What is Sleepio?

Sleepio is a six week sleep improvement program. It has been designed by sleep expert Prof Colin Espie and features the latest Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques. It is clinically proven to help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep through the night and feel better during the day – whether you’ve had poor sleep for weeks, months or even years. The whole course takes place online via a home computer or an iPad, but you can also complete it using the iPhone app. If you have an Android or a Windows smartphone, you can access on-the-go help via the mobile site at sleepio.com/mobile.

What does Sleepio involve?

The core program consists of six weekly sessions in which your virtual sleep expert, “The Prof” talks you through techniques personalized to you. Each session lasts about 20mins, and is tailored to your progress and problems. Between sessions you complete a simple online Sleep Diary to track your progress and are sent reminders to help you stick to the course. Throughout the course you are supported by a community of other users, ten powerful online tools (including relaxation audios) and a library of over 100 expert articles.

What is CBT?

CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It is recommended by the NHS as the first-choice intervention to help improve a range of issues, and it usually involves face-to-face sessions with a trained specialist. CBT helps people learn techniques to break the vicious cycle of negative thoughts, feelings and behaviors that cause their problems to persist. The positive effects are long-lasting because the process leaves the person with a range of techniques that they can use forever. Read more about the science behind Sleepio here.

What’s the evidence that Sleepio works?

Sleepio has been tested to the highest standards of clinical evidence, in a placebo-group Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT). The results of this trial show that it can help you fall asleep 50% faster, spend 60% less time awake during the night, boost daytime energy, mood and concentration and achieve a more reliable sleep pattern. The clinical trial was peer-reviewed and published in the respected international scientific journal “SLEEP” in June 2012.

Who’s behind Sleepio?

Sleepio was co-founded by sleep expert Prof Colin Espie, and ex-insomnia sufferer Peter Hames. Read about our full team here.

What do I need to follow the program?

To complete the course you need one of the following:

  • a home computer (Mac or PC) or laptop connected to broadband internet
  • an iPad able to connect to broadband internet
  • an iPhone

Based on which device you’re using, you can complete the full program via the website at www.sleepio.com or via the iPhone app.

What happens at the end of my access period?

If you’re on our 12-week and 1-year plans, at the end of your access period you will be given the option of extending your access further for a small monthly fee if you wish. However most people see a significant improvement in their sleep within 12 weeks. We will store all of your data for 12 months, so you can return and pay for a top up whenever you want during that time.

How long will it take to see results?

Many people who follow the course as instructed begin to see positive effects within 2-3 weeks.

What support do I get?

You have access to a supportive online community of other people on the course and course graduates who have ‘been there, done that’. The community is private, secure and anonymous. Once a week there is a ‘live group session’ with a sleep expert from Prof Espie’s team; for an hour and a half they answer the community’s most popular questions.

The internet sounds a bit dodgy. Is my personal data safe?

Sleepio is a registered Data Controller and we take data protection very seriously. Your data will be hosted in the UK on dedicated servers and all payment details are encrypted.

Is the program flexible? Do I have to do it in one go?

Yes, you can complete the course at your own pace, at times that suit you. You have to wait at least one week between sessions. So the fastest you can complete the course is 6 weeks, but you can take as long as you wish – so taking some time off in the middle is no problem!

What’s it going to ask me to change?

Sleepio is an all-round ‘MOT for your sleep’. It covers your thoughts (the racing mind) and your behaviors as well as bedroom and lifestyle factors. It involves an investment of time and effort to make it work, but when it is followed correctly it has been shown to be very effective.

I’m not very technical. Will I be able to use it?

Yes! Sleepio has been designed to be as user friendly as possible, and The Prof will guide you through all tools and techniques. Plus you can re-watch any course topics in your Library on the Sleepio website and there is a community of other people who can help give you tips on how to put the course into practice.

Can I use my smartphone?

Yes, Sleepio is now available as an iPhone/iPad app. This means you can complete your weekly sessions in the app, and you can use it to access relaxation techniques between sessions. Some of the other tools, the Library and the Community are only available on the Sleepio website but once your account is created you can use it to log into both the app and the website.

Who is Sleepio suitable for?

If you want to improve your sleep, and you’re willing to put in some time and effort, then Sleepio could be for you. However since Sleepio involves making changes to your lifestyle and daily routine, certain people should consult their doctor before starting the Sleepio program:

  • Shift workers
  • Children under 16 years
  • Pregnant women
  • Anyone with unstable mental or physical health
  • Those who are excessively sleepy during the day

Always seek help from your doctor if you are at all unsure about starting the course, or if you have a pre-existing medical condition or medication.

Can I take sleeping pills whilst following the program?

We know that the Sleepio course can still be effective for those taking sleeping pills, but it is your responsibility to decide whether or not to take medication during the course. As with all decisions regarding medication you should consult your doctor before making any changes.

What is a self-tracking device?

Self-tracking devices, such as Jawbone’s UP wristband and the BodyMedia FIT band, can be used to automatically track your daily habits.

Each device varies in the activities it monitors and the methods used to record them, but most use an ‘accelerometer’, a sensor that measures movement. This allows them to count your steps during the day and detect sleep patterns, based on your arm movements, throughout the night.

Can I use my self-tracking device with Sleepio?

Absolutely! Sleep data from these devices can be automatically imported into your Sleepio account each day to update your daily sleep diary and help tailor the program to you.

We are currently integrated with a number of devices but we’re expanding this range all the time. Email us at hello@sleepio.com to find out if your device is compatible.