Cognitive Behavioural Therapy May Help Depression Due to Insomnia

December 21, 2021, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer








A new study released examines the link between insomnia and depression and treating the insomnia with CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). The new study is based on the research from the 2018 paper in World Psychiatry, “Insomnia and inflammation: a two hit model of depression risk and prevention”, Irwin, Piber.

Irwin and Piber found that,

  • Depression is projected to increase by 2030 to a position of the greatest contributor to illness burden, due to its nearly 20% prevalence and its over 75% rate of recurrence.
  • Even when pharmacological treatments are delivered, only about 30% of depressed adults achieve remission.
  • Sleep disturbance (i.e., insomnia) is estimated to occur in 15% of the population, with rates as high as 70% in primary care patients
  • Mind-body interventions such as tai chi (i.e., a movement meditation) and mindfulness meditation, known to target stress response mechanisms, have been …found to reverse the insomnia

Building on this work a clinical trial recently covered in CNN found that CBT sleep training helps to break bad habits in order to prepare you body and your mind for a good night’s sleep. This can aid in preventing the depression that occurs in many older adults who suffer from insomnia.

The link between insomnia and depression is well established and treating either with pharmacology has poor results and many undesirable side effects in a population that is already over-medicated.

The study showed that there was an 83% reduction in the likelihood of developing depression for those using the CBT techniques. The study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that with the involvement of a therapist (key to success) the patients were instructed on sleep hygiene, healthy sleep characteristics, and the biology of sleep. Along with some guidelines the CBT worked to disrupt bad thoughts about sleep and illogical thought patterns that impede sleep.

You can read the entire JAMA article here.

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