Section 17: Summary and Recommendations

It has been the contention of this course that: 1) sleep deprivation is a widespread problem in this country; 2) sleep deprivation has major implications for the mental – and physical - health of our clients; 3) clients are likely to have some serious misperceptions about the role and impact of sleep on their lives; 4) it can be difficult to persuade and motivate clients to place a sufficiently high value on sleep that they will alter their behavioral choices in this area; 5) the persuasive capacity of the clinician to create change in this area is enhanced by a solid foundation of knowledge around sleep and sleep problems.

While this course is not capable of fully covering the topic of sleep and sleep disturbances, the amount of scientific information in this course is substantial. Some of the information may be immediately useful, and some may not be useful with any client currently in your practice. However, now that the prevalence of sleep problems has been clarified, it is likely that you may find yourself increasingly aware of the need to conduct a thorough sleep assessment, and this will place you in the position of needing to make useful recommendations for how to proceed.

Since it is unlikely that trainees will remember everything in this course from a single reading, it may be helpful to consider maintaining a copy of this course as a reference resource. Through multiple instances of providing good education to clients concerning sleep the material will become increasingly solidified in your memory, and your facility with framing the information in ways that are useful to clients will improve. 

Please also feel free to utilize the handouts in this course as a starting point for developing your own materials to hand out to clients. As has been noted, a certain measure of professional authority is created through having done the advance planning necessary to produce handouts. This may support your efforts in convincing clients to do a better job of engaging in good sleep hygiene.

This completes the course on sleep and sleep problems. Following the bibliography, you may move to the post-test section if you are intending to use this course for continuing education credit.