Sleep FAQ’s

|Sleep FAQ’s
Sleep FAQ’s2021-03-25T17:17:08+00:00
Here is a guide but remember everyone is different and some people thrive on as a little as 4 or 5 hours!  The amount of sleep we is very subjective and our needs changes with age.

  • BABIES sleep for 16- 18 hours a day,
  • School age CHILDREN should be sleeping about 9.5 hours
  • Most ADULTS need between 7 – 8 hours sleep a night,
  • OVER 60’S – After the age about 60 many people find their sleep seems to be get shorter and lighter and they seem to wake more often

There is no magic number of hours sleep that we need.  It is very individual

Too much sleep may be worse or as bad as too little sleep.

It is not just the quantity of sleep that is Important but the quality. The quality of sleep is affected by many things including our evening routines, what we eat and drink, screen time and how we relax before we go to bed. The biggest factor is probably how relaxed and calm we are.

Reported insomnia has got worse, as our lifestyles have become much faster and we rely on screens for entertainment and relaxation.

In the 1960s adults slept for seven and a half to 8 hours a night

Since then, our life has become much faster, busier with people working longer hours and taking work home.  Now 50% of people in the UK and America report that they sleep for less than 7 hours , and 40% of people also report they’re not getting enough sleep and they feel tired and exhausted when they wake.

Insomnia has always been with us – think of some of the great poets, including Shakespeare’s Wordsworth, Blake, Wilfred Owen, Emily Dickinson and Philip Larkin. Interesting Literature has a great page of poems about sleep – or the lack of it!

After just two nights of bad sleep that can be cognitive impairment on tasks requiring focused attention mood is affected creativity is lessened and our patience is reduced.

People who wake frequently in the night such as those in chronic pain or suffering from sleep apnea can suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness – falling asleep for microsleeps during the day. This is also a major cause of car accidents, with drivers falling asleep at the wheel. The recent Croydon tram crash was also put down partly to fatigue and sleep deprivation.

Several major disasters have been linked to sleep deprivation fatigue such as the Exxon V lex oil disaster in Alaska and even Chernobyl and the US Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ (RoSPA) website has some frightening statistics on fatigue and accidents. This is a link to driving and fatigue, but fatigue impacts all aspects of Health & Safety and accidents.

For many people, the weekend is a wonderful opportunity for a nice lazy lie in, and it’s known that many people feel much better for it! And you could have short afternoon naps.

However, these are not a substitute for regular good quality sleep. An extra hour in bed in the morning is great but try not to sleep the morning or afternoon away as that will interfere with your sleep at night.

Doctors used to advise against napping, but now more and more sleep specialists are coming around to the idea that naps are a great way of increasing the amount of rest and relaxation that we get.

It was traditionally it’s thought that naps were not a good idea because they would interfere with our sleep at night. But if you nap carefully, then they can help you feel more refreshed, and give you the energy you need to get through the day.

Personally, I think it’s a matter of preference. I come from a family of nappers and I LOVE a 20-minute afternoon nap! Here are the Guidelines for a good nap!

We sleep in cycles of 90 to 120 minutes throughout the night. in that time, we cycled through the different stages of sleep.  There are four to five sleep stages – non-REM and REM sleep.

Sleep is divided into REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement sleep) and non-REM sleep.   The first 3/4 stages of sleep, are non-REM Sleep, and the fifth is REM Sleep and is when we dream.

We cycle through the different stages of sleep, roughly five times a night – sleep cycles.

Each sleep cycle lasts 90 – 120 minutes and each sleep stage in each sleep cycle usually lasts between 5 to 15 minutes.

For more information, see my blog on Sleep Cycles and Sleep Stages.

No Sleep Cycle or Sleep Stage is more important than any other. It seems that memory consolidation requires both REM and non REM sleep. Interestingly, as we age, you spend less sleep time in REM sleep.

Everyone dreams but not everyone remembers their dreams. We spend about 2 hours a night dreaming and can dream in any sleep stage, but most dreams occur in REM Stage of your Sleep Cycle. REM dreams seem to be more vivid. Some people dream in colour, others in black and white.

The exact purpose of dreaming isn’t known, but it seems that it helps to process emotions and events from the day. We are more likely to have frightening dreams when we are anxious or stressed.

How Many Sessions Will I Need?

Everyone is different and makes changes at different speeds.  

Sometimes there are other issues that it is best to resolve so that you can get the best outcome – such as stress, grief, pain or anxiety.

You can book a session at a time or you can book a Help Me Sleep programme of between 4 – 12 sessions. How many sessions you will need will also depend on what changes you want to make and how far your life has moved out of kilter.

Snoring is something that can normally be resolved quite quickly – often on one or two sessions. 

We can discuss what is best for you when we speak.


Women going through perimenopause and menopause , frequently experience sleeping problems and other changes.    These can include

  • hot flashes leading to frequent awakenings
  • mood changes
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • insomnia
  • poor quality sleep
  • sleep-disordered breathing, such as snoring or sleep apnoea

Sleep issues often continue into post-menopause.

How we can help If you are suffering from symptoms related to menopause and poor sleep, I can help you retrain your mind and body in order to sleep and remain cool and comfortable through the night. 

If you would like more information or would like to talk to someone, do get in touch.  We offer a free initial 30-minute telephone / online consultation.

There are many more movement-related sleep disorders, but these are the most common.

Restless Legs Syndrome – a feeling of having to move your legs, unable to resist the urge to move.

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder – this is where you repeatedly move your limbs – usually legs, in your sleep. This may disrupt your sleep and cause you to be tired the next day.   Your partner may notice it before you do.

