Behavioral insomnia therapy combined with a positive airway pressure adherence program may improve sleep in adults with coexisting obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia, such as veterans, according to findings presented at the American Geriatrics Society Annual Scientific Meeting, reports Healio.

“Obstructive sleep apnea is common in older adults and often presents with coexisting insomnia,” Cathy Alessi, MD, professor of geriatric medicine and acting director of the Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center at VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, and colleagues wrote in an abstract. “Insomnia predicts worse adherence with [obstructive sleep apnea] treatment by positive airway pressure.”

With the goal of improving sleep and positive airway pressure adherence in veterans with both conditions, researchers conducted a 4-year, randomized controlled trial in which they tested a new treatment that combined behavioral insomnia therapy with a positive airway pressure adherence program. Researchers enrolled 125 veterans aged 50 years or older (mean age 63; 96% male; 42% non-Hispanic white) with obstructive sleep apnea and chronic insomnia.