Researching and practising sleep techniques with patients has led me to realise that there are a host of practical, highly effective and sustainable strategies that one can adopt, helping avoid a trip to the doctor... Here are ten tried and tested strategies that I have been recommending for years, which have helped patients learn how to sleep again.
It's fair to say I've never slept well. Decades of insomnia, night terrors, sleep walking, sleep talking, sleep apnoea, sleep paralysis and sleep paranoia means, if nothing else, it's a laugh riot sharing a bed with me.
Sleep disruption can affect our health in many ways including increased stress, impaired mental acuity and weakening of the immune system. It is unfortunately often hard for people with poor sleep patterns to easily adjust potentially detrimental aspects of their life, such as work stress, to help remedy this situation.
Sleep has been so undervalued that being deprived of it has become a boast. However, when you factor in The Third Metric, this anti-sleep mentality suddenly seems ridiculously skewed. After all, what's the point of attaining all that solvency and influence if you're so tired you stumble through it all like a zombie?
Our bodies are cleverer than our minds. When we are truly tired, we will fall asleep. Sleeping is a natural action. You don't have to do anything to get to sleep. It is not humanly possible to stay awake forever. The one topic that mustn't be on one's list of worries is sleep itself. That is what can stop you from sleeping and make you ill, both physically and psychologically.
The brain needs to be a fraction of a degree cooler than the rest of the body to achieve optimal sleep. If you're too hot this can stop you getting to sleep and staying asleep. Here are a few weird and wonderful tips to help you create this ideal temperature differential....
We need to inform parents about their choices instead of scaring them into avoiding bedsharing.
Sleep is vital for so many reasons and not just for world class athletes. There must be good reason why we spend over a third of our lives doing it; when we sleep, and sleep well, the body undergoes a series of physiological and hormonal changes which enables it to repair, grow stronger, realign and rebalance from the exertions of our waking hours.
We can all learn from athletes, we can all benefit from managing stress and actually begin listening to our bodies and not live constantly in our heads, overruling the body's needs and demands.
These two incidents as far as we're concerned is good old fashioned sleep shaming. We know both of these women work damn hard, and we're pretty sure they're human and need to sleep, so let's have more of Delevingne's disco naps and not villify Meyer who clearly needs a good kip...
It seems anxiety has no friends. It definitely does not understand professional image or even social etiquette. My life was turned upside down in an instant. It gave me no choice but to ignore my good friends and my work which I was extremely passionate about. I was left with an empty buzzing of a turned on computer with no active user at home.
I hate days like this because I don't want to do this anymore and I dislike myself for not wanting to do this anymore. I miss my old life, not because it was more fulfilling, not by any stretch, merely because it wasn't this; it wasn't 'today'. I miss the life I took for granted whilst watching repeats of programmes I didn't even enjoy very much the first time I watched them.
Some believe that poor sleep can be combated by exercise or that more stimulants can help achieve a great workout even when you are tired. But, without quality recovery, the results of the workout are very limited. You might cope for a couple of nights but beyond that it will physically effect you.
Most people snore at some point during their life, but it can be an indicator of something much more serious. Obstructive sleep apnoea is a disorder in which the upper airway repeatedly closes during sleep causing people to wake up briefly in order to breathe. They may wake many times an hour which leads to tiredness and sleepiness during the day.
For some baffling reason, my upstairs neighbour seems to think it's okay to have a power shower after 11pm. Repeatedly. And after midnight. And usually 1am. And 1.15am. Then 1.20am. And 1.25am. And so on. Sometimes one after the other from 1am to 3am.
Evolutionary analysis combined with proteomics enables us to pick up proteins that are present in trypanosomes and are essential for their survival, but are not present in mammals. They can therefore be a powerful way of uncovering and elucidating potential parasite-specific drug targets.