Sleepio is an online programme to address insomnia which affects one in ten adults. It aims to improve sleep without sleeping tablets through a fully automated, interactive web-based tool.
Innovate UK is funding a project providing free direct access to Sleepio to all 2.7 million adults living in the Thames Valley (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire) from October 2018 until autumn 2019. This is the first large-scale NHS rollout of direct access digital medicine. This means people can access the programme without needing a GP referral or prescription.
This initiative is being led by the Oxford Academic Health Science Network (Oxford AHSN) in partnership with Big Health, the company behind Sleepio. It is supported by NHS England and the NHS Innovation Accelerator.
A health economic evaluation will be conducted at the end of the year-long trial to discover the impact of promoting a digital medicine at scale to the general population through GP surgeries, employers and direct access.
Sleepio provides tailored, engaging advice 24/7. Its six-week self-help programme based on cognitive behavioural therapy is clinically proven to improve sleep, mental health and productivity. There are more than 30 published papers on Sleepio including eight randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and an evaluation by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
The RCT results show that Sleepio is comparable in effectiveness to in-person CBT, helping over seven out of ten poor sleepers achieve and maintain healthy sleep patterns. The evidence indicates that better sleep leads to improved quality of life – in the waking hours as well as during the night.
More information for patients, GPs and employers can be found here.