How common is chronic insomnia?

Chronic insomnia affects up to 25% of the UK population, most commonly females. Our clients come from all ethnic backgrounds and are of all ages; they range from teenagers to new mothers, executives to retirees, and even include professional athletes!

Why don’t you use Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)?

We choose not to use traditional Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as we have found it to be of reduced effectiveness in the long-term prevention of insomnia, and many of our clients also report difficulty implementing traditional CBT approaches such as sleep restriction, stimulus control, and thought-challenging over an extended period of time. Furthermore, CBT’s control-based focus, the idea that you need to get rid of unwanted thoughts and feelings, is something that we feel goes against many of the basic aspects of natural, effortless sleep and something that fuels sleeplessness in the long run.

How effective is the Sleep School approach?

In 2015 we completed an in-house clinical study to evaluate the effectiveness of the Sleep School approach. We tracked the sleeping patterns of chronic insomnia sufferers for one year after attending one of our Workshops in central London. The results showed that 86% of attendees successfully recovered for insomnia. Significant improvements across a wide range of sleep measures were also observed, including a 42% increase in total sleep time per night (4.8 hours per night to 6.8 hours per night) and a 70% decrease in the time taken to fall to sleep.

Should I come off sleeping pills before trying the Sleep School approach?

Most clients who come to the Sleep School have been regularly taking some form of prescribed, over-the-counter or alternative medication to help them sleep. Our aim is to teach you to trust in your natural ability to sleep and not to rely on medication. All sleep medication exit strategies are provided and performed under the guidance of your Doctor or GP.

How does Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) differ from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

ACT differs from traditional Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in that instead of trying to teach people to control their thoughts, feelings, sensations, and memories, ACT teaches them to notice, accept, and embrace them. We believe that acceptance of insomnia rather than an effort to control it is the key to recovering from it because sleep is a natural biological process that can’t be controlled; in fact, the more you try to do so, the further away it goes. 

Which Sleep School Insomnia product or service should I choose?

The Sleep School has created a series of products and services to suit your individual needs and preferred way of learning.

Private Video Clinics offer a highly bespoke experience whereby you get to work on a one-to-one level with one of our sleep experts. The sessions are tailored exactly to your needs and you leave with a personalised plan of action for you to follow.

Sleep School for Insomnia app is packed with the Sleep School’s expertly developed tools and techniques to help you overcome insomnia. It is the perfect tool for anyone who wants on-demand support around the clock. It can be used on its own or in conjunction with a private video clinic.

To learn more about our Insomnia products and services, click here.

What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)?

We are pioneering the use of ACT in chronic insomnia because we believe that the way in which insomnia has been traditionally managed needs to change. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), is a so-called ‘third wave’ cognitive-behavioural model of psychotherapy. It is an empirically-based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies together with commitment and behaviour-change strategies to increase psychological flexibility. ACT has a fantastic evidence base across a wide range of treatment interventions including anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and stress, many of which are associated with insomnia.

Feel free to check out our blog if you are interested in finding out more about ACT for insomnia.

How long will it take me to recover?

The results of our 2015 in-house clinical study showed that significant improvements across a wide range of sleep measures occurred within just 5 weeks, including a 50% reduction in self-perceived insomnia severity. Further significant improvements were then reported at 10 weeks, and then at 6 and 12 months, all of which culminated in 86% of the participants becoming ‘normal sleepers’, despite previously suffering from insomnia for over two decades.

Everyone is different, however, and so the exact length of time that it will take for you to overcome your insomnia can't be predicted. All of the tools that we offer are designed to help you through this process as quickly as possible, but your willingness to redefine your relationship with your insomnia is, of course, a very important factor that can't be ignored.

Is the Sleep School approach scientifically based?

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness have a fantastic evidence base across a wide range of treatment interventions, including the treatment of anxiety, depression, and stress. Recognising the strong link between such conditions and chronic insomnia, we're pioneering the use of ACT and Mindfulness to help clients completely reshape their relationship with their sleep, and we've done so with amazing results.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is one of the six core ACT processes, which is why we use it as part of our recovery process. We believe it to be an effective tool in relieving insomnia symptoms by reducing the worry associated with poor sleep.

Mindfulness is about being aware, yet non-judgemental, of your thoughts, feelings, sensations, and urges and accepting them in the present moment. Mindfulness practice, inherited from the Buddhist tradition, is increasingly being employed in Western psychology to alleviate a variety of mental and physical conditions, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and in the prevention of relapse in depression and drug addiction.

What is the Sleep School’s take on sleeping pills?

The Sleep School offers a medication-free solution to your insomnia, whereby you can train yourself to fall to sleep naturally, without the use of pills, potions, or props. Whilst medication may help in the short term, it’s easy to become reliant on it in order to sleep, further compounding the problem in the long term.

Is it normal for my sleep to get worse before it gets better?

In some cases, your insomnia can worsen for a few days if you're withdrawing from sleeping medication or other sleep aids. However, the tools and knowledge we provide you with will help you to eventually achieve good quality, natural sleep. If at the start of the programme it feels like your insomnia is getting worse, see if you can embrace poor sleep as an opportunity to start practising all of the techniques that you've learnt.

Can you help me if I am on antidepressant medication?

