ACCORDING to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the goal of insomnia therapy is to improve both the quality and the quantity of sleep.

Professor Espie said the app's goal was to treat broken sleep, saying that 'people who get consolidated sleep feel the benefit of that.''

PETER Hames, the chief executive of Big Health, said he had hit upon the idea for Sleepio after he developed insomnia.

He taught himself to modify his poor sleep habits, he said, by reading self-help books on cognitive behavioral therapy by Colin A. Espie, a sleep medicine professor at Oxford University.

He and professor Espie later founded Big Health to digitize the techniques.

Sleepio unfolds more like a low-key, single-player video game, in which the user is on a quest for better sleep, than a clinical health program.

The app features an animated sleep expert with a Scottish accent, called ''the prof''. An affable but a firm therapist, the bot offers people who have insomnia symptoms a series of six week weekly online sessions.

''At time, you may feel like quitting or even give up, but don't despair. This is totally normal,'' the animated therapist says in the first session. ''What I can tell you is, if we work closely together on this, we have an excellent chance of defeating your poor sleep.''

Big Health has raised $15 million from investors including Kaiser Permanente, the California-based health system.

In 2015, the start-up began selling Sleepio directly to employers, sending them aggregated data on their employees progress.

Companies pay a fee for each employee who uses the insomnia app, but Big Health declined to disclose its pricing.

Delta Air Lines and Boston Medical Center, two of the companies that work directly with Big Health, said employees who used Sleepio reported improved sleep.

''It feels a lot more like play than work,'' said Lisa Kelly-Croswell, the chief human resource officer at Boston Medical Center, which has offered Sleepio since 2016.

About 3,000 employees there completed the apps initial screening questionnaire, she said, while 350 people finished the six week program.

In several randomized studies that assigned some volunteers to use Sleepio and others to a different treatment, like online sleep education, the Sleepio user group generally had a greater reduction in the time it took to fall asleep and the time spent awake at night.

At the end of the studies, however, there was little difference in total sleep time between Sleepio users and nonusers.

The honor and serving of the latest global operational research on Insomnia, science and research, continues. The World students Society thanks author Natasha Singer.


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