The Daily Mail is running an exclusive series about how to beat insomnia with renowned consultant neurologist and sleep expert Professor Guy Leschziner who told the Mail that the pandemic has been driving another global health crisis – an epidemic of sleep problems.
Anxiety over Covid has caused an epidemic of sleeplessness. The professor wrote how extreme forms of insomnia can cause depression, type 2 diabetes, heart problems and even Alzheimer’s.
This is a four part series which started on Saturday and which listed six golden rules for better sleep –
- Sleeping pills can cause more problems than they solve. In actual fact they may only get you an extra 30 minutes’ sleep!!!!
- Sleeping less could help you sleep better. If you limit the time allowed in bed it can strengthen the brain’s drive to sleep when you’re there.
- Lie-ins and daytime napping can disrupt night-time sleep ( the former upsets your wake/sleep cycle, the later cuts ito your desire to sleep later). whoops looks like I have had that wrong for a long time.
- Over-the-counter CBD products are not the answer!
- Beds are for sleep and sex only. Apparently if you have not drifted off within 15 minutes, you should get out of bed and go into a different room, to ensure your bedroom is associated with sleep and not wakefulness.
- Sleep trackers may actually worsen your sleep as the information they provide could be very inaccurate and may increase your anxiety which will then keep you awake.
All of the above was be explained in more detail in today’s Mail on Sunday then continues on Monday and Tuesday. In Saturday’s Mail you can take an insomnia test to see what is disturbing your night’s sleep (it is VERY interesting).
In today’s Mail on Sunday it goes on to write that sleep deprivation can reset the brain. And exercising late or working in bed make nodding off challenging. They also write that there is a hormone tablet that may help for a while. Although drugs should never be your first port of call as they can lead to troubling withdrawal effects and anxiety. They write that no drug or even herbal tea should be your first port of call. But one relatively safe, temporary option is melatonin, a manmade version of the ‘sleepy’ hormone that occurs naturally in the brain to help control sleep patterns. The body actually produces melatonin just after it gets dark and continues through the night. You can only get Melatonin on prescription in the UK but it is available over the counter in the US.
I will follow up with another post after the articles on Monday and Tuesday in the Daily Mail.