Sleep Dream

 

 

 

 

 

I’m speaking at SOMNEX The Sleep Show 13th/14th Oct 2018

During the writing of my NEW sleep book I was also contacted by SOMNEX The Sleep Show, and invited to speak as The Sleep Coach, and to offer one-to-one walk-in sleep clinic during the show! I will be there throughout the event, if you go to their website below you’ll be able to find out more details about the show, who all the speakers are including myself, what days they are speaking and when, I hope to see some of you there on the day. 

As a speaker I can offer you a fantastic 40% off. Visitor tickets are currently £20 but if you enter the promo code: SPK40 when you book herehttps://bit.ly/2MdFI21you can get a ticket for just £12!

Visit SOMNEX | The Sleep Show on Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 October (10am til 6pm) at The Old Truman Brewery in London.

Get exclusive access to expert advice, innovative new products, specialist exhibitors, multiple interactive workshops and immersive classes – all designed to help you understand how to improve your sleep and give you and your family a fun day out!

 

Visit www.somnexshow.com

Instagram: @somnexshow

Twitter: @somnexshow

Facebook: @SOMNEXshow

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/somnex-the-sleep-show

 

As always I wish you a great night sleep,

Max

New Sleep Book

The sleep coach returns…

after writing the sleep book.

 

I’ve just written my new sleep coach book on sleep and insomnia, the do’s and don’ts for a great night’s sleep. The journey of writing this book began when my new publisher Penguin Random House, asked me if I would be interested in writing my own book on the subject of how to get better sleep. Since I’ve been wanting to write this sleep book for some time, I lept at the opportunity, after having done the deal, I began to write, and write, and write… So it’s been some time since I’ve posted a sleep blog.

 

During the process of writing intensely evenings and weekends and then even more than that, I was immersed in the world of sleep from a conscious point of view. I spoke to sleep scientists, sleep psychiatrists, sleep doctors, sleep experts, sleep technology manufacturers, sleep technologists, sleep surface manufacturers of pillows, mattresses and beds. I even looked at nutrition for better sleep.

 

And although I learned that sleep is a very subjective experience, that we’re all different, and therefore how much sleep we need or get will vary from person to person, and night to night. For many people at eight hours is the ideal amount, some are fine on just seven hours a night, fewer than you think can sleep for less than this without long-term health problems over the horizon, and that obviously children need the most sleep. But the truth is, almost all of us could improve the amount of sleep that we get get, or allow ourselves to have.

 

And the enemies of sleep, or at least good quality sleep are basically these:

 

1, Not enough natural sunlight during the day.

2, too much artificial light during the evening.

3, Not going to bed at the same time every night.

4, Not waking up at the same time every morning.

5, Too much smart phones and tablets and electronics in the crucial hours before bed.

5, Overstimulation of the mind before bed.

6, Too many stimulants, caffeine, nicotine, sugar affecting the metabolism at night.

7, Not getting enough exercise particular during the day.

8, Eating too late at night.

9, Not even close to following a sleep hygiene list.

10, Allowing worries and anxiety free-reign in your brain in bed.

12, Not understanding which the right foods to eat to sleep well in the evening are?

13, simply not understanding circadian rhythm, and production of melatonin sleep.

 

I could go on, as I’ve learned so much from writing my sleep book. Now I’m moving on to my insomnia sleep programs, so that when my sleep book is published early spring next year 2019, all my other sleep coaching tools will be ready to help the sleep deprived to become sleep inspired!

 

As always I wish you a great night sleep,

 

Max

Does pain keep you awake at night?

Pain management for better sleep.

You will need to work out if your lack of sleep is causing your pain? or if the pain is causing a lack of sleep? Then focus on whichever came first.

Not sleeping properly can not only magnify but sometimes even generate pain signals.

