Some health insurers think so. In November the L.A. Times reported that online CBT for insomnia is covered by some insurance providers.
Now a new study published today in the journal Sleep adds to the evidence supporting online CBT for insomnia. Results show that a five-week, online CBT program helped most people in the treatment group; 81 percent reported at least mild improvement in their sleep.
A TIME article reported today that there are many positive aspects of online CBT. It can be available to anyone with Internet access. Users also may be able to proceed at their own pace and repeat material as needed.
But some people may fail to follow through with an online treatment program. In the current study there was a 33-percent drop-out rate.
A few previous studies of online CBT for insomnia provided mixed results. An abstract presented at SLEEP 2008 involved a six-week program. Results show that participants increased their average, nightly total sleep time by 80 minutes.
A 2008 study from Japan evaluated a two-week program. Sleep quality and sleep-related behaviors improved significantly. After treatment participants were able to fall asleep about eight minutes faster. But there was little change in total sleep time.
A 2004 study from Sweden used a five-week program. Sleep improved in both the treatment group and the control group.
So what’s the bottom line? Online CBT programs have great potential for people who suffer from chronic insomnia. But they may need to be fine-tuned to maximize their effectiveness.
Go to SleepEducation.com to get more details about online CBT for insomnia.
Contact an AASM-accredited sleep center near you for help with insomnia.