Digital therapy for poor sleep improves wellbeing and could save NHS millions

Digital therapy for poor sleep improves wellbeing and could save NHS millions

Posted on August 3

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People accessing the Sleepio online sleep improvement programme provided free in the Thames Valley through the Oxford AHSN reaped wide-ranging benefits, according to a new study. The report from the Oxford AHSN and Big Health, the company behind Sleepio, found they slept longer, spent less on sleeping pills, had fewer sick days and better mental health.

The findings are based on feedback from more than 7,000 people who started a Sleepio online programme based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for insomnia in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Milton Keynes since October 2018. They were among more than 16,000 who completed a Sleepio sleep score test through the initiative endorsed by the NHS, coordinated by the Oxford AHSN and funded by Innovate UK.

Additional analysis by the Office of Health Economics found projected savings of £106 for each Sleepio user over three years – potentially saving the NHS in England £56m over the same period.

Insomnia is the UK’s most common mental health complaint, with 8-12% of adults suffering from chronic insomnia and 30-50% experiencing insomnia symptoms. Left untreated, insomnia is associated with increased risk of mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, and chronic conditions including diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. A recent study by King’s College London and Ipsos MORI found that nearly two-thirds (63%) of respondents reported that their sleep had worsened during lockdown.