However, if you are one of those people who has either had a long term health issue causing you to find sleep difficult, broken and intermittent, Or, if you have had surgery, or any musculoskeletal, neurological or naturopathic pain signals that you’ve already probably been searching for an alternative to opiate based addictive pain medication, usually containing a form of codeine that can cause unpleasant physical dependency even sometimes from short and long-term use.
There are also other painkillers, often synthetic like oxycodone, and tramadol amongst others that can equally be fine for short-term use, but the body soon adapts to the presence of the substance and if one stops taking the drug abruptly, withdrawal symptoms occur. Often, apart from unwanted constipation, night sweats hot and cold, there must be a better and more natural non-addictive way to deal with pain. Also avoid paracetamol tablets with caffeine which reduce sleep ability and all nicotine products at night.
Here are a few of my suggestions to help reduce the need for powerful addictive pain drugs to achieve better sleep.
Firstly, here in the UK it’s possible to buy an over-the-counter product called Nuromol containing a blend of paracetamol and ibuprofen. Always read the label and follow the instructions as paracetamol can only be taken as directed, however, mixed with ibuprofen its effectiveness is greatly multiplied. Therefore taking these just before bed and having another dosage if required later on in the night by the bed with a glass of water can greatly help improve/ reduce pain signals that can make deep sleep elusive.
Secondly, one of the rules of the mind, is that what ever you focus your mind on it becomes magnified. As a sleepcoach, I train my clients to focus elsewhere, either the different parts of the body, the feeling of relaxation which also greatly reduces pain signals, as well as learning how to release tension with breath and then physically feeling the benefits can help greatly
Another rule of the mind, is that whatever you try not to think about, is what you actually think about. Understanding this simple truth, and instead focusing intensely on other things like perhaps your head on the pillow, how comfortable you can get in your bed, feeling increasingly more than thinking, shifting the attention off of the thought of pain signals, focusing on relaxing and mild discomfort until the non-addictive pain medication kicks in helps greatly.
There are obviously times when pain signals for some are so great that the quality of deep sleep seems almost impossible to achieve, however the discomfort from recent surgery, or recent injury, or digestive and inner organ problems, and so on make the acceptance of the pain, and a commitment to at least relax and achieve as much rest as possible even if sleep is almost impossible, will at least help to alleviate some of the horrific alarm signals that the sleep deprived suffer. Any relaxation, distraction from the discomfort, will make these usually challenging times more bearable until the short-term pain spike reduces.
Relaxation and acceptance are two of the most important keys to better sleep pain management, if not discomfort reduction and control. At my sleep clinic in central London, where I treat insomniacs, and all anxiety and pain related sleep problems this is the first thing I teach.
Sleep medications that can helpful include over-the-counter drugs that have a sedating effect, like antihistamines, or combination pain reliever and sleep aids, such as Paracetamol or Tylenol PM if in the US. Prescription sleep medications should only be for short term use. Always discuss pain and sleep medications with your doctor, MD, GP, or pharmacist.
Learn how to rest and to relax deeply, until good sleep becomes possible.
Remember that good sleep is a key to curing chronic pain.

As always wishing you better sleep,

Max Kirsten

5 Tips For A Great Nap Today

 

Sleep London

Bad night’s sleep? Get Better Sleep. You’ll really want to read this on Power Naps.

If you find yourself lacking in energy and drifting off in the daytime, or you’re someone who often works (or parties) very late into the night, you could benefit from taking short power naps.  Various Medical research shows that sleeping for a burst of no longer than 20 – 30 minutes can improve cognitive function, boost your body’s immune system and lower blood pressure, reducing risks of health problems like cardiovascular disease.

With this in mind, we spoke to ‘The Sleep Coach’/ eve Sleep’s award-winning good sleep ambassador, clinical hypnotherapist Max Kirsten, to glean his top 5 tips for the perfect power nap…

 

1. Darken your surroundings

Naps are best in a very dark room; if this isn’t possible for you, put on a sleep mask or use something like a t shirt to cover your eyes. Less light means your body produces more melatonin – which aids sleep.

 

2. Set your alarm

Set the amount of time that you want to nap for (no more than 20 – 30 minutes) on your mobile phone or alarm clock; sleeping for longer than this in the daytime will in fact have a negative effect making you feel drowsy. This is because after 30 minutes we start to enter a state of deep sleep, causing sleep inertia or grogginess which interferes with the desired positive effect a quick nap can create.

