WC Fields with his driest wit once said:

“ The best cure for insomnia is sleep.”

Sleep is a normal function, we believe it to be natural and thus naturally we take it for granted
However it is believed that 25 % of the UK population suffer from some form of sleep disorder , These sleep disorders have degrees of severity and may or may not be associated with an accompanying pathology. A sleep disorder is more than a few night s of disrupted sleep, The most commonly knoown sleep disorder is callede insomnia this accounts for around 10% of sleep disorders, there are alos some disorders which go relatively unheard of these are Narcolepsy and Sleep apnoea. Snoring is seen perhaps as a social joke however snoring can too become an issue affecting health , and may sometimes be associated with heart disease. Sleep disorders are braodly divided into two categories:

A primary Sleep Disorder
A Secondary Sleep Disorder

Primary relates to a disorder where lack of sleep is the central cause , Asecondary cause occurs when another disease of the body or mind causes the disturbance in sleep.

Sleep is affected by many factors . A routine is essential , perhaps more significantly the gettting up than the going to bed. As the body clock becomes aware of the time the body needs to be ready to begin the days activities and control the difference between wakefullness and sleepiness. Some factors are within the control of every suffurer, these include , bedroom, mattress, clutter ,light, stimulants, Naps, Baths, eating Drinking ; this list is by no means exhaustive.

The amount of sleep we need varies between individuals and can chage with age. The National Sleep Foundation suggests the following :

School age children – 5- 10 years need 10 -1 hours
Teens 10 – 17 years of age need 8.5 – 9 hours
Adults need 7 – 9 hours

Collection of data shows there are shortfalls, with 30 % of adults receiving 6 or less hours, 31%
of high school students reported at least 8 hours of sleep .

The scientific term for the promotion of sleep is known as sleep hygeine. The following is advice derived from studies (National Sleep Foundation).

Try and keep regular sleep times
Avoid large meals before bedtime
Avoid cafeine, alchohol and nicotine near bedtime. A light snack before bed is okay, but avoid eating heavy meals close to bedtime. Don’t eat protein before bed; instead, eat carbohydrates or dairy products. Research has shown that the amino acid L-tryptophan helps people sleep.
Avoid watching television, using a laptop, doing homework, eating,
Avoid discussing emotional problems in bed.
Your bed should be used for sleep, not work.
Minimize light, noise
Keep the room cool The recommended temperature while you sleep is between 54 and 75 degrees.
Regular exercise also is an aid to better sleep. Exercise helps get your body set for a
restful sleep. Exercise gives your mind a break, and allows you to use your body. Dont
exercise too much 30 mins
a day is recommended , and dont exercise too close to bedtime as exercise creates
arousal .

We may feel we are relaxed, however with many sleep problems , relaxation is the key , this ability to ‘totally relax ‘ prevents sleep or affects the quality of sleep. We may think what we have is relaxation but it may not be totally letting go, it is advised to practice and perfect this technique to help with mental health.

TED talks have an appeal which is both contemporary and academic , many of the presenations are applicable to our work at spinalsolutions.

Russel Forster : Ted Talk why do we sleep’. This excellent presentation provides us with a certain amount of evidenced based information concerning the advantages of sleep and how sleep deprivation has a direct effect to depression , our over-use of social drugs , skitzophrenia and many other disease processes which operate on the ‘stress ‘ axis. Apart form the association wwith pathological disorders , sleep deprivation is also associated with , increased levels of anger , reduction in mood, loss of creativity and opther cognitive abilities. SLEEP HYGEINE is an essential part of our clinical approach ,from a simple presentation of back pain to the long term treatment of Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia/ ME .

“WHAT IF YOU STOPPED SLEEPING ?” – from ASAP science on You Tube
describes the adavantages of sleep and charts the problems with sleep deprivation starting from one day to many . Showing how insomnia over a long period could be damaging to health .
The effects on the brain are well described.

WHY WE NEED TO SLEEP – from D news on you tube .
Much of the work we do in the practice is related to Chronic Fatigue , this has long periods of sleep deprivation associated . The approach of the Perrin Technique is to focus on the natural cleaning system of the body through the lymphatic system

Sleep is essential for many things including creativity , this is an excellent presenation from the team at WELLCAST


There are many other resources to help with sleep on you tube , 8 hours of thunderstorm music if that what helps , or delta waves and all types of help with relaxation . A useful resource indeed. provide a useful page dediciated to sleep and the associated problems , a guide from the NHS at Northumberland, Tyne and Wear can be downloaded from
and also an exceelent one from

A sleep diary can be downloaded from this site as well as info regarding Insomnia , Obstructive Sleep ,Apnoea . Additionally there is information regarding support groups . For the Medical Proffessional there is also reference material.