The same digital screens that have helped nurture a generation of insomniacs can also help restore regular sleep, researchers reported on Wednesday. In a new study, more than half of chronic insomniacs who used an automated online therapy program reported improvement within weeks and were sleeping normally a year later.
The new report, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, is the most comprehensive to date suggesting that many garden-variety insomniacs could benefit from the gold standard treatment — cognitive behavior therapy — without ever having to talk to a therapist. At least one in 10 adults has diagnosable insomnia, which is defined as broken, irregular, inadequate slumber at least three nights a week for three months running or longer.
“I’ve been an insomniac all my life, I’ve tried about everything,” said Dale Love Callon, 70, known as Dacie, a math tutor living in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., who recently used the software. “I don’t have it 100 percent conquered, but I’m sleeping much better now.”