Online insomnia therapy billed as a world first

A US web-based training course, SHUTi (Sleep Healthy Using the Internet), is being brought to Australia as part of an NHMRC-funded study into the effects of insomnia and depression.

It's been touted as one of the world's first online treatments to help people get a good night's sleep by changing their behaviour.

The program has been clinically proven in a US study that found adult insomniacs reported significant improvement in their sleeping patterns.

Through tutorials and modules, the web course trains people to change their sleeping habits and the way they think about snoozing by providing feedback to individuals based on their sleep patterns.

Techniques range from encouraging people to avoid sleep-blocking stimulants like caffeine and alcohol; reading or watching TV before bed; and ways to shut out that annoying voice warning about insomnia.

A local version of the study was launched on Wednesday to coincide with the 2012