SLEEPIO Campaign

SLEEPIO Research Campaign conducted by Flinders University

A trial in to use of online CBT treatment for insomnia.

Aims to enrol patients in online CBT course and show CBT is appropriate, effective and easy to access for treatment of insomnia.

Benefit for GPs

Provides GP's with access to a popular medical treatment for insomnia (Online CBT was developed and is used extensively overseas). Can be used as initial treatment for insomnia (before providing hypnotic script). Can be used to help reduce patients reliance on existing hypnotic medications.


Insomnia is a common problem seen in general practice. The understanding of chronic insomnia is still evolving.

  1. In acute insomnia, sleep often returns to normal once the precipitating factor has resolved.
  2. In chronic insomnia, treatment is focused on addressing underlying comorbid precipitants (where present), and psychological and behavioural management.
  3. Pharmacotherapy for acute and chronic insomnia may be necessary for severe or resistant cases of insomnia. The decision to prescribe should be on an individual basis and involve serious consideration of all risks and possible benefits.
  4. Benzodiazepines and Z drugs have been shown to be effective treatments and may be prescribed for short-term or intermittent use. Harm, such as dependence and adverse events, may occur with both drug groups.
  5. Dose reduction and cessation should be discussed with the patient on first prescription and commenced once sleep patterns return to normal.
  6. Pharmacological treatment should be accompanied by specific patient education and regular review.


Medicine Today-Insomnia treatment. Improved access to effective nondrug options


Key Points

  1. Insomnia is a common, debilitating and costly disorder managed in Australian general practice.
  2. Sedative-hypnotic medications are associated with potential side effects, adverse events and long-term dependence and are a suboptimal management strategy.
  3. The RACGP recommends cognitive and behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBTi) strategies as first-line treatment.
  4. Australian general practitioners can access multiple CBTi strategies, including effective self-administered, online, nurse- or GP-administered CBTi, or pathways for referral to a psychologist trained in treating insomnia.
  5. An NHMRC research program is underway to explore whether the management of insomnia in general practice can be improved in line with RACGP guidelines. GPs interested in participating in this research are encouraged to contact the authors (

RACGP- A step-by-step model for a brief behavioural treatment for insomnia in Australian general practice


New referral pathways to manage insomnia

Flinders Foundation


The RACGP recommend Cognitive and Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBTi) as the ‘first line’ treatment for insomnia, however many GPs report inadequate time and resources to administer session-based CBTi treatments.

About SLEEPIO program

We aim to provide you with an insomnia-management pathway which complies with all RACGP ‘insomnia’ guidelines. This pathway includes;

  1. Doctors Control Panel-identification of patients with a history of sleeping pill use,
  2. Pre-appointment SMS notifications sent from GP clinic systems will be used to inform eligible patients of the trial
  3. Doctors Control Panel-notifications to refer patients to Sleepio; a well-established online CBTi program, and
  4. Summarised RACGP sleeping pill withdrawal information and templates for patients who wish to reduce sleeping pill use.

Link for SLEEPIO Withdrawal Pack