Dr Neil Stanley Independent Sleep Expert
© Dr. Neil Stanley 2013-2019
How to sleep well In my book ‘How to Sleep Well’ I give a lot to advice and tips about the importance of sleep and ways that it may be achieved, but why is this important. You may have seen that there is a supposed epidemic of poor sleep which is leading to all manner of health problems but I am sceptical of this movement to scare people into getting good sleep. Far better I believe is to point out the day to day benefits of better sleep.  Many of us have a problem with everyday poor sleep, low-grade exhaustion and sleepiness during the day that most of us experience on a more or less regular basis. To illustrate this point, honestly answer the question ‘how do you feel during the day on a scale of 0 to 10?’, where 0 is that you have an irresistible desire to fall asleep and 10 you are the most awake you have ever been. Now I can pretty much bet that none of you are a 10, but what is perhaps more worrying is that I also doubt that many of you are a 9 or 8. I know some of you think you are very awake but that is probably because you have fooled yourself into believing this in order to get you through the day. Honestly look at how you feel, is this really the best you could be, if so I would suggest a lifestyle change! Because you don’t feel good during the day, you spend time, and indeed money, on trying to feel better, the multi- vitamin pill to supposedly keep you healthy, the cup of coffee to get you going, the chocolate bar as a treat because you don’t feel good, the ‘energy’ pill/drink to give you a boost during the day, the glass of wine to help you relax. At the end of the week you treat yourself to a spa treatment and you cannot wait for your holiday, when you can finally chillout. Just imagine how much better life could be and how much more productive you would be if each day you were at your best. So why are you going through each day at less than your full potential? The most likely explanation is because you are not sleeping well. Simply, getting better sleep will make you feel better each and every day. Sleeping better tonight will make you feel better tomorrow. Getting better sleep tomorrow night will make you feel better the next day, etc. And let’s not forget that good sleep can also be one of our greatest pleasures. So how to sleep better? As parents we ensure our children wind down before bedtime; bath, story/lullaby, bed, because we know it works. But what is true for children also holds true for adults. It is just that in our busy lives we seem to forget the basics. But really how hard can it be? Imagine putting your children to bed, spending a few hours with your partner and then running yourself a nice warm bath with your favourite bubbles, candles, nice music softly playing in the background and maybe a small glass of wine. You luxuriate in the bath soaking away all the cares and worries of the day, then just as it starts to cool, you get out, put on a big fluffy towelling robe and then get into a bed that has been freshly made. That would work, wouldn’t it? So why don’t you do it? Imagine, your partner is upstairs in the bath, you are sitting in your candle lit drawing room, comfortable in your leather button back armchair, wearing your velvet smoking jacket, a fire burning in the grate, your faithful hounds asleep at your feet, a generous measure of a fine single malt in a lead crystal glass in one hand and a large Havana cigar in the other. OK, maybe not everyone’s idea of an ideal end to the day, but admit it, it comes close.