Tag: insomnia

Sleep – Are YOU getting enough

Sleep – Are YOU getting enough

Sleep – why it REALLY matters, and how much do you REALLY need.


We all feel bad when we haven’t had enough sleep, but did you know that sleep deprivation is strongly associated with serious diseases like diabetes, heart disease, depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

Sleeping cat
It’s alright for some

Even just one night of poor sleep can make a difference to both your physical and mental performance the following day.

So how little is too little?  Well, most people need 7-8 hours sleep per night.  While missing one hour, in one night will probably have little effect, missing two or more hours sleep, even on only one night can already begin to impair both your physical and your mental performance.  For example, you are much more likely to have a car accident!

My patients quite often claim that they don’t need as much sleep as other people, that, say 5 hours per night is enough for them.  However, tests show time and again that this is just not true.  For example, if their blood sugar levels are tested first thing in the morning, the chances are, they would be raised to an unhealthy level.  The same goes for their reaction times.  Insomnia is also associated with poor mood control.  Sleep deprived people are far more likely to lose their tempers and be irritable.

So many of my patients suffer from insomnia, and it’s not a straight forward condition to work with, as there are so many potential underlying causes.

There are herbal and nutritional remedies which can help, for example, lavender can be extremely helpful, but until the underlying causes have been identified and systematically addressed, that good night can be elusive.

Watch out for my next post with some top tips for better sleep.

Can’t sleep? Insomnia – Worse than you think

Can’t sleep? Insomnia – Worse than you think

Is this you?

You’ve suffered insomnia for months or even years.  You wake up feeling exhausted, you have that hollow tired feeling at the back of your head which just won’t shift?  You’ll fall asleep at the drop of a hat during the day or evening, but you just can’t sleep at night, you can’t get to sleep or you keep waking.

Or maybe you sleep through the night, but feel you just haven’t fallen into a deep sleep, and you still feel tired all the time.

Whatever your sleep pattern, insomnia has a profound effect on all aspects of our health, and at least 40% of us suffer from it at any one time.
Did you know that, just one night of poor sleep can cause a hitherto healthy person to be diagnosed as diabetic.  This is because of the huge impact sleep deficiency has on our blood sugar regulation. This was demonstrated very clearly in the recent BBC series “Doctor in the House” which I watched with interest as I met the Doctor in question, Dr Rangan Chatterjee, whilst we were both studying Functional Medicine in London.

Not surprisingly, weight gain and craving for carbohydrates are also associated with poor sleep.

What’s more, your performance, in everything you do, will be affected by poor sleep too. Studies have found that intelligence, focus, memory and reaction times, are all reduced by insomnia. This is clearly going to impact on your performance at work and on the sports field.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, chronic insomnia has been found to affect your risk for getting many chronic diseases as you age including Alzheimer’s disease, Cardiovascular disease and Cancer.

“Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care . . . balm of hurt minds, . . . . chief nourisher in life’s feast.
William Shakespeare – Macbeth.

I love this speech by the troubled Macbeth. , I used to love it for it’s visual imagery, but now, it has an extra resonance because it’s SO apt. Shakespeare had an intuitive knowledge of the importance of sleep.

Sleep does, indeed nourish and restore us, particularly the essential 3-4 hours deep sleep we should (but so often don’t) all achieve.

Sleep is something I ask all my patients about in their first assessment. Whether they have trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep. Are they falling asleep during the day, or in the early evening, as soon as they sit in front of the TV, or do they wake too early. Are they restored by sleep or would love to just crawl back into bed.

If they have sleep problems, I always prioritise this in their health programs.

Sleep is an interesting and complex area of health, but, most people are able to transform their sleep patterns and their health. It’s just a question of knowing how.

To be continued . . . .

In the next post, I will look at some of the many reasons people don’t sleep. In the final post, I will be discussing some tried and tested solutions.

Check out my Insomnia Workshop:  Stop Insomnia from Stealing your Life



Top Tips for a Cool Menopause!

Top Tips for a Cool Menopause!

Feeling the heat?  Then read on . . .

Imagine you could go back to a time you were feeling great.  Your body, mind and spirit were under control.  Menopause wasn’t even on your horizon.

Wouldn’t that be great?  However, for many women, the reality is very different.

One year, you’re feeling great; getting on with your career, your family, your life, but then, quite suddenly it seems, you are plagued by hot flushes, insomnia, low mood, low energy, anxiety, uncontrolled weight gain, embarrassing memory lapses and more.  You feel dried up and fed up.  All you want is to get back to how you felt before.

At least 60% of women going through the menopause experience symptoms for around 5 years, and for around 40%, those symptoms are severe and life disrupting.

Women tell me they feel like they’re falling apart.  Everything starts going wrong and they are losing control.  The women I see want to avoid (or come off) HRT because of the health risks, but they don’t know what else they can do.

Fortunately, there is so much you can do!  I’ve put together my 5 top tips for sailing through the menopause with ease, but if you want to know more, come along to my WORKSHOP:

5 Hot Tips for a Cool Menopause

  1. Anxiety and stress can bring on a hot flush in a second. Breathing exercises are a great way to calm your life:  Find a quiet, peaceful spot, close your eyes, and breathe deeply, from below your ribs, relaxing your abdominal muscles.  Feel the tension leaving your body with every out breath. Try to do this for a couple of minutes, several times a day.
  2. Happiness, energy and better sleep will all be improved by exercise. It’s been proved many times.  Don’t set yourself unrealistic goals.  Even a 30 minute walk every day can make a big difference.  If you’re procrastinating, stop!  Just get out there for a walk, and see how much better you feel afterwards.
  3. What you wear can make a big difference to how you cope with hot flushes: Try to wear several thin layers of clothing.   It’s worth planning ahead.
  4. Know your trigger foods.  We all know it’s important to eat a healthy diet, but did you know that some foods directly trigger hot flushes.  Foods such as coffee, alcohol, spices and sugar.
  5. Supplementary vitamins, minerals, essential fats and herbs have all been proven to be beneficial. In fact, several published, placebo controlled studies have shown that herbs and /or nutritional supplements can be as effective as HRT.  But it’s important to choose high quality supplements, and to ensure your supplements are safe alongside any pharmaceutical medication you are taking.  It’s worth visiting a consultant who specialises in drug-free health.

Want some help?

Book a free 1/2 hour phone or face to face consult by filling in my Preliminary Assessment Form for guidance about the best way forward for you.

Or come along to my workshop by clicking on this booking link: WORKSHOP

Link to workshop page on this website