Sleep Problems

    Sleep is a major health concern that is known to correlate with anxiety, depression and stress. More people in the UK now visit their GP's in relation to sleep problems than with back problems. The programme provides face to face therapeutic support and advice for people with sleep problems and insomnia. It is delivered using the evidenced-based and effective NHS Sleep Programme for Insomnia (Tomeny & Morgan).

    Are you ready to enjoy better sleep, health, higher energy levels, and physical wellness? The Sleep Programme helps people of all ages, including children and adolescents, adults, older people and those people with a learning disability.

    The programme is delivered in five sessions and incorporates direct 1:1 therapeutic work around:

    Session 1: Assessment & clinical formulation of insomnia problem.

    Session 2: Psycho-education including sleep hygiene & evidence-based information.

    Session 3: Psychological strategies including sleep consolidation, stimulus control & sleep restriction. Agreeing sleep pattern and exploring the relationship between the bedroom and sleep.

    Session 4: Cognitive behavioural therapy approaches including pre-emptive strategies, challenging and restructuring thoughts, thought blocking techniques, paradoxical intention, positive and coping self-talk.

    Session 5: A range of relaxation strategies including autogenic and progressive techniques.

    Follow up: 1 month later by phone or skype.

    The Evidence 

    According to Morgan et al (2011)* over ten per cent of people in Britain suffer from insomnia. Yet often, treatment offered in many surgeries is medication. The Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University, lead by Prof Kevin Morgan, have shown that sleep management based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), can improve sleep quality and duration. The programme developed promises to offer an accessible and convenient treatment that can be delivered in doctors’ surgeries.

    The Office of National Statistics state that people in Britain complain more often of insomnia than any other psychological symptom, including anxiety, depression and even pain. Furthermore, the problems of insomnia increase as people grow older and are often connected with a long-term illness. Only 5 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds suffer from sleep problems, with rates rising to 30 per cent for the over 75's.

    The NHS delivers eleven million prescriptions for sleeping tablets in Britain each year to treat the symptoms of insomnia and cost the NHS up to £25 million each year.The National Institute of Clinical Excellence recommends that GP’s consider non-pharmacological treatment before considering medications. Among patients with long-term illnesses, doctors have found sleeping drugs bring only minor benefits.

    On the other hand, cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) has been shown to provide sustained improvements in both the quality and duration of sleep, when delivered by trained practitioners in specialised facilities or routine primary care settings.Research trials by Loughborough Sleep Research Centre have proved that CBT-I can benefit people with insomnia at any age. It can even be successful for sufferers with chronic illnesses including those who are particularly prone to insomnia, regardless of their underlying condition.

    The research has since had an impact far beyond its original intention to skill up the local workforce within NHS Nottinghamshire services and is now being rolled out as a training programme for the whole of the UK.

    Key findings of the NHS Insomnia Programme:A significant improvement in sleep quality.A reduction in the symptoms associated with insomnia in over 80 per cent of patients treated.

    • A 15 per cent improvement in ‘sleep efficiency’ - the percentage of time spent asleep in bed.
    • An initial 50 per cent reduction in the likelihood of using sleeping tablets.