An online self-help programme that helps people sleep better is more effective than face-to-face psychological therapy, a study involving over 7,000 NHS patients has found.
Sleepio, a six-week digital treatment for insomnia, helped 56% of users beat the condition, whereas the success rate in NHS Improving access to psychological therapy (Iapt) services is 50%.
The programme helped insomniacs gain almost six hours more sleep a week, reduced their use of sleeping pills, and cut the number of times they went to the GP or had to take a day off sick from work. It also helped reduce the anxiety and depression that lay behind many participants’ sleeplessness.
The findings have emerged from a study involving 7,078 patients in the Thames Valley, which was overseen by the Oxford academic health science network of doctors, scientists and academics.
“The experiment was a very big success. Using Sleepio had a significant impact”, said