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World Mental Health Day: Good Sleep is Essential for Mental Wellbeing

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  • Sleep positively improves symptoms of anxiety & depression
  • Energy levels (60%), mood (48%), relationships with other people (35%) and physical health (28%) are the areas most impacted by poor sleep
  • 68% of patients with mild-moderate depression and anxiety receiving digital sleep improvement programme Sleepio moved to recovery

To coincide with ‘World Mental Health Day’ (10/10/16), digital medicine company Big Health is releasing research that details the impact poor sleep has on mental wellbeing and recovery.

Insomnia affects approximately 69% of adults with depression. Poor sleep also increases the risks of developing anxiety anddepression, and acts as a barrier to successful treatment. British respondents to Big Health’s World Sleep Survey said that poor sleep negatively impacted many different parts of their everyday living:

  • Personally, respondents said that energy levels (60%), mood (48%), relationships with other people (35%) and physical health (28%) were the areas most impacted by their poor sleep
  • Professionally, concentration (at 46%), ability to complete work (38%) and staying awake during the day (27%) were cited as the three top issues affecting workplace productivity
  • Three-fifths (60%) of these same respondents did not consult their doctors about poor sleep

Big Health is the creator of the clinically-proven sleep improvement programme Sleepio, which teaches CBT techniques that help people overcome insomnia in a way that’s scalable and accessible.

A separate study from Big Health (evaluating the NHS’ IAPT services) demonstrates how improving poor sleep through a digital Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) programme can alleviate insomnia symptoms linked with depression and anxiety:

  • 68% of patients with mild to moderate depression and anxiety moved to recovery  following treatment from online CBT programme Sleepio
  • This compares with a recovery rate of 45% for patients using other NHS psychological services

“It’s important that we recognise the widespread effects poor sleep has on our lives,” said Professor Colin Espie, co-founder of Big Health and professor of sleep medicine at the University of Oxford.

“Sleep affects us on various levels – mentally, emotionally and physically – so when we have had no or insufficient sleep, we feel the consequences both mentally and physically. Our emotional processing and mood deteriorates, as well as pain thresholds, immune functioning and our metabolism, all contributing to low-moods and irritability.”

Peter Hames, co-founder of Big Health and NHS Innovation Fellow commented: Sleepio empowers patients to overcome their poor sleep by providing personalised, evidence-based CBT techniques and support. Whilst the link between insomnia and depression and anxiety is well documented, it’s incredible to see a digital solution designed to manage insomnia having such a marked effect on patients’ anxiety and depression symptoms too. These results raise the exciting prospect of using sleep as a way to help the millions with anxiety and depression who don’t currently seek help.”

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