Books: Sleep Disorders and Sleep Promotion in Nursing Practice
Nancy S. Redeker, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN
Geoffry Phillips McEnany, PhD, PMHCNS, BC
Editors

"The need for sleep education in nursing is huge," says Geoffry Phillips McEnany, PhD, PMHCNS, BC, APNA member and co-editor of this month's book, Sleep Disorders and Sleep Promotion in Nursing Practice. This brand new text (it was just published last month!) was written especially to address that lack. It is the first comprehensive evidence-based book in nursing to focus on the prevention and treatment of sleep disorders and the promotion of healthy sleep habits.

Philips McEnany first became interested in the subject matter of sleep as a clinical nurse. "Every patient I worked with had sleep problems and no one knew what to do with them except sleep hygiene and medication," he remembers. This desire to understand and ameliorate the sleep problems with which he saw patients struggling is part of what drove him to grad school. At UCSF he approached Professor Kathryn Lee, an expert in sleep research, about working with her on the relationship between depression and sleep. "She said, 'I don't know a lot about depression but you don't know a lot about sleep - so maybe this is a good fit.'" Since that unorthodox beginning, he has honed his expertise in psychiatric illness and comorbid sleep disorders. He is now a professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Associate Editor for Issues in Mental Health Nursing, and practicing in Boston. Today he is concerned that "nursing in general is not well informed when it comes to sleep and disease." 

In 2009 Phillips McEnany worked with APNA to offer a sleep and chronobiology course for psychiatric nurses. After the course ended, he invited participants to take a quick survey. In it he asked them: "How much formal education in your nursing school have you gotten on sleep?" Phillips McEnany found the results astounding: the average amount of time, according to the respondents, was just three hours. Given the direct relationship between psychiatric illness and sleep dysregulation, this showed a definite need for additional education and resources. "The nurses in APNA told me very clearly, 'we need more education, we need more resources,'" he says. "If I hadn't gone after it as a doctoral student," he acknowledges, "I would probably be in the same boat."

This event, along with an encounter with Springer Publishing served as the impetus to creating "a resource that could be used in teaching grad students and educators." Phillips McEnanay collaborated with Nancy Redeker, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN over the course of two years on this text which serves as a graduate textbook and reference guide. The book is composed of four sections: normal sleep, sleep disorders, the nurses' role in promoting sleep across health care settings, and future directions in sleep promotion. "We invited the most well known sleep researchers in nursing in the US to contribute to the text," Phillips McEnany, who only just saw the final product, says. "We're very excited about it!"

"The sleep science community recognizes that psychiatric nurses are in a very important position" when it comes to sleep promotion, he explains. "We know about things like CBT...CBT for insomnia is the gold standard." Expanding psych nurses' knowledge of sleep disorders and sleep promotion will "only benefit practice," he says, "we really believe in this." He hopes that psychiatric nursing and the nursing community at large will find this 400+ page volume an accessible resource for sleep science and clinical practice.


Geoffry Phillips McEnany, PhD, PMHCNS, BC is a professor at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and is Associate Editor for Issues in Mental Health Nursing. He also has a practice in Boston where he focuses on the care and treatment of adults with psychiatric illness and comorbid sleep disorders. To learn from him firsthand, come to the APNA 9th Annual Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute where he will be presenting on sleep and chronic pain/depression!

Sleep Disorders and Sleep Promotion in Nursing Practice is available from Springer Publishing at a 20% discount for APNA members, plus free shipping! Click here for more information.

May 2011 APNA News Main