Summer 2017 Newsletter

Hello sleep OTs,

This is our second newsletter, thanks for subscribing.  It’s been longer than we meant it to be since the last newsletter, but there is lots of news!

So here’s the sleepOT news…

On the sleepOT website:

New content:

Nocturia and sleep by Jean Koketsu.  There is loads of information there and its well worth checking out, especially for anyone working with older adults.

Sleep and falls by Cary Brown, with lots of links to further evidence

Passive body heating also by Cary Brown – a really practical and low risk method which can improve sleep.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-i) by Andrew Green and Louise Berger.  This is a really useful summary.  It is worth knowing about CBT-i for OTs, as it is the most effective and evidence based non-pharmacological treatment for insomnia, as it it increasingly recognised how relevant OTs skills are for delivering CBT-i…more on that below!

Assessment of sleep – We have also uploaded our page on assessment of sleep.  This was a real team effort with lots of our contributors sending information.  There is a lot to say about this topic, and we have a lot of links and content.  We hope this will help those of you who might need to make an in depth assessment around sleep with one of your clients and wondering how to start, or to find new ideas an refresh your practice.  If you find something you think should be included there please contact us.

As usual we’ve also added to the online resources (click here), added new literature (click here), and added new poster presentations.

Elsewhere on the internet:

Don Fogelberg (OT) was recently interviewed by The Spin, a magazine based in British Columbia, Canada for people with spinal cord injuries. The interview focused on his spinal cord injury research SCI sleep research, and you can read it here:

New sleep OTs found!

We are pleased to welcome on board various new members to our network (click here), both those who are formal contributors to the site and many more who we have linked with through email, Twitter, and in person.

It’s great to see interest in sleep within the OT profession really taking off!

OTs represented at international sleep conference:

SLEEP is the premier world forum to present and discuss the latest developments in clinical sleep medicine and sleep and circadian science.  The conference, with over 4,000 delegates, provides evidence-based education to advance the science and clinical practice of sleep medicine, disseminates cutting-edge sleep and circadian research, promotes the translation of basic science into clinical practice and fosters the future of the field by providing career development opportunities at all levels.  For a number of years individual OTs have suspected that there are more of us in attendance then we knew about and this year we set out to prove it.  Thanks to networking started by Katrina Liddeard from Australia and Arron Eakman in the US nine OTs found each other and had a wonderfully productive networking dinner!
As a first step in the process of building connections a number of us are planning to do replication studies of a University student sleep practices survey that was done by Cary Brown and Shaniff Esmail at the University of Alberta.  With this approach we will have international data for comparisons.  If you are interested in doing a replication at your institution please email for more details.
We are planning to meet again in Vancouver in September 2019 at the World Sleep Congress  We hope some of you can join us there!


Successful pilot study of CBTi delivered by OTs:

Restoring Effective Sleep Tranquility (REST) is a program at Colorado State University that has been offering group-based and individualized sleep improvement education and support to qualifying Veterans since 2015. In 2015 the Wounded Warrior Project awarded a grant to the REST project at Colorado State University. The REST project’s sleep intervention was designed to include evidence-based strategies shown to improve sleep quality and duration. Sleep difficulties are highly prevalent in military veterans, especially those who have experienced service-related trauma and injuries. Insufficient sleep contributes to poor mental health and can negatively impact all areas of day-to-day life, including veterans’ prospects for success in college. The program is now funded by a CSU donor and is still directed and delivered by occupational therapists with advanced clinical training in cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. Over 40 Veterans have been served with very positive research results, see links to papers.

Here are some links to articles that have been published regarding this work:

Eakman, A.M., Rolle, N. R., & Henry, K. L. (2017). Occupational therapist delivered cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia to post-9/11 veterans in college: A wait list control trial pilot study. Sleep. 40 (suppl_1):A140-141. DOI: 10.1093/sleepj/zsx050.377
Eakman, A. M., Schmid, A., Henry, K. L., Rolle, N. R., Schelly, C., Grupe, C. E., & Burns, J. (2017). Restoring Effective Sleep Tranquility (REST): A feasibility and pilot study. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. Early online, DOI: 10.1177/0308022617691538
Eakman, A., Schmid, A., Henry, K. L., Schelly, C., Rolle, N. R., Burns, J. E., & Pott, C. E. (2016). Restoring effective sleep tranquility (rest): A pilot study. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 97(10), e128.

COT2017 sleep presentation totally full:

Sophie Faulkner presented a 45 minute seminar at COT2017 in Birmingham, and we were all really pleased that the hall, with a capacity of 225, was totally full of OTs wanting to know more about sleep.  Sophie was really pleased with the enthusiasm of a number of delegates regarding developing our OT role in sleep.  This should give encouragement to event organisers that presentations on sleep are a good addition to any OT event.

Sophie also presented a poster on her previous research which you can view here.


Events coming up:

Treating Sleep Problems in Patients with Psychosis: An Evidence based Cognitive-Behavioural Intervention – 24th January 2018

This is a one day course run by Bryony Sheaves and Felicity Waites (clinical psychologists from the Oxford Cognitive Approaches to Psychosis Research Group).  The intervention approach has a focus which is very compatible with the focus and the skills of Occupational Therapists.   You can read about the intervention approach that will be covered in this article: Waite F., Myers E., Harvey AG., Espie CA., Startup H., Sheaves B., & Freeman D. (2016), Treating sleep problems in patients with schizophrenia. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 44, 273 – 287

Sophie Faulkner will be attending, and she would love it if other mental health OTs attend.  Course info here.


And finally!

Society for the Study of Occupation: USA 2018 Conference Theme: Sleep and Restoration

The Society for the Study of Occupation (SSO) : USA (, occupational therapy’s only research society, has just approved a focus on sleep and restoration for its October 2018 annual meeting in Kentucky.  Watch for the call for papers to submit a short presentation describing your sleep interventions and/or research.  This is a great opportunity for sleep OTs to meet, hear each other’s work, brainstorm, strategize, and initiate collaborations.  The SSO:USA’s annual meetings are an occupational scientist’s dream of what a great small meeting experience should be–lots of discussion, fresh ideas, networking, healthy food, rejuvenation, social time, and novel occupational experiences reflecting local culture.  Kentucky is beautiful in fall and the meeting will include optional participation in the rich traditions of thoroughbred racing.  Put it on your calendars!  Exact October meeting date to be announced this fall, call for papers to be released this winter.  Send any suggestions for facilitating development of sleep OT services and research at the 2018 SSO meeting to the local conference chair Doris Pierce, at

Don’t miss it!  SSO:USA 2018–Sleep and Restoration!


Best Wishes,

The team at


July 2017