Sleep problems are common, affecting over a third of the population with many patients going on to have long term problems. Insomnia is associated with a range of psychological, physical and social problems contributing to daytime tiredness, which in turn can lead to accidents and work or relationship problems. Patients will often seek help from their general practitioner or practice, but we know that sleep problems are often not raised by patients or dealt with satisfactorily at a consultation.
The Resources for Effective Sleep Treatment (REST) project was funded by the Health Foundation under their Engaging with Quality in Primary Care scheme to improve care for people with insomnia. This project aims to improve treatment for people suffering with sleep problems by promoting a range of treatment options beyond just sleeping tablets which are not always the most appropriate course of action and carry the risk of side effects and addiction. We recognise that sleeping tablets have a part to play, but only in the short term as these drugs are only licensed for 2-4 weeks.
The following pages describe the study, who was involved, and the research and other outputs so far from the work which is continuing. The evidence and learning from this quality improvement project has been developed with further support from East Midlands Health Innovation Educational Cluster into an e-learning package. You can access the e-learning package using the tab labelled 'REST E-learning' or by clicking this link.
The REST e-learning package, which takes around 1-2 hours to complete (depending on whether you view all the video files), is designed for health professionals working in primary care, but can also be used by others interested to learn more about insomnia and its management. It is a multimedia package including videos of primary care consultations for insomnia. There is an online self-assessment and a certificate of completion which can be used as evidence for a personal development portfolio.
Our mission is to enable people with sleep problems to access consistently better sleep assessment and treatment anywhere in the health system and in future to access help directly online.