Insomnia treatment could reduce mental health problems

New research has suggested that treating insomnia could reduce mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and paranoia.

The National Institute for Health Research-supported study examined 3,700 students and found that sleep disruption strongly contributed to the occurrence of paranoia, hallucinatory experiences and other mental health problems. Furthermore, treating insomnia with 10 weeks of online cognitive behavioural therapy reduced both the insomnia and the incidence of paranoia and hallucinations.

Daniel Freeman, the study lead and Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Oxford and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Sleep problems are very common in people with mental health disorders, but for too long insomnia has been trivialised as merely a symptom, rather than a cause, of psychological difficulties. A good night’s sleep really can make a difference to people’s psychological health.”