This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

A Pilot Study of a Single-Session, Internet-Based Insomnia Intervention for College Students with Insomnia Symptoms and History of Suicide Ideation




Crosby, Eric

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis




Insomnia is a particularly promising avenue for suicide prevention efforts because it is amenable to treatment, and insomnia treatment is relatively lower in stigma than treatment specifically targeting suicide ideation (Downs & Eisenberg, 2012; Trockel et al., 2015). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is an evidence-based treatment for insomnia (Geiger-Brown et al., 2015) that reduces suicide ideation at post-treatment (Batterham et al., 2017; Manber et al., 2014; Pigeon at el., 2017; Trockel et al., 2015). However, current formats of CBT-I (i.e., traditional face-to-face, internet-based, and brief CBT-I) are time-intensive (i.e., six to eight weekly sessions; Batterham et al., 2017), require a trained treatment provider (Pigeon at el., 2017), or both (Manber et al., 2014; Trockel et al., 2015). Thus, the goal of the current study is to establish the feasibility and acceptability of a single session, self-guided, internet-based insomnia treatment among college students with a lifetime history of suicide ideation and current insomnia symptoms. Participants (N = 38) completed seven daily sleep diaries before being administered self-report surveys and Sleep Scholar, a single session, self-guided, internet-based insomnia intervention. Immediately after the intervention, participants completed post-treatment measures of acceptability and feasibility. One week and one month after the insomnia treatment, participants completed follow-up self-report surveys and were given personalized suggestions for improving their sleep derived from their daily sleep diaries. Results showed that approximately 33 students could be recruited per semester, an attrition rate of 47% from pre-treatment to one-month follow-up, the mean duration of time to complete the Sleep Scholar was approximately 30 minutes, and the majority of the information in Sleep Scholar was retained. Participants were found the treatment acceptable and were satisfied, and approximately half of participants adhered to their prescribed time in bed recommendations. Most clinical measures had adequate variability and internal consistency. Implications for a future randomized controlled trial are discussed.