Science Market Update

Science Researchers at UCLA Find Effective Treatment for Insomnia

Posted by Jennifer Nieuwkerk on Mon, Sep 29, 2014

Have you ever lay in bed tossing and turning, wishing you could fall asleep? While most people have trouble falling asleep some nights because of a late evening coffee or a stressful day, those who suffer from chronic insomnia are at a serious health risk if they don’t get an adequate amount of sleep. Approximately 15 percent of older adults in the United States suffer chronic insomnia, which can lead the way to cardiovascular disease, hypertension, weight gain, type 2 diabetes and even an earlier death.

Life science researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles have discovered the answer to two questions whose answers have eluded insomnia and sleep researchers in the past: Can treating insomnia reduce inflammation, and what is the most effective therapy for treating insomnia? The study, published in the journal Sleep¸ shows that treating insomnia led to decreases in a known marker of inflammation called C-reactive protein (CRP). 



Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


"What we found particularly intriguing was that the levels of the CRP inflammatory marker remained low even 16 months after treating the insomnia," said Michael Irwin, first author and professor of psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.

In testing therapies for chronic insomnia, the life science researchers at UCLA compared these three treatments:

  • Cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT), a type of therapy that focuses on identifying and changing the thought patterns that lead to negative behaviors
  • Tai chi chih (TCC), the westernized version of a martial art originating in China
  • And sleep seminar education that focused on the physical, medical and psychosocial factors that could be the root of their sleep problems


The researchers found that cognitive behavioral therapy worked far better than tai chi chih and sleep seminar education. Patients who went through CBT noticed improvements in sleep quality, the ability to sleep throughout the night, fatigue and depression. In this same study, Dr. Irwin noted that the benefit of treating insomnia to reduce inflammation works as well as strenuous exercise or weight loss.

"Finally, if insomnia is untreated and sleep disturbance persists, we found that CRP levels progressively increase," Irwin said. "Together, these findings indicate that it is even more critical to treat insomnia in this population who are already at elevated risk for aging-related inflammatory disease."

In order to fund life science research such as this insomnia and inflammation study, scientists at UCLA receive grants for lab equipment, lab services and other research expenses. UCLA is a highly funded marketplace with over $1 billion in funding. Consider these statistics for the University of California, Los Angeles:


If you would like to meet face-to-face within well-funded life science researchers in a $1 billion market, Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. invites you to exhibit at the Biotechnology Vendor Showcase™ Event at the University of California, Los Angeles on October 9th, 2014.

To learn more about life science marketing events in other regions of the United States, see the 2014 calendar of events and 2015 calendar of events. Click on the button below for comprehensive funding statistics and vendor show information for the University of California, Los Angeles. 


Get UCLA Funding Statistics

Tags: University of California Los Angeles, life science research, insomnia

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