This study investigates whether sleep therapy for insomnia helps patients with cognitive impairment if their caregivers also participate in treatment. Sleep disorders are a modifiable risk factor for cognitive decline, present in most patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as their caregivers. It follows that treating sleep disorders may improve quality of life and delay cognitive decline. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBTi) is the most effective long-term intervention for insomnia in healthy older adults, but its efficacy is not known in MCI.
This pilot study will examine whether CBTi delivered in dyads of patient with MCI together with their caregivers is more effective at improving sleep quality than standard-of-care. We will enroll 30 patient-caregiver dyads. Patients will undergo clinical evaluations, polysomnography, actigraphy, neuropsychological testing, and mood assessments at baseline, 3 and 12 months. Caregivers will complete sleep quality and mood questionnaires at the same intervals. After baseline evaluations, 15 dyads will be randomly assigned to standard-of-care (i.e., sleep hygiene instructions) and 15 dyads will receive 6-week CBTi dyad treatment sessions. This study introduces a novel approach in treating patients with MCI and their caregivers, with potential for long-term impact on shaping policy around sleep disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. The proposed intervention is low-cost and scalable, and will be implemented in a fiscally insolvent country, Greece, making results applicable to vulnerable populations across the world.