AASM President Nancy Collop, MD, authored the ethics piece for the Nov. 7 issue of American Medical News, published by the American Medical Association (AMA). Dr. Collop answered the AMA-supplied question, “What should doctors tell patients about insomnia medications?” After detailing the most popular treatments used by chronic insomniacs – over-the-counter sleep aids, self-medication with alcohol and prescription medications – and describing their often negative side effects, Dr. Collop promoted a more responsible approach to pharmacologic therapy that includes behavior therapy. The two “are not mutually exclusive,” she wrote.
Dr. Collop further advocated good sleep hygiene, including addressing environmental, scheduling, sleep practice and physiologic issues, and emphasized patient follow-up and patient education. In addition to setting the record straight about sleep medications for AMA members, Dr. Collop was able to promote responsible sleep medicine practices and further the Academy’s message to an important audience of medical professionals.