Objective: To study the effectiveness of zolpidem and sleep hygiene counseling in managing insomnia in solid tumor patients.
Methods: Cancer patients with a Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score ≥ 5 were grouped into two. Both groups received treatment for insomnia in the form of either zolpidem 5 mg for 7 days or sleep hygiene counseling.
Result: At baseline, zolpidem and counseling group had a mean Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score of 14.82 ± 2.61 and 11.67 ± 3.32, respectively. The difference in mean Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score was found to be 4.03 in patients using zolpidem and 1.5 in counseled patients (p = 0.003). The components of Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index namely difficulty falling asleep within 30 min (sleep latency), overall sleep quality, trouble staying awake during daytime and trouble staying motivated to get things done showed statistically significant improvement after treatment with zolpidem. Following sleep hygiene counseling, the proportion of patients with sleep latency > 30 min reduced considerably. Waking up to use the bathroom was the most common problem reported by approximately 94% patients in both groups before treatment which remained the most prevalent problem even after treatment. Night or early morning awakenings seemed to decrease significantly in patients taking zolpidem (p = 0.039) while it did not show any improvement with counseling. Counseling seemed to get patients to sleep within 30 min.
Conclusion: Patients on zolpidem showed a reduction in their Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index scores thereby suggesting it as a treatment for insomnia in solid tumor patients. Sleep hygiene counseling, though not as effective as zolpidem, made a slight difference in the overall sleep.
A. Asok, Sreekumar, S., Tk, R., Cc, A., Dr. Umadevi P., and Dr. Pavithran K., “Effectiveness of zolpidem and sleep hygiene counseling in the treatment of insomnia in solid tumor patients.”, J Oncol Pharm Pract, vol. 25, no. 7, pp. 1608-1612, 2019.