Hypnic jerks – that sudden feeling of jumping, falling or twitching just as you are falling asleep

How I can help

If you are suffering from a movement-related Sleep Disorder, I can help you retrain your mind and body to

  • Retrain your mind and body to sleep
  • Identify and deal with the root cause of the problem
  • Calm your system to enable you to get to sleep, sleep through the night and fall back to sleep quickly if you wake
  • Quickly learn to sleep wearing a mouth guard, if you are grinding your teeth – or resolve Bruxism altogether

WikiHow notes that both Hypnotherapy and Meditation can help Bruxism

Snoring and Sleep Apnea are the most common Breathing related sleep disorders.

Snoring is caused by air not being able to move freely through your nose and throat during sleep. This makes the surrounding tissues vibrate, hence the snoring sound.  Snoring can normally be quickly resolved using hypnotherapy and exercises. One or Two sessions is often enough.  See my blogs and videos on snoring.

It is not widely known that hypnotherapy can be a useful tool for eliminating snoring. 

-The National Center for Biotechnology Information & Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine

Sleep Apnoea is where breathing repeatedly stops and starts throughout the night.  It is a potentially serious sleep disorder as the lack of quality sleep and oxygen and can lead to medical problems including raised blood pressure and diabetes.   Sleep Apnoea also leads to excessive day- time sleepiness which impacts your concentration and ability to drive safely.

How I can help

If you are suffering from a Breathing Related Sleep Disorder, I can help you retrain your mind and body to

  • Breathe quietly and regularly as you sleep
  • Sleep comfortably on your side
  • Sleep comfortably wearing a CPAP Mask or Gum Shield
  • Teach you simple exercises to reduce your snoring and strengthen your airways
  • We can also help you make life-style changes that will help improve your breathing and energy levels.
  • Help you partner sleep through noise eg snoring or the sound of a CPAP Machine

If you would like more information or would like to talk to someone, do get in touch.  We offer a free initial 30-minute telephone / on line consultation.

These disorders are generally known as Circadian Rhythm Sleep-Wake Disorders.  

Sleep times and patterns are out of alignment and it can be a struggle to get to sleep or wake up at the right time. They include

With Jet Lag, your sleeping patterns will adjust after a few days or a week, whereas that does not happen with Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome, but therapy and coaching can help you sleep well again.

Like both Jet Lag and Insomnia, you experience feelings of tiredness, lack of energy, feeling irritable and cross and experience difficulty concentrating.

How I can help

If you are suffering from a Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder, I can help you retrain your mind and body to

  • Re-set your body clock to sleep and wake at the ‘right’ time
  • Retrain your mind and body to sleep
  • Adopt regular day, evening and nighttime routines
  • Counter anxious thoughts

The effects of jet lag can be quickly reduced by listening to Specialist Help Me Sleep recordings – one to prepare for a long-haul flight and the other to counter jet lag.  They listened to in advance of, on and after the flight.

If you would like more information or would like to talk to someone, do get in touch.  I offer a free initial 30-minute telephone / online consultation.

Parasomnias are sleep disorders characterized by abnormal or unusual sleep behaviours.

Some can be embarrassing or very strange or even terrifying to experience.  These are some of the main ones:

Bed Wetting / Sleep Enuresis is very common and affects many children and some adults.. There are many possible causes including stress, infections, trauma, diabetes, or other sleep disorders such as Sleep Apnoea.

Hypnagogic Hallucinations –  a vivid, dream-like sensation that an individual hears, sees, feels or even smells and that occurs near the onset of sleep.  It may seem like others are in the room. It can be linked to Narcolepsy.

Sleep Walking – the NHS description is ‘walking or carrying out other activities when you are asleep’’ It is more common in children than adults.  

Sleep Paralysis – is very frightening.  It is a temporary inability to move or speak that happens when you’re waking up or falling asleep.

Bruxism/ Teeth Grinding  – Most people who grind their teeth and clench their jaw aren’t aware they’re doing it. Some people get facial pain and headaches, and it can wear down their teeth over time.

Night Terrors are episodes of screaming, intense fear and flailing while still asleep.  It can be very disturbing for the sleeper and anyone experiencing it.

Exploding Head Syndrome – feeling as if a bomb has gone off by your head, just as you are falling asleep, often accompanied by a flash of light.

How I can help

If you are suffering from Parasomnia, I can help you retrain your mind and body to

  • Stop doing the unwanted behaviour or wake you if it starts
  • Identify and deal with the root cause of the problem
  • Calm your system to enable you to get to sleep, sleep through the night and fall back to sleep quickly if you wake

If you would like more information or would like to talk to someone, do get in touch.  I offer a free initial 30-minute telephone / online consultation.

Hypersomnia causes a person to be excessively sleepy. They may fall asleep at any time. This can be dangerous if at work or while driving. They may also have other sleep-related difficulties, a lack of energy and trouble thinking clearly. 

Sleep Apnoea and insomnia are other causes of excessive tiredness.

Narcolepsy is a rare neurological condition caused by a protein in the brain. It is characterised by excessive daytime sleepiness, perhaps accompanied by catalepsy

Catalepsy is where you lose control of your muscles and can fall asleep or suddenly realising that you have no memory of what you have just been doing.  It is a chronic long-term condition.

Sufferers may also experience hallucinations and sleep paralysis.

How we can help

If you are suffering from Hypersomnia, I can help you reduce your tiredness with therapy and exercises.  Therapy can also help you to notice the onset of sudden sleepiness.  I can also help you to come to terms with your condition so that it is easier to live with.

If you would like more information or would like to talk to someone, do get in touch.  I offer a free initial 30-minute telephone / online consultation.

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