SleepingWell: In Conversation with Dr Michael Farquhar

In this podcast, Rachel Stephen, Senior Practitioner at the KeepingWell NCL Hub, talks with Dr Michael Farquhar, consultant in sleep medicine at Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

They discuss topics such as the importance of sleep to health and wellbeing, breaking out of negative loops of sleeping and getting to the root cause of sleep problems. They also talk about the challenges faced by NHS or social care workers who work night shifts and how you can establish a good sleep regime as a shift worker. Finally, Michael shares some helpful strategies to improve sleep including CBT-I, mindfulness, apps and online resources.

A glossary of terms used in this podcast

SSRI – Stands for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed type of antidepressant in the UK.

Nytol – the brand name of diphenhydramine which is a drowsy antihistamine which is an over the counter medication used to treat short-term sleep problems.

CBT – Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of talking therapy. It is a common treatment for a range of mental health problems. CBT teaches you coping skills for dealing with different problems. It focuses on how your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes affect your feelings and actions.

CBT-I – Cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is a type of CBT designed to help with insomnia. NICE recommends CBT-I as the first-line approach for chronic insomnia.