Introduction: Chronic primary insomnia is defined as difficulty in initiating or maintaining sleep or of non-restorative sleep that lasts for at least 1 month and causes significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning. The homeopathic simillimum is that remedy which most closely corresponds to the totality of symptoms; remedy selection is based on a full evaluation of the patient's physical, emotional and mental characteristics.
Aim/purpose: The purpose of this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was to evaluate the efficacy of homeopathic simillimum in the treatment of chronic primary insomnia.
Method: 30 participants were selected in accordance with DSM-IV TR (2000)(1) criterion 307.42 Primary Insomnia and then randomly divided between treatment and placebo groups. The measurement tools used were a Sleep Diary (SD) and the Sleep Impairment Index (SII).(2) After an initial consultation, 2 follow-up consultations at 2-week intervals took place. Homeopathic medication was prescribed at the first and second consultations. The SII was completed at each consultation and participants were instructed at the first consultation to start the SD.
Results: SD data revealed that verum treatment resulted in a significant increase in duration of sleep throughout the study, compared to the placebo treatment which resulted in no significant increase in duration of sleep. A significant improvement in SII summary scores and number of improved individual questions were found in the verum group, responses to all 11 questions having improved significantly upon completion of the study. An initial improvement occurred in the placebo group, but was not sustained. Comparison of results between the groups revealed a statistically significant difference.
Conclusion: The homeopathic simillimum treatment of primary insomnia was effective, compared to placebo. Homeopathy is a viable treatment modality for this condition and further research is justified.
Copyright 2009 The Faculty of Homeopathy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.