The University of Warwick academics found that cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT) were either moderately or strongly effective in tackling insomnia in patients with long-term pain. They also discovered that chronic pain sufferers didn’t just benefit from improved sleep but also experienced a wider positive impact on pain, fatigue and depression. However they also concluded that therapies only worked when delivered in person.

The study has been published in the journal Sleep. Dr. Nicole Tang, from the University’s Department of Psychology who led the research said, “Poor sleep is a potential cause of ill health and previous studies suggest it can lead to obesity, diabetes, stroke, coronary heart disease and even death. Insomnia can also increase the risk of depression, anxiety and substance misuse. It is also a major problem for those suffering pain that lasts longer than three to six months and that is why we looked at this group.

“This study is particularly important because the use of drugs to treat insomnia is not recommended tover a long period of time. Therefore, the condition needs to be addressed using a non-pharmacological treatment. We believe that our results will be of particular interest to primary care physicians and allied health professionals who are taking up an increasingly important role in preventing and managing long-term conditions.”

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