Online insomnia therapy reduces paranoia, hallucinations

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Not getting enough sleep is a common occurrence for college students—but those with insomnia could experience reduced paranoia and hallucinations with digital cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), according to a study published in The Lancet Psychiatry. 

In this study led by Daniel Freeman, PhD, from the University of Oxford, researchers enrolled 3,755 students from 26 different universities—1,891 received digital CBT while 1,864 received usual care. Data was collected at baseline and then at three, 10 and 22 weeks. Results showed that CBT was able to reduce rates of insomnia, paranoia and hallucinations at 10 weeks.

"To our knowledge, this is the largest randomized controlled trial of a psychological intervention for a mental health problem. It provides strong evidence that insomnia is a causal factor in the occurrence of psychotic experiences and other mental health problems," wrote Freeman and colleagues. "Whether the results generalize beyond a student population requires testing. The treatment of disrupted sleep might require a higher priority in mental health provision."