Sleep – A Different Perspective
Sleep seems to have become a hot topic in the last few years and for good reason too – it’s fundamental to our health and well-being for so many reasons. The focus in the media is often on why we need it, how much we need and how to get more of it through improving ‘sleep hygiene’. This is all very helpful however, for some people the standard sleep hygiene practices – such as eating no less than a few hours before bed, initiating a relaxing wind down routine before sleep, keeping the bedroom cool and dark and a screen free zone – are not enough. I am an example of this!
Through a recent illness, I found my sleep gradually deteriorating to the point of being nearly non-existent each night – not very pleasant I can assure you! I’d been googling sleep for a few weeks, searching for answers from my usual trusted sources, unfortunately with very little success. It occurred to me I need a sleep expert and it was then I stumbled over Dr Guy Meadows (founder of The Sleep School in London). He takes a very different approach to sleep and the sleep aids and crutches we often try. Yes, the basics of sleep hygiene need to be in place but the core to good quality sleep is wholeheartedly accepting that you may not sleep and also behaving like a ‘normal sleeper’! Unlike most aspects of our life, sleep just cannot be forced – we could force ourselves to exercise more, work harder and so on but this just does not work with sleep. In fact, the opposite is true, the harder we try the less likely it is to happen. Sleep just needs the right conditions and it will happen quite naturally – acceptance of any fears and concerns around sleep are key to this.
I can’t do the approach justice in a few lines here so I’d definitely recommend the book (it’s a quick read) but I do know that so far it’s significantly helping improve my sleep quality where many other techniques ultimately failed. It’s no quick fix but more a change of habit and approach to sleep – I’ll report back in a few months how this has gone!
Thanks for reading and if you’ve found this article helpful please share with others that may also benefit.