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Improving your sleep on World Sleep Day
18 March 2021

COVID-19 has affected our lives in so many ways. Our normal daily routines have been disrupted with more people working from home and having to support home schooling as well as balancing our normal jobs. It is no wonder that these changes may have caused some of us anxiety and sleep disruption.

Friday 19 March 2021, is World Sleep Day, and we caught up with Petya, one of our Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners and staff Wellbeing Champions who joined our Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Team in 2019 to talk about why sleep is so important for our physical and mental health.

Why is it so important to get healthy sleep?

Sleep is vital for both our physical and mental health. It enables us to perform crucial day to day tasks. It plays a huge part in physiological processes such as repairing tissues, muscles growth, hormones and appetite regulation. In addition, sleeping well is linked to being able to concentrate, consolidate new information and problem solve. It also contributes to our psychological wellbeing.

The increasing research around sleep is fascinating. Sleep is one of the main biological drives yet there is still a lot we don`t know about it. There is research that suggests chronic sleep deprivation across westernised countries may lead to shorter lifespan.

Tell us more about how your service can support those that are having problems with sleep?

Everyone experiences sleep difficulties at one point or another. Sleep difficulties are even more common now with the uncertainty and the challenges around the pandemic. It might be that a person is struggling with sleep due to increased worries or low mood. Another common reason why people struggle with sleep is because of pain.

In our service, we can offer an initial assessment (which takes about 45 minutes) and if appropriate, offer the sleep workshop we run in the service. We also offer other treatment options, for example worry management techniques, psychoeducation about living with long term pain, as well as behaviour activation that can help increase low mood.

It might be that a person's sleep improves as a result of the other treatment options.

What sort of support will someone accessing this service get?

We offer a wide range of treatment options to help with common mental health difficulties such as stress, depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, health anxiety, panic, social anxiety and others.

You can get information about the treatment options from our website:

Mental Health Services treatment options

Some treatment options may help one person and be less helpful for another due to individual differences.

If you contact the Isle Talk IAPT Service and book for an assessment, one of our practitioners will be able to recommend an intervention that's most suited to you at that point.

There is some really useful information on the following websites that may help with managing worries, low mood and living with pain:

Anyone can also refer themselves to our Isle Talk IAPT Service by calling: 01983 532860

Finally, what are your top 5 tips for a healthier night's sleep?

Some simple tips that I find really helpful include:

  • getting enough regular physical activity: moderate/vigorous exercise during the day and gentle exercise closer to bed time
  • making sure I establish a routine, waking up and going to bed at a similar time
  • writing down any worries I may have
  • simple relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises
  • and finally being really careful with my caffeine intake, especially after lunch!

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