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Sleep better without the use of sleeping pills

A Novel Mechanism for Helping Older Adults Discontinue Use of Sleeping Pills

Researchers at UCLA are conducting a study to help people sleep better without the use of sleeping pills. The SWITCH Study is looking for adults aged 55 years or older who want to taper off their sleeping pill and switch to a non- medication insomnia treatment called cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. Participants are randomly assigned to one of two groups. Both groups will receive cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. During the sleeping pill taper, one group will know the exact dose of the sleeping pill nightly whereas the other group will not know the exact dose of the sleeping pill nightly. The study is assessing which tapering method is most effective for improving insomnia and discontinuing sleeping pills.

Study participation is 10 months in total, which includes weekly treatment visits that occur weekdays during regular business hours. Telehealth visit options are available.

You may be eligible for this study if:

  • You are 55 years or older
  • You have been taking zolpidem (Ambien™), alprazolam (Xanax™), clonazepam (Klonopin™), lorazepam (Ativan™), or temazepam (Restoril™) two or more times per week for at least 3 months for current or prior insomnia symptoms
  • The medication is prescribed by a UCLA Health professional
  • You have current or prior insomnia symptoms

Exclusion criteria include:

  • Seizure or epilepsy
  • Zolpidem (Ambien™), alprazolam (Xanax™), clonazepam (Klonopin™), lorazepam (Ativan™), or temazepam (Restoril™) used for a condition other than insomnia
  • Zolpidem (Ambien™), alprazolam (Xanax™), clonazepam (Klonopin™), lorazepam (Ativan™), or temazepam (Restoril™) used during the daytime or high dose at baseline
  • Benzodiazepine intoxication or current/past symptoms of complicated benzodiazepine/alcohol withdrawal
  • Prescription fraud
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Untreated sleep-disordered breathing

Additional eligibility criteria are assessed during the baseline study visits. Final eligibility will be determined by the study team.

Principal Investigator:  Constance Fung, MD, MSHS

For more information, please contact our Sleep Research office at (818) 895-9430

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