The ‘5 principles’ of good sleep health
The ‘5 Principles of good sleep health’ are proposed (a) to facilitate improved public health engagement with the importance of looking after your sleep; and (b) to offer a first line intervention for people with poor sleep and mild insomnia symptoms, that goes beyond the scope of what is traditionally known as ‘sleep hygiene’. The ‘5 Principles’ were developed by the author for the UK National Health Service (NHS) campaign ‘Every Mind Matters’, initiated in 2020 by Public Health England, and supported by the Mental Health Foundation. The author served as the campaign spokesperson for sleep as a critical ingredient in mental wellbeing. The ‘5 Principles’ encourage people to Value, Prioritise, Personalise, Trust, and Protect their sleep. They are intended to educate about sleep health and to support evidence-based self-management of sleep, and not as an alternative to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which is the guideline treatment for chronic insomnia disorder. However, they may bridge an important gap in self-care practices for many people. The ‘5 Principles’ would benefit from formal research evaluation.