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 prevalence, natural history, incidence, and risk factors for chronic insomnia?
  • What are the consequences, morbidities, co-morbidities, and public health burden associated with chronic insomnia?
  • What treatments are used for the management of chronic insomnia and what is the evidence regarding their safety, efficacy and effectiveness?
  • What are important future directions for insomnia-related research?

The press briefing will be held in the main auditorium of the Natcher Center at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15. Reporters are welcome to attend the full conference, or just the press briefing. Please register at

Complete conference information, including the agenda, additional background, and logistical information, is available at All open conference sessions including the press briefing will be webcast at For more information, call 1-888-644-2667 or e-mail your questions to [email protected].

The primary sponsors of this conference are the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the Office of Medical Applications of Research (OMAR), both components of the NIH.

Note to Radio Editors: An audio report of the conference results will be available after 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 15 from the NIH Radio News Service by calling 1-800-MED-DIAL (1-800-633-3425) or visiting

Note to TV Editors: The press briefing at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15 will be broadcast live via satellite on the following coordinates: C-Band Galaxy 3 Transponder 4
Orbital Location: 95 degrees west
Downlink Frequency: 3780V
Audio: 6.2/6.8
Test time: 1:30 - 2:00 p.m. EDT
Broadcast: 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. EDT

The NIH comprises the Office of the Director and 27 Institutes and Centers. The Office of the Director is the central office at NIH and is responsible for setting policy for NIH and for planning, managing, and coordinating the programs and activities of all the NIH components. The NIH, the Nation's medical research agency, is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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