Could a new training programme teach you to sleep better?

Mental Health

A new training programme from The Sleep Charity has been launched to help us get better sleep

Sleep is vital for our health and wellbeing, and yet 40% of the adult population have experienced sleep issues, which go on to impact their mood, behaviour, concentration, and overall productivity. Even so, if you’re going through difficult phases with sleep, it can feel as though there is nowhere to turn, and few solutions to the problem.

In a survey conducted by The Sleep Charity, 57% of UK adults shared that they felt there is a lack of support for people with sleep issues, and 48% went on to say that companies should offer support for staff who are having trouble sleeping.

According to the NHS, upon visiting a GP to talk about a sleep problem such as insomnia, they will usually try to uncover what the cause may be, and then refer you to the right treatment. For example, you might be referred to a therapist for cognitive behaviour therapy, which may help change thoughts and behaviours around sleeping. Sleeping pills are also sometimes, though rarely, prescribed for a few days or weeks at most.

In a bid to offer practical support, The Sleep Charity has launched a five-part course which explores a range of topics including sleep psychology, insomnia, menopause, mental health, and ageing.

Developed by leading sleep science expert, Professor Jason Ellis, five modules each work through the topics, asking and answering questions such as, what is normal sleep? How much do we need? And, how do sleep problems develop?

“We are delighted to be working with Professor Jason Ellis on these courses, truly focussing on adult sleep and the effects that ageing, menopause and mental health issues can have on sleep and overall wellbeing,” said Lisa Artis, The Sleep Charity’s deputy CEO.

“We’ve had some incredible feedback from our Workplace Sleep Ambassador training courses and wanted to expand our training options specifically for those working and supporting adults to further empower the whole nation to sleep better.”

The courses come following on from a time when there was an increase in the number of people struggling to fall asleep during lockdown – with a study from King’s College London and Ipsos finding that more than half of people experienced some form of sleep problem during that time.

“Not surprisingly we are all experiencing mounting levels of stress,” explains psychotherapist and Hypnotherapy Directory member Ann Hamilton, told us at the time.

“Stress can make it difficult to concentrate, enjoy emotional balance and restful sleep. Increased cortisol elevates the stress response and shifts the sleep-wake balance in the brain, which increases sleep fragmentation and ultimately leads to insomnia.”

If you would like to learn more about The Sleep Charity’s new modules, visit thesleepcharity.org.uk, or you can call the National Sleep Helpline on 03303 530 541, calls are charged at your standard network rate.

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