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January 23, 2024

Scotland becomes first country in the world to make digital therapeutics for anxiety and insomnia available nationally


Through an expanded relationship, NHS Scotland will offer Big Health’s digital therapeutics for anxiety and insomnia to all adults, providing more than five million people access to cognitive behavioural therapy.

Glasgow and London, October 13, 2021 — The Scottish Government today announces that all adults living in Scotland have access to Daylight and Sleepio, Big Health’s digital therapeutics for anxiety and insomnia, as part of their NHS services. People in Scotland can learn more about the programs and sign up for Daylight via self-referral here and Sleepio here, or by visiting their GP.

Through this new service, Scotland becomes the first country to implement fully digital solutions that provide instant help for anxiety and insomnia nationwide and at no cost to the user. People across all 14 NHS Scotland Health Board Areas will have 24/7 instant access to Big Health’s digital therapeutics as the first-line treatment for anxiety and insomnia, effectively scaling access to care through the Computerised CBT (cCBT) & Digital Mental Health programme.

In October 2020, the Scottish Government made Daylight and Sleepio available across five NHS Health Boards. To date, nearly 70 percent of Big Health users in Scotland experienced an improvement in their anxiety symptoms and gained an average of seven additional hours of sleep per week.

Mental Wellbeing and Social Care Minister Kevin Stewart said:
“Digital technologies have massive potential to help people manage and support their mental health in a way that feels right for them. We are working with NHS Scotland to combine traditional in-person services with technology enabled solutions, allowing us to reach people with the right treatment at the right time.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has only affirmed what we knew from the beginning – digital mental health is critical to help scale much-needed services and provide additional choice for people to manage their mental health. After assessing the effectiveness of Daylight and Sleepio, we are pleased to launch these treatments nationwide, providing clinically validated solutions for those who need it most.”

In 2017, the Scottish Government announced a decade-long commitment to mental healthcare, establishing new policy and clinical services focused on improving mental health access and outcomes. This included the prioritisation of cCBT, a programme for psychological self-help resources and expanded treatment options for patients. The cCBT programme has increased the adoption of digital CBT solutions by more than 100 percent since 2017.

“As demand for mental health services continues to rise, innovative countries like Scotland have focused on expanding access to care through digital approaches. By increasing the options for evidenced-based mental health help at the point of need, Scotland is the only country to truly exploit the potential for digital therapeutics. We are proud to expand our service in Scotland to support the Scottish Government’s world-leading mental health strategy.”
Dr. Charlotte Lee, Big Health UK Director

Big Health was co-founded by Professor Colin Espie, a Scotsman, world renowned clinical psychologist, and Professor of Sleep Medicine at the University of Oxford. Daylight and Sleepio administer evidenced-based cognitive behavioural therapy in a fully digital format, effectively providing non-drug alternatives for sleep and mental health. Gold-standard randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have shown that 71 percent of patients who used Daylight achieved remission from anxiety and 76 percent of patients who used Sleepio achieved clinically significant sleep improvements.

About Big Health

Big Health’s mission is to help millions back to good mental health by providing safe and effective non-drug alternatives for the most common mental health conditions. Designed by leading clinical experts and backed by 13 RCTs, Sleepio™ for insomnia and Daylight™ for worry and anxiety are among the world’s most evidenced digital mental health solutions. These programmes seamlessly integrate into primary care, enabling clinically effective self-management of mental health. With offices in London and San Francisco, Big Health’s digital therapeutics are used by leading health systems like the NHS and large multinational employers. For more information, please visit

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Disclaimer: In the UK, Sleepio and Daylight are CE marked medical devices available for the treatment of Insomnia Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, respectively.

In the US, in accordance with FDA’s Current Enforcement Discretion Policy for Digital Health Devices for Psychiatric Disorders, for patients aged 18 years and older, who are followed by and diagnosed with Insomnia Disorder or Generalized Anxiety Disorder by a medical provider, Sleepio and Daylight can be made available as an adjunct to their usual medical care for Insomnia Disorder or Generalized Anxiety Disorder, respectively. Sleepio and Daylight do not replace the care of a medical provider or the patient’s medication. Sleepio and Daylight have not been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for these indications.

During the COVID-19 public health emergency, Sleepio and Daylight are being made available as treatments for insomnia disorder and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), respectively, without a prescription. Sleepio and Daylight have not been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of insomnia disorder and GAD, respectively.

1. Qaseem, A., Kansagara, D., Forciea, M. A., Cooke, M., & Denberg, T. D. (2016). Management of chronic insomnia disorder in adults: a clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians. Annals of Internal Medicine, 165(2), 125-133.2. Riemann, D., Baglioni, C., Bassetti, C., Bjorvatn, B., Dolenc Groselj, L., Ellis, J. G., … & Spiegelhalder, K. (2017). European guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of insomnia. Journal of Sleep Research, 26(6), 675-700.3. Wilson, S., Anderson, K., Baldwin, D., Dijk, D. J., Espie, A., Espie, C., … & Sharpley, A. (2019). British Association for Psychopharmacology consensus statement on evidence-based treatment of insomnia, parasomnias and circadian rhythm disorders: an update. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 33(8), 923-947.4. King’s Technology Evaluation Centre. (2017, November 9). Overview: Health app: SLEEPIO for adults with poor Sleep: Advice. NICE. Espie, C. A., Kyle, S. D., Williams, C., Ong, J. C., Douglas, N. J., Hames, P., & Brown, J. S. (2012). A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of online cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic insomnia disorder delivered via an automated media-rich web application. Sleep, 35(6), 769-781.6. Carl, J. R., Miller, C. B., Henry, A. L., Davis, M. L., Stott, R., Smits, J. A., … & Espie, C. A. (2020). Efficacy of digital cognitive behavioral therapy for moderate‐to‐severe symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder: A randomized controlled trial. Depression and Anxiety, 37(12), 1168-1178.

DOC-3046 Effective 11/2023