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Iatreia

Print version ISSN 0121-0793

Abstract

CANO ROMERO, Juan Fernando  and  DIAGO GARCIA, Johanna. Diagnostic and therapeutic approach to insomnia. Iatreia [online]. 2005, vol.18, n.1, pp.60-70. ISSN 0121-0793.

Excessive, insufficient or unbalanced sleep reduces life quality and severely affects the biopsychosocial functioning of the person. Between 20 and 50% of adults suffer from sleep disturbances and their frequency increases with aging. Insomnia is the most common complaint in the general population and in psychiatric patients; therefore, it is important to have an adequate diagnostic and therapeutic approach in order to be able to solve the problem. Insomnia is just a symptom and its causes must be solved in the first place; the diagnostic study must include a sleep diary and the information provided by relatives. Treatment varies depending on the kind of insomnia and its etiology; general measures can be pharmacological or non-pharmacological; they include: sleep hygiene techniques, cognitivebehavioral interventions, sleep restriction, relaxation therapies and different medications. If insomnia has lasted less than three weeks no intervention but sleep hygiene measures is necessary; if this is not enough, persists for longer or another causes are identified, specific therapeutic measures must be included.

Keywords : antidepressives; bezodiazepines; insomnia; sleep disorders.

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