Do better nights lead to better days? Guided internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia in people suffering from a range of mental health problems: Protocol of a pragmatic randomized clinical trial

J. E. Reesen, T. van der Zweerde, N. M. Batelaan, E. Fris, A. W. Hoogendoorn, S. Ikelaar, O. Lakbila-Kamal, J. Lancee, J. Leerssen, H. J.F. van Marle, F. van Nassau, P. van Oppen, A. van Straten, S. van Trigt, S. J. van der Wal, E. J.W. van Someren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Insomnia is the transdiagnostically shared most common complaint in disorders of anxiety, stress and emotion regulation. Current cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT) for these disorders do not address sleep, while good sleep is essential for regulating emotions and learning new cognitions and behaviours: the core fundaments of CBT. This transdiagnostic randomized control trial (RCT) evaluates whether guided internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (iCBT-I) (1) improves sleep, (2) affects the progression of emotional distress and (3) enhances the effectiveness of regular treatment of people with clinically relevant symptoms of emotional disorders across all mental health care (MHC) echelons. Methods: We aim for 576 completers with clinically relevant symptoms of insomnia as well as at least one of the dimensions of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), panic disorder (PD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or borderline personality disorder (BPD). Participants are either pre-clinical, unattended, or referred to general- or specialized MHC. Using covariate-adaptive randomization, participants will be assigned to a 5 to 8-week iCBT-I (i-Sleep) or a control condition (sleep diary only) and assessed at baseline, and after two and eight months. The primary outcome is insomnia severity. Secondary outcomes address sleep, severity of mental health symptoms, daytime functioning, mental health protective lifestyles, well-being, and process evaluation measures. Analyses use linear mixed-effect regression models. Discussion: This study can reveal for whom, and at which stage of disease progression, better nights could mean substantially better days. Trial registration: International Clinical Trial Registry Platform (NL9776). Registered on 2021-10-07.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107122
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalContemporary clinical trials
Early online date20 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • Anxiety
  • CBT-I
  • Cognitive behavioral treatment
  • Hyperarousal
  • Insomnia
  • Posttraumatic stress

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