Some frequently asked questions about sleep and The SleepWell Method.
Q. How long does it take to get up and running?
A. The instruction manual takes about an hour to read. That will start of the process of beginning to break bad habits and installing new ones. Even before you’ve begun using the CDs you should start seeing improvements to your sleep.
Q. Why is it called a manual rather than a book?
A. Because books may contain a lot of padding, they take many hours to read and often never get finished. The manual has been written in a concise way to simply explain the steps you need to take to sleep well.
Q. I actually don’t have a problem getting to sleep, but I find myself waking up in the night. I become angry about this which stops me getting to sleep again. Can The Sleep Well Method help with this?
A. This is a common scenario and one which we have the solution for. You woke up for a specific reason and the remedy is simple, but you also will need to use the tools to make sure that you don't start thinking and stop yourself getting back to sleep.
Q. Will I need to use the CDs every day/night?
A. The Daytime CD is to teach you how to meditate, and the Bedtime CD is to coach you through the process of turning your mind off a bedtime. They are both for training purposes so once you've learnt the processes, you won't need to use them anymore. (Unlike traditional relaxation CDs which require you to use them each time you want to benefit from them).
Q. Can I drink alcohol in the evening?
A. Yes. UK medical guidelines suggest that a moderate amount of alcohol such as a glass of wine actually helps to relax us and help us get to sleep. However more than this can be counterproductive.
Q. Should I go to bed even if I'm not feeling sleepy?
A. Yes, because our minds and bodies like routine. Just as you should eat at regular times during the day, you should go to sleep and get up at regular times too so your system can learn what to expect and when.
Q. Is it okay to have a TV in the bedroom?
A. The old school of thinking said that you shouldn’t have a TV, radio or music in your bedroom. But most people need to wind down after getting into bed before falling asleep. Whatever you use to achieve that is up to you - just be mindful that whatever you get into isn't going to fire you up and keep you awake. Having an office in your bedroom may lead to some conflicts of interest at bedtime.
Q. Can I teach the principles of The Sleep Well Method to my children to help them sleep?
A. Definitely. However you may need to modify some of the techniques depending on their age. We can provide you with some tried and tested techniques that will work well.
Q. How will I remember what I need to do to get to sleep at bedtime?
A. You just need to learn the acronym “SLEEPY”, each letter of which is a prompt for the things you need to do that will cause you to switch off and shut down. You’re also provided with a quick reference card to keep by your bed which you can use to remind yourself as you settle down.
Q. My doctor is suggesting sleeping pills for my insomnia, is that a solution?
A. Whilst sleeping pills work and are a quick fix, there’s a price to pay. Firstly they’re only supposed to be a temporary solution, but often end up becoming permanent and secondly they leave you “hung over” and groggy in the morning. (Elderly people who use sleeping pills are more prone to falls and accidents in the morning).
Q. How important is the meditation part of the programme?
A. Whilst it’s not essential, it will really help for the following reasons: 1. Meditation reduces stress so being less stressed will make it easier to sleep. 2. Being able to meditate will teach you how to turn your mind off when you want to – this is crucial for getting to sleep. 3. We all have a stress “hot button” such as eczema, asthma, migraine, irritable bowel, psoriasis to name a few - these conditions flare up when we’re stressed. So reducing stress by meditation will reduce if not eliminate these conditions.
Q. Is it ok to nap in the day?
A. It depends on the situation. If you’re doing a lot of physical graft, then having a brief nap after your lunch will most likely give you added stamina for your afternoon session. On the other hand if you’ve not burning many calories either physically or mentally, then any sleep taken during the day may detract from your night’s sleep. This becomes more of an issue as people get older.
Q. How much sleep do we need?
A. Babies sleep for about 17 hours, reducing to 9 or 10 hours for children. Most adults need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night, reducing a little as they get older.
Q. What happens if I don’t sleep?
A. Sleep deprivation is a well established torture that leaves no physical evidence! The longer someone goes without sleep the more their immune system becomes suppressed, the slower their reactions become and the more their judgment becomes impaired. Lack of sleep in itself isn’t dangerous but the consequences of eventually spontaneously falling asleep is - such as whilst driving.
Q. My doctor is suggesting I take sleeping tablets, but I’m not sure if that’s a good idea?
A. Sleeping pills do work of course - but at a price. They're often prescribed by doctors for convenience or lack of other options. You should however be aware that sleep inducing drugs are only supposed be given to people who are so stressed or traumatised that they can't sleep at all - and the course of medication should be for a maximum of two weeks. But in so many cases a dependency develops, turning into habitual use. These drugs interfere with normal sleep and the mental and physical processes which take place during normal sleep. They also cause a hangover in the morning which leaves people with reduced mental sharpness and vulnerable to accidents.
Sleeping pills only deal with the symptoms – not the problem. They can’t cure the root causes insomnia or difficulties with sleeping.