Flinders University is offering hope for insomnia sufferers with a study of a new innovative treatment.
The research project needs participants with chronic insomnia, particularly those who have trouble falling asleep. They will be offered an effective treatment program that takes only one night to administer in their own home.
The study is examining an alternative way of delivering a novel treatment for insomnia called Intensive Sleep Retraining (ISR).
Flinders University research has already been shown that ISR can improve sleep and general well-being of insomnia sufferers when it is administered in a sleep laboratory.
This particular study is investigating the effectiveness of using a smartphone to administer ISR, which means participants will be at home during their overnight treatment.
This small-scale research project is the start of the final proof of concept of the Flinders Psychology ISR – a research program Emeritus Professor Leon Lack, Flinders University’s well known sleep researcher, started more than a decade ago.
If it is found to be effective, this approach will offer significantly more affordable, flexible and practical way for people with insomnia to receive treatment.
“Generally, insomniacs try to increase their sleep opportunity rather than decrease it. Unfortunately, this usually results in more time awake in bed worrying about being awake,” says Professor Lack.
“Most of the effective behaviour therapies for insomnia involve initially reducing sleep opportunity until the association with the bed environment and desire to sleep is re-associated with sleep rather than wakefulness and worry.”
Professor Lack recently developed a revolutionary wearable tracking device, called THIM, which re-trains insomniacs to get a better night’s sleep, by helping them learn to fall into a longer, deeper sleep pattern.
THIM aims to re-train poor sleepers and help them get a better night’s sleep by waking them as they start to doze off. The user simply wears the tracking device on their finger whenever they go to bed, and selects the ‘Start Sleep Re-Training’ option on their smartphone app.
The first small-scale initial study will be conducted by Professor Leon Lack, Flinders University School of Psychology master candidate Andrew Mair and and Dr Jeremy Mercer.
The study firstly involves a telephone interview about your sleep, health and lifestyle. Depending on your answers, you may be asked to complete some brief online questionnaires about your sleep to assess eligibility for the study.
If you are selected to participate, then you will be invited to undertake an overnight sleep intervention in your home.
After treatment, you will be asked to keep a sleep diary for three separate weeks and complete several brief questionnaires once a week over six-week follow-up period.
This research has been funded by the Flinders University. Participation in this study will not cost anything.