Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 May 26;18(11):5706. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18115706.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic created significant psychological challenges worldwide, including stress, emotional distress, and insomnia. In addition, social distancing, travel restrictions, and spread of disease have resulted in unique challenges, creating barriers to healthcare access. Compared to the rate prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant increase in clinical insomnia rates have been reported. With well-known limitations of currently established treatments (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy-insomnia (CBT-I), pharmacotherapy), there is a need to explore other effective and safe treatment modalities to treat insomnia, especially those that can be used remotely. The purpose of this study is to assess the effectiveness of app-based intervention to treat insomnia in the current era of the COVID-19 pandemic (using the Yoga of Immortals (YOI) app). This prospective cohort study was approved by the Institutional Review Board. All participants in this study were asked to complete an online survey including demographic data and validated Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) at baseline (15 May 2020), 4 weeks, and 8 weeks after starting the YOI intervention. Survey data was exported using Microsoft Excel. Statistical analysis was done using the GraphPad Prism 8. YOI intervention significantly improved the mean ISI scores in all categories of insomnia (severe, moderate, and subthreshold) at each follow-up (p ≤ 0.0001). The improvement was significant among all age groups and in both genders. In our study, YOI was a novel and effective intervention for improving insomnia symptoms and may be a new addition to the armamentarium of insomnia management. Being app-based, this has potential wider applicability, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic.