Research from CaHRU was cited in the recently published parliamentary briefing on Sleep and Health and Sleep and Long-term Health. The briefing was issued as a POSTnote from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology and cited CAHRU’s work on primary care for insomnia including the Resources for Effective Sleep Treatment (REST) website. Professor Graham Law and Niro Siriwardena met with one of the co-authors Lev Tankelevitch earlier this year to discuss their work.
The briefing on Sleep and Health also cites two systematic reviews led by CaHRU’s Dr Coral Sirdifield on patient and general practitioner (GP) perceptions of the problems of benzodiazepine sleeping pills, an article by Prof Siriwardena providing guidance for GPs, and the OASIS trial (led by Prof Dan Freeman of Oxford University) showing the effects of treatment using digital Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (dCBTi) on psychiatric symptoms. The briefing on Sleep and Long-term Health research papers on sleep assessment and the DIALS trial showing the effect of dCBTI on quality of life which is due for publication this autumn.
The REST project is also explicitly mentioned: ‘One strategy to improve training for healthcare professionals is through online training developed by the Resources for Effective Sleep Treatment project’ and the REST e-learning programme for GPs and healthcare staff has been accessed over 16,000 times by users in over 160 countries.
POSTnotes are distributed in paper copies to Parliamentarians, placed in the reference libraries of both Houses of Parliament and also promoted via social media using Twitter @POST_UK. CaHRU are currently collaborating in a major trial of sleep restriction therapy in primary care, the HABIT trial. You can find out more about our work on sleep from our infographic on ‘Sleep and Insomnia‘.
By Prof Niro Siriwardena
I have been working on sleep and health for around 7 years now. When I first started there was very little interest. A clinician, on a national funding committee, said to me “why are you worried? Sleep is natural…” I think this attitude is finally changing.
You may have seen an increased interest in the media in relation to sleep. There are news articles, nearly daily, about the new research and the ‘dangers’ of bad sleep. I suppose they need to sell papers. I was recently part of a BBC1 programme (‘The truth about…sleep’) with Michael Mosely. They approached us to conduct some sort of experiment. Working with my colleague (Dr Eleanor Scott) we recorded the blood glucose in 6 participants for a week. During this time, they were required to reduce their time asleep by 3 hours on 2 consecutive nights.
The results took us by surprise. We know that this should have some sort of impact, but all six participants had raised glucose the days after their sleep restriction. And the rise was around 0,5mmol/L which, as well as being statistically significant, is clinically significant. I am busy writing this up for a journal.
Hopefully, we are going to carry on this idea by looking at shift-workers. That is the plan….
By Prof Graham Law
The Community and Health Research Unit (CaHRU) has been awarded status as a university Research Centre. CaHRU’s mission is to increase people’s health and well-being by improving the quality, performance and systems of care across the health, social and third sector care services through interdisciplinary translational research.
CaHRU’s objectives are:
- to improve people’s health and well-being by shaping the development of health and social care services and systems in the UK and internationally through excellent interdisciplinary translational research;
- to promote high quality care which enhances the experience, safety, effectiveness, efficiency and equity of healthcare by examining and transforming the performance and function of health and social care practice, organisation and delivery;
- to engage service users, carers, practitioners, managers, commissioners and policymakers in our research;
- to ensure that we maximise the impact of our research by responding to service priorities, working with service users and care organisations to embed research into practice and disseminate findings using the notion of ‘dissemination by design’ and through a variety of media;
- to enable our researchers to achieve their highest potential through a research environment that encourages cooperation, collaboration and mutual support.
The new centre, which will still be known as CaHRU, is staffed by 14 core researchers but benefits from working with many colleagues in other academic groups, other academic institutions and health services in a range of disciplines and focuses on translational, empirical and operational research relating to quality improvement in health and social care.