Aric Prather, PhD, on How Insomnia and OSA Affect Your Patients’ Health


In this video, Aric Prather, PhD, discusses insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, and the importance of sleep for health and wellbeing, which are topics he presented at our Practical Updates in Primary Care 2021 Virtual Series on May 13. 

Additional Resources:

Practical Updates in Primary Care newsroom.

For more information about PUPC 2021 Virtual Series and to register for upcoming sessions, visit

Aric Prather, PhD, is an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral health at the University of California, San Francisco. 


Dr Aric Prather: My name is Aric Prather. I'm an associate professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California San Francisco.

Sleep is fundamental to health. When people don't get the sleep they need, they're at risk for a whole host of negative outcomes, including psychiatric conditions and cardiometabolic disorders.

The two sleep disorders that we focused on today were insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea. Symptoms of insomnia occur in 30 percent of the population. Obstructive sleep apnea can affect somewhere between 5 and 15 percent of adults, though this is very likely an underestimate.

There are clear ways for treating both of these things. For insomnia, the important takeaway here is that medications should not be the first line of treatment. The well‑recognized first line is cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, and I provided some resources on how to connect your patients.

Obstructive sleep apnea should be evaluated and treated. The primary treatment for this is often CPAP therapy, though there are other therapies available. The hope is that this information can be used in the clinic and get your patients the help that they need.

Moving forward, it's going to be incredibly important to figure out scalable interventions so that more of this information in treatments can be available to the general population so that we can improve the health and sleep of our patients around the world.

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