Can This App Replace Sleeping Pills?

Apr 30 2014, 7:10pm CDT | by

We’ve all encountered apps capable of putting users to sleep, but that’s rarely their stated intention. Now one doctor has released a piece of software she claims will replace sleeping pills and help send insomniacs into a deep slumber.

Dr Kirstie Anderson, one of the UK’s foremost sleep experts, has made a career out of studying how humans nod off. Working with tech experts at Teeside University, Newcastle, she created an app called Sleepstation which she claimed is more effective than drugs.

She said: “I’m a neurologist that specializes in sleep disorders, there isn’t a great deal of us that work in sleep medicine. The most common sleep disorder is insomnia, which many of us will suffer from at some point in our lives.

“But the people who have chronic insomnia dread climbing the stairs and going to bed. It’s a life-altering condition that has a massive health and well-being impact.”

Her app uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques to ensure a good night’s rest. Based on a recognized and effective treatment for insomnia, it shows users videos detailing the best ways to sleep and allows them to keep a diary .

“The CBT for insomnia program is a very good simple package with lots of research evidence for benefit,” Anderson continued. “It works at least as well as sleeping tablets, but without any of the side effects, and lasts for longer. Up to 80% of people who receive the treatment see improved sleep following the program.”

In clinical tests, more than 80 percent of insomniacs reported better sleep after using Sleepstation. Key to its success is the level of interactivity it offers. It is personalized for each user and changes its advice based on their sleep pattern. Insomniacs are first assessed by a doctor, before being supported remotely as they go through the CBT course, which is exactly the same one already offered by NHS staff.

If it’s money worries that are keeping you up at night, this app probably won’t help. At £59 ($100), it isn’t exactly the cheapest app on the market. But in the UK, the National Health Service are now prescribing it, meaning that insomniacs will be able to get it for free, or at a nominal cost.

“Between five to 10% of the population will have chronic insomnia at any stage and it affects other parts of a person’s wellbeing,” Anderson added. “If you’ve had a first bout of depression one of the most important risk factors for a second bout of depression is ongoing insomnia.

“The main treatment for insomnia at the moment is sleeping pills, with 10 million people taking then nationally. These pills come with a lot of side effects and little effect on chronic insomnia. Bearing this in mind SleepStation really could make a massive difference to potentially millions of people’s lives.”

SleepStation is not the first sleep app and is unlikely to be the last. Sleep As Android, for instance, and Sleep Cycle both monitor a snoozing person’s sleeping pattern and then wake them at the optimal point in the morning. SleepRate goes a step further by  shipping along with a heart rate monitor, which is strapped to an insomniac’s chest when they go to bed. A unique sleep plan is then drawn up based on the results. There are even apps which allows you to count sheep,  a distinctly old school method of getting your head down.

Nonetheless, Anderson’s link up with the NHS will give her app’s chances of success a clear boost, although it won’t help outside of the UK. With so many apps already on the market, Anderson had better make sure she’s not caught napping if she wants to beat the competition.

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Bhopal fugitive Warren Anderson is dead (Roundup, Changing dateline)
Washington, Oct 31 (IANS) Warren Anderson, the former CEO of Union Carbide Corp, has died at 92 after living for 30 years under the shadow of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy that killed thousands.
 
 
Sit-ins delayed building powerhouses: Nawaz Sharif
Islamabad, Oct 31 (IANS) Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Friday blamed sit-ins for delaying the construction of powerhouses in the country, as cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan continued protesting with supporters in the capital city for over two months.
 
 
Britain to repay part of First World War debt
London, Oct 31 (IANS) British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne Friday announced that the British government will pay off part of the country's First World War debt as part of the redemption of bonds stretching as far back as the 18th century.
 
 
UN-Habitat presents the first World Cities Day
Shanghai, Oct 31 (IANS/EFE) The UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), headed by former Barcelona mayor Joan Clos, Friday launched its first World Cities Day in China, to be held every Oct 31 to promote sustainable development.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Arnold Schwarzenegger 'knew' he'd star in another Terminator movie
Arnold Schwarzenegger ''always knew'' he'd star in another 'Terminator' movie. The 67-year-old actor - the former governor of California - insists he wasn't surprised when he got a call from producers to appear in the...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
Anne Hathaway would 'love' a sequel to The Devil Wears Prada
Anne Hathaway would ''love'' to appear in a sequel to 'The Devil Wears Prada'. The Oscar-winning actress starred in the popular 2006 comedy-drama, which also featured Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt, and has revealed she...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
Lily Aldridge wearing mother's Playboy costume for Halloween
Lily Aldridge will wear her mother's old Playboy costume for Halloween. The 28-year-old model - who is married to Kings of Leon singer Caleb Followill - found her mum Laura Lyons' raunchy Playboy Bunny flight attendant...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Rochelle Humes' daughter loves Marvin doll
Rochelle Humes is embarrassed by her daughter's obsession with a doll of her husband, Marvin Humes. The 25-year-old singer has admitted she found it ''cringey'' when she was recently photographed holding a doll of her...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Keira Knightley annoyed Chloe Moretz didn't ask her advice
Keira Knightley was annoyed Chloe Grace Moretz didn't want her advice. The 29-year-old actress - who appears alongside the 17-year-old star in her latest movie 'Say When' - was disappointed that the young actress didn'...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Daniel Radcliffe loses everything
Daniel Radcliffe loses everything. The 'Horns' star admits he constantly has to replace his mobile phone and often puts things away and can't ever find them again. The 25-year-old actor said: ''I lose things a lot. At...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Apple Outsmarts Samsung in Terms of Revenue Generation
Samsung can sell more products, but it doesn’t mean that it will earn more profit, as Apple overtakes the Korean giant with respect to the earnings.According to the Cult of Mac, Samsung earned a profit of $3.8 billion...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Apple Declares Not to Remove PCalc iOS Calculator Widget
The PCalc iOs calculator widget is free from the risk of being removed, as Apple decides not to drop it from the App Store.According to Tech Crunch, the officials of Apple have confirmed about the move, stating that it...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Seth Rogen to Act as Steve Wozniak in the Steve Jobs’ Movie
Seth Rogen has got an important role in the biopic of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, as he has been selected to play as Steve Wozniak.According to the Variety, Rogen will be advised directly by Steve Wozniak, the...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Ponzy schemer cheats residents of $22 mn, gets 15-year jail
Washington, Oct 31 (IANS) If you have been one of those approached by some 'known' person for investing in something with an assurance of 'easy money', you may benefit reading about this Ponzi schemer jailed in the US...
Read more on Politics Balla