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Behav Res Ther. 2011 Apr;49(4):227-33. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2011.02.003. Epub 2011 Feb 15.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia in alcohol dependent patients: a randomized controlled pilot trial.

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Sleep and Chronophysiology Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, 4250 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2700, USA.


In a randomized controlled trial, we evaluated the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral treatment for insomnia to improve sleep and daytime symptoms, and to reduce relapse in recovering alcohol dependent (AD) participants. Seventeen abstinent AD patients with insomnia (6 women, mean age 46.2 ± 10.1 years) were randomized to 8 sessions of cognitive-behavioral treatment for insomnia for AD (CBTI-AD, n=9) or to a behavioral placebo treatment (BPT, n=8). Subjective measures of sleep, daytime consequences of insomnia and AD, alcohol use, and treatment fidelity were collected at baseline and post-treatment. Diary-rated sleep efficiency and wake after sleep onset, and daytime ratings of General Fatigue on the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory improved more in the CBTI-AD compared to the BPT group. In addition, more subjects were classified as treatment responders following CBTI-AD. No group differences were found in the number of participants who relapsed to any drinking or who relapsed to heavy drinking. The findings suggest that cognitive-behavioral insomnia therapy benefits subjective sleep and daytime symptoms in recovering AD participants with insomnia more than placebo. The benefits of treating insomnia on drinking outcomes are less apparent.

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