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BACKGROUND: Insomnia has a bidirectional relationship with broader mental health functioning, including anxiety and depression. Yet, poor sleep has historically been neglected as a specific treatment target in mental health programmes (Freeman, Sheaves, Waite, Harvey, & Harrison, 2020). METHOD: All patients over a 12-month period entering the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service endorsing a 'poor sleep' questionnaire item at assessment, were offered a self-guided digital sleep intervention, Sleepio, in addition to routine care. Sleepio is based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I). Propensity score matching established a non-Sleepio control group matched on demographic and baseline clinical measures. RESULTS: Patients who signed up to Sleepio (n = 510) achieved significantly better outcomes on core clinical metrics (PHQ-9, GAD-7, WSAS) than controls. IAPT recovery rates1 (on PHQ-9 and GAD-7) were 64.7%, versus 58% in the control group. Duration of clinical contact time was marginally elevated overall in the Sleepio group but by less than 1 h CONCLUSIONS: Significant clinical benefit was associated with the introduction of an evidence-based digital sleep intervention alongside other mental health interventions for depression and anxiety. Widespread deployment was achieved with immediate availability, minimal additional clinical time or staff training. This approach provides a feasible and highly scalable model for improving mental health outcomes in clinical services.

Original publication




Journal article


Behav Res Ther

Publication Date





Adjunctive treatment, Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), Digital health, Dissemination, Insomnia, Sleep