Author: Ian Neligh
Injured by TBI and suffer from insomnia? This USU study could help you catch some ZZZs
A potential solution for a good night’s sleep for military members struggling with insomnia is currently being studied by the Uniformed Services University’s Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (CNRM).
Helping military members with a history of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) treat their insomnia symptoms is tricky and deployments make in-person visits with trained providers challenging. This virtual study hopes to give service members and veterans a convenient, more effective, and drug-free solution. To make that happen, the study uses a remote version of cognitive-behavioral therapy, a proven technique for treating insomnia, within the Military Healthcare System.
The study, “A Randomized, Controlled, Blinded Study of Internet-guided Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia in Military Service Members with History of Traumatic Brain Injury” is completely online and requires no in-person visits. Service members and veterans can simply utilize the program from their smartphone or computer, anywhere and at any time.
The USU study is nearly halfway through its two-year plan and aims to enroll 200 participants total in a six- to nine-week, internet-guided program to examine virtual cognitive-behavioral therapies in the military populations. Funded by CNRM, the project is using a modified version for the military of a web-based program called SHUTi or “Sleep Healthy Using the Internet.”
“The need is really what kicked it off,” says the study’s associated investigator Navy Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) Kent Werner, assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at USU and director of Research at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. “Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, or CBT-i, is established as the most promising therapy for insomnia, above medication, even though most people are started on medication when they have insomnia.”