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Allegheny Health Network has a new treatment for chronic insomnia

New treatment for chronic insomnia

New treatment for chronic insomnia


PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Having a tough time falling asleep is something most people deal with every so often.

There are prescriptions and over-the-counter options, but what if you have chronic insomnia?

Minor insomnia is no big deal, and many over-the-counter remedies work. But if you have chronic insomnia like 50 to 70 million other Americans and the drugs don’t work, Allegheny Health Network is trying a new treatment method using cognitive behavioral therapy.

“CBTI, cognitive behavioral therapy, for insomnia is a brief therapeutic intervention to help retrain the way you deal with and approach sleep,” AHN’s Dr. Amy Crawford-Faucher said.

The sessions span several weeks. It includes adjusting how you eat, exercise and how to deal with stress. According to Crawford-Faucher, whose practice is in family medicine and is the vice chair of the AHN’s Primary Care Institute, CBTI works.

“This brief intervention and therapy works better for long-term insomnia than any of the medications that we have out there, and with none of the risks of taking medications,” she said.

Now, CBTI might not work for some, especially those with other serious illnesses or who are on drugs that keep the patient from becoming tired. Crawford-Faucher said this therapy involves input from a primary care physician as well.