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How Can I Help Myself?

Insomnia has traditionally been treated in the GP’s surgery by the prescription of sleeping pills. These are effective to a degree, in that they almost always result in sleep. However, while they are not seen as long-term solutions, they may be difficult to give up. In addition, many of them also lead to withdrawal symptoms; and patients often find themselves back in their doctor’s surgery with sleeplessness again. Some over-the-counter remedies don’t have the same side-effects, but nor are they clinically proven to be effective other than as placebos (in other words they act by suggestion). Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), on the other hand, has been found to be a very effective long-term solution and is now the treatment of choice for insomnia. As many as three-quarters of people with persistent insomnia have found lasting benefit from CBT.