Dr Guy Meadows
How qualified & experienced is Dr Guy Meadows? Dr Guy Meadows is not a psychologist, psychotherapist or a psychiatrist. He is a sleep physiologist, with a doctorate (PhD) from Imperial College, London. He has been working in sleep for the past 10 years, of which 6 have been dedicated to helping chronic insomnia sufferers. He has received additional training in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy at Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) at Mindfulness Training Ltd. He regularly attends ACT workshops and conferences and receives monthly ACT supervision. He is in the process of researching the use of ACT with chronic insomnia. He also has a diploma in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy from John Seymour Associates and University of West of England.
Is Dr. Guy Meadows a medical doctor and can he prescribe sleeping pills? Dr. Guy Meadows is not a medical doctor and cannot prescribe sleeping medication. He is a sleep physiologist, with a doctorate (PhD) from Imperial College, London. He spent four and half years working within the National Heart and Lung Institute in the sleep research laboratories of the Royal Brompton and Charing Cross hospitals. His PhD investigated the regulation of brain blood flow during wakefulness and sleep in patients with sleep apnoea. He has been working and researching within sleep for over 10 years.
The Sleep School Approach
Sleep School One Day Workshops & Retreats use the following Six Step approach to help clients end their struggle with Insomnia:
Step 1. The Struggle Understanding the vicious cycle of insomnia and how we plan to help you escape. Highlight how the struggle to get a good nights sleep can often be the perpetuating factor for poor sleep. Introduce The Sleep School approach & concept of acceptance and commitment and why it can be so helpful for achieving a sound nights sleep and living a rich and meaningful life. Outcome: Learn to let go of all of the unnecessary clutter attached to sleep & begin to regain your life.
Step 2. Healthy Sleep Guidelines Debunk the myths about sleep and understand exactly what good sleepers do to sleep. Understand the basics of sleep physiology and how to achieve a normal sleep wake cycle in everyday life. Outcome: Guidelines to start implementing to improve sleep quality and quantity.
Step 3. Being Present Introduction to mindfulness and practise. Learn to recognise that the only time that exists is now and how to objectively notice and let go of struggling with the content of ones mind during the day & night. Outcome: Mindfulness exercises to practise everyday.
Step 4. Thoughts and Feelings Learn to recognise unhelpful thoughts that keep you awake and how to let go of struggling with them. Learn how to welcome and embrace unwanted sensations associated with not sleeping such as anxiety and/or and racing heart. Outcome: Everyday tools to start playing with your demons.
Step 5. Living a Valued Life Recognise how the struggle to sleep can push you further away from what is important to you in life. Learn to identify what type of sleeper you would like to become and the life you would like to live. Outcome: Short, mid and long term goals to gently move you towards good sleep and an a better life.
Step 6. Preparation for the future Prepare for return to normal life and set goals to achieve good quality sleep on a regular basis. Identify potential barriers for good sleep and development of actions to get round them. Outcome: A Sleep School plan to implement for when your life journey becomes bumpy. When and where are the Sleep School classes held? Currently the Sleep School classes are held at a central London location. For further information, please see The Sleep School Approach page here or watch our animation on our home page here.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or ACT, is a so-called “third wave” cognitive-behavioral model of psychotherapy. It is an empirically based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies together with commitment and behavior-change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility. ACT has a fantastic evidence base across a wide range of treatment interventions including anxiety, depression and stress, many of which are associated with insomnia. The Sleep School is pioneering its use in chronic insomnia because we believe that a change is required in the way in which insomnia is managed. ACT differs from traditional Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in that rather than trying to teach people to control their thoughts, feelings, sensations, memories and other private events, ACT teaches them to "just notice", accept, and embrace these events, especially previously unwanted ones. We believe that acceptance of insomnia is the key to recovering from it because you can’t control your sleep and the more you try the further away it goes.
What is the difference between “acceptance” and “resignation” This is a really common question and it is very easy to think that by accepting your insomnia you are choosing to just live with it for the rest of your life. In fact the opposite is true. Acceptance means choosing to accept your current poor sleeping situation now, so that you can respond in the most helpful way, taking you closer to what’s important to you in the future. In contrast, resignation is where you remain are resentful towards your current state causing all of your actions in the future to keep your stuck exactly where you are now and further away from where you want to be in life.
What is Mindfulness Mindfulness is about being aware of your thoughts, feelings, sensations and urges in a non judgemental manner and accepting in the present moment. Mindfulness practice, inherited from the Buddhist tradition, is increasingly being employed in Western psychology to alleviate a variety of mental and physical conditions, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and in the prevention of relapse in depression and drug addiction. The Sleep School are pioneering its use within chronic insomnia because we believe it to be an effective tool in relieving insomnia symptoms by reducing the worry associated with poor sleep.
Do I need to be a Buddhist to practise Mindfulness? Mindfulness practice comes from the Buddhist tradition, however you do not need to be a Buddhist to benefit from it.
Why don’t you use Cognitive Behaviour Therapy? The Sleep School chooses not to use traditional Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) approaches as it has found it to be of reduced effectiveness in the long term prevention of insomnia. In addition many of our clients report difficulty implementing the traditional approaches leading to poor adherence over time. In addition CBT approaches poor sleep from a control basis, something that we feel goes against many of the basic aspects of natural sleep. We choose to use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) which teaches people to "just notice", accept, and embrace their insomnia rather than trying to control it. The Sleep School believes that acceptance of insomnia is the key to recovering from it because you can’t control your sleep and the more you try the further away it goes.
Does your approach have any scientific evidence to back it up? Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness have a fantastic evidence base across a wide range of treatment interventions including anxiety, depression and stress, many of which are associated with insomnia. The Sleep School is pioneering the use of these techniques within chronic insomnia because we believe that a change is required in the way in which insomnia is managed. Research supporting the use of ACT within insomnia can be found here: http://contextualpsychology.org/publications/incorporating_principles_from_acceptance_and_commi, http://contextualpsychology.org/Lundh_2005. For mindfulness:
What is your success rate? The majority of clients who attend The Sleep School and who implement all of the tools and techniques on a regular basis experience significant improvements in their sleep ranging from the complete abolition of their insomnia to greatly reduced in extreme cases. At the time of writing 83% of the people visiting The Sleep School hugely improved their sleep quality and were very happy with the progress they made.
Sleep School Clinics
Some Information In Brief. . .
What: Consultation or 4 Session Plan
Where: Little Venice, London
When: Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for availability
Single Consultation Price: £250 (1.5 hour)
Plan Price: £799 (1.5 hour consultation & 3 x 1 hour follow ups)
In Detail . . . Single Consultation: All one on one plans start with a 1.5hr consultation to assess the severity of an individual’s insomnia, help to explain why it is happening and what they can do to tackle it. Every consultation client leaves with a bespoke Sleep School workbook with information to read and exercises to follow for one month. In addition each client receives a progress report email one month later. At the end of this session every client will have the opportunity to discuss with Dr. Meadows whether they would benefit from additional sessions.
4 Session Plan The plan includes the 1.5hr single consultation to start followed by three one hour follow up sessions delivered over a six to eight week period depending on a client's needs. This highly successful plan is designed for individuals who have been suffering with chronic insomnia for many months, if not years and who know they need expert one on one support over a period of time to enable them to overcome their sleep problems. The plan sees Dr. Guy Meadows personally guiding and supporting clients through their bespoke