ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders
ABSTRACT: Sleep problems are common in childhood. A distinction is made between problems in which polysomnography is abnormal (i.e., the parasomnias, sleep apnea and narcolepsy) and problems that are behavioral in origin and have normal polysomnography. The parasomnias--sleep terrors, somnambulism and enuresis--appear to be related to central nervous system immaturity and are often outgrown. Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is frequently missed in children and can often be cured through surgery. Behavioral sleep problems may be overcome after parents make interventions. Physicians can be of great assistance to these families by recommending techniques to parents that have been shown to be effective.
ABSTRACT: Chemical dependency is a common, chronic disease that affects up to 25 percent of patients seen in primary care practices. The treatment goal for patients recovering from chemical dependency should be to avoid relapse. This requires physicians to have an open, nonjudgmental attitude and specific expertise about the implications of addiction for other health problems. First-line treatment for chemical dependency should be nonpharmacologic, but when medication is necessary, physicians should avoid drugs that have the potential for abuse or addiction. Medications that sedate or otherwise impair judgment also should be avoided in the recovering patient. Psychiatric illnesses should be aggressively treated, because untreated symptoms increase the risk of relapse into chemical dependency. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors may help to lower alcohol consumption in depressed patients, and desipramine may help to facilitate abstinence in persons addicted to cocaine. If insomnia extends beyond the acute or postacute withdrawal period, trazodone may be an effective treatment. If nonpharmacologic management of pain is not possible, nonaddictive medications should be used. However, if non-addictive medications fail, long-acting opiates used under strict supervision may be considered. Uncontrolled pain in itself is a relapse risk.
Treatment Options for Insomnia - Article
ABSTRACT: The frequency of sleep disruption and the degree to which insomnia significantly affects daytime function determine the need for evaluation and treatment. Physicians may initiate treatment of insomnia at an initial visit; for patients with a clear acute stressor such as grief, no further evaluation may be indicated. However, if insomnia is severe or long-lasting, a thorough evaluation to uncover coexisting medical, neurologic, or psychiatric illness is warranted. Treatment should begin with nonpharmacologic therapy, addressing sleep hygiene issues and exercise. There is good evidence supporting the effectiveness of cognitive behavior therapy. Exercise improves sleep as effectively as benzodiazepines in some studies and, given its other health benefits, is recommended for patients with insomnia. Hypnotics generally should be prescribed for short periods only, with the frequency and duration of use customized to each patient's circumstances. Routine use of over-the-counter drugs containing antihistamines should be discouraged. Alcohol has the potential for abuse and should not be used as a sleep aid. Opiates are valuable in pain-associated insomnia. Benzodiazepines are most useful for short-term treatment; however, long-term use may lead to adverse effects and withdrawal phenomena. The better safety profile of the newer-generation nonbenzodiazepines (i.e., zolpidem, zaleplon, eszopidone, and ramelteon) makes them better first-line choices for long-term treatment of chronic insomnia.
ABSTRACT: Chronic insomnia is highly prevalent in our society, with an incidence of 10 to 30 percent. It is a major cost to society in terms of health care expenditure and reduced productivity. Nonpharmacologic interventions have been studied and shown to produce reliable and sustained improvements in sleep patterns of patients with insomnia. Cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia has multiple components, including cognitive psychotherapy, sleep hygiene, stimulus control, sleep restriction, paradoxical intention, and relaxation therapy. Cognitive psychotherapy involves identifying a patient's dysfunctional beliefs about sleep, challenging their validity, and replacing them with more adaptive substitutes. Sleep hygiene education teaches patients about good sleep habits. Stimulus control therapy helps patients to associate the bedroom with sleep and sex only, and not other wakeful activities. Sleep restriction therapy consists of limiting time in bed to maximize sleep efficiency. Paradoxical intention seeks to remove the fear of sleep by advising the patient to remain awake. Relaxation therapies are techniques taught to patients to reduce high levels of arousal that interfere with sleep. Cognitive behavior therapy involves four to eight weekly sessions of 60 to 90 minutes each, and should be used more frequently as initial therapy for chronic insomnia.
Medications for Insomnia Treatment in Children - FPIN's Clinical Inquiries
Valerian - Article
ABSTRACT: Valerian is a traditional herbal sleep remedy that has been studied with a variety of methodologic designs using multiple dosages and preparations. Research has focused on subjective evaluations of sleep patterns, particularly sleep latency, and study populations have primarily consisted of self-described poor sleepers. Valerian improves subjective experiences of sleep when taken nightly over one- to two-week periods, and it appears to be a safe sedative/hypnotic choice in patients with mild to moderate insomnia. The evidence for single-dose effect is contradictory. Valerian is also used in patients with mild anxiety, but the data supporting this indication are limited. Although the adverse effect profile and tolerability of this herb are excellent, long-term safety studies are lacking.
Insomnia - Article
ABSTRACT: Insomnia is a common complaint with potentially significant medical and psychologic complications. In some cases insomnia presents as a symptom of another underlying medical, psychiatric or environmental condition. In these cases, management of insomnia depends on accurate diagnosis and successful treatment of the underlying condition. In other cases, insomnia is a primary disorder requiring direct treatment. Pharmacologic treatments include nonprescription medications, sedating tricyclic antidepressants, benzodiazepines and related drugs. Behavior management methods that may be administered in the office setting include stimulus control therapy, sleep restriction therapy and sleep hygiene education. Although prescription medications and behavior therapy have similar short-term efficacy, behavior interventions are recommended as the first line of treatment for primary insomnia because of their greater safety and long-term efficacy.
ABSTRACT: Patients with insomnia may experience one or more of the following problems: difficulty falling asleep, difficulty maintaining sleep, waking up too early in the morning and nonrefreshing sleep. In addition, daytime consequences such as fatigue, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating and irritability are often present. Approximately 10 percent of adults experience persistent insomnia, although most patients do not mention it during routine office visits. Asking sleep-related questions during the general review of systems and asking patients with sleep complaints to keep a sleep diary are helpful approaches in detecting insomnia. Behavior and pharmacologic therapies are used in treating insomnia. Behavior approaches take a few weeks to improve sleep but continue to provide relief even after training sessions have ended. Hypnotic medications are safe and effective in inducing, maintaining and consolidating sleep. Effective treatment of insomnia may improve the quality of life for many patients.
Chronic Insomnia: A Practical Review - Article
ABSTRACT: Insomnia has numerous, often concurrent etiologies, including medical conditions, medications, psychiatric disorders and poor sleep hygiene. In the elderly, insomnia is complex and often difficult to relieve because the physiologic parameters of sleep normally change with age. In most cases, however, a practical management approach is to first consider depression, medications, or both, as potential causes. Sleep apnea also should be considered in the differential assessment. Regardless of the cause of insomnia, most patients benefit from behavioral approaches that focus on good sleep habits. Exposure to bright light at appropriate times can help realign the circadian rhythm in patients whose sleep-wake cycle has shifted to undesirable times. Periodic limb movements during sleep are very common in the elderly and may merit treatment if the movements cause frequent arousals from sleep. When medication is deemed necessary for relief of insomnia, a low-dose sedating antidepressant or a nonbenzodiazepine anxiolytic may offer advantages over traditional sedative-hypnotics. Longterm use of long-acting benzodiazepines should, in particular, be avoided. Melatonin may be helpful when insomnia is related to shift work and jet lag; however, its use remains controversial.