The state of insomnia and emerging trends
Am J Manag Care. 2007 Nov;13(5 Suppl):S117-20.
Recent research into the pathophysiology of insomnia has brought a shift in the approach to treatment. Insomnia rarely occurs in isolation and is typically comorbid with other conditions. Rather than simply treating the primary disorder, whereby symptoms of insomnia may go unaddressed, now there is a push to acknowledge the existence of chronic insomnia as a disorder that itself merits treatment. This recognition is due to the identification of pathophysiologic changes and associated morbidity, which can be substantial. Insomnia patients have increased risk for psychiatric disorders, especially depression, anxiety, decreased quality of life, increased healthcare utilization and costs, drug/alcohol abuse, decreased occupational performance, and increased falls/accidents. Current management patterns explore non-nightly or discontinuous hypnotic treatment – non-nightly flexible, non-nightly semi-flexible, non-nightly fixed, and flexible timing – which deviates from past trends of continuous dosing with hypnotics. These trends reflect a change from considering insomnia a symptom to treating insomnia as a disorder.