Drug-free way to treat insomnia could spurn spike in bad sleep habits during pandemic

TULSA, Okla. — A new, drug-free way to treat insomnia could help the increasing number of people developing bad sleeping habits during the coronavirus pandemic.

In March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Somryst, the first prescription digital therapeutic for chronic insomnia.

Somryst is a nine-week program that includes a sleep journal and six guided modules.

Researcher Dr. Charles Morin says before the pandemic that 10% of Americans struggled with chronic insomnia, and that number has grown to about 40% who consistently have trouble sleeping.

Morin says Somryst uses cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, or CBTI.

It teaches people how to change poor sleep habits and how to change thinking patterns that may perpetuate a sleep problem, so they can learn how to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

There are no known side effects to this type of treatment.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American College of Physicians both recommend cognitive behavioral therapy as the first line of treatment for insomnia.

Learn more about Somryst here.