Coaching for sleep problems like insomnia

Sleep Coaching/Counselling in Hebden Bridge

For problems of sleep disturbance (like insomnia, distraction or insufficiency)

With Renata Taylor-Byrne, Psychological Lifestyle Coach/Counsellor

1st December 2019

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renata-taylor-byrne-lifestyle-coachHello and welcome to this page of information about my Sleep Coaching/Counselling Service.

Your sleep is a hugely important health asset; and lack of sleep is a serious cause of physical and mental health problems. Here is the ‘bottom line’ about sleep, from one of the world’s experts:

“Sleep is not an optional lifestyle luxury – it’s a non-negotiable biological necessity”.  (Matthew Walker, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California).

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Lack of sleep will also affect how you look, which matters to both men and women:

Sleep deprived woman's face

This is emphasized by an article in the Daily Mail Online:

“It really IS beauty sleep! Why you look less attractive – even if you only lose a couple of hours, claims study

  • Margaret Thatcher famously survived (which is different from ‘thrived’ – Ed.) on as little as four hours sleep a night 
  • New research has found that women restricting their sleep look less attractive 
  • Women whose nightly sleep is interrupted are deemed as far less beautiful 
  • Researchers believe that tired people even look sad as their mouths droop 

Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4513022/Women-restricted-sleep-look-far-attractive.html

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And sleep deprived men don’t look particularly good either!

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If you are struggling to get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis; or are experiencing insomnia or sleep disruption – or any other problem with sleep insufficiency and daytime tiredness – then I can help to diagnose your specific problem, and to recommend a practical cure for your problem.

My name is Renata Taylor-Byrne, and I work as a psychologically-informed Lifestyle Coach/Counsellor, and one of my areas of specialism is:

Sleep science and problems of sleep management for individuals.

You can consult me via the telephone, from any part of the world; or you can make an appointment to see me in Hebden Bridge.

cropped-abc-coaching-counselling-charles-2019.jpgTo make initial contact, please phone me on 01422 843 629

Or Email: renata@abc-counselling.org

Or, download an information pack about this service, here: Information pack about Renata’s Sleep Coaching/Counselling Service.***

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Front cover, sleep book, Feb 2019I have made a detailed study of twenty-years of research on the science of sleep, and written extensively on the subject.  My main message is that we live in a stress-inducing world in which sleep is increasingly discounted as a crucial need, for both physical and mental health, and for personal happiness, creativity and success.

And this: All sleep problems can be solved, given the right information, and a determination to master the sleep process.

Last year (2018) I co-authored a book chapter on sleep, including insomnia and sleep distractions and disturbances; and then (early in 2019) I went on to write a book on the subject[1].

To give you a flavour of the article and the book[2], I want to present a couple of extracts here.

But first, a quick, summarized case study:

Arianna Huffington had lost her understanding of the need for sleep when, in 2017, she fainted with physical exhaustion at work, causing her head to crash down on her desk as she was working. She broke her cheekbone, had to have stiches in her right eye, and it was a massive shock to her.

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Extract 1: Common sense views of sleep

William Shakespeare, in his play, Macbeth, expressed a profound truth when he declared that, “’Tis sleep that knits the ravelled sleeve of care!’”  And we have always taken this to mean that the cares and worries of the day are resolved by a good night’s sleep, as a sleeve is fixed by darning or re-knitting.  Some people have contested this simple interpretation, and insisted that the word intended here was ‘sleave’ of care, and not ‘sleeve’ of care; where ‘sleave’ is a bunch of silk filaments as worked by silkworkers.  (McGuinness, 2013).

Macbeth’s mind is not just unravelled, but knotted and tangled, with a web of difficult emotions, like a tangled knot of silk filaments, and it’s a good night’s sleep, according to Shakespeare, which will help to unknot those emotions, and sort them out in order to present a viable resolution.

“Sleep brings to order this bundle of emotions as the hand of a silkworker unravels a tangled sheaf of sleave-silk.” (McGuinness, 2013).

To be clear, a ‘sleave’, in silk work, as a noun, is defined like this: “…a filament of silk obtained by separating a thicker thread.”  Hence, sleep is represented as untangling the strands of our day which have become tangled, and especially those which are emotionally charged, stressful and difficult to process. Thus Shakespeare is saying that sleep helps to sort out our stresses and strains, and makes sense of our days.

Surprisingly, as we will see later, sleep is not just about sorting out thoughts and feelings, but includes a physical and hormonal tidying up of the brain’s structure.  Indeed, as Matthew Walker (2017) points out, Shakespeare knew that sleep “…is ‘the chief nourisher in life’s feast’.” (Page 108 of Walker, 2017).

Shakespeare was not the only great artist who studied the effects of sleep on the mind.

According to John Steinbeck, the American author of the novel, The Grapes of Wrath: 

“It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.”

