CBT-I and Depression
CBT-I has consistently been shown to be the most effective treatment for chronic insomnia. It improves sleep in 75-80% of insomnia patients, is proven more effective than sleeping pill in all studies that have directly compared the two treatments, and reduces or eliminates sleeping pill use in 85-90% of patients.
CBT-I achieves these dramatic outcomes with no side effects and maintains improvements in sleep long-term.
New research now suggests that CBT-I provides another remarkable benefit: depressed patients with insomnia who get CBT-I are twice as likely to experience a significant improvement in their depression compared to antidepressant medication alone. Depression is the most common mood disorder, affecting some 18 million Americans in any given year, and most have insomnia.
Two published studies have now shown that CBT-I, when added to a standard antidepressant pill to treat depression, can make a significant difference in curing both insomnia and depression in many patients. Some 87 percent of the patients whose insomnia was resolved in four treatment sessions also had their depression symptoms disappear, almost twice the rate of those whose insomnia was not cured. If the results hold up in other studies already underway at major medical centers, this could be the most dramatic advance in treating depression in decades. Indeed, these findings are so striking that the New York Times likens the potential of this finding to the biggest potential breakthrough in the treatment of depression since the introduction of Prozac in 1987. For more information about CBT-I doubling the efficacy of depression treatment, see