#OTalk – 23rd August 2016 – The impact of dysfunctional sleeping patterns on inpatient mental health facilities

This week’s #OTalk will be hosted by Erin (@erinnnnn14). Join us tonight on Twitter using the #OTalk hashtag at 8pm GMT+1 (click the link to convert to your local time – opens in new window).


Sleep as an occupation is still a frequently contested concept in our profession. Literature suggests that it is because sleep is considered as ‘time wasted’, something that we are not directly engaging with or something we can influence or direct (Green, 2008). However, the lack of, or dysfunctional sleeping patterns, can affect the occupational performance of the activities that we engage in during the day. Sleep problems can have a detrimental affect on our physical and mental health. Frequently, inpatient mental health facilities offer ‘Sleep Hygiene’ groups to facilitate better understanding of the importance of ‘good sleep’ but is this enough to be able to support patient care and recovery?


I’m currently an MSc (pre-registration) student. I am just finishing a placement in a mental health rehabilitation hospital for males. The therapy programme is rich, varied and tailored towards the needs of the patients however sleep is something that continually affects patient engagement. I’m really interested in hearing your thoughts and experiences and how we should best proceed as professionals to better support the patients we work with.


Questions I would like to consider this evening with regards to this are as follows:


  1. (The big question!) Should we consider sleep as a meaningful occupation?
  2. What role does OT have with regards to sleep dysfunction?
  3. How can better sleep routines be incorporated into the clinical environment?
  4. If sleep is considered as a coping strategy for a patient then how can OT support them to access other means of managing?
  5. What strategies can be put in place by an MDT to better support functional sleep routines for patients?
  6. What are the advantages and challenges for the profession with regards to developing our understanding of the role of occupational therapy and sleep?
  7. What are your experiences, challenges and difficulties in your settings with regards to sleep?
  8. Final thoughts, ‘lightbulb’ moments and hopes for the future for the profession and sleep.

Post Chat Updates

The Numbers

2,176,148 Impressions
747 Tweets
60 Participants

Online Transcript

PDF of Transcript: #OTalk 23 August 2016

#OTalk Participants


#OTalk 18th November 2014 – Occupational Alienation

During my second year of university, I developed an interest in occupational risk factors – namely occupational disruption, occupational deprivation, occupational imbalance and occupational alienation (see the COT website for definitions). While I instinctively understood the meaning of the first three, it took me a while longer to ‘get’ the fourth. Two years post-qualifying, I am only now beginning to fully grasp the complexity of the concept of ‘occupational alienation’ and how valuable it can be in practice. Reading Wendy Bryant’s chapter in McKay et al. (2008) was a real ‘aha’ moment for me, and so I’m very pleased that she’s agreed to host this #OTalk. Here is an excerpt from Wendy’s pre-chat blog post:

So many people might be feeling alienated, occupationally or otherwise. Can naming the experience as an occupational one add anything helpful in health and social care practice? I would argue that it’s worth thinking about. For people who are bored, frustrated and demotivated, it suggests a way forward that focuses not on what they might want to do, but the way they might want to do it.

I’d highly recommend checking out the full text on her blog. Also, if you haven’t read the aforementioned chapter, I’d recommend that too!

As usual, the chat will take place on Twitter using the #OTalk hashtag at 8pm GMT. If you’re new to tweetchats, check out this guide from our #anzOTalk colleagues, and contact me (Clarissa; @geekyOT) if you need any extra help getting to grips with #OTalk.

Wendy’s twitter username is @DrWMB.


EDIT (13/12/14): Following on from the chat, Wendy has posted a revised definition of occupational alienation on her blog. Check it out! Here’s an excerpt:

Occupational alienation is indicated when a person is doing something they are not engaging with. This is indicated in lay terms such as going through the motions or her heart wasn’t in it. Repeatedly experiencing occupational alienation has adverse consequences for health, associated with prolonged exposure to the physiological and psychological stress response.



Bryant, W. (2008) in McKay, E., Craik, C., Lim, K.H. and Richards, G. (eds) Advancing Occupational Therapy in Mental Health Practice. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. pp. (to be completed when I’m reunited with my book 😉 )

Thank you to everyone who joined in the chat.

The Numbers

934,472 Impressions
584 Tweets
50 Participants

You can catch up with the transcript at this link, or download the PDF.

#OTalk – 28th October 2014 – Halloween Occupations

Like we did when we explored Christmas, tonight we will be focusing on occupational science to explore the form, function and meaning of Halloween Occupations.

There are cultural differences to how Halloween is celebrated, and I’m sure everyone has their own views on what should be done on Halloween.

Please come prepared to share your spooky Halloween costume, decoration or pumpkin pictures.

What form do Halloween Occupations take? What do they ‘look like’?

What is their function? What purpose do they have?

What might they mean to yourself and others?