 

3. Cut out blue light

Sleep research has shown that blue light from smart phones, tablets, and computer screens reduces the production of the sleep hormone melatonin that is produced in the pineal gland in your brain. Blue light through the optic nerve tells your brain that it is still daytime. Either switch off all devices a few hours before you want to sleep, or perhaps more conveniently, use Apple’s ‘Night Shift’ filter, which can be switched on in the screen settings for iPhone and iPad. For users of Androids and other phones, ‘f.lux’ is an app that also reduces blue light from screens..

 

4. Get comfortable

Learn simple exercises to relax your body and empty your mind, making it easier for you to drift off peacefully. Try taking three deep slow breaths and after each one concentrate on relaxing your whole body and clearing the thoughts from your brain. To help this process, a good bed works wonders; Max Kirsten recommends eve mattresses.

 

5. Drink coffee

This one may seem surprising, but scientific research has suggested ‘Coffee Napping’ (drinking caffeine then napping immediately) is more effective than a regular mini-sleep. To understand how this seems to work, it’s important to know how caffeine affects the body. After being drunk, coffee is absorbed through the small intestine, passes into the bloodstream and crosses into your brain. There, it fits into receptors that are normally filled by a similarly shaped molecule called Adenosine. Adenosine is a byproduct of brain activity, and when it accumulates at high enough levels, it plugs into the receptors and makes us feel tired and groggy. However with caffeine blocking the receptors, adenosine cannot do so, hence why we feel more awake after a coffee or tea. Sleeping naturally clears adenosine from the brain, so if you drink caffeine before napping for 20 minutes straight away, you’ll reduce your levels of adenosine just in time for the caffeine to kick in. Because the caffeine has less adenosine to compete with, it will be more effective in making you alert when you wake up from your nap. Whoever said caffeine is the enemy of sleep might just be wrong…

(Note: Obviously if you don’t use caffeine regularly, this technique should probably to be avoided, or at least tried with caution, bearing in mind that caffeine effects can last up eight hours so could really interfere with sleep architecture later when you bed down for the night.)

 

The eve Nap Station is based in The Old Truman Brewery until Sunday 10th July; providing a comfortable, free-of-charge co-working space for Londoners.

Interview courtesy of http://www.redonline.co.uk

10 things that stop a good night’s sleep

No one wants poor sleep, difficulty falling asleep, waking repeatedly in the night, or having chronic insomnia. If going to sleep has become something that you dread, here are 10 things to keep in mind and to practice before turning out the lights.

Work out your pre-sleep routine

Most of us enjoy getting ready for sleep. But, poor sleep preparation can lead to having a restless night.

So here are some things that you can do.  Research shows that taking a hot bath is very helpful.  In fact, it’s more effective at helping you to physically relax than even taking a shower. Feeling clean, with a hot body that cools slowly when you get into bed, is a wonderful feeling, and should help you to settle after a hard day of work.

Snuggly bedclothes, pyjamas, an old t-shirt or whatever else makes you feel comfortable (hey, you’re never to old for that favorite stuffed animal!) will also help.

If you are prone to cold feet (most older adults are), sleep socks (low-cut socks) are also a good option, keeping your feet warm during the night, without cutting off your blood’s circulation..

Uncomfortable bed and/or pillows

If your bed is uncomfortable – too soft, to hard, or just unsupportive – invest in a better bed.  Now you’re probably going, “Max!  Why would I throw my hard earned money at something I’m simply going to lie on, doing nothing for hours?” Well, the answer is that we spent half of our lives in our beds, recharging our batteries so we can perform to our best ability each and every day of our lives.  So if you can, you better treat yourself to a good one! It’s a health investment!

Find the right pillows. Not all pillows are the same, so find the ones that work for you – you’ll be glad that you did. Some people even like to travel with the right pillow as part of their ‘sleep religion’. Hotel bedrooms rarely feel as comfortable as your one at home (although they might smell fancier), so bringing a few supplies with you can make the difference between an ‘OK’ night and a great night’s sleep.

 

Too much light

Light can be really impairing when it comes to sleep. Whether it’s from street lights outside your window, or your blinds letting in morning light, light makes it harder to fall and stay asleep. A good pair of curtains or blinds that block out light is ideal. Even the light from your digital clock can make your sleep erratic.  Ideally switch electronic devices such as mobile phones off, or set to silent, some even have a sleep setting.

