NHS Scotland pioneers digital insomnia app

Scotland is the first nation in the World to offer free digital treatments for insomnia and anxiety to every adult.

Scotland is the first nation in the world to offer free digital treatments for insomnia and anxiety to every adult
Scotland is the first nation in the world to offer free digital treatments for insomnia and anxiety to every adult

A new insomnia app called Sleepio ® is available for free on the NHS as part of NHS Scotland’s computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (cCBT) service.

Big Health Co-Founder and Chief Scientist, Scot Professor Colin Espie, said: “Poor sleep is a long-standing problems for many people in Scotland. From the aftermath of the pandemic to the cost–of-living-crisis, or even other worldwide events, the on-going challenges of the last few years have introduced new worries and pressures that place additional strain on our mental health.”

No waiting time

Colin explains: “Sleepio is fully automated and accessible online, with no waiting time. This means more people can access digital medicine that’s clinically proven and backed by real-world evidence, whenever and wherever they wish.

“We’re proud to be working with NHS Scotland, Scottish Government to provide this community with access to safe, effective, non-drug treatments for insomnia through Sleepio.”

NICE approval

Recent clinical guidelines published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have recommended Sleepio as an effective first-line digital treatment for insomnia, to be considered before the prescription of sleeping pills or sleep hygiene [i]. Sleepio is the world's first-ever digital therapeutic to achieve NICE approval.

Digital CBT treatment can provide support to all adults including even the most hard-to-reach patients, offering a safe and effective alternative to medication that can be started immediately without prescription.

Scotland is the first of the four UK Nations to make highly personalised, round-the-clock, Digital CBT available for all residents.

Designed by leading clinical experts, the treatments are among the world’s most evidenced digital mental health therapies; Trials have shown 76 percent of patients who used Sleepio achieved clinically significant sleep improvements [iii].

Although referrals can be made by GPs and other clinicians, it’s also now possible to self-refer if individuals are unable to visit their GP but feel that help with insomnia would be beneficial.

For new users wanting to self-refer to Sleepio you can now visit: go.bighealth.com/news-scot