Sleep should also be reflected in new national mental

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Sleep should also be reflected in new national mental health outcome indicators, including improving sleep for people who experience significant sleep problems requiring specialist help. The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) should develop guidance for the management of insomnia using non-pharmacological therapies, to complement existing guidance on using pharmacological therapies. People with sleep problems should be recognised within the Improving Access to Pyschological Therapies (IAPT) programme, especially regarding access to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). IAPT staff should be suitably trained on sleep issues. Further research should be carried out to establish the effectiveness of low cost, non-intrusive CBT- based interventions for sleep problems, such as self-help books and online courses.
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‘Sleep is the best meditation.’ Dalai Lama
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09 08 Introduction We spend, on average, approximately a third of our life asleep. Along with eating, drinking and breathing, sleeping is one of the pillars for maintaining good mental and physical health. Ultimately, we would die if we did not sleep. Despite its obvious importance, sleep remains a mysterious realm that has fascinated us for thousands of years. For example, in the Greek pantheon sleep is represented by the winged god Hypnos, himself the son of Nyx, goddess of the Night. Closely related to Hypnos were Thanatos (god of death) and Morpheus (god of dreams). As human beings, most of us cross the bridge between the conscious to the unconscious on at least a daily basis. Yet, we seldom give a second thought to the countless physiological and psychological processes that occur within our bodies and brains when we are deep in slumber. The aim of this report is to raise awareness about the importance of sleep and its crucial role for our health, both physical and mental, just like diet and exercise. In Part I of this report, we provide information about sleep, why we need to sleep, and what happens during sleep. In Part II, we review the literature on sleep problems and explain what can happen if we don’t sleep properly. In Part III, we describe ways in which we can improve our sleep and explain possible treatments for those who find achieving good quality sleep difficult. The primary focus of this report is sleep and mental health; both how mental health can affect our sleep, and how sleep can affect our mental health. The report includes primary data from the Great British Sleep Survey, developed by Professor Colin Espie at the University of Glasgow in association with Sleepio Ltd. The survey has been available online from March 2010, and aimed to take a snapshot of the UK’s sleep habits. By December 2010, there had been 6708 responses to the survey. This survey is still online: you can take part by visiting the Sleepio website, .
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‘A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.’ Irish proverb
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13 12 Sleeping and Sleep Patterns
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15 14 The first part of this report describes the sleep process in detail, providing information
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