One sheep, two sheep… 3478 sheep – people who involuntarily turn night into day are not exceptional. Sleep disorders are widespread: six million people in Germany suffer from them, according to an analysis by the Barmer substitute fund. That’s seven percent of the population who sleep so badly at least three times a week for a period of more than three months that it affects their life. You feel exhausted and are physically and mentally less productive. Online programs, whether as apps or via websites, promise help for insomniacs. With success? Stiftung Warentest has tested eight online sleep aids.

Sleep is the time in which the body regenerates and the head is tidied up. If sleep is permanently disturbed, it affects your health. “You notice a lack of sleep very, very quickly,” said sleep researcher Birgit Högl to the star. “After just one sleepless night, you can see that there are impairments in decision-making ability, working memory, language fluency and emotion regulation.” Högl advises people who suffer from insomnia to get help early. Long-term sleep disorders increase the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, they weaken the immune system and can promote mental illnesses such as depression.

Many people rely on apps and other online programs to combat insomnia. But are they really any good? Stiftung Warentest wanted to know more and tested four apps for sleep problems and four programs available on websites that are based on cognitive behavioral therapy. Two psychological experts supported the review and also included studies on effectiveness. The evaluation took into account, among other things, the underlying psychological models and methods used, the qualifications of the developers, protective measures and ease of use.

Two website programs were “completely convincing” and were rated “very good”. The test winners are the website programs from HelloBetter Schlafen and Somnio, which help effectively. Both are also available as an app. However, the sleep aids are not cheap: HelloBetter Sleep costs 249 euros, Somnia 464 euros per year. Since both programs are tested digital health applications, those with statutory health insurance who can provide a diagnosis or prescription can receive the programs free of charge.

The tested apps are much cheaper, but you can still save money given the test results. “They are not a good help for sleep problems and at best perform adequately,” writes Stiftung Warentest. The BetterSleep app is the worst in the comparison and fails with a “poor” rating. The examiners had doubts about, among other things, the “dubious sleep analysis” that was carried out using a microphone recording. “How sleep phases are supposed to be recognized in this way is a mystery to us,” says Stiftung Warentest.

You can read the complete test for a fee on

Source: Analysis Barmer, RKI