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General practitioner management of comorbid insomnia and sleep apnoea.

BACKGROUND: Insomnia and obstructive sleep apnoea are the two most common sleep disorders and frequently co-exist. Patients with comorbid insomnia and sleep apnoea experience worse daytime function, mental health and physical health than patients with either disorder alone. General practitioners may face unique challenges in the assessment and management of this prevalent and debilitating condition.

OBJECTIVE: This article aims to provide an overview of the prevalence, consequences, assessment and management of patients with comorbid insomnia and sleep apnoea in Australian general practice.

DISCUSSION: Patients with either insomnia or sleep apnoea should be assessed for both conditions. Treatments for both disorders should be offered to patients with both conditions. The recommended treatment for insomnia is cognitive behavioural therapy, whereas the recommended first-line treatment for moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnoea is lifestyle/weight management advice (where relevant) and continuous positive airway pressure therapy.

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