Provider Alert: CBT-i Coach for Insomnia is Now Available

The CBT-i Coach mobile app, developed through a collaboration of the National Center for PTSD, Stanford University and T2, supports cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-i). CBT-i Coach was designed for people who are having difficulty sleeping and participating in cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia with a health provider. The app includes a sleep assessment, sleep diary, sleep-management tools, and reminders.

The Insomnia Severity Index assessment is used to evaluate problems that patients are having with sleep. Although it cannot tell users if they have insomnia, it can provide helpful information about problematic sleep behaviors, including difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, and early awakenings, as well as satisfaction/dissatisfaction with sleep patterns, functional impairment, level of worry, and impact on quality of life. Users are encouraged to share the results of the self-assessment with their health care provider. The app also includes a sleep need questionnaire, which can help users and providers determine if more time should be spent in bed.

The sleep diary monitors behaviors that can be targeted for intervention. For example, users are asked to indicate the time when they went to bed, fell asleep, and woke up, as well as the number of awakenings, and the quality of their sleep. Users are also asked about daytime naps. The sleep diary provides data on total time in bed, total time asleep, and sleep efficiency. It must be used for several days in order to assist with a sleep prescription.

The sleep-management tools are based on empirically supported strategies for treating insomnia. This includes techniques based on stimulus control, sleep restriction, sleep interfering arousal/activation behaviors, and take one’s biological clock into account. For example, users are given suggestions for how to improve their sleep environment, limit caffeine intake, and generate alternative behaviors so they ONLY go to bed when sleepy and get out of bed when not sleepy.

Users can turn on reminders to complete the sleep diary and sleep assessments. Reminders can also be used as prompts for prescribed bedtime, prescribed wake time, and even prescribed worry time. The CBT-i Coach promises to be a helpful app for providers and users. Let us know how it helps your practice.

Annabel Prins, Ph. D. is a licensed clinical psychologist at the National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2).

The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Center for Telehealth & Technology, the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.
Read other posts by Dr. Annabel Prins