January 28, 2020

Pilot Study Suggests Sleep Monitoring Alone, With or Without Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, May Improve Sleep Quality and Quality of Life for People with Epilepsy

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Sleep difficulties are commonly reported by patients with epilepsy and can have a detrimental impact on overall quality of life. The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the efficacy of a psychotherapeutic approach, namely Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I), in improving sleep quality in patients with epilepsy.

Twenty outpatients with epilepsy who reported poor sleep quality were randomized to either a control or CBT-I treatment group, which involved four group-based CBT-I sessions, delivered on a weekly basis. In addition to completing a range of standardized measures related to sleep quality and quality of life, participants also monitored their sleep with a self-completed sleep diary over a two-week period, on two separate occasions.

Following CBT-I treatment, no between-group difference was found on any sleep or quality of life measure. However, both the treatment and control groups improved on measures of sleep quality, quality of life, sleep hygiene behaviors, and dysfunctional beliefs about sleep. These findings suggest that sleep monitoring alone may have the potential for prompting healthy behavior change in this clinical population.

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