Sleep and mood are known to be linked and this is particularly evident in people with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder (BD). It has been proposed that psychological interventions improving sleep can be a pathway for improving mood. In order for a psychological sleep intervention to be appropriate, the common cognitive processes maintaining the range of sleep disturbances need to be investigated.
This study aimed to explore and identify expert consensus on positive and negative sleep appraisals in the context of low and high mood states, using the Integrative Cognitive Model as a theoretical guide.
A Delphi approach was utilized to allow clinical and research professionals, with experience in the field of BD, to be anonymously consulted about their views on sleep appraisals. These experts were invited to participate in up to three rounds of producing and rating statements that represented positive and negative sleep appraisals.
A total of 38 statements were developed and rated, resulting in a final list of 19 statements that were rated as ‘essential’ or ‘important’ by >80% of the participants. These statements represent the full range of extreme sleep appraisals this study had set out to explore, confirming the importance of better understanding and identifying positive and negative sleep cognitions in the context of high and low mood.
The statements reviewed in this study will be used to inform the development of a sleep cognition measure that may be useful in cognitive therapy addressing sleep disturbances experienced along the bipolar spectrum.