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A Pilot Randomized-Controlled Trial of Sleep Scholar: A Single-Session, Internet-Based Insomnia Intervention for College Students




Crosby, Eric

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Psychological Sciences

Restriction Status


Restriction Type

Auburn University Users

Date Available



Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is a promising suicide intervention for college students because insomnia is robust risk factor for suicide ideation (Liu et al., 2020; Zuromski et al., 2017) and CBT-I reduces suicide ideation (Batterham et al., 2017; Christensen et al., 2016). Moreover, CBT-I can be self-guided and internet-based (Thorndike et al., 2008), brief (Ellis et al., 2015) and is relatively lower in stigma compared to treatment specifically targeting suicide ideation (Downs & Eisenberg, 2012; Stinson et al., 2006). However, self-guided, internet-based CBT-I is not brief, and brief CBT-I is neither self-guided nor internet-based. In addition, CBT-I has not been designed to address the unique experiences of college students. Therefore, this study is a randomized-controlled trial examining the efficacy of Sleep Scholar, a single-session, internet-based insomnia intervention tailored to the needs of college students. We recruited 61 college students with at least subclinical insomnia symptoms to be randomized to either Sleep Scholar, a single-session, self-guided, internet-based insomnia intervention, or Building Healthy Habits, the control condition. Participants completed pre-treatment sleep diaries and surveys, a post-treatment assessment of acceptability and satisfaction, a one-week and one-month follow-up, and sleep diaries throughout the follow-up period. Results showed that Sleep Scholar was more acceptable and satisfactory compared to the control condition. However, Sleep Scholar was not more effective for improving sleep or mental health symptoms compared to the control condition. These findings suggest that modifications to Sleep Scholar are needed to improve its efficacy.