A disturbance, argument, unresolved issue, anger

Most of us know that having a disturbed mental state before bed will usually result in a poor night’s sleep. Techniques such as writing things down, list making, discussing it with someone, talking it through, all help to process the disturbance, event, argument, unresolvable issue, what have you. If none of this works, remember, tomorrow is another day.

Exercise just before bed

With the exception of bedroom love-making (of course) intense exercise such as a late-night gym session, can have a negative effect on sleeping.  This is due to your heart rate and metabolism being increased, making it harder to unwind in bed later. It is always better to do exercise in the day or early evening.

An uncomfortable or noisy environment

Noise is a big interference when it comes to sleep.  An old boiler, your neighbor’s dinner party, the student rave upstairs, a domestic argument in the street, doors slamming, floor boards creaking, traffic, ambulances, or just the noise of your partner snoring, can all stop you from obtaining that beautiful, well deserved, night’s sleep.  These noises are often even louder in the summer when the hot weather forces us to leave our windows open. Although not ideal for every night, I recommend having a good pair of earplugs (foam, silicone, wax earplugs, there are many different types) to help tune these sounds out and lock into a good night’s sleep. NOT all earplugs are the same, so shop around.

An irregular routine

Sleep research shows that most people benefit from keeping to a regular sleep routine. The body’s natural circadian rhythm responds best to regular day/night routines. Obviously if you are a shift worker, or an international traveller crossing time zones, your body’s natural clock will not be working as it wants to. Research also shows that most of us are getting less sleep than our predecessors.  This is probably due to all the extra stimuli, such as 24-hour TV, the Internet, computers and smart phones with blue light (read my blog on the matter here). Most of us could do with going to bed an hour earlier, and certainly our health would improve as a result.

Stimulants – coffee, alcohol, food, nicotine

Sleep is often impaired by stimulants such as coffee.   Most people should have their last cup 5 to 8 hours before hitting the pillow. Other caffeinated drinks such as tea, fizzy drinks, and even eating chocolate late at night (cocoa is a stimulant just like coffee) can also affect your sleep.  Certain foods, which are particularly rich and difficult to digest should be avoided altogether before bed. Many people are still surprised that alcohol, which may seem a good idea before bed, inevitably leads to waking in the night, dehydration and restlessness!

Finally, let’s not forget ‘ye’ old classic’: the cigarette. Nicotine is in fact a powerful stimulant so it can often reduce deep sleep quality (particularly if nicotine is absorbed without tobacco’s other ingredients). Now, we have nicotine with a twist – as it’s often now ‘vaped’ with the ever increasing use of e-cigs. As a result, nicotine is absorbed directly into the body in a much purer form, and often at a much higher dosage.  This makes sleep more difficult, and leaves the user exhausted, and un-refreshed after a night of crazy dreams in the morning. Much better to drink a little water, and eat healthy natural foods that are easy to digest, before jumping into the hay-sack.

 The wrong body temperature

A bedroom that is either too hot or too cold can make sleep less comfortable. Ideally the room and your bed should reach body temperature. Then, as you’re falling asleep, your bed should be cozily warm, and the air in your room slightly cool to the touch.

A busy mind

Of all the things that can stop you having a great night’s sleep, a busy mind can be the worst. Sleep is for sleeping. Of course, a little time preparing for sleep, and relaxing in bed to process the day’s thoughts is healthy. But, when you’re ready to sleep, letting go of daytime thoughts, and allowing yourself to relax and let go is key. Some of us, particularly the light or anxious insomniacs, need some help to learn how to get ‘out of the way’ of our sleep.

Seek help for sleep

As a certified sleep coach, and as a self-confessed fully recovered insomniac, I love to teach techniques, and practical tips that make falling asleep effortless and delicious.

However if you live far away, thanks to modern technology, you can now access and download my 2 sleep apps, the ‘ABC of better sleep’, and my ‘Insomnia cure’. Both of these contain wonderfully relaxing ambient recordings to drift off to…

I’m proud to say these hypnotic sleep audio programs have won a number of sleep awards!

You can find them on my website thesleepcoach.co.uk or on iTunes – search for Max Kirsten to find all my apps for the iPhone and iPad.

I wish you a great night’s sleep.

Max