Does total sleep time substantially increase after CBT-I?

Publication Type:

Journal Article


J Clin Sleep Med (2022)


<p><b>STUDY OBJECTIVES: </b>In most standardized approaches to cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), it is commonly the case that total wake time reduces substantially during sleep restriction, but self-reported total sleep time (TST) is minimally affected. By follow-up, however, TST increases by almost 1 hour on average. A secondary analysis was undertaken to assess what percent of participants meet or appreciably exceed baseline TST after CBT-I.</p><p><b>METHODS: </b>Data were drawn from a randomized controlled trial assessing acute and maintenance therapies for chronic insomnia (N=80). The present analyses assessed the percentage of participants that 1) reached (≥ 1 minute increase) and 2) appreciably exceeded (≥ 30 minute increase) baseline TST as assessed via daily Sleep Diaries at post treatment and 3, 6, 12, and 24 months following treatment.</p><p><b>RESULTS: </b>45% of participants reached or exceeded baseline TST by the end of acute treatment. By 24 months follow up, this percentage increased to 86%. Only 17% of participants achieved a 30-minute increase in TST by the end of acute treatment, and this proportion only increased to 58% over time.</p><p><b>CONCLUSIONS: </b>These findings suggest that CBT-I in its current form does not appreciably increase self-report TST in a significant proportion of insomnia patients. Whether participants would benefit from further increases in TST warrants investigation. The further titration of sleep opportunity may be useful to accelerate increases in TST, to extend the effect to a larger subset of patients, and/or to increase the magnitude of the TST increase.</p>

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