Web-Based Help for Insomnia Shows Promise (US News: Health Day)

November 30, 2016 by School of Medicine Webmaster

People find help for all sorts of maladies online. Now, insomnia might be one of them.

A web-based interactive program may help chronically sleepless individuals get needed shuteye without taking medication or spending time on a therapist’s couch, a new study suggests.

The six-week program uses cognitive behavior therapy techniques — a standard treatment for insomnia — to help reset sleep patterns, the researchers said.

People who participated in the program “experienced significant and clinically meaningful improvements in their sleep, compared to those who were given online patient education,” said lead researcher Lee Ritterband.

Moreover, the results are “similar to outcomes reported in trials that included face-to-face cognitive behavior therapy,” said Ritterband. He is a professor at the University of Virginia School of Medicine’s department of psychiatry and neurobehavioral sciences.

Ritterband is also a partner in BeHealth Solutions, the company that developed and runs the web-based program, SHUTi (Sleep Healthy Using the Internet).