Here Allie Lewis, Clinical Specialist OT, talks about her role with the Insomnia Service:
“As part of a small team of OTs working with patients with insomnia, my role is pretty unusual, and I love it! We provide cognitive behavioural therapy interventions (CBTi) to treat sleep problems which are severe enough to affect a patient’s quality of life.
Insomnia can lead to low mood, reduced concentration, poor productivity and withdrawal from social activities – and it’s also a risk factor in depression, obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. A course of CBTi is typically delivered over six to eight sessions and addresses the thoughts, feelings and behaviours that underpin sleep difficulties.
“It is very successful (over 80% of patients who complete the treatment programme have significant improvements in the quality and duration of their sleep patterns), and is recommended by NICE as the first line treatment for insomnia. At present, we are one of the few hospital Trusts in England to offer CBTi.
“Why do I love it? It’s really rewarding to be able to help patients to enjoy their lives again. Through our consultations we can understand not only the huge impact of insomnia, but also the overwhelming feeling, often reported by patients, of being ‘given their life back’ at the end of treatment. Improving quality of life and contributing to a reduction in the risk of some long-term health conditions is what OT is all about and certainly makes our job incredibly worthwhile.”