NHS-recommended apps to help improve your sleep
With the rise in ‘sleep tech’, we take a look at three apps that the NHS recommends to help you sleep better. Although there are many other apps available, these have been more rigorously assessed by doctors or had clinical trials.
Sleepio is described as an online sleep improvement programme based upon the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT. Because it’s been clinically proven to work, it can be prescribed for free on the NHS by your GP. But of course that doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. The programme focuses on resetting your sleep patterns naturally over time, via a series of 20-30 minute ‘meetings’ with a virtual sleep expert. It’s available on their website or as an app and is available by referral from GPs in certain areas and via certain NHS psychology services.
This 6-week online course starts with you completing a 7-day sleep diary. It then provides personalised advice to help you start sleeping better, with regular reviews and a support team to help. It covers both the quality and the length of your sleep and tracks your progress to make sure the recommendations are working. Courses start at £95.
Pzizz is an app that focuses on calming the mind, to reduce the anxiety or ‘racing thoughts’ that can sometimes cause insomnia. It mixes music, voice and sound effects to help you sleep during the night and take effective naps during the day. Using headphones (or your phone speaker) at night, Pzizz can help manage your sleep automatically throughout the night and wake you up gently with your own personal alarm call. The app is free, but does feature some in-app purchases.
For more information on these apps and how they are chosen and assessed, visit the NHS sleep apps page.
Reviewed by: Asimah Hanif, Lead GP, Livi
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