In May 2011 I entered a three month sleep programme at Glasgow University’s Sleep Centre as a participant in a PhD study to assess people’s adherence to programmes that help them sleep better. I’d always had difficult and interrupted sleep, perhaps operating on 70% of what (I thought) I needed.
The sleep programme helped me understand my own sleep needs, sleep hygeine and attitudes towards sleep and myself. Under the guidance of Meghan Crawford and Dr Simon Kyle, who both work in Colin Espie’s centre, and with the support of a fellow sufferer, C, I progressed from being a poor sleeper to an average sleeper. And in 2012 I would say I now am a good — automatic — sleeper.
As ever, my instinct was to write about it. This is my sleep log that I kept at the time, something that I found incredibly useful, and then, as I needed to, left behind — writing about sleep did not, for me, make it automatic, and automaticity is the key behind good sleep behaviour. But I’m still happy with the record and what I learnt through the process of understanding myself through writing.