On Wednesdays, scientists hinted that treating young persons who live with insomnia using online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) could cut down the resultant mental health issues including depression and anxiety.
In the research published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, scientists at Oxford University found that alleviating sleep disruption helped in managing psychotic symptoms like paranoia and hallucinations.
A professor of clinical psychology, who was the lead author of the research, Daniel Freeman said sleep problems dominate people with mental problems, but for a long time, insomnia has been neglected as a symptom, rather than causation factor of psychological problems.
Freeman added that the study gives a new look to that old idea, showing that insomnia is not free from being a contributory factor to mental health problems.
The research analyzed 3,755 students of universities across Britain. The students were randomly separated into two groups; one of the groups underwent six sessions of CBT online, with each session lasting for about 20 minutes, and delivered through Sleepio, a digital program. The other group of university students was given standard treatments without online CBT.
Freeman’s research team studied the mental health of the participants with many online questionnaires at 0, 3, 10, and 22 weeks from the beginning of the therapy. The researchers observed that students who had the online CBT sleep therapy exhibited a lowered insomnia, as well reduced hallucinatory and paranoia experiences.
Improvements in depressions, nightmares, home functioning, daytime activities, anxiety, psychological well-being were also observed, all possible because of the CBT.
The head of neuroscience at the Wellcome Trust health firm, Andrew Welchman, helped in funding the research. He said the findings mean that improved sleep could provide a possible [path to quick treatment, causing improved mental health.
Freeman added that a good night sleep could cause a significant difference in the psychological health of people. As such, helping people achieve better sleep could be the basic step in fighting many psychological and emotional issues.