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Saturday, September 22, 2007

How to Sleep Better

How to Sleep Better is a BBC programme that tries to solve some of the issues related to sleep. It does NOT show you how to sleep better in a shorter time, it is about fixing the problems that make you sleep badly or less than you want.

The program is very interesting indeed. I was kind of put off when I didn't find it on video.google.com and it is not found freely on the programme's site either, so you should seek it on BitTorrent or DC++.

Anyway, long story ridiculously short, it started from a survey of common sleep problems and then they tried to find solutions. There was a snorer, a couple with a screaming child, a woman too obsessed by work to sleep well, an old man who couldn't sleep well from his youth, a flight attendant that could not sleep well in her own home, but could do it in a hotel and some guy that worked driving night shifts.


The snorer should lose weight to relieve some of the fat on her neck, but she could also try tennis balls hooked on her back (with a bra) to stop her from sleeping on her back. But there was a thing that she put in her mouth that solved it. Apparently, snoring is treatable in 99% of the cases.

The couple with the screaming child should not have had so many children in the first place and they could also have aborted, killed or at least seriously beat them to make the kid shut up. But what they actually did was to first analyse the problem, which was that the child associated sleep with the presence of his parents close by, and then solve it by slowly going further away from the child each night when put to sleep. Eventually the brat learned to sleep by himself and not feel frightened when alone in bed.

The woman that was obsessive about her work and other problems solved it by scheduling her activities each day and sticking to the schedule and also writing down any problem that obsessed her. It seems, at least in her case, to ease the need for her brain to ceaselessly remember and analyse the problem if it was written down.

The old man was so worked up about not being able to sleep that he actually kept himself awake by worrying that he won't be able to sleep. They solved it by forcing him to try to stay awake :)

The flight attendant has a clogged bedroom. Her room looked more like a prison cell than a sanctuary (that's more or less their words) and when they rearranged her room (basically by drawing a line in it and separating a third of the room for storage and the other two thirds for relaxation). That helped her ease up and feel comfortable in her own apartment.

The night shift guy "cheated". He quit his job! :)

There was also interesting information about the drinks that keep us awake (like coffee, tea, fizz drinks) and foods (apparently aged foods like salamis and a bit potatoes) and about how some people are night people and some are day people. Trying to wake and go to sleep early would work wonders on some and terrible on others.

Try to find it, even if the presenter, Robert Winston, is a bit silly looking. He is a smart man even if he does look like one of the Marx Brothers :)

1 comment:

danezia said...


So you have quited one of your jobs for blogging. Interesting.

In my case, I think I have landed my first "real job" sort of... I'm now a phD student, with state-scolarship and I have university clases to teach. :p.

I hope I'll have soon an A-list blog (* In romania)... and if thing will go well in a year or so I will launch the English version.xc