People with insomnia who receive a digitised version of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as part of their treatment may find more symptom relief than those who only receive tips to improve their sleep routines, a recent experiment suggests.
Researchers randomly assigned 1,700 insomnia patients to receive either digital CBT or so-called sleep hygiene education designed to improve bedtime routines and encourage avoidance of substances like caffeine and alcohol that can interfere with sleep. The CBT group used the online Sleepio program and an associated iOS app, which offered a series of 20-minute therapy sessions people could access for up to 12 weeks.
Patients reported more improvement in their insomnia symptoms after 4, 8 and 24 weeks with digital CBT than they did with sleep hygiene education, the study team reports in JAMA Psychiatry. “This new study indicates that digital CBT can help insomnia sufferers achieve not just better sleep, but better overall health and quality of life,” said lead study author Colin Espie.