk of developing heart disease and stroke. Pixabay

People suffering from insomnia might have an increased risk of coronary artery disease, heart failure and stroke, says a study.

According to researchers, previous observational studies have found an association between insomnia, which affects up to 30 per cent of the general population and an increased risk of developing heart disease and stroke.

“These observational studies were unable to determine whether insomnia is a cause, or if it is just associated with them,” said the study’s lead author Susanna Larsson, Associate Professor at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

In the study, the researchers applied Mendelian randomisation, a technique that uses genetic variants known to be connected with a potential risk factor, such as insomnia, to reduce bias in the results.

Insomnia, Heart Disease, Heart Failure
People suffering from insomnia might have an increased risk of coronary artery disease, heart failure and stroke, says a study. Pixabay

The 1.3 million participants with or without heart disease and stroke were drawn from four major public studies and groups, said the research published in the journal Circulation.

Researchers found genetic variants for insomnia were associated with significantly higher odds of coronary artery disease, heart failure and ischemic stroke – particularly large artery stroke.

“It is important to identify the underlying reason for insomnia and treat it.

“Sleep is a behaviour that can be changed by new habits and stress management,” Larsson said.

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A limitation to the study is that the results represent a genetic variant link to insomnia rather than insomnia itself. (IANS)