The sleeping brain has an enormous capacity to resolve the stresses and strains of competing demands of a too-busy day.  And, as it turns out, it also helps to prepare the brain-mind for the day ahead.

Full cover JPEG, 21 April 2019

Another famous American author, Ernest Hemingway found that sleep was the best time of his life, and his waking hours were more difficult:

“I love sleep”, he wrote. “My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?”

Of course, we are not advocating ‘escape into sleep’.  Rather, we advise our clients to make sure they get at least eight or nine hours sleep, of good quality, every night, so that they have the best chance of processing the experiences of the preceding day, and preparing for the stresses and strains of the following day.

And this recommendation is backed up by scientific studies, as well as common sense, as we will see below.

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renata-taylor-byrne-lifestyle-coachYou can consult me via the telephone, from any part of the world; or you can make an appointment to see me in Hebden Bridge.

To make initial contact, please phone me on +44 1422 843 629

Or Email: renata@abc-counselling.org

Or, download an information pace about this service, here: Information pack about Renata’s Sleep Coaching/Counselling Service.***

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And here’s a second quick, summarized case study:

A taxi driver who was suffering from a serious sleep disorder, and who was seriously sleep deprived, nearly caused the death of William Dement, one of the pioneers in sleep medicine. The driver had undiagnosed sleep apnoea (see later, or see the Glossary for definition), and had micro-sleeps (or moments of unconsciousness) as a result, when he was driving. He fell asleep at the wheel of the taxi, and Dement managed to grab the wheel of the car, as it careered into the opposite lane of the motorway.

When Dement (2000) questioned the driver afterwards, the driver said he’d been to several doctors without any cure being offered for his sleep apnoea, high blood pressure, snoring and constant fatigue.

“If my driver had crashed into the Columbia River gorge, the accident would have been blamed on brake failure or some other nonsense. That my death was sleep related, let alone that it was caused by obstructive sleep apnoea, would never be known.”

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Extract 2: The primary importance of sleep

Front cover design 3In our earlier book on diet and exercise – Taylor-Byrne and Byrne (2017) – we presented a range of studies which show that human emotional disturbances are caused, or affected, for better or worse, by what we eat, and fail to eat; how we exercise, or fail to exercise; and we also referred in passing to sleep as another major factor in determining our mental health and emotional well-being.

This range of three major sources of good or poor mental health, and high or low levels of emotional well-being, are well documented in the scientific literature. (Lopresti, 2013).

And many theorists would say that sleep is the most important of these; followed by diet; and then exercise.

For example, as Walker (2017) points out, although it’s not good for us to go without food and/or liquid for one day, we can fairly easily recover from that deprivation.

However, on the other hand, if we were to go without sleep for one night, it would have a significantly damaging effect on us, both mentally and physically.  So this shows the relatively greater need for sleep sufficiency.

Mathew Walker, why we sleepWalker goes on to say that: “I was once fond of saying, ‘Sleep is the third pillar of good health, alongside diet and exercise’.  I have changed my tune. Sleep is more than a pillar.  It is the foundation on which the other two health bastions sit.” (Walker, 2017. Page 164).

This lines up with the views of Professor Colin Espie[3], who wrote that:

“Alongside eating and breathing, sleep is one of the fundamentals of life, and arguably the most important – you could survive for three times as long without food as you could without sleep, and 17 hours without sleep produces performance impairments equivalent to 2 alcoholic drinks.”

If you do not sort out your sleep hygiene, it is unlikely you will be able to greatly improve your sense of emotional well-being, and mental health, by diet and exercise alone.

If you fix your sleep, but fail to improve your diet and nutrition, it is unlikely you will be able to make up the deficit via exercise alone.

So we have to take sleep very seriously, followed by diet and exercise, if we want to be happy, healthy and emotionally well.

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renata-taylor-byrne-lifestyle-coachYou can consult me via the telephone, from any part of the world; or you can make an appointment to see me in Hebden Bridge.

To make initial contact, please phone me on 01422 843 629

Or Email: renata@abc-counselling.org

Or, download an information pace about this service, here: Information pack about Renata’s Sleep Coaching/Counselling Service.***

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Full cover JPEG, 21 April 2019

[1] Taylor-Byrne, R. (2018) ‘The impact of sleep on mental health and emotional wellbeing’. In: Byrne, J.W. (With Renata Taylor-Byrne). Lifestyle Counselling and Coaching of the Whole Person: Or how to integrate nutritional insights, physical exercise and sleep coaching into talk therapy.  Hebden Bridge: The Institute for E-CENT Publications.

[2] Taylor-Byrne, R.E. (2019) Safeguard Your Sleep and Reap the Rewards: Better health, happiness and resilience.  Hebden Bridge: The Institute for E-CENT Publications.

[3] Professor Colin Espie: Online: https://www.sleepio.com/articles/sleep-basics/sleep-basics-intro/. Accessed: 25th January 2018).

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