A self-help book is better than sleep hygiene advice for insomnia: A randomized controlled comparative study


Bjorvatn, B., Fiske, E. & Pallesen, S. (2011). A self-help book is better than sleep hygiene advice for insomnia: A randomized controlled comparative study. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology. The objective was to compare the effects of two types of written material for insomnia in a randomized trial with follow-up after three months. Insomniacs were recruited through newspaper advertisements to a web-based survey with validated questionnaires about sleep, anxiety, depression, and use ofsleep medications. A self-help book focusing on cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia was compared to standard sleep hygiene advice; 77 and 78 participants were randomized to self-help book or sleep hygiene advice, respectively. The response rate was 81.9%. The self-help book gave significantly better scores on the sleep questionnaires compared to sleep hygiene advice. The proportion using sleep medications was reduced in the self-help book group, whereas it was increased in the sleep hygiene group. Compared to pre-treatment, the self-help book improved scores on the sleep (effect sizes 0.61-0.62) and depression (effect size 0.18) scales, whereas the sleep hygiene advice improved scores on somesleep scales (effect sizes 0.24-0.28), but worsened another (effect size -0.36). In addition, sleep hygiene advice increased the number of days per week where they took sleep medications (effect size -0.50). To conclude, in this randomized controlled trial, the self-help book improved sleep and reduced the proportion using sleep medications compared to sleep hygiene advice. The self-help book is an efficient low-threshold intervention, which is cheap and easily available for patientssuffering from insomnia. Sleep hygiene advice also improved sleep at follow-up, but increased sleep medication use. Thus, caution is warranted when sleep hygiene advice are given as a single treatment.

Scand J Psychol. 2011 Jul 26. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9450.2011.00902

Randy Clare

Randy Clare

Randy Clare brings to The Sleep and Respiratory Scholar more than 25 years of extensive knowledge and experience in the sleep and pulmonary function field. He has held numerous management positions throughout his career and has demonstrated a unique view of the alternate care diagnostic and therapy model. He is considered by many an expert in the use of a Sleep Bruxism Monitor in a dental office. Mr. Clare's extensive sleep industry experience assists Sleepandrespiratoryscholar in providing current, relevant, data-proven information on sleep diagnostics and sleep therapies that are effective for the treatment of sleep disorders. Mr Clare is a senior brand manager for Glidewell Dental Laboratory his focus is on dental treatment for sleep disordered breathing.

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