A virtual sleepcoach for people suffering from insomnia

Corine Horsch

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

627 Downloads (Pure)


People suffering from insomnia have problems falling asleep or staying asleep. Insomnia impairs people’s daily life and their quality of life decreases. Approximately 10% of the population suffers from insomnia. The common treatment for insomnia is cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), mostly delivered by a therapist that people see once a week. A disadvantage of the current practice of insomnia treatment is the limited accessibility of insomnia treatment. Moreover, adherence to CBT-I exercises seems to be difficult. A virtual sleep coach that is provided through a smartphone might be a possible solution to both of these drawbacks. A virtual coach is never tired, never frustrated, never forgets things, and never gives up. Furthermore, it could improve accessibility, give tailored background information, offer personalized advice and feedback, monitor progress, provide support, and automatically track
behaviour. Additionally, the majority of people in wealthy nations own a smartphone and emerging countries are expected to follow soon, making this type of intervention readily accessible to a large group of people. In short, a virtual sleep coach seems to be a good opportunity to improve traditional CBT-I. Concurrent to developing such a virtual sleep coach, answers to the question of how persuasive strategies can contribute to treatment adherence in an effective virtual sleep coach are explored.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Neerincx, M.A., Supervisor
  • Brinkman, W.P., Advisor
Award date23 Nov 2016
Print ISBNs978-94-6186-732-2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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