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Goodnight Britain TV Show Highlights Sleep Issues in UK

By sleepcounciladmin on November 29, 2012

So who watched BBC1’s TV show Goodnight Britain last night?

Wasn’t it interesting? I really felt sorry for Gwen who so desperately wanted a good night’s sleep and Sheila, the lady who baked in the middle of the night – wow, how much clutter and gadgetry did she have in her bedroom? Plus it was a good job that the really heavy snorer, Paul, was monitored, as he stops breathing 20-30 times a night, sometimes for as long as 25 seconds!

For those who didn’t tune in, the show is a two-part series that looks at five of the worst UK sleepers – suffering from some of the nation’s biggest sleep disorders – and tonight sees treatment plans being put in place by sleep experts Dr Kirstie Anderson and Dr Jason Ellis to help all five overcome their sleep issues.

Sleep disorders affect many people – whether it’s snoring, sleep walking, insomnia or sleep apnoea – so if you feel you have a serious problem seek medical advice.

For the vast majority of poor sleepers, however, just making some simple improvements to their bedtime routine and environment will boost sleep quality.

Here’s our top tips:

  • Keep regular hours. Going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time, all the time, will programme your body to sleep better.
  • Create a restful sleeping environment. Your bedroom should be kept for rest and sleep and it should be neither too hot, nor too cold; and as quiet and dark as possible. Check out https://www.sleepcouncil.org.uk/perfect-sleep-environment/ for ways to create the ideal environment for sleep.
  • Make sure your bed is comfortable. It’s difficult to get deep, restful sleep on one that’s too soft, too hard, too small or too old.
  • Take more exercise. Regular, moderate exercise such as swimming or walking can help relieve the day’s stresses and strains. But not too close too bedtime or it may keep you awake!
  • Cut down on stimulants such as caffeine in tea or coffee – especially in the evening. They interfere with falling asleep and prevent deep sleep. Have a hot milky drink or herbal tea instead.
  • Don’t over-indulge. Too much food or alcohol, especially late at night, just before bedtime, can play havoc with sleep patterns. Alcohol may help you fall asleep initially, but will interrupt your sleep later on in the night.
  • Don’t smoke. Yes, it’s bad for sleep, too: smokers take longer to fall asleep, wake more often and often experience more sleep disruption.
  • Try to relax before going to bed. Have a warm bath, listen to some quiet music, do some yoga – all help to relax both the mind and body. Your doctor may be able to recommend a helpful relaxation tape, too.
  • Deal with worries or a heavy workload by making lists of things to be tackled the next day.
  • If you can’t sleep, don’t lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing (not cooking!! Take note Sheila!) until you feel sleepy again – then go back to bed.

Did you watch the show? What did you think? If you didn’t, you can catch it on the BBC iPlayer here.

 

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13 thoughts on “Goodnight Britain TV Show Highlights Sleep Issues in UK

  1. I was so pleased to see Sleep Apnoea highlighted and glad Paul was shown behind the wheels of a HGV truck, as there are so many people who avoid diagnosis as they wrongly assume they can no longer drive!

    When I was diagnosed with Sleep Apnoea years ago, people thought I had a very rare disorder, but in fact it is actually as common as asthma and affects people of all ages (including children), sizes, sex and race. Worse still is that when undiagnosed and treated it can lead to so many other serious health conditions – the top 2 being heart attacks + strokes. All snoring should be investigated! More info.. http://www.hope2sleep.co.uk/page/sleep-apnoea-info

    Well done Kirstie, Jason and the BBC for highlighting this. Anyone who suspects they may have it can visit the British Lung Foundation’s online questionnaire http://www.blf.org.uk/Page/Epworth-Sleepiness-Scale

    1. I agree Kath – was so pleased for Paul. And I think it just showed to everyone that if they do need to use a CPAP mask like that, while it may seem daunting, it does work and can give you your life and sleep back. As Paul said in the show ‘Sleep doesn’t control me, I control sleep.’

      1. Yes, that was a profound statement Paul gave, and one I’m tempted to use to help others 😀 I know that at first CPAP is daunting and I hated mine at first, but it’s grown to be my best friend, and I never thought I’d ever say that! 🙂

        1. Definitely – I think it’s a great phrase to use for lots of things. You (and Paul) are positive stories to share for others!

