Meta-analyses support the effectiveness of behavioral interventions for the treatment of insomnia, although few have systematically evaluated the relative efficacy of different treatment modalities or the relation of old age to sleep outcomes. In this meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (k = 23), moderate to large effects of behavioral treatments on subjective sleep outcomes were found. Evaluation of the moderating effects of behavioral intervention type (i.e., cognitive-behavioral treatment, relaxation, behavioral only) revealed similar effects for the 3 treatment modalities. Both middle-aged adults and persons older than 55 years of age showed similar robust improvements in sleep quality, sleep latency, and wakening after sleep onset. A research agenda is recommended to examine the mechanisms of action of behavioral treatments on sleep with increased attention to the high prevalence of insomnia in older individuals.
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