Thursday, March 27, 2014

First Steps Through Insomnia

First Steps Through Insomnia

By Dr Simon Atkins

Published by Lion Books, March 2014

This is a very short book (only 96 pages long), but one which contains a lot of information relating to insomnia resulting from a variety of causes including jetlag, shift-work, menopause, restless legs and cramps.

Written by a GP who regularly sees and treats patients suffering from insomnia, and whose own wife suffers from the problem, this is a clear, concise and simply written book outlining how much we need to sleep (highly variable), what can happen if we do not get enough sleep (a heightened risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, depression and heart disease), how sleep works, what might be causing our insomnia and what to expect when we visit the doctor to request help and treatment.

He discusses the pros and cons of medication, alternative remedies and cognitive behaviour therapy as well as outlining a series of simple yet effective measures for training the body and mind back into sleeping better.

I found it very helpful indeed, especially as I have suffered with the problem and so has one of my teenage daughters; we have implemented lots of the sleep hygiene routines he suggests and we have found them to be of benefit. The section about teenagers' increased need for sleep is particularly interesting.

 It is an excellent  and very useful book indeed!

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