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Carolyn TothFollow
Annie ThomasFollow

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Name of Corresponding Author

Dr. Annie Thomas

Credentials of Corresponding Author


Name of Faculty Advisor

Dr. Annie Thomas


Insufficient sleep is associated with a multitude of adverse health outcomes and many serious public health implications. Despite its prevalence, insomnia continues to be under diagnosed and treated ineffectively (Zhou, Gardiner, & Bertisch, 2017).


There is a significant gap between current clinical guidelines for diagnosing and treating insomnia and current clinical practice. There are currently many underutilized, evidence-based treatments available for insomnia and new, emerging treatment options. The purpose is to help close the gap between current clinical guidelines and current clinical practice for treating insomnia.

Search strategy

A literature search was conducted using the search terms insomnia and evidence-based interventions on the databases CINAHL, PubMed, and Scopus. The search was restricted to 2015-2020, human subjects, and English language.

Results of literature search

40 articles were retrieved and reviewed and 29 yielded results to support the purpose. Insomnia has been traditionally treated with pharmacological agents such as benzodiazepine receptor agonists, but the evidence backing the use of these drugs is minimal to moderate at best and the harms associated are extensive (Lee et al., 2019). Cognitive behavioral therapy has undoubtedly the most evidence backing its use for the treatment of insomnia and should always be used as the first line treatment.

Synthesis of evidence

The synthesis of evidence from the literature review of recently published studies demonstrates that clinicians need to modify their practice to close the gap between current clinical guidelines for evaluating and treating insomnia and current clinical practice. In doing this, providers can aid in reducing the ubiquity, economic burden, and health disparities associated with insomnia. Alternative evidence-based interventions with strong evidence across multiple sleep outcomes such as cognitive behavioral therapy, digital cognitive behavioral therapy, and brief behavioral intervention should be utilized.

Implications for practice

Primary care health care providers can affect positive change on the public health crisis of insufficient sleep by having a thorough understanding of the link between sleep and overall health, routinely discussing sleep with their patients, utilizing efficacious evidence-based treatment options, and only using pharmacological treatment short term and in conjunction non-pharmacological treatment.



Evidence-Based Interventions to Improve Sleep Health