Sleep is something that people often take for granted but it is vital for human health. After all, roughly one third of human lives are spent in restful, restorative slumber. But many people don’t sleep well, which has a negative impact on the ability to function normally during the day. Occupational therapy can help.
The Occupational Therapist has several possible avenues of addressing sleep problems.
The first conveying the knowledge of effective sleep, sleep physiology, and the negatives of sleep deprivation, Occupational Therapist Shoshanah Shear explains in Huffington Post. Techniques include observation, evaluation, and interviewing to assess what is causing sleep problems. Those sleep problems have secondary impacts, including poor performance at school or work, effects on personal relationships, and stress.
After assessing the sleep problem, an Occupational Therapist can move on to a treatment plan. Adjusting environmental factors such as light, temperature, and ventilation can improve sleep quality, Shear explains. An Occupational Therapist might also suggest adjusting a person’s sleep position, which can prevent morning stiffness in those who have rheumatoid arthritis. Personal habits are also important for good sleep. Diet, including caffeine intake, can affect sleep. It’s also important to stick to patterns, such as a before-bed routine that prepares the body for sleep.
Addressing sleep problems requires the Occupational Therapist to call upon a wide range of knowledge. Physiology, clinical sciences, psychology, psychiatry, and familiarity with overall performance all come into play. In some cases, small lifestyle changes and education will be sufficient to help a person with sleep problems. But there are instances where sleep problems are more complex. There are more than 80 kinds of sleep disorders, all of which an occupational therapist needs to recognize.
To learn more about this and related topics, visit the Healthcaresection of our blog.
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