Typically, the people that mPower supports have a number of health conditions at the same time, which can make supporting them a complex task. In the Western Isles, the local team developed a wellbeing plan for a gentleman whose mental health was poor, whose diet was not healthy and lack of exercise caused him to be overweight and lacking in energy. His anxiety and worry over personal finances and other worries meant that he did not sleep at night and tended to nap during the day which caused him to be constantly tired and lacking in energy.
Lack of sleep was at the heart of the man’s ill health and resolving this would be a major step towards improving his situation. The mPower team directed him towards a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Application for insomnia called Sleepio.
Sleepio is a digital therapeutic tool intended for the improvement of poor sleep and the management of Insomnia Disorder in adults aged 18 years and older, as an adjunct to their usual medical care. It involves a sleep program over six weeks designed by scientific experts at a number of UK and US institutions including the University of Oxford and Harvard Medical School. It is based on cognitive and behavioural techniques.
The tool includes personalized sessions each week lasting 20 minutes, tabs to keep track of sleep patterns, a sleep optimization plan designed around the individual’s specific needs and weekly community chats with sleep experts.
Though Sleepio could potentially help the patient he did not have a device or connectivity which of course was a significant barrier. This stumbling block was overcome when the mPower team secured a device and connectivity for two years for the patient. The team also showed him how to use the device and have been supporting him regularly to get used to it.
At the same time the patient was also referred to dieticians and the Move More programme to help him with exercise and weight loss. It was through his referral to a dietician that his diabetes was identified, something that may well have escaped notice without the mPower wellbeing plan.
Sleepio has had a positive impact on the man’s health. His sleeping patters have improved and as a result of better diet and more exercise he has more energy. His Community Navigator has encouraged him to take part in digital education classes so that he can make more use of his new laptop and the added bonus is that he is mixing with other people in these classes and thus has more frequent engagement and interaction with new people.