Placebo effects in primary insomnia

Michael L. Perlis, W. Vaughn McCall, Carla R. Jungquist, Wilfred R. Pigeon, Sara E. Matteson

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Placebo effects are commonly observed in insomnia clinical trials. With the advent of longer-term trials, such effects appear to be remarkably robust and durable. In this paper we review the classic factors that are believed to contribute to placebo effects and how these factors operate in insomnia randomized clinical trials. Beyond this we suggest that the episodic nature of insomnia may interact with patient preferences for intermittent dosing in such a way as to sustain placebo effects in the long term. An appreciation of the latter phenomenon may provide increased power to detect therapeutic outcomes and may be used to potentiate clinical gains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-389
Number of pages9
JournalSleep Medicine Reviews
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Insomnia
  • Periodicity of insomnia
  • Placebo effects
  • Randomized clinical trials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Placebo effects in primary insomnia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this