Professor Colin Espie visits CaHRU, LIH and sleep lab to support sleep research at Lincoln

We were proud to welcome Prof Espie to the University of Lincoln as a Lincoln Institute for Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow attached to the Community and Health Research Unit, Lincoln Institute for Health and Lincoln Sleep and Cognition Laboratory during May 2019. He is a world-leading expert in sleep research and sleep medicine. He was Founding Director of the University of Glasgow Sleep Centre (1995-2012), and more recently became Professor of Sleep Medicine at the University of Oxford, where he founded the research programme in Experimental and Clinical Sleep Medicine.
Prof Espie is a Fellow of Somerville College and Senior Clinical Research Fellow at the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford. Prof Espie crosses the boundary between basic and clinical research and is a Fellow of both the British Psychological Society and the Royal Society of Medicine. His particular expertise is in the treatment of insomnia and he currently leads Big Health/Sleepio, which is pioneering online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for the treatment of insomnia and currently being rolled out in the NHS. This is perhaps the most significant development in the widespread treatment of sleep.

During this, his first of two visits to the University of Lincoln, he met with Dr Simon Durrant and Prof Graham Law who will co-direct the new Lincoln Sleep Research Centre (LiSReC), Prof Siriwardena and other sleep researchers. As well as discussion with a number of researchers at Lincoln, Colin heard about the wider developments at Lincoln, joined colleagues to review sleep studies and discussed a number of future projects.

He also gave a seminar entitled ‘Digital CBT (dCBT) for insomnia: a scalable solution to a ubiquitous problem’. He discussed how, for many mental health problems, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is included in clinical guidelines as a recommended treatment and for insomnia CBT, rather than medication, is the first-line treatment of choice. He described the challenge for CBT therefore as not so much in its clinical effectiveness, but in its availability to meet population need. Using insomnia as the exemplar, he showed how fully automated digital CBT (dCBT: web/ mobile) can will help to bridge the treatment gap and to deliver clinician and patient choice. Methodological issues and solutions were also discussed. In October Prof Espie will return to give a public lecture supported by LIAS.

Prof Niro Siriwardena

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