Challenges of Treating Chronic Insomnia: Jennifer Martin, PhD


The AASM board of directors member and professor of medicine at UCLA also discussed the relative inefficacy of sleep hygiene therapy for insomnia.

“The biggest challenge that we face in terms of treating insomnia is getting patients to talk to their healthcare providers about their sleep... A number of people are suffering from chronic insomnia problems, but they're reluctant to bring it up with their doctor or reach out for help. “

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has published new clinical guidelines for the treatment of chronic insomnia disorder in adults. The guidelines made a strong recommendation for the use of cognitive behavioral therapy, conditional recommendations for multi-component brief therapies, stimulus control, sleep restriction therapy and relaxation therapy. It recommended against the use of sleep hygiene therapy as a single-component therapy.

Among the authors of the guideline was Jennifer Martin, PhD, AASM board of directors, and professor of medicine, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. Martin and other members of the AASM conducted a comprehensive review of literature on insomnia and evaluated the efficacy of common treatments used.

NeurologyLive reached out to Martin to learn more about the challenges of treating chronic insomnia and the recommendations that were made. Martin urged physicians to ask their patients about their sleep and be proactive about catching chronic insomnia.

1. Edinger JD, Arnedt JT, Bertisch SM, et al. Behavioral and psychological treatments for chronic insomnia disorder in adults: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine clinical practice guideline. J. Clin. Sleep Med. Published online November 9, 2020. doi: 10.5664/jcsm.8986
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