          1. Yes, and I’m passionate about raising awareness, as my own mother died at the age of 49 and was undiagnosed 🙁

  2. I have been dealing with sleep issues for about 7 years.
    I have mild obstructive sleep apnea, and my body clock wakes me between 4 and 6 am; regardless of the time I go to sleep. I routinely, only get 4 – 6 hours of sleep–NOT quality sleep.
    I sleep in a separate room on a quality mattress; I use a memory-foam, neck pillow. These treatments were obvious through a little on-line research. I am using a VPAP machine–every night.
    I have seen a sleep consultant (still under his care) and I am currently seeing a neurologist. I have had one polysomnogram; I am currently on medication to aid sleep (aimed at the deep sleep). There have been improvements, but I still do NOT get the refreshing, reenergizing sleep that I really need. I am still tired during the day and my energy levels are low.
    I had hoped to glean some helpful information from ‘Goodnight Britain’; the custom mouth piece (mandibular advancement device) was new data.
    It appears that none of the subjects sought medical advice for their conditions prior to the show? Appalling! And somewhat remiss on their part.
    The show highlighted useful treatments: treatments that were prescribed and administered by my sleep consultant, neurologist, and GP.
    The show tends to present these conditions as ‘unique’. I do agree that the conditions, and recommended treatments need greater visibility.
    I think that the show organizers should have been clearer at the beginning; ALL of the conditions could have been treated and potentially resolved by a GP referral to a sleep specialist/consultant.
    Recommend you build on the show: seek, investigate, and treat problematic sleep conditions.
    Overall, the show was a disappointment.

    Regards,

    Tom

    1. Hi Tom,
      I am unsure as to whether the subjects sought medical advice prior to the show – maybe they did and they didn’t feel they were getting anywhere – who knows. It’s good to know that you have had the required support and advice though. Personally I did enjoy the show as it brought to light some of the sleep issues out there and hopefully gives hope to those who suffer. All the best, Lisa

  3. My partner and I watched the shows and thought they were really interesting. My partner has used the mandibular advancement device for about two years now, but he finds it very uncomfortable most of the time. Could you recommend where to go to have a custom made device made, as shown on the show. I’ve had a look online, but there are so many different companies who appear to be offering similar products for around £350! This is a lot of money, so we’d rather go somewhere that is recommended.

    Any advice offered would be greatly appreciated.

    Mary

    1. Hi Mary, thanks for your comment. Unfortunately this isn’t an area we can really help you with. Have you spoken to the British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association – you can find their details here http://refresh.sleepcouncil.org.uk/helpful-links/
      – they would be a good starting point. Or alternatively try the Sleep Matters helpline on 020 8994 9874 (6pm-8pm daily), Sorry I can’t be of any further assistance. Many thanks Lisa

  4. Hi Mary – the device shown on the programme was made by a company called Somnowell.

    With regards to the overall programme, I was a bit disappointed that the we didnt actually get to see if the volunteers were actually ‘cured’ or not. Sure, paul’s sleep apnoea appears to be fixed (Thank goodness) and Gwen’s insomnia is better, but did Sheila get any more sleep and did the night terrors come back? Also, what happened to Chris? His snoring was helped, but that was SUCH a small part of his overall problem.

    I have to say, I think the 2nd episode was very rushed and needed a lot more information if people with similar sleep disorders are to be helped.

  5. My husband wakes himself up with his snoring. It is very loud he stops breathing and we cannot sleep in the same room. My husband sleeps on the sofa downstairs but I still have to go down to wake him and tell him to get off his back it is that loud, coincidently he is a lorry driver too. I struggle to fall asleep and find I dont get a full night sleep rather it feels like I have been awake all night but I know I have not as I have dreams and wake out of them. I can go to bed a 11pm and be fighting to go to sleep still at 2am this is when I think I start to dream so must be nodding off. My doctor suggested we sleep in seperate rooms but thats not good for our relationship.

    We watched the first episode of the program but miss the second so have no idea what remedies were used. Please can someone update me on what we missed.

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