Sleep Well, Feel Well

Sleep Well, Feel Well

03 August 2020

This week for Sleep Awareness Week (August 3-9, 2020), our friends at Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation share why sleep is so important.

Sleep is a vital pillar of overall health and wellbeing. When we get a good night’s sleep, we wake up feeling rested and recharged in body and mind. Our concentration is better, our immune system is healthier, and we are less stressed.  It’s normal to occasionally experience poor sleep or to have short periods of disrupted sleep.  But, not getting enough sleep, or having poor quality sleep, for more than a week or two can impact many areas of a person’s life and their day-to-day functioning. 

Sleep and mental health are closely connected. People with mental health concerns, such as depression, anxiety and PTSD, are more likely to experience insomnia and other sleep disorders. This can create a cycle of bad sleep and mental health concerns, like anxious and negative thoughts or hypervigilance contributing to difficulty getting quality sleep, and in turn sleep deprivation contributing to a reduced capacity to function and cope with symptoms. 

An investigation from the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation (GMRF) revealed that veterans with PTSD were at twice the risk of sleep problems, including 2.1x more likely to have obstructive sleep apnoea and 3x more likely to report nightmares.  

To address this, GMRF launched the Veteran Sleep Therapy Study to explore the best possible psychological treatment approaches for veterans suffering from poor sleep, nightmares and PTSD. GMRF is offering two group psychological treatments; Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I), the current gold standard treatment for insomnia, and Imagery Rehearsal Therapy (IRT). Both interventions outperform sleep medication for improving sleep and nightmares. This program is tailored for veterans and available in Brisbane for a limited time only. An afterhours program will be offered at Mates4Mates Milton Family Recovery Centre in October 2020. Find out more about this opportunity and register your interest here.

If poor sleep or nightmares is impacting your quality of life, talk to your GP or care team about treatments. For more information about insomnia, check out the information about insomnia and treatments available at VeteranMATES or look at the DVA HighRes resource and strategies for Healthy Sleep.

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