Sleep(io) more, worry less: results of a randomised trial

2nd March 2015 by Dr. Sophie Bostock

Sleep news Sleepio news Uncategorized

Sleeping in the grass

Photo credit: Barak Shacked

Today marks the start of Sleep Awareness Week in the US, an annual opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of sleep.

Looking for a good excuse to prioritise some shut-eye? We’re excited to share the findings of a new Sleepio trial to help patients suffering from anxiety.

A team led by Chris Drake at the Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, randomised 22 adults with insomnia and mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety to either Sleepio (www.sleepio.com), or a six week sleep education programme, consisting of weekly sleep tips by email.

Anxiety was measured with a questionnaire called the Beck Anxiety Inventory, which asks people how much they’ve been bothered by a wide range of symptoms linked to anxiety. These include feeling nervous or afraid of losing control, and physical symptoms like a racing heart, indigestion, trembling hands or difficulty breathing.

Vivek Pilai, the lead author of the study, reported that after 6 weekly sessions, patients using Sleepio felt significantly less anxious, and had significantly better sleep than the sleep tips group. For example, on average, Sleepio users fell asleep 40 minutes faster at the end of the trial – an improvement ten times greater than the control group!

We recently reported that pioneering UK mental health services have started to offer Sleepio to patients with anxiety and depression.

The take home message for Sleep Awareness Week? The case for sleep as a key driver of positive mental health is growing fast.

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