Sleep-Related Thought Processes in Young People and the Impact of Non-Pharmacological Sleep Interventions on Anxiety Symptoms

Staines, Alex (2021) Sleep-Related Thought Processes in Young People and the Impact of Non-Pharmacological Sleep Interventions on Anxiety Symptoms. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Aims: The meta-analysis in this thesis portfolio aimed to investigate whether non-pharmacological interventions aimed at improving sleep change anxiety symptoms, and sleep-related thought processes, immediately post-intervention. The empirical research project aimed to (1) explore associations between sleep and sleep-related thought processes in adolescents, (2) assess the feasibility of implementing a brief sleep intervention in schools.

Methods: A meta-analysis statistically synthesised effect sizes of all Randomised Control Trials (RCTs) which reported anxiety symptoms in a random-effects model. A secondary meta-analysis was conducted which included studies that reported a measure of sleep-related thought processes. Subgroup analyses were conducted for participants with physical and mental health difficulties. For the empirical project, correlational analyses explored associations between sleep and sleep-related thought processes in a sample of adolescents.

Results: Forty-three RCTs (n = 5945) were included in a random-effects meta-analysis. The combined effect size of non-pharmacological sleep interventions on anxiety symptoms was moderate (g = -0.38, 95% CI -0.30 to -0.47). Subgroup analyses found moderate effects for participants with additional physical health difficulties (g = -0.46, 95% CI -0.29 to -0.63) and for participants with additional mental health difficulties (g = -0.47, 95% CI -0.34 to -0.60). A secondary meta-analysis found a large effect of non-pharmacological sleep interventions on sleep related thought processes (g = -0.92, 95% CI -0.59 to -1.25). The empirical project found associations between adolescent subjective insomnia severity, sleep quality and sleep-related thought processes. Given recruitment constraints, implementing the brief sleep intervention was not possible. However, preliminary feasibility data indicated 51% of the sample (n = 65) reported they would like help for their sleep.

Conclusions: The meta-analysis suggests despite not targeting anxiety directly, non-pharmacological sleep interventions can improve anxiety symptoms. Sleep-related thought processes also improve. The empirical project suggests sleep-related thought processes may be related to increased insomnia severity in adolescents.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Jennifer Whitaker
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2021 12:45
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 12:45
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/82118
DOI:

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