By now we know the telltale signs of too many late nights: fatigue, lackluster skin, anxiety, weakened productivity, and dark circles that could scare small children. The simple solution? Get more sleep. Except, of course, that's it's not that simple. After all, if it was humanly possible to tuck ourselves in and log a full eight hours of dreamless ecstasy each night, we wouldn't be having this discussion in the first place.
The cold hard truth: Quality sleep (which, by the way, is just as essential to our well-being as diet, hydration, and exercise) can sometimes feel impossible, lending itself to a vicious cycle of anxiety, fatigue, stress, and frustration. And ultimately, these types of symptoms can yield some less than satisfactory outcomes when it comes to our mood and even our appearance. The term "beauty sleep" is most definitely real.
So when we heard of a new sleep technique that has the potential to kill two birds with one stone (like lessening mental and physical shadows), our ears visibly perked. The latest news on the subject? Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) via online sessions could help soothe our sleep woes. Oh, and there are scientific studies to back it up.
As a recent report from the New Scientist explains, insomnia is intrinsically linked to such serious conditions as anxiety, depression, and paranoia. But what would happen if difficulty sleeping was treated the same way as each of these symptoms individually (i.e., therapy)? According to the report, professor of clinical psychology Daniel Freeman used Sleepio, (a method of cognitive behavioral therapy that's available online) as a 10-week prescription for patients suffering from insomnia.
In the study, researchers asked almost 2000 sleep-deprived students to use the digital therapy, while a control group of 1870 used traditional tools to treat insomnia. Questionnaires were issued to the participants at zero, three, 10, and 22 weeks into the trial to evaluate sleep patterns and mental well-being.
Ultimately, the study proved to be effective: After it concluded, the researchers discovered the group receiving the CBT online therapy was 50% more likely to have better sleep than the control group. Additionally, they were 30% less likely to experience hallucinations, 25% less likely to feel paranoia, and had decreased levels of anxiety and depression.
Additional studies will need to be executed, of course, but we're heartened to see that therapy (which has previously carried quite the stigma) could serve as a helpful tool in our forever goal of better beauty sleep.