Experts of every kind are queueing up to warn us that lack of sleep, or the wrong kind, will bring down a bewildering array of dire consequences.

Heather Darwall-Smith's message in this ebook is simple: don't panic!

Humans are biologically programmed to sleep, and by interrogating all the factors - sociological, physiological, neurological, and psychological - that might be impeding this innate instinct, each of us can work out the changes we can make in our own lifestyles to allow ourselves to sleep naturally again.

Understand and transform your sleep habits, one night at a time.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half-title
  3. Contents
  4. How to use this ebook
  5. Foreword
    2. What is sleep, and why do we need it?
    3. The history of the science of sleep
    4. The quantity of sleep we need
    6. The body’s circadian rhythm
    7. The sleep/wake cycle
    8. Hormones and sleep
    9. The stages of sleep
    10. Dreaming
    11. Good sleep, bad sleep
    12. Forming good sleep habits
    13. Keeping a sleep journal
    2. Should I sleep train my baby?
    3. How can I soothe an overtired baby to sleep?
    4. How do I help a toddler sleep through the night?
    5. Can lack of sleep affect growth?
    6. Will my child grow out of night terrors?
    7. Does the school day fit in with my teenager’s sleep needs?
    8. How much does screen time affect my teenager’s sleep?
    9. Why does my teen randomly seem to doze off in the daytime?
    10. How can I help my teen sleep better at test time?
    11. Does sleep affect our ability to learn?
    12. How will being pregnant affect my sleep?
    13. I’m a new parent. Will lack of sleep wreck my health?
    14. Menopause is causing havoc with my sleep: what can I do?
    15. Why is it the older I get, the worse I sleep?
    17. Why do we yawn?
    18. Why do we close our eyes to sleep?
    19. Why do I grind my teeth when I sleep?
    20. Why does my body stay asleep and immobile after my mind has woken up?
    21. What causes the feeling of falling when I’m going to sleep?
    22. Why do I snore?
    23. Why does my partner seem to gasp for air in his sleep?
    24. Why does my temperature fluctuate when I sleep?
    25. Why am I more nocturnal than others I know?
    26. Can yoga help with sleep?
    27. When should I exercise for optimum sleep?
    28. Can a lack of sleep affect my immune system?
    29. Is my thyroid to blame for my poor sleep?
    30. Will lack of sleep affect my weight?
    31. Will an orgasm help me sleep better?
    32. Why is my sleep so affected by my monthly cycle?
    33. Will a lack of sleep affect my libido and fertility?
    34. How can I manage my chronic pain to sleep better?
    35. Why do I move around so much while I’m asleep?
    36. Why are my legs painful and restless at night?
    37. What’s the best position for me to sleep in?
    38. Is beauty sleep real?
    39. Can sleeping pills cure my sleep problem?
    40. Can melatonin supplements help me sleep?
    41. How does my mood affect my sleep?
    42. Why does the thought of going to bed make me anxious?
    43. Can probiotics help with sleep?
    44. Why am I not sleepy at bedtime, even though I’m exhausted?
    45. What is ASMR, and will it help me sleep?
    46. Why do I fall asleep on the couch, but then as soon as I go to bed, I’m wide awake?
    47. Why do my problems seem amplified at night?
    48. What should I do if I can’t get back to sleep?
    49. Why can’t I remember my dreams?
    50. Why are my dreams more vivid when I’m stressed?
    51. Why are my dreams so scary?
    52. Can I learn to lucid dream?
    53. Why do I get my most creative ideas while dozing off or sleeping?
    54. How do I stop my mind racing so I can sleep?
    55. Does counting sheep really work?
    56. I regularly wake at 3 a.m.—how can I get back to sleep?
    57. How do anxiety and depression affect sleep?
    58. Can CBTI help me sleep?
    59. How can hypnotherapy help with sleep?
    61. Are naps harmful or helpful?
    62. Is good sleep continuous, or can it come in chunks?
    63. Can I catch up on sleep?
    64. Why does my body clock go haywire at times?
    65. How does shift work affect my sleep?
    66. Can I reset my body clock to run earlier or later?
    67. Why do I feel groggy when I’ve had more sleep than usual?
    68. Does altitude help or hinder sleep?
    69. Are there foods and drinks that help you sleep?
    70. Is caffeine really sleep’s no. 1 enemy?
    71. Can multivitamins help me sleep?
    72. Does alcohol help or harm my sleep?
    73. Do CBD products help with sleep?
    74. How does smoking affect my sleep?
    75. Is a bath before bed helpful for relaxation and sleep?
    76. Do essential oils help with sleep?
    77. Will late-evening eating affect my sleep?
    78. Why do I sleep better on vacation?
    79. How can I manage my sleep across time zones?
    81. How do I make my bedroom a sleep sanctuary?
    82. Why do I need more sleep in the winter?
    83. Can the full moon affect my sleep?
    84. Does blue light affect sleep?
    85. What kind of mattress and pillow is best?
    86. Can weighted blankets help with sleep?
    87. Does the position of my bed affect how well I sleep?
    88. Should I sleep with the window open or closed?
    89. What’s the ideal temperature for my bedroom?
    90. What should I wear in bed?
    91. Should I let my pet sleep on my bed?
    92. What, if anything, should I listen to in bed?
    93. Do sleep trackers work?
    94. Will reading before bed harm my sleep?
    95. Why does the slightest noise wake me up but not my partner?
    96. What’s the best alarm?
    97. Should my partner and I go to bed at the same time?
    99. Can chronic sleep deprivation harm my overall health?
    100. I’ve always had sleep issues. What’s wrong with me?
    101. Does lack of sleep impair judgment?
    102. What’s the minimum amount of sleep I need to function well?
    103. What are microsleeps?
    104. How dangerous is driving when I’m tired?
    105. If I don’t get enough sleep, will I get Alzheimer’s disease?
    106. What’s the impact of long-term stress on sleep?
    107. Why do I talk in my sleep?
    108. Why do I walk in my sleep?
    109. Why can’t I stop eating at night?
    110. Is lack of sleep ruining my sex life?
    111. I’m blind—is that why I sleep badly?
  8. Glossary
  9. About the author
  10. Acknowledgments
  11. Copyright