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How to Sleep Well: The Science of Sleeping Smarter, Living Better and Being Productive




How to Sleep Well: The Science of Sleeping Smarter, Living Better and Being Productive

Neil Stanley

ISBN: 978-0-857-08768-3 July 2018 Capstone 248 Pages

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It has never been more important to sleep well.

Stop sabotaging your own sleep and finally wake up energised and refreshed

How to Sleep Well is a guidebook that can change your sleep and help you live your life more fully. Whether you struggle to fall asleep, sleep too lightly, wake too often or simply cannot wake up, this book can help you get on track to sleeping well and living better. It all starts with the science of sleep: how much you really need, what your body does during sleep and the causes behind many common sleep problems. Next, you’ll identify the things in your life that are disrupting your sleep cycle and learn how to mitigate the impact; whether the pressure of workplace or you simply cannot quiet your own mind, these expert tips and tricks will help you get the sleep you need. Finally, you’ll learn how to support healthy sleep during the waking hours — what works with or against your sleep — and you’ll learn when the problem might be best dealt with by your GP.  

Don’t spend another restless night waiting for a bleary, groggy morning and sleepy day. Take control of your sleep tonight!

  • Learn how sleep — or a lack thereof — affects every aspect of your life
  • Identify the root causes of your sleep issues and cut them off at the source
  • Discover the sleep advice that works, and the tips that are just plain daft.
  • Create a healthy, calming bedtime routine that will help you get the rest you need

Sleep affects everything. Work and school performance, relationships, emotional outlook, your appearance and even your health. Sleeping poorly or not sleeping enough can dramatically impact your quality of life, but most sleep problems can be solved with a bit of self-adjustment. How to Sleep Well puts a sleep expert with over 36 years’ experience at your disposal to help you finally get the restful, restorative sleep you need to live better and be productive.

About the Author ix

Introduction xiii

Prologue xvii

1.What is Sleep? 1

An Introduction to Sleep 2

Why do we Sleep? 2

What is Sleep? 3

Circadian Rhythms 6

How Much Sleep do I Need? 7

The Eight-Hour Myth 8

Are you a lark or an owl? 10

Sleepy or Tired? 11

An Hour before Midnight 12

Is Daylight Saving Time Incredibly Disruptive? 13

Dreams and Dreaming 14

Children and Sleep 19

Why do Teenagers Sleep so Much? 22

Sleep as we Age 26

Women and Sleep 28

Why Men Fall Asleep After Sex 30


2.Why is Sleep Important?35

Sleep and Health 36

Sleep and Relationships 37

Sleep and Business/Leadership 39

Economic Cost of Insomnia 42

Sleep and Academic Performanc43

Sleep and Athletic Performance 44

Sleep and Healthy Eating  46

Sleep and Weight 48

Sleep and Exercise 50

Sleep and Driving 50

Beauty Sleep 53

3. Why we are not Sleeping 55

Fads 56

How Business Impacts Sleep 58

The 24-Hour Society 66

Worry/Stress 68

Children 69

Bed Partners 72

4. Sleep Disorders 75

Insomnia 76

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD) 82

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) 82

Nocturia 83

Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea 84

Teeth Grinding or Clenching (Bruxism) 85

Circadian Rhythm Disorders 86

Night Cramps 87

Narcolepsy 87

Parasomnias (or Things That Go Bump in the Night) 88

Jet lag 92

5. Treatments for Sleep Problems 95

When to Consider Sleeping Pills 96

Over-the-Counter Sleep Aids 97

Prescription Sleeping Pills 97

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) 102

Sleep Technology is the Future! 107

6. How to Sleep Well 111

Tips and Techniques That May Help You Get Better Sleep 113

The Bedroom 118

The Bed 122

Sleep Foods and Supplements 130

How to Sleep in the Heat 132

7. How to Get Your Child to Sleep 135

How to Get Your Child to Sleep 137

Is Co-sleeping With my Child Wrong? 138

8. Businesses and Sleep 141

How to Make Shift Work Tolerable 146

9. Why You Should Actually be Able to Sleep in Hotels 153

How to Sleep in a Hotel 156

10. 36 Things You Don’t Need to Do to Sleep Better 159

Do I Need ‘Professional’ Help? 160

Do I Have to Buy the Latest Sleep Book? 162

Do I Have to Eat a Banana Before Bed? 163

Do I Really Need to Stop Drinking Coffee at Noon? 163

What About a Nice Cup of Tea? 164

Don’t Take my Chocolate Away From Me 164

Must I Avoid Spicy Foods 4–6 Hours Before Bedtime? 165

Am I a Bear, Lion, Wolf or Dolphin? 165

Should I Buy a ‘Bed in a Box’166

Should I Take Melatonin? 167

Does it Matter What Position I Sleep in? 168

I’ll Sleep When I am Dead 169

Early Nights Don’t Work 169

You Cannot Catch up on Sleep 170

Morning People are Better 170

Do I Need to ‘Ground’ or ‘Earth’ Myself or my Bed? 171

I Have a Bad Back so I Need a Firm Mattress 172

Stanley087683_ftoc.indd    vii

Should I Paint my Bedroom a Particular Colour? 172

It’s Hot, do I Need to Sleep Like an Egyptian? 173

Is it Natural to Sleep in Two Segments? 173

‘I am Superman’: Polyphasic Napping 175

Do I Need to Sleep in 90-minute Cycles? 175

Do I Have to Avoid Alcohol to get Good Sleep? 176

I Hear Voices in my Head: Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) 177

The Rhythm of the Night: Binaural Beats 177

Do I Need to Sleep Like a ‘Caveman’? – Palaeo Sleep 178

Get to Sleep in Under 60 Seconds: 4-7-8 Breathing 179

You’ll Sleep Better Naked 180

Do I Need to Avoid Blue Light? 181

Do I Need an Alarm to Remind me to go to Sleep? 182

Do I Have to Ban my Pets from the Bedroom? They are so Cute! 182

Counting Sheep, Surely that Works? 183

Do I Need to go to a Sleep ‘Spa’? 183

Help! My Room is Cluttered 184

Must I Eat Breakfast Within 30 Minutes of Waking Up? 184

Mindfulness and Sleep 185

Conclusion 187

Appendix 1 189

Appendix 2 193

Index 215