Research Topic

Psychological Sleep Studies: New Insights to Support and Integrate Clinical Practice Within the Healthcare System

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Adequate sleep is essential for good health, physical functioning, cognitive performance, and self-regulatory processes. In contrast, poor sleep affects multiple aspects of an individual’s life, including daytime activity, social interactions, mood, and quality of life. Consistently, poor sleep quality and ...

Adequate sleep is essential for good health, physical functioning, cognitive performance, and self-regulatory processes. In contrast, poor sleep affects multiple aspects of an individual’s life, including daytime activity, social interactions, mood, and quality of life. Consistently, poor sleep quality and the presence of clinical insomnia are reported as key risk factors for mental disorders. A complex, likely bidirectional, relationship is documented between sleep problems and mental health problems (e.g., depression, anxiety, traumatic stress disorders). Potential sleep disorders can also interfere with current mental health therapies, and treatment can improve a patient’s quality of life and adherence to therapy, as well as the severity of their psychological symptoms.

Clinical and research experts widely agree that sleep assessment cannot be limited to a recollection of information about the patient’s sleep habits but should rather integrate different aspects of the patient’s specific situation and general health. Since a variety of sleep disorders are recognized in both children and adults, it is important that specialists and personnel at accredited sleep centers work collaboratively to achieve these goals. The team should include multi-disciplinary specialists in psychology, psychiatry, neurology, child development, pulmonary medicine, otolaryngology, nutrition, social work, and nursing. Clinically, there is an increasing demand for psychologists with expertise in evidence-based psychotherapy to join multidisciplinary sleep teams, providing cognitive-behavioral intervention and support for insomnia, narcolepsy, and adherence to treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.

In addition to these clinical aspects, it is also important to increase public awareness and educate health care providers, teachers, students, parents, and caregivers about the importance of adequate sleep for overall physical and mental health (e.g., promoting daytime performance, well-being, and social interactions).

This Research Topic therefore aims to bring together cutting-edge research in sleep psychology and sleep disorders to promote an educational and awareness training, particularly intended for psychologists and their daily clinical practice. We secondarily aim to advance the discussion about how students and psychologists need additional training in the area of sleep and sleep disorders, and the necessity of including such training skills when educating every healthcare professional.

To achieve these aims, we welcome a variety of contributions ranging from psychology to the study of sleep, considering neurobiological, cognitive processes, and clinical consequences in disorders and comorbidities. The most advanced developments in the field are discussed from different perspectives (e.g. neurophysiological, behavioral, clinical) using multiple research paradigms. These new insights may support and integrate everyday clinical practice by actively contributing to the assessment, communication of diagnosis, counseling, and empowerment of healthcare professionals' coping skills.

We welcome original research articles with cross-sectional, longitudinal, and epidemiological clinical studies, as well as meta-analyses and systematic reviews. Original Research, Data Reports, Study Protocols, Community Case Studies, Case Reports, and theoretical perspectives are welcome. Important subject areas of this Research Topic include the following:

• Sleep physiology and timing: non-REM and REM Sleep, circadian clock, process S, social timing, quality, ideal duration, and recommendations;
• Sleep and cognition: restoration, memory processing, and dreaming;
• Sleep disorders and psychopathology: insomnia, hypersomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, aging and sleep;
• Sleep and mental health.


Keywords: sleep, sleep architecture, sleep disorders, circadian rhythm disruption, sleep and cognition, clinical psychology, health psychology, sleep monitoring, training program


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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