There is a shortage of qualified providers of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). For patients who can’t find a qualified provider of CBT-I or can’t afford it, there’s a new self-help program available via a mobile app that may be an option.
The Night Owl – Sleep Coach app was created by psychologist and behavioral sleep medicine expert Ryan G. Wetzler, PsyD, CBSM, ABPP. It provides education in the form of reading and video presentations. Through the use of sleep logs, the app provides recommendations tailored to the user.
Daily tasks are required. There are 6 reading and video modules that might take up to 30 minutes to complete once weekly. The program takes 56 days to complete, but often improvement will be seen before the end of the 56-day period, according to Wetzler.
Please take the following survey to see if you are a candidate for the self-help approach.
Participation candidate survey:
1. Does it take you longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep at night?
2. Are you awake longer than 30 minutes in the middle of the night?
3. Do you wake too early in the morning and can’t get back to sleep?
4. Do you have trouble getting to sleep at your desired time?
5. Have you been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder or a seizure disorder?
If you said yes to any of questions 1-4, and no to question 5 then you may be able to benefit from this program. If you answered yes to question 5, please discuss your candidacy for CBT-I with your physician or try to identify a behavioral sleep specialist in your area.
If interested in seeing a specialist in person a list of behavioral sleep providers with experience in CBT-I can be found at www.behavioralsleep.org/index.php/society-of-behavioral-sleep-medicine-providers/member-providers/advanced-search.
The app is available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play.