SleepWell Method
Tony Hackett
The SleepWell Method was conceived and developed by Tony Hackett BSc (Hons) Dip NLP who since 1993 has been running corporate Personal Development programmes covering Assertiveness, Self-motivation, Stress Management, Presentation Skills and Personal Effectiveness. Tony works as a coach, trainer, mindfulness meditation teacher and public speaker. He has studied NLP, Meditation, CBT, Reiki and EFT and the teachings of Brian Tracy, Louise Hay & Anthony Robbins amongst many others. He works with a diverse range of industries including Pharmaceuticals, Manufacturing, IT, Insurance and Law. He's a contributor to BBC local radio on sleep matters. His motivation to develop this programme has come from his personal journey in finding a permanent cure for his own insomnia.

A personal Story

Looking back, I would've appeared an enthusiastic and outgoing sort of person on the surface, but inside I was quite stressed and tense. Despite earning a good income and having the trappings of success, deep down I was unhappy, anxious and unfulfilled - and I didn't know why. The more I earned, the more disillusioned I became. And sleeping was an issue for me.

It would usually take me an hour or more to get to sleep. Then having got to sleep I'd find myself waking up in the night. I'd get annoyed by this which would make it even harder to get back to sleep. By the time I'd got back to sleep it was often time to get up. Waking up was a struggle - I used to set two very loud alarm clocks and would still often oversleep. Then there would be several periods during the day when I struggled to stay awake - I constantly felt tired and I suffered as a result.

As night-time approached, deep down inside I'd worry about sleeping, so I'd put off going to bed. I could always find something to do when most people would be thinking about turning in for the night. I remember getting back home from the pub at about 11.30 p.m. one weekday night and watching television until 1.00 a.m., I then poured myself a beer and started doing my ironing - which certainly didn't need doing then. At the time I began to question what I was doing, but I don't think I really wanted to admit to myself I had a problem around sleeping. Looking back I certainly did. Things came to a head when I woke up one morning absolutely exhausted. I was in my late twenties and living alone. I honestly felt more tired than when I went to bed. I wouldn't have been any more shattered if I'd been on a thirty-mile march through the night! The duvet and pillows were thrown around like I'd been in a fight and when I looked at myself in the mirror I was worn out, pale and exhausted. I was confused and worried by these events and finally resolved to do something about this. I made a pledge to myself that was going to fix the problem - I didn't know how I was going to do it - but just that I would do it and somehow find a way to sleep normally. I had no choice - I had "hit the bottom" and had to do something.

I decided to find out about meditation because I intuitively knew that my trouble stemmed from an inability to mentally switch off. Concentration was difficult for me and my mind was constantly jumping like a grasshopper from one thing to another. So I took myself on a course to learn TM or Transcendental Meditation which proved to be a turning point in my life. During my first session I became very aware of the mental clatter of random thoughts and worries which were filling my head, exhausting me, making me tense and leaving no space to think or relax. Towards the end of my first meditation session I experienced a few minutes of mental quietness and calm which was new to me and felt deeply revitalising. I was committed to find more of this solace and tranquility. As I continued with the daily practice I became happier, calmer and much more in touch with myself and began sleeping better for the first time. After two and a half weeks I suddenly realised that the chronic eczema that had always plagued me had cleared up and gone completely. Not only that, but the problems I had with digestion disappeared too. It had never occurred to me that mind and body were so closely connected - or in fact connected at all. I realised that I had been very stressed and was paying the price. Ironically, you don't know how stressed you are until you de-stress.

I consequently became very interested in the subject of personal development and self-awareness. I read many books, listened to numerous audio programmes and attended courses and seminars. My quality of life and sleep continued to improve. However a while later some investments that I'd made went wrong and this plagued my mind. Suddenly I was back to my bad old sleep patterns. I wasn't prepared to accept this backward step. Whilst I couldn't do much about my investments, I knew however that I could do something about how I was responding and how it was affecting my sleep. Worrying wasn't going to make things better. I started experimenting with the many mental techniques which I'd learned to see which could help. After much research and experimentation I cracked the problem and could switch off and sleep no matter what. But sometimes I couldn't remember what I'd done the night before that had helped me get to sleep, so I developed a way of easily remembering and deploying these techniques at bedtime by building them round the SLEEPY acronym.

My life again continued to get better and I felt happier and more fulfilled, and I was able to get to sleep - no matter what. In fact I was so pleased with how I'd changed my fortune that I decided to give up my career in computer sales in 1989 to run my own business in Personal Development training. In working with thousands of people, I discovered that many of them suffer from poor sleep. Lack of sleep is an important issue in business because it has an impact on people's effectiveness during the day - in fact lack of sleep can be as counterproductive as a hangover to a person's productivity. So I began teaching the sleep techniques that I'd developed for myself to the delegates on some of my seminars - and they worked for them as well. So I've put these techniques together as The SleepWell Method which is a self-learning package designed to be used in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Helping people sleep is a personal passion for me and I'm always pleased to help anyone that wants to help themselves. Interestingly though, one thing I've learned is that not everyone with sleep issues wants to fix them, I believe it's because they think it's just the way they are, but in truth it's just the way they've become.