About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Started: 2012
Based: London
Website: www.sleepio.com
Twitter: @sleepio
Categories: Health, Science and Technology

Sleepio is an online programme to help people sleep well without pills or potions.

Sleepio is a clinically proven sleep improvement programme. Users visit a virtual sleep expert, The Professor, who teaches proven sleep techniques and offers a range of tools to help put theory into practice.

Sleepio has been validated in the world’s first placebo-controlled Randomised Control Trial for a digital sleep intervention. On average, Sleepio helped users fall asleep 54 per cent faster, reduce night time awakenings by 62 per cent and boost daytime energy and concentration by 58 per cent.

The idea for Sleepio began when founder Peter Hames of Big Health, a behavioural medicine company, developed insomnia. Peter went to his doctor and received pills to treat the illness. He had studied experimental psychology at university and knew about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), a talking therapy and resilient intervention. When he explored CBT to deal with his insomnia, Peter was cured in six weeks.

The experience led Peter to ask if he could use technology to mimic the best quality of drugs. He then contacted Professor Colin Espie, an expert in sleep science, to collaborate and ended up creating a digital sleep improvement programme that is a highly tailored, evidence based CBT programme that feels more like entertainment than science.

Moving ahead, the Sleepio team are expanding their distribution by forming a partnership with BUPA to sell into their existing client base and setting up a new office in the United States. Peter is excited about future opportunities of wearable technology and track data for new interventions so more people can have a good night’s sleep.