Most clients who come to the Sleep School have been regularly taking some form of antidepressant medication. The intricate link between depression and insomnia means that most clients who experience an improvement in their sleep are also likely to experience an elevation in mood. Should you wish to explore antidepressant medication exit strategies, please consult your Doctor or GP.


What is the Sleep School for Insomnia app?

Our Insomnia app gives you 24/7 access to the Sleep School’s expertly developed tools and techniques for overcoming insomnia. Based on our unique, highly effective 5-step approach, it contains:

- A Sleep Survey tool to personalise your insomnia recovery programme

- Over 75 sleep education videos with insomnia expert Dr Guy Meadows

- Interactive tools to help you come off sleep aids, calm a busy mind, and defuse sleep anxiety

- Over 5 hours of guided audio tracks to retrain your brain to sleep

- An interactive quiz to help you build a new regular sleeping pattern

How much does the Sleep School for Insomnia app cost and how can I get it?

The Sleep School for Insomnia app is free to download. In order to access the full content, you will need to purchase a subscription, which costs £5.99 per month, or £39.99 per year. The app is available on iPhone and Android and can be downloaded via the Apple and Google Play stores, respectively. It is also available online, in the form of an easy-to-follow course.

How do I cancel my subscription or turn off auto-renewal?

You can cancel your subscription’s auto-renewal at any time by following the steps below, and you will continue to have access to the app’s paid-for content until your subscription's expiration date. To end a subscription’s auto-renewal please email us at [email protected].

Alternatively, you can follow the steps below:

- Visit https://insomnia.thesleepschool.org/users/sign_in

- Sign in to your online account your email and password.

- Click on the Menu icon on the top right corner.

- Click on Settings.

- Press the red Cancel button located within the Your Subscription area.

Your subscription’s auto-renewal will now end and no further payments will be taken from your account. For further information about managing Apple or Google Play subscriptions, please read the links below.

App Store Subscriptions (Apple iOS): http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4098

Google Play Subscriptions (Android): https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/7018481

Private clinics

How long are Private Video Clinics and much do they cost?

Private Video Clinics are an hour long and they cost £99.

Will I need more than one Private Video Clinic to recover from insomnia?

At the end of your initial consultation and based on your circumstances, we might recommend additional support sessions, although this is not always necessary. Follow-up support sessions are typically scheduled for 2-4 weeks after your initial consultation and they offer an opportunity to discuss your progress, ask questions, and learn additional tools to further improve your sleep and keep you on track.

What are Private Video Clinics?

Private Video Clinics offer an opportunity to have a private session with one of our sleep experts. During your appointment, you will discuss your insomnia, find out what caused it and what perpetuates it, ask any insomnia-related questions you may have, and receive advice on how to recover naturally, once and for all.

To book a private clinic, click here.

Sleep school

Who is Dr Kat Lederle?

Dr Kat Lederle has gained her MSc in Biosciences in Germany. She also has a PhD from the University of Surrey in Human Circadian Physiology & Behaviour (the human body clock). Her PhD looked at the effects of light on human sleeping patterns, specifically in the elderly. To date, Kat has over ten years of experience in human circadian physiology research and has advised airlines, petrochemical and mining companies all around the world on the issue of fatigue and sleep deprivation. She joined the Sleep School as a consultant and human sleep & fatigue specialist in 2015. Kat is trained in Mindfulness and Acceptance Commitment Therapy and specialised with Dr Guy in the use of ACT for insomnia (ACT-I). She now runs the Sleep School Insomnia Workshops and 1-2-1 Clinic consultations, helping clients in overcoming insomnia and getting back to living their lives in full.

Who is Dr Claire Durant?

Dr Claire Durant has a doctorate (PhD) from Bristol University, UK. Her thesis focused on the effect of treatments for severe depression on sleep. During her PhD, Claire also completed the Marie Curie international Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine Education Program. Claire has been working in the field of sleep and Neuropsychopharmacology (the study of how drugs affect the central nervous system to improve understanding of the brain and behaviour) for the last 6 years, and lectures on sleep science at MSc level. She is passionate and enthusiastic about sleep education and joins the Sleep School to help run our Professional programmes.

Who is Dr Guy Meadows?

Dr Guy Meadows is a sleep physiologist, with a doctorate (PhD) from Imperial College, London. He has been working in sleep since 2001, of which 16 years have been dedicated to helping chronic insomnia sufferers. He is pioneering the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Insomnia and runs therapist training workshops for the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapists (BABCP). He has received additional training in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy at Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) at Mindfulness Training Ltd. He regularly attends, presents, and runs workshops at ACT workshops and conferences and receives monthly ACT supervision. He is currently researching the use of ACT with chronic insomnia. He also has a diploma in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy from the University of West of England. Dr Guy Meadows is not a psychologist, psychotherapist or a psychiatrist.

What is the Sleep School?

Using a 100% drug-free approach, the Sleep School offers science-based and data-driven support for individuals and organisations struggling with sleep. To date, we have helped more than 25,000 patients naturally recover from insomnia and have educated over 50,000 employees working in the world's leading organisations about the importance of sleep and how to achieve it. We are passionate about creating a world where everyone can sleep better to live better.