An app designed in collaboration with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to support veterans and others who are receiving treatment for insomnia.
What does the app do?
CBT-i Coach app is designed in collaboration with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), so it is aimed mainly at supporting veterans and military service members who are receiving treatment for insomnia. However, most of the information and recommendations are quite general, and can be helpful to anyone having sleep difficulties. The developers recommend that this app be used together with a health care provider. The app is divided into 4 main sections:
- My Sleep: this section has questions and assessments that enable the user to get a better idea of their sleep habits and together with their health care provider, can ascertain if they have a sleep problem. After completing 5 sleep day diary entries, the user is given an individualised sleep prescription.
- Tools: this section has various tools to improve sleep habits. For example, users are offered suggestions on how to incorporate positive behaviours into their night-time routine, and given a variety of relaxation and mindfulness techniques to help ease into sleep including audio and visual exercises to help settle the mind.
- Learn: provides users with information to get a better understanding of sleep and sleep problems. This section also has a basic glossary that explains the meaning of complex terms around insomnia.
- Reminders: this section has various reminders to encourage you to use the tools in the app and to help you keep a healthy sleep schedule.
For a more detailed description of the app, see Google Play or iTunes and for a detailed review, see Reviews.
✔ Extensive input from psychologists expert in the treatment of insomnia.
✔ Comprehensive accurate information about sleep, sleep hygiene, stimulus control and many related topics.
✔ Many audio-visual guided tools – breathing tool, relaxation tool, mindfulness, body scan and guided imageries. Audio-visual guided breathing tool and a muscle relaxation tool.
✔ Has numerous types of reminders (eg, worry time, wind down time, bed time, wake time etc)
✔ Includes sleep diary, calculation of sleep efficiency and graphing of data.
✔ Record and track results from a validated sleep questionnaire – the Insomnia Severity Index.
✔ The app can algorithmically set and adjust sleep/wake times based on sleep diary and questionnaire data following sleep restriction principles.
✔ If your sleep quality is too poor, it will prompt you to see a professional before allowing the app to prescribe a bedtime. You can override this by selecting that you are seeing a professional in the settings.
✘ No syncing of data.
✘ Developed primarily for those already receiving treatment for insomnia.
✘ Focus is very much on US veterans suffering from insomnia due to PTSD but app is still useful for others suffering from insomnia.
✘ Diary entry use difficult to find/access.
- April 2022; Version 2.4; Android
- March 2018
|If you are the developer and would like to provide updated information about this app, please email the app library manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Koffel E, Kuhn E, Petsoulis N, et al. A randomized controlled pilot study of CBT-I Coach – feasibility, acceptability, and potential impact of a mobile phone application for patients in cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia Health Informatics J. 2018 Mar;24(1):2-13.
Kuhn E, Weiss BJ, Taylor KL, et al. CBT-I Coach: A Description and Clinician Perceptions of a Mobile App for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia J Clin Sleep Med. 2016 Apr 15;12(4):597-606.
Ko P-RT, Kientz JA, Choe EK, et al. Consumer sleep technologies – a review of the landscape J Clin Sleep Med. 2015 Dec 15;11(12):1455-61.
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Did you find this information useful?
Reviewer: Kris Garstang, Clinical Psychologist, Life Mind Psychology
Date of review: April 2022
Comments: CBT-i Coach app designed in collaboration with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to support veterans and others who are receiving treatment for insomnia. Overall, this is a great app for helping people to get a better night’s sleep. The diary function and daily sleep prescription works really well for helping people select a regular schedule for their sleep and the education and information on sleep hygiene all matches the advice that someone might get when they go to see a professional about their sleep. There is also a great selection of relaxation audio tracks for people to try out. The 'Prevent Insomnia in the Future' tab provides a great checklist of all the things that negatively impact people’s sleep. As with other US Veteran’s Affairs apps, this app is based on a solid, evidenced based approach with helpful advice and tools despite it being developed for a specific population.
Safety concerns: No, but emergency and other help numbers provided are all US based and not useful for New Zealanders.
New Zealand relevance: Contacts provided are all for US users. Much content if specifically targeted towards US veterans.
Reviewer: Jeremy Steinberg, GP, FRNZCGP
Date of review: March 2018
Comments: This app is most useful for people with insomnia, especially as a tool to use alongside seeing a professional that is trained in treating insomnia. This app, which has had extensive input from medical professionals, follows many evidence based approaches to the treatment of insomnia such as sleep education, stimulus control, sleep hygiene, cognitive behavioural approaches, and sleep restriction. It has many features such as a sleep diary with graphing, algorithmic setting and adjusting of sleep/wake times based on diary and sleep questionnaire data, audio-visual guided relaxation tools and a multitude of reminders.
The user interface and design appears to be difficult to use and navigate, and the data exporting function does not appear to be working. Despite this, I still think this is a very high-quality app and could see many people getting a lot of benefit out of it even if they are not seeing an insomnia treatment professional.
Safety concerns: None, but emergency and other help numbers provided are all US based and not useful for New Zealanders.
New Zealand relevance: Relevant to New Zealanders but contacts provided are all for US users. Much content if specifically targeted towards US veterans.