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Insomnia Patients May Benefit From Web-Based Therapy

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Web-based therapy may be able to help people with insomnia, a small U.S. study suggests.

The study included 22 adults with moderate insomnia who used Internet software designed to change patterns that contribute to sleep problems. For example, the Sleep Healthy Using the Internet (SHUTi) software offers advice about specific bedtimes and teaches patients better sleep habits, such as avoiding daytime naps. No human therapist was involved, the Associated Press reported.

After nine weeks of using SHUTi, the 22 participants woke up fewer times and spent fewer minutes awake during the night, compared to a control group. The findings were published Monday in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.

"This is a very interactive, tailored, personalized program," study co-author Frances Thorndike, of the University of Virginia Health System, told the AP. She helped design the software, which could offer a low-cost alternative to face-to-face behavioral therapy.

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