Sleep Training May Help Depression, Study Says 0:49 (CNN) — Want to sleep better? The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) considers the Sleepio app to be a good alternative to sleeping pills. Last week’s NICE recommendation means NHS doctors can now prescribe the Sleepio app, which uses artificial intelligence to offer people cognitive behavioral therapy. for insomnia (CBT-I), rather than sleep medications such as zolpidem and zopiclone, which can be addictive and are not intended for long-term use. According to NICE, up to 800,000 people could benefit from the use of Sleepio in England. The app offers a six-week digital self-help program that includes a sleep test, weekly interactive I-CBT sessions, and a space to keep a sleep diary. The institute said the app-based program, which costs the NHS 45 pounds ($56) per person, was more cost-effective for the health system because, based on one year of use, it led to fewer doctor visits. and prescription sleeping pills. “Our rigorous, transparent and evidence-based review has found that Sleepio provides cost savings to the NHS in primary care compared to sleeping pills and sleep hygiene. It will also reduce the reliance of people with insomnia on drugs that create dependence, such as zolpidem and zopiclone,” said Jeanette Kusel, interim director of MedTech and digital at NICE, in a statement. Twelve randomized controlled trials, the gold standard of medical research, have shown Sleepio to be more effective in reducing insomnia than sleep hygiene and sleeping pills, according to the release. Sleep hygiene refers to ways you can help your brain recognize when it’s time to fall asleep and stay asleep. These strategies include things like maintaining a regular routine, sleeping in a cool, quiet, dark room, and avoiding alcohol and caffeine late in the day. The Sleepio program is designed to be completed in six weeks, but people have full access for 12 months from the time they start using the app. This allows people to complete sessions at their own pace and revisit if they wish, according to NICE. Sessions focus on identifying the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that contribute to insomnia symptoms. Cognitive interventions aim to improve the way a person thinks about sleep, and behavioral interventions are designed to promote a healthy sleep routine.
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