March 28, 2007

Research conducted by 2004 National Sleep Foundation Pickwick Fellow Colleen E. Carney, PhD, assistant clinical professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Duke University School of Medicine, finds that insomnia continues to plague depressed patients even after depression is treated.

The research measured the occurrence of residual insomnia following cognitive behavioral therapy for depression (CBT-D) and compared it with residual insomnia following drug treatment for depression.

In studying the patients, the researchers found that pharmacotherapy effectively addressed depression and insomnia symptoms for many, but that the symptoms of insomnia remained for a number of the subjects. “Whereas there appears to be no difference between CBT and pharmacotherapy with regard to rates of residual insomnia, the rates of such insomnia remaining after these treatments suggest that adjunctive sleep treatment to specifically address insomnia may be necessary for some [major depressive disorder] MDD patients,” an abstract of the article said.

—Franklin A. Holman