An investigation published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics examines how smartphones may potentially be used to treat insomnia.

The Authors aimed to assess whether targeted delivery of an ABM task during the pre-sleep period could reduce symptoms of insomnia and the cognitive symptoms of pre-sleep arousal.

The study lasted 8 days (7 nights). The first 2 days served as a baseline period in which participants completed self-report measures and wore the sleep monitor, but did not complete the ABM or control task. These initial baseline days were followed by 5 consecutive ‘task completion days’ in which the participants completed, immediately prior to bed, an ABM task (ABM condition) or a non-training control task (control condition) on their smartphone.

Overall, results suggest that attentional bias modification targeting vigilance for sleep-related threat during the pre-sleep period has the capacity to reduce cognitive arousal and improve insomnia symptoms, providing a crucial step towards establishing a novel intervention for insomnia.

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