Problems with sleep, such as insomnia, have been shown to be associated with mental health difficulties such as depression. Although long recognised as a symptom of depression, there is growing recognition that sleep problems can also emerge before episodes of depression, but it’s currently unclear whether improving sleep is protective against developing depression later on.
Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) has a well established evidence base for treating sleep difficulties that are non-medical in origin. This therapy teaches strategies for managing unhelpful thought processes as well as behaviors which might perpetuate sleep difficulties.
We have recently also started to explore the benefit of third wave CBT therapy such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy which is starting to show promising results: https://thesleepschool.org/
Ironically, given all the recent research on the use of technology at bedtime and its link to poor quality sleep, recent research from Oxford shows the benefits of an online version of CBT-I compared to control conditions.
Digital interventions are a growing area in mental health as a way to monitor and treat symptoms and to identify triggers for relapses. Such research not only supports the role of technology in mental healthcare but also supports its use to easily and effectively help reduce sleep disturbances like insomnia.
If you would like support on any of the issues above please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us!