NIH convenes panel to assess evidence on chronic insomnia

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will hold a State-of-the-Science Conference on the Manifestations and Management of Chronic Insomnia in Adults on June 13-15, 2005, at the Natcher Conference Center, on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. A press briefing will be held at the close of the conference, at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15.

During the first day and part of the second day of the conference, experts will present the latest findings in the research of chronic insomnia to an independent panel. The panel will then meet in executive session to weigh the available scientific evidence and prepare its statement assessing the state of the science, to be presented for public comment at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 15.

Insomnia is the most common sleep complaint reported by women and men across all stages of adulthood and for many, the problem is chronic. While insomnia often exists simultaneously with other medical conditions (co-morbidities), the definitive etiology (cause) of insomnia remains unknown. Nevertheless, chronic insomnia is associated with a wide range of adverse consequences (morbidities), including depression, alcohol and drug abuse, difficulties with concentration and memory, and various cardiovascular, pulmonary, and gastrointestinal disorders. In addition to reduced quality of life and increased health care use reported by insomnia sufferers, the large number of people experiencing insomnia ultimately results in significant economic burden to society in lost productivity and health care costs. Although a number of promising behavioral and pharmacological approaches have recently been identified for the management of chronic insomnia symptoms, there has been limited guidance for clinicians in terms of choice of treatment.

The panel's statement will address these five key questions:

  • How is chronic insomnia defined, diagnosed, and classified, and what is known about its etiology?
  • What are the prevalenc

Contact: OMAR Information Center
NIH/Office of the Director

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