Psychiatry Investig.  2018 May;15(5):499-504. 10.30773/pi.2017.11.20.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia Reduces Hypnotic Prescriptions

  • 1Institute of Behavioral Science in Medicine and Department of Psychiatry, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Seonam University College of Medicine, Myongji Hospital, Goyang, Republic of Korea.


This study determined whether cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-i) decreased the need for sleep medications and produced better treatment outcomes than pharmacotherapy alone.
We reviewed data from patients with insomnia in the outpatient clinic of a general hospital between 2009 and 2015. We compared 41 patients who received five sessions of CBT-i with 100 age- and sex-matched patients who received pharmacotherapy only. We evaluated the change in prescription for sleep (i.e., antidepressants, hypnotics, and others) between the first and last visits using repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA). Clinical global impressions and completion status at the last visit were assessed using the chisquare test.
We found a significant decrease in the prescription rate and the dosage of hypnotics among patients who received CBT-i when compared with control patients. There was no significant change in the dosage of antidepressants between the two groups. Achievement of case closure was better in the CBT-i group at the trend level. Clinical global impression at the last visit was not significantly different.
These results show that CBT-i reduces the need for hypnotics among insomnia patients. Our results indicate that CBT-i offers additional benefits beyond improving sleep characteristics and thus provides another reason for recommending CBT-i as a first-line treatment for insomnia.


Insomnia; Hypnotics; Cognitive behavioral therapy; Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia; Sleep

MeSH Terms

Ambulatory Care Facilities
Antidepressive Agents
Cognitive Therapy*
Drug Therapy
Hospitals, General
Hypnotics and Sedatives
Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders*
Antidepressive Agents
Hypnotics and Sedatives
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