• An Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and University of Oxford collaboration.  
  • A pilot randomised controlled trial will recruit 50 patients admitted to Vaughan Thomas Ward, Warneford Hospital, Oxford.
  • Aims to transform the treatment of sleep disturbances in people with mental health issues.
  • Will use evidence-based techniques and technologies to treat sleep problems to discover whether the novel intervention has a significant impact on improving sleep and emotional wellbeing.  

Empirical evidence shows that sleep disturbance is a contributory cause of poor mental health and low psychological wellbeing. Eight out of 10 patients admitted to psychiatric wards report clinically significant insomnia.

To address this clinical need, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Oxford are collaborating to trial an innovative sleep treatment, tailored for people admitted to an acute psychiatric ward. This is an evidence-based approach to transforming treatment for patients with significant mental health problems at a time of major crisis in their lives.

The project involves treating sleep problems using the latest evidence-based techniques and technologies, with three key elements: state-of-the-art sleep monitoring devices to promote patient discussion about their sleep; regulation of the body clock through the timing of light and darkness; and targeting unhelpful cognitions and behaviours that disrupt sleep using cognitive behavioural techniques.

The effects of the intervention will be tested in a pilot randomised controlled trial with patients admitted to Vaughan Thomas Ward, at the Warneford Hospital, Oxford.

Half of the participants will be randomly allocated to the novel intervention and half will continue with their usual care. By comparing assessment data of these two groups, the project team will discover whether the intervention has a significant impact on improving sleep and emotional wellbeing, as well as overall psychiatric symptoms and speed of recovery. 

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