Research suggests that insomnia patients who focus on behavioral changes may be less stressed and more functional during the day than those relying on medication, according to Reuters.

Researchers offered 160 adults with chronic insomnia six weeks of treatment with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT); half of them were also randomly selected to take medication in addition to counseling.

At the end of this experiment, patients in both groups slept better, but only the people who received therapy alone reported significant reductions in how much sleep impacted their daytime functioning and things like memory, concentration and quality of life as well as declines in anxiety, depression and fatigue.

“Most individuals with insomnia seek treatment, not necessarily because of the nocturnal insomnia symptoms, but when they start experiencing the negative daytime consequences of these night time sleep difficulties on their energy, mood, and mental abilities,” said lead study author Charles Morin of Laval University in Quebec City.

“Showing that cognitive behavior therapy improves not only sleep but also daytime functioning and quality of life is thus very important and should give hope to patients who have suffered chronic insomnia,” Morin added by email.

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