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There is already good evidence that psychological and behavioural sleep interventions can have large clinical benefits for difficulties sleeping, especially insomnia, but these have seldom been used with patients with psychosis nor the effects on psychotic symptoms systematically examined. The few studies that have examined the impact of sleep interventions on psychiatric symptoms indicate significant benefits on mood, hallucinations and delusions. For example, CBT-I (cognitive behaviour therapy for insomnia) was recently used as an intervention in psychosis for the first time. Highly significant reductions were found in levels of insomnia and the persecutory delusions and the changes were maintained at the follow-up. Moreover, the intervention proved very popular with patients.

We will take the findings which emerge from the other themes of the SCNi to develop more precisely targeted sleep or circadian interventions for patients with psychosis, and those at risk of developing these disorders. These may include psychological, pharmacological, and combined approaches. In addition, as an integral part of developing these interventions, we will prioritise approaches and modifications which make them readily suited to dissemination as part of the Outreach and Engagement programme.

Our Team

Selected Publications

Treating Sleep Problems in Patients with Schizophrenia.

F. Waite, E. Myers, A.G. Harvey, C.A. Espie, H. Startup, B. Sheaves, & D. Freeman. (2016) Behav Cog Psychother, 44(3), 273-287

For more archived publications click here