Over the years I’ve worked with a variety of patients and learned a few lessons along the way about efficiency… especially when it comes to the use of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies (EBPs). As a graduate student, I had very little exposure to EBPs and I was thoroughly immersed in existential and client-centered therapy. As I entered the military for my internship year I had my first introduction to protocol-based treatment and I was very skeptical. That year and the subsequent years have been transformative in the way I approach my patients' problems.
Recently I consulted on a case where a client with insomnia insisted on tracking her sleep with a wearable monitor (think Fitbit or Apple Watch).She soon realized that her sleep tracker was actually increasing her anxiety about sleep. She became more aware of every toss and turn during the night. Ultimately, the client decided to forego the tracker and use only a paper sleep log each night and morning. Her anxiety decreased overnight (pun intended) and she starting falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer.
Newer research is examining not just the overall effect of treatment strategies for insomnia, but how certain approaches may produce different symptom specific effects during the course of treatment. The purpose of this blog will be to review the theory, interventions, and research findings about how these treatment approaches may produce symptom specific effects during the course of insomnia treatment.
Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally found in the body. It is produced synthetically in the laboratory and is available in pill form as well as forms that can be absorbed under the tongue or through the cheek. However, before we talk about the role of melatonin in sleep, let’s talk about what it’s NOT for. So many of the patients I work with on sleep issues describe taking melatonin on a regular basis, every night before bed. Melatonin is not a sedative. It is not sleep inducing and it does not share any of the properties of prescription or over-the-counter sleep aids