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Forest Trees

Trouble Sleeping?

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If you're having sleep problems, there are simple steps you can take to improve your sleep hygiene, get into a daily routine and ease those restless nights. But sometimes you need a little extra help to understand and resolve the reasons why you are not sleeping.

Sleeping well is essential to physical health and emotional wellbeing. To feel well, we must sleep well.  10% of the UK population visit their GP each year with sleep related issues, making sleep a major clinical problem and contributing significantly to the strain on GP resources.

Insomnia disorder is defined as difficulty initiating sleep, difficulty maintaining sleep or early morning awakening with subsequent
impact upon daytime function.  It is associated with daytime fatigue, reduced quality of life and increased ill health across a range of studies and represents a critical public health problem worldwide.


Insomnia commonly accompanies conditions such as depression and chronic pain but often persists even after successful resolution
of these ‘primary’ conditions. Presence of insomnia has been found to predict subsequent depression or anxiety in those with a
first episode of mood disorder.  
It is also a risk factor for the development of hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.

How can Sleepstation help?

Technology is rewriting the relationship between patients, professionals and care providers. Patients are taking greater control of their health, and tools for patient empowerment and self-management provide opportunities for patients’ active participation in their care.


Sleepstation can provide you with the support and guidance needed to help you sleep well.

Who is Sleepstation suitable for?

If you have one or more of the following symptoms, then you could have insomnia.

  • Difficulty falling asleep

  • Difficulty staying asleep (waking up during the night and having trouble returning to sleep)

  • Waking up too early in the morning

  • Un-refreshing sleep (also called “non-restorative sleep”)

 

To be indicative of insomnia, these symptoms need to lead to daytime consequences including:

  • Fatigue or low energy

  • Cognitive impairment, such as difficulty concentrating

  • Mood disturbance, such as irritability

  • Behaviour problems, such as feeling impulsive or aggression

  • Difficulty at work

  • Difficulty in personal relationships, including family, friends and caregivers

There are few contraindications but Sleepstation is not appropriate for everyone.

Patients with the following conditions or disorders should not use Sleepstation:

  • Epilepsy, bipolar disorder, mania, schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia or a personality disorder.

  • Very severe untreated generalised anxiety (this should be addressed first).

  • History of psychosis/psychotic episodes, seizures or acute PTSD.

  • Parasomnias.

Sleepstation cannot accept referrals for patients who are:

  • under 18 years of age.

  • currently undergoing CBT with another provider.

  • currently under the active care of a psychiatrist.

  • unable to use a computer/smart phone and access the internet daily.


Please be advised, Sleepstation may be unsuitable for ladies experiencing sleep issues related specifically to pregnancy.
Variable shift workers are also unlikely to gain much benefit.

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What steps are involved?

Sleepstation is a personalised programme tailored to address individual needs and unique circumstances. The first step is a detailed assessment and sleep review. Each patient is provided with a personalised report containing advice and guidance about next steps.


The Sleepstation therapy programme is not appropriate for all patients. Patients screened out at this stage are provided with a full explanation and signposted to other services.


The next step is therapy. A personalised sleep plan is created for each patient based on information collated during their review.


Patients complete therapy sessions independently and can discuss their progress and access support from our sleep team via a secure online messaging system available throughout the course.

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A typical course lasts 6-8 weeks, depending on the needs and circumstances of the patient.  There are no waiting lists, patients can start the Sleepstation programme as soon as they’re ready.

Getting started

  • Users start by creating an account.

  • They then complete an initial assessment comprising a series of questionnaires about their sleep and other aspects of health and wellbeing.

  • From this point, they have access to the secure messaging service and can discuss anything with the Sleepstation support team.

  • The support team proactively engage with users throughout their time with Sleepstation to provide encouragement and guidance.

Note: The Sleepstation support team is comprised of sleep coaches, sleep therapists and sleep experts and overseen by a medical doctor and consultant psychiatrist.

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Detailed Sleep Review

  • Users are required to complete seven sleep diaries for review.

  • Each time they complete a sleep diary, they receive a sleep tip. These tips are provided to ensure that the person has the basics in place as a starting point.

  • Throughout the process, they have unlimited access to a range of sleep resources.

  • They can choose to complete one introductory session during the sleep review phase.

  • Sleep diary data is reviewed and analysed. A report containing insights into how the person is sleeping and feeling is then provided along with guidance around next steps.

  • If it's thought that the person would benefit from the Sleepstation therapy programme, they are enrolled at this stage. Typically, around 65% of people would benefit from access to the full programme.

Sleep improvement programme

  • Users continue to complete daily sleep diaries for the duration of their time on the programme.

  • They have continued access to the secure messaging service, allowing them to discuss their plan, obtain advice and chat with their support team.

  • Sleep coaches will continue to proactively engage with users to review progress and provide encouragement and guidance.

  • Users can also track their own progress via a range of charts and tracking tools.

  • Each week, users unlock a new sleep improvement session tailored to them. Each session outlines tools and techniques that can be used to control and improve sleep.

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Results

  • Most people see improvements in their sleep after just three sessions.

  • In addition to sleep improvement sessions, users also complete weekly wellbeing checkups and, if relevant, are provided with appropriate guidance (which can include signposting to other services).

  • Most people complete all six sleep improvement sessions during the therapy phase as well as six progress reviews.

  • In the final session, each person is provided with a personalised report outlining their progress and relevant next steps.

Patient feedback

“The programme is great. For a severe insomniac with fibromyalgia, I never thought my sleep would ever improve but I'm finally sleeping through the night. The support from the team is unbelievable. They're ready to reassure and support you through even the worst days. The resources are great too. For future patients - be open and just be patient, you'll likely fall off the wagon several times but you will get back on and you will be supported to do so!”

“Having the sleep coaches’ support and encouragement for different techniques to apply really helped. The support has been great and my sleep has improved greatly.” - Sarah had been experiencing insomnia symptoms for more than three years before she was referred her to Sleepstation.

How do patients access Sleepstation’s NHS service?

 

There are no waiting lists to access Sleepstation and patients can self-refer to the service.  Patients are contacted within two working days of a referral.  The setup process takes around 10 minutes and provides patients with immediate access to the service and support team.


Patients are provided with personalised support and encouragement to tackle their sleep problem from the outset.

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If you would like access to Sleepstation, there is no need to speak to your GP, patients can self-refer via the Sleepstation website and select 'NHS access'.

 

Alternatively the Health & Wellbeing team can do this for you if you meet the criteria for the programme.  Please contact the team with the information required - patient’s name, date of birth, NHS number and which GP practice you are registered with.

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