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The Smarter Sleep educational interventions: an initiative to reduce hypnotic prescribing in in-patient psychiatric care

Paterson, Alastair, Khundakar, Martina, Young, Anthony, Ling, Jonathan, Chakraborty, Samantha, Rathbone, Adam Pattison, Watson, Stuart, Donaldson, Tim and Anderson, Kirstie N. (2021) The Smarter Sleep educational interventions: an initiative to reduce hypnotic prescribing in in-patient psychiatric care. BJPsych Bulletin. pp. 1-9. ISSN 2056-4694

Item Type: Article


Aims and method
In-patients on mental health wards are commonly prescribed hypnotics for the long-term management of disturbed sleep. Specific sleep disorders remain underdiagnosed and effective behavioural interventions are underused. We developed a suite of three educational interventions (a video, poster and handbook) about sleep, sleep disorders, the safe prescribing of hypnotics and use of psychological strategies (sleep hygiene and cognitive–behavioural therapy for insomnia, CBTi) using co-design and multiprofessional stakeholder involvement. This controlled before-and-after study evaluated the effectiveness of these interventions across seven in-patient psychiatric wards, examining their impact on hypnotic prescribing rates and staff confidence scores (data collected by retrospective drug chart analysis and survey respectively).

A marked reduction was seen in the percentage of patients prescribed hypnotics on in-patient prescription charts (−24%), with a 41% reduction in the number of hypnotics administered per patient (mean reduction −1.142 administrations/patient).

Clinical implications
These simple educational strategies about the causes and treatment of insomnia can reduce hypnotic prescribing rates and increase staff confidence in both the medical and psychological management of insomnia.

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Depositing User: Jonathan Ling


Item ID: 13459
Identification Number:
ISSN: 2056-4694
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Jonathan Ling: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 06 May 2021 09:05
Last Modified: 06 May 2021 09:15


Author: Jonathan Ling ORCID iD
Author: Alastair Paterson
Author: Martina Khundakar
Author: Anthony Young
Author: Samantha Chakraborty
Author: Adam Pattison Rathbone
Author: Stuart Watson
Author: Tim Donaldson
Author: Kirstie N. Anderson

University Divisions

Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing


Sciences > Health Sciences

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