Sleep as a public health concern: insomnia and mental health

Journal article citation:
Journal of Public Mental Health, 10(4), 2011, pp.234-237.

Quality sleep patterns are essential to well-being, but insomnia may be the most commonly reported mental health complaint in the UK. Mental health influences insomnia, and insomnia can lead to mental health problems. Sleep medication is a commonly prescribed treatment for insomnia, but evidence from research suggests that cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBTI) is the most successful treatment for chronic insomnia. This paper explores the literature that relates to sleep as a public health concern, and discusses the relationship between insomnia and mental health. It suggests that GPs need evidence-based information on the importance and benefits of sleep and to be able to recognise sleep problems in primary care. CBTI needs to be represented in NICE guidance for insomnia. CBT-influenced methods could be implemented as low level interventions as part of a stepped care framework.

Subject terms:
intervention, mental health problems, public health, behaviour therapy, sleep problems;
Content type:
research review
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