Health Could this be the cure for chronic insomnia?

08:06  15 may  2018
08:06  15 may  2018 Source:   9news.com.au

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Getting a good night's sleep is just a dream for the one in ten people who have trouble sleeping, but a new device is providing hope to those who are living with chronic insomnia.

Developed by researchers at Flinders University, THIM is shaped like a ring and can help re-train users to fall asleep faster.

It uses vibration to wake the wearer up at intervals throughout the night, in a process that researcher say could lead to better sleep and less anxiety when it comes to bed time.

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"If you fall asleep under those conditions again and again, then that really re-trains the body to be able to fall asleep when you want to fall asleep, " Professor Leon Lack said.

Developed by researchers at Flinders University, THIM is shaped like a ring and can help re-train users to fall asleep faster. © Nine News video screenshot Developed by researchers at Flinders University, THIM is shaped like a ring and can help re-train users to fall asleep faster. The therapy would previously have been reserved for overnight sleep labs, but the development of this device means it can now be used in the home environment.

Participants involved in a pilot trial used a phone to test out the concept behind the THIM device.

They found it reduced the amount of time it took to get to sleep from 100 minutes to 50 minutes.

They also reported obtaining an extra hour of sleep after the treatment.

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Anna Guthleben was among those to benefit from the sleep re-set.

Insomnia ring. © Nine News video screenshot Insomnia ring. After just one night of re-training, she said there was a noticeable difference in her energy levels and sleeping patterns.

"It was amazing. It was like being a different person," she said.

The 55-year-old has suffered from chronic insomnia throughout her life. 

“When I try to go to sleep, I put my head down and my head gets really busy.”

"Over the years I've tried a lot of different things but none of them have worked in a sustainable kind of way," she said.

Getting a good night's sleep is just a dream for the one in ten people who have trouble sleeping, but a new device is providing hope to those who are living with chronic insomnia. © Nine News video screenshot Getting a good night's sleep is just a dream for the one in ten people who have trouble sleeping, but a new device is providing hope to those who are living with chronic insomnia. The intensive sleep re-training therapy helped almost immediately, and she managed to sleep better in the nights following her treatment.

"I'd put my head down and I was asleep so fast and I'd never been one to put my head on the pillow and go to sleep so it was quite amazing. It was literally like one night, and suddenly you're able to sleep," she said.

The researchers are currently conducting a larger trial to test the effectiveness of the THIM device, and it's likely to be available for online purchase in the next month.

"It can be essentially life-changing for people," said Professor Lack. " They just have a really terrible quality of life and this really turns things around."

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