Big Health today announced that Sleepio, a new app that provides a personalized, evidence-based way to help overcome poor sleep without pills, is now live in the App Store. Designed by sleep expert and University of Oxford professor Colin Espie, the Sleepio App aims to help the millions worldwide who struggle with poor sleep by providing a personalized program of proven cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques. These techniques help the user get their sleep schedule, thoughts, and lifestyle into shape, according to the company.

Sleepio imports sleep data from fitness tracking devices such as the Jawbone UP and will integrate with HealthKit iOS 8 when available, to provide users with a clear and current overview of their sleep profile. This data, with user permission, then fuels a highly personalized sleep program to help promote better thoughts and behaviors, all presented by The Prof, a virtual animated sleep expert, and his narcoleptic dog Pavlov. A Help Me Now feature provides moment-by-moment help tailored to your current context and the program is customized to each user’s problems and progress.

Unlike existing sleep apps that simply track the user’s sleep or offer basic relaxation exercises, Sleepio is a revolutionary new type of “digital medicine,” backed by gold-standard clinical evidence. In the world’s first placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial for a digital sleep program, the course featured in the Sleepio App was shown to be comparable in effect to face-to-face therapy, on average helping long-term poor sleepers:

  • Fall asleep 56% faster;
  • Reduce nighttime awakenings by 63%; and
  • Boost daytime energy and concentration by 58%.

Sleepio is the first product from digital health start-up Big Health, founded by Professor Colin Espie and ex-insomnia sufferer and Oxford graduate Peter Hames. Big Health creates highly personalized, scientifically validated behavioral medicine programs delivered via web and mobile. Using tracked data and applying best practice from consumer technology, Big Health is creating the next generation of digital healthcare. By making behavioral medicine accessible, affordable, and usable, Big Health aims to provide effective alternatives for those with chronic problems such as persistent poor sleep.

“A few years ago I developed insomnia. Despite the strong evidence behind talking therapies such as CBT, all my doctor would give me was sleeping pills,” says Peter Hames, CEO of Big Health. “I ended up self-administering a course of CBT using a book written by sleep expert professor Colin Espie. Within weeks, my insomnia was cured, sparking the idea to use technology to make these evidence-based techniques more accessible and engaging. I connected with Professor Espie and together we founded Big Health, with Sleepio as our first product.”

Espie says, “Millions of people experience sleep problems—whether that’s falling asleep, staying asleep, or with the quality of their sleep. Sleepio is a ground-breaking, clinically proven digital sleep improvement program that uses proven CBT techniques to help users with persistent sleep problems.”

The Sleepio App is available for free on the App Store for iPhone and iPod touch or at The app includes 7 days free access after which users choose Instant Sleep Help for $4.99/month, Long Term Sleep Improvement for $149 for 12 weeks access; or continue for free and access the Sleep Diary and Your Schedule features only.