Flinders University is studying a new treatment for insomnia.

The research project needs participants with chronic insomnia, particularly those who have trouble falling asleep. They will be offered a treatment program that takes 1 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 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 Leon Lack, PhD, a Flinders University 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, Lack says.

“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 Lack in a release. “Most of the effective behavior 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.”

Lack recently developed a 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 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 involves a telephone interview about each participant’s sleep, health, and lifestyle. Depending on the answers, participants may be asked to complete some brief online questionnaires about to assess eligibility.

If 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 3 separate weeks and complete several brief questionnaires once a week over 6-week follow-up period.

This research has been funded by the Flinders University. Participation in this study will not cost anything.

Please contact sleepretraining[at]flinders.edu.au or mair0001[at]flinders.edu.au or call Andrew Mair on 0481 335 002 to discuss your interest.