Sleep and Mental Health

Sleep complaints are rampant, affecting about 35% of patients. These concerns can have a global impact on health and quality of life. Yet, the impact of sleep on anxiety, depression, panic, and psychotic episodes is often overlooked by both patients and clinicians.

Join me, Dr. Catherine Darley, to learn how the various sleep disorders (in addition to insomnia) shape mental health, and how to assess and intervene as necessary. How are sleep problems manifesting in your practice, and how can you use the power of sleep to promote mental health? Leave this seminar with this knowledge, and effective strategies to help your patients get the sleep they need for the foundation of mental health.


Know which mental health issues accompany the many sleep disorders.
Comprehensively screen your patients for sleep disorders that impair mental health.
Teach clients how to identify their optimal sleep quantity and resolve their sleep debt.
Develop an optimal individual sleep plan for your patients and learn skills to help them adopt a sleep- healthy lifestyle.
Determine when referral for further sleep disorders treatment is appropriate and access resources.
Understand the mechanisms by which insufficient sleep and sleep disorders contribute to mental health problems.

Sleep Challenges and Solutions:

Assessing sleep disorders

Sleep mechanisms and circadian rhythms
The clinical interview and sleep diary
Useful screening questionnaires
Referral resources
What your patients can expect from sleep disorder treatments

Sleep disorders associated with common mental disorders

How to differentiate sleep symptoms from mental symptoms
Classes of sleep disorders
Obstructive sleep apnea is highly prevalent and contributes to anxiety, depression, etc
Hormones which are disordered in narcolepsy and impact on mental health
Sleep movement disorders are a little recognized contributor
Nightmares indicate suicidality
Sleep worsens PTSD

Emotional intelligence

Insufficient sleep reduces our ability to read facial emotions
Motivation dives with sleep deprivation
Interpretation of positive experiences
Racial biases are uncovered
Ethical decision making suffers

Treating Shift Workers and Circadian Misalignment

Jet lag associated with mania
Protecting shift workers from anxiety and depression to the breakdown of social connections
Mental health risks of night owls

Teen Sleep

Increased risk taking and suicidality
Sleep and academic achievement
Juvenile delinquency
Tools for increasing teens’ sleep

The bi-directional Impact of Medications

Medications can interfere with sleep
Common side effects of hypnotics
Hypnotics, insomnia, and Alzheimer’s disease

Creating a Sleep Healthy Lifestyle

Getting optimal sleep
Setting the stage with effective wind down activities
An ideal sleep environment
Using light exposure to improve sleep and alertness
Journaling and limit setting before bed
Strategies to reinforce sleep health over the coming month
Presenter: Dr. Catherine Darley

***Dr. Catherine Darley*** is a leader in integrative sleep medicine. She founded The Institute of Naturopathic Sleep Medicine, Inc in 2003, and since then has helped people of all ages sleep well using behavioral and naturopathic approaches for sleep disorders. Her expertise lies in profoundly effective lifestyle and behavioral change based on the deep understanding of principles of sleep and circadian physiology. Behaving in accordance with these principles allows patients all the benefits of a good night’s sleep, without the negative side effects of pharmaceuticals. She is an expert and dynamic speaker, teaching a wide range of groups through engagement, storytelling, and with a clear explanation of the mechanisms of disease and treatment protocols. Dr. Darley is published in professional journals, has been quoted in several popular magazines, and appeared on TV to share her sleep knowledge.