The assessment and management of insomnia in primary care

iStock_000007866113XSmall woman insomnia sleep

There’s a nice review in this week’s BMJ for primary care professionals who haven’t had much time this week to think about the mental health awareness week topic – sleep.

The authors provide a short summary of the key points:

  • Insomnia affects a third of people and is a common cause of consultation in primary care
  • History is the main diagnostic tool
  • There are many causes of secondary insomnia, which should be ruled out and treated first
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness should raise questions about obstructive sleep apnoea
  • Primary insomnia is diagnosed after excluding other causes of insomnia. It can be treated effectively by sleep hygiene techniques, by restricting time in bed, or with behavioural interventions
  • Sedatives should be used as a last resort when other approaches have failed because of risks of tolerance and adverse effects

The assessment and management of insomnia in primary care. BMJ 2011, 342. [Abstract]

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Andre Tomlin

Andre Tomlin

André started the Mental Elf website in May 2011. He has worked as an Information Scientist in Mental Health since the late nineties; initially at Oxford University's Centre for Evidence-Based Mental Health and since 2002 as the Managing Director of Minervation Ltd. He loves blogging, social media and elves! He also has established interests in evidence-based healthcare, usability testing and web design.

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