People with insomnia should try counseling before they turn to pills, which often carry dangerous side effects, a doctors' group advised Monday.
Specialized counseling can and does work, even if people don't like doing it and doctors often don't know how to do it, the American College of Physicians said in new guidelines on insomnia.
"The evidence is quite strong that cognitive behavioral therapy is effective. It works. It's long-lasting and it has the potential to decrease cost to the health care system," Dr. Wayne Riley, president of the American College of Physicians, told NBC News.
One study found that drugs including Ambien and Restoril may double someone's risk of a car crash. The Food and Drug Administration says the drugs remain in the bloodstream at levels high enough to interfere with morning driving, which increases the risk of car accidents. It required makers to lower recommended doses.