One third of people report symptoms of insomnia and around one in ten actually meet the clinical criteria for the condition. Cognitive behaviour therapy is one of the most effective treatments for the condition but its availability is limited by a shortage of clinicians, poor geographical distribution of knowledgeable professionals, expense and inaccessability to treatment and clinicians. One way round this could be by using Internet CBT. Researchers at the University of Virginia in the U.S. and the University of Laval in Quebec studied 45 people with sleep problems comparing 22 people using an Internet CBT programme with 23 on a waiting list who formed a control group. The Internet programme was based on face-to-face CBT approaches and used the techniques of sleep restriction, stimulus control, sleep hygiene, cognitive restructuring and relapse prevention. The participants who received the Internet intervention significantly improved their sleep leading the researchers to conclude that Internet CBT has 'considerable potential in delivering a structured behavioural programme for insomnia'
Ritterband, Lee M. ... [et al] - Efficacy of an Internet-based behavioural intervention for adults with insomnia Archives of General Psychiatry July 2009, 66(7), 692-698