Direct-to-patient Health Promotion to Reduce Sedative-hypnotic Use (YAWNS NB – Your Answers When Needing Sleep in New Brunswick) | MEKTU | NB-IRDT | UNB

Global Site Navigation (use tab and down arrow)

NB-IRDT

Direct-to-patient Health Promotion to Reduce Sedative-hypnotic Use (YAWNS NB – Your Answers When Needing Sleep in New Brunswick)

Lead organization: Dalhousie University

Principle investigator(s): Dr. David Gardner

About the project:

The issue

Sleeping pills are not recommended for treating insomnia in people 65 years of age and older because of the risk of serious side effects, such as: memory problems, unsteadiness, falls, broken bones, physical dependence and impaired driving.

The importance

Seniors living in Atlantic Canada have the highest rate of sleeping pill use with New Brunswick (NB) leading all Canadian provinces. Nationally, 1 in every 11 seniors use sleeping pills, and for Saskatchewan it is 1 in 25, compared to approximately 1 in 4 seniors in NB. This means that NB seniors are at a much higher risk for the serious side effects caused by sleeping pills.

What makes this project different

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBTi) is recommended for treating insomnia in younger and older adults. People can learn how to use CBTi on their own. Very few seniors will have heard about CBTi or know how to get access to it, even though it is recommended to be used instead of sleeping pills for insomnia.

We are sending information packages by mail to participants in our study. Each package includes two short booklets. One booklet provides information about sleeping pills, including their side effects and how to slowly and safely become less reliant on them for a good night’s sleep. The other booklet describes other ways to get a good night’s sleep that are a part of the CBTi approach. Specific CBTi books and other resources are recommended in the booklet.

Anticipated impacts

The goal of our study is to help NB seniors become less reliant on sleeping pills while getting a better sleep by learning about CBTi. It is predicted that this will lead to fewer serious side effects and better health, including improved sleep and quality of life. We hope to see New Brunswick move toward a safer and more effective way in how it approaches the management of sleep problems in older adults.

This study will help us learn about the effect of sending information about sleeping pills and other ways to get a good night’s sleep by mail directly to seniors.

 

Return to MEKTU project list