The Impact of Nurse-Delivered Sleep Restriction Therapy and Irregular Sleep Patterns on Insomnia and Cardiovascular Health: Recent Findings and Recommendations

Title: The Impact of Nurse-Delivered Sleep Restriction Therapy and Irregular Sleep Patterns on Insomnia and Cardiovascular Health


Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that affects approximately 10% of adults worldwide.[0] It not only impairs quality of life but also increases the risk of developing other serious conditions such as psychiatric disorders, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.[1] Despite its prevalence and burden, access to the recommended treatment, cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), is limited. However, recent studies have explored alternative approaches to insomnia treatment, including nurse-delivered sleep restriction therapy (SRT). Additionally, irregular sleep patterns have been linked to detrimental effects on gut health and cardiovascular health. This article aims to discuss the findings of recent studies on nurse-delivered SRT and the impact of irregular sleep patterns on insomnia and cardiovascular health.

Nurse-Delivered Sleep Restriction Therapy for Insomnia:

A study published in The Lancet examined the clinical and cost-effectiveness of nurse-delivered SRT compared to sleep hygiene advice in the management of insomnia.[2] The study, known as the HABIT trial, involved an open-label, pragmatic, randomized controlled trial.[2] The results showed that after 6 months, participants who received nurse-delivered SRT reported significantly lower scores on a scale measuring insomnia severity compared to those who received sleep hygiene advice.[3] Furthermore, 42% of the nurse intervention group experienced a clinically meaningful improvement in their insomnia, compared to only 17% in the sleep hygiene control group.[3] The study also found that the nurse-delivered SRT group reported greater improvements in mental health-related quality of life, depressive symptoms, work productivity, and insomnia at the one-year follow-up.[3]

The Link Between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Cardiovascular Disease:[4]

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder characterized by repeated episodes of partial or complete closure of the upper airway during sleep, leading to breathing cessation and arousals.[5] OSA has been well-established as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. A recent study conducted by researchers from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital investigated the mechanisms linking OSA and cardiovascular disease. The study found that reduced blood oxygen levels, caused by OSA, contribute to increased cardiovascular risks.[2] The researchers suggested that treating OSA could potentially prevent future cardiovascular outcomes.

The Impact of Irregular Sleep Patterns on Gut Health and Cardiovascular Health:

Irregular sleep patterns, often caused by social jetlag, have been found to have negative effects on gut health and cardiovascular health. A study published in The European Journal of Nutrition revealed a link between social jetlag and poorer diets.[6] Social jetlag refers to the shift in sleep patterns between workdays, weekends, and holidays.[6] The study suggested that heavily disrupted sleep can have a negative impact on overall health. The researchers recommended maintaining consistent bedtimes and wake times, as well as adopting balanced diets, to reduce the risk of disease.


Insomnia is a prevalent sleep disorder that can have significant impacts on individuals' quality of life and overall health.[0] Recent studies have explored alternative treatments for insomnia, such as nurse-delivered sleep restriction therapy, which has shown promising results in improving insomnia symptoms. Additionally, research has highlighted the detrimental effects of irregular sleep patterns on gut health and cardiovascular health. Maintaining consistent sleep schedules and adopting healthy lifestyle habits can help mitigate these risks. Further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms linking sleep disturbances to various health outcomes and to develop effective interventions for those affected by insomnia and related conditions.

0. “New Oxford study shows brief sleep therapy delivered by nurses …”, 15 Sep. 2023,

1. “CPAP therapy can mitigate telomere shortening in sleep apnea …”, 15 Sep. 2023,

2. “Brief nurse-delivered sleep restriction therapy in primary care is …”, 15 Sep. 2023,

3. “New Oxford Study Shows Brief Sleep Therapy Delivered by Nurses …”, 15 Sep. 2023,

4. “Sleep Apnea Lowers Blood Oxygen, Upping Heart Risks | Health …”, 15 Sep. 2023,

5. “Sleep apnoea sufferers have special recorders implanted as UHCW …”, 15 Sep. 2023,

6. “Study Reveals Why You Should Go To Sleep At The Same Time All …”, 15 Sep. 2023,

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