How to get a good night’s sleep

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How to get a good night’s sleep

Are you one of the many people who suffer with poor quality sleep?


What type of sleeper are you?

  • ·         Maybe you struggle to get off to sleep in the first place?
  • ·         Or perhaps you have no trouble falling asleep but then wake every couple of hours?
  • ·         Perhaps you wake suddenly in the middle of the night and find it difficult to return to that quality level of restorative sleep?

Over the next couple of months, you will find a range of short blogs, in our “Sleeping Better” series suggesting various ways in which you can help yourself improve your sleeping pattern.

The “8-hours” Problem

Many people are probably familiar with the notion that Human beings require eight hours sleep every night in order to function effectively. Yet thousands also know that they have not had that span of sleep since they were children. Some notable people have achieved high levels of effectiveness on far less hours. Famously, the UK’s first Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, slept only 5 1/2 hours most nights. And she was not unique.

So if you sleep less than you believe you should, consider what problems it is causing you. If you are over 18 years of age, and the amount of time you sleep is not affecting how you feel or perform during the day, then stop worrying. Such worry is likely to cause you more problems than sleeping less than the proverbial eight hours. In this series of short blogs we are going to be looking at some of the things that can affect a good night’s sleep and also some simple tips and techniques to enable you to regularly enjoy good quality sleep.

Tip No. 1

Active Brain

If you are a person that actively thinks and plans and creates at night before, or even during, your sleep, try keeping a notebook and pencil next to your bed, Then, if you have an idea that enthuses you, you can make a brief note of it on paper, thus relieving you of the necessity of continuing to think about it so as not to forget it. 

Photo Courtesy of


Following on with our “Sleeping Better” series, this next blog covers some physiological aspects of sleep.


Tip No. 2

Food and drink

What kind of food, and how late you should eat, are questions that have very individual answers. You need to observe from your own personal experience, what foods or drinks tend to keep you from sleeping well.  The following information learnt by listening to my clients may be of value to you. Of course, what time you go to bed will be a critical factor regarding what time it suits you to eat your latest meal.  A general consensus from my clients is that the following are best not taken less than two hours before retiring for the night:

Coffee, cheese, fried food, fresh fruit, nuts, onions, pickles, very salty foods (which will include most take-aways), highly spiced foods.

Foods that were found to be beneficial or neutral in their effect were:

Rice, couscous, yoghurt, cocoa & proprietary milk drinks.

Some people are convinced that a small measure of alcohol is beneficial as a sleep aid. Others, including me, believe that alcohol is counterproductive in terms of sleep.

Food Quantity

Be willing to save, or discard, food at the end of any meal or snack. If you are a bit overweight, you may have lost touch with the signal that your brain receives from your stomach indicating that the feeling of physical hunger has now gone and no further food is required. To get back in touch with this signal, develop the new eating habits that will appear in my next blog.

If you can’t wait until our next instalment, you could try listening to a relaxing recording that will put you in a helpful frame of mind, just follow this link.

Photo courtesy of



  1. Thanks Derek this is a very useful tip. Running my own business means I often have a lot to remember, people to call, things that need following up. But it is also usually the middle if tgenughf when I get my best, creative ideas and not wanting to forget them keeps me awake, by writing them down I know I can get avo off to sleep and have my to do list ready fir the morning.

  2. sue maclusky says:

    Hi Derek, just wanted to say thanks, all these pointers are relevant. I suffer from insomnia from time to time but thanks to you I know what to do. I’ve used your CD’s many many times and they never fail to relax me, thus I get a good nights sleep. Like many people, I get ill if I dont get enough sleep. I’ve got lots of energy and have a very busy life but when I lose sleep everything goes to pot so thank you Derek, I will continue to recommend you to anyone who needs help sleeping or relaxing ! S

  3. Sue Clark says:

    Excellent series of tips – I look forward to reading more of your blog.

  4. Jo Prosser says:

    Thanks Derek,
    I suffer from insomnia from time to time but since contacting you and listening to your lovely soothing voice on CD I have learnt to let go of worrying about sleeping for a pre-concieved number of hours and to relax, usually that’s enough and i just fall into a natural deep sleep. I’m really looking forward to your i phone app. I wouldn’t hesitate reccomending you to my friends and family. Jo

  5. Sue Heavey says:

    Excellent advice Derek, I agree that people need to stop worrying about not being able to sleep. A deep relaxation from listening to one of your CD’s or downloads, or following any other guided meditation is as restorative for the body as the traditional “8 hours” sleep. Sue

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  8. google says:

    Hi there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay.
    I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

    • derek says:

      Hi Renate, I am one of those people who have a twitter account but don1t do anything proactive with it. Thanks for your kind comment; you have inspired me to add some more paragraphs to my blog. Watch this space Renate!
      Regards, Derek

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