Insomnia is a condition of inadequate quality or quantity of sleep that has extremely adverse effects on daytime activities. Th e aim of this study was to compare the quality of life in patients with primary insomnia before and after a 3-week treatment with lorazepam (n=20) and zolpidem (n=21) and to compare the potential differences in dysfunctional beliefs and attitudes regarding patients’ sleep between the two groups. Th e diagnosis of primary insomnia was established using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision criteria, and patients had to complete a specially designed sleep log every day; on scheduled visits, we also administered a Visual Analogue Scale for quality of life and a self-evaluation questionnaire about Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes related to Sleep at the beginning and end of this study. In summary, the examinees in our study had significantly decreased parameters of quality of life, quite lower than expected based on previous findings in this area. However, by the end of the study, quality of life significantly improved with treatment: it improved by approximately 2/3 in the Lorazepam group and more than twice in the Zolpidem group, with a significant difference in favour of Zolpidem (p=0.047). Th is finding is most likely a consequence of its better safety profile and in part its better efficiency in terms of influence on certain domains of sleep itself, as previously discussed. Further specialized studies in this area with larger samples and a more detailed methodology are clearly warranted.
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