I spent 15 years of my life hindered by lack of sleep. I was pushed from doctor to doctor, pill to pill, counselor to psychologist and eventually to the top insomnia specialist in Europe.
Sleep to me was always a real-life nightmare. I never looked forward to my bedtime because 9 times out of 10 I would get a restless night’s sleep and wake up feeling lethargic and gloomy.
I just didn’t understand why I couldn’t fall asleep instantly, and why when I did fall asleep I couldn’t stay asleep for 7 or 8 hours like “normal people” did.
After numerous courses of sleeping pills, blood tests and more, my luck changed when my doctor referred me to a Sleep Hygiene Therapist at a sleep clinic in London’s Harley Street.
At the time this was a considered a new approach to insomnia, and was slowly being adopted by the medical profession as a way to cure insomnia naturally without benzodiazepines, which by then were renowned for causing rebound insomnia and heaps of side-effects.
After my first session I was truly motivated. I began to realize that there were many aspects of my lifestyle affecting my sleep, things I could change and control myself, without the need for pills.
For a start I was involved in music, which meant late nights and going to bed at different times. I was also partial to the occasional cigarette before bed, something I then foolishly believed to be a relaxant.
Over the course of six weeks, my therapist taught me many interesting things about sleep, like how the body responds to light exposure, and how hormones and brainwaves play a major role in the sleep–wake cycle.
We spoke about exercise and diet and how humans lived 10,000 years ago compared to how they live in modern times. It was incredible, and just learning more about sleep dramatically improved my sleep.
These sleep hygiene sessions changed my life in one fundamental way; they helped me turn the table in my favour. The knowledge gave me control.
I had been given the power to cure my insomnia using natural means that I was already in ownership of.
And so I manifested what I had learned and undertook a research mission. I put myself through trial and error until I completely understood every aspect of my environment and lifestyle that might possibly be affecting my sleep.
I studied sleep through the ages, comparing the sleeping pattern of our hunter-gatherer ancestors with that of modern man.
I discovered that insomnia had begun manifesting itself in society post the invention of electricity, and even more so post the agricultural revolution.
As I dug deeper, I discovered that just about everything humans were doing was counterproductive in getting a good night’s sleep.
From an unhealthy sleep-wake cycle and lack of sun exposure to lack of exercise, eating the wrong foods, negative brain stimulation and an unfavorable sleeping environment, it’s no wonder we are all…