This site is intended for health professionals only

Key questions on insomnia (1.5 CPD hours)

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Natasha Bijlani answers GP Dr Julian Spinks's questions on treating insomnia in primary care.

Learning objectives

This module will update your knowledge on managing and treating insomnia in primary care, covering the following issues:

  • Taking a good sleep history to diagnose insomnia
  • Advising patients on how to complete a sleep diary, and interpreting the patient's results
  • Identifying potential causes for insomnia, such as dietary factors, restless leg syndrome or substance withdrawal effects
  • Discussing sleep hygiene with patients
  • Using anxiolytics in conjunction with psychological strategies such as relaxation
  • Managing sleep disturbance associated with the menopause
  • Referring patients for CBT and determining which patients will benefit most from this intervention

This module was first published on 23 February 2011 and was up to date with all key guidelines and evidence at that point. It will be reviewed as part of our routine update cycle by 23 February 2013 but will be updated sooner to reflect any key guideline changes.


Dr Natasha Bijlani is a consultant psychiatrist at Priory Hospital, Roehampton

Dr Julian Spinks is a GP in Strood, Kent

Article only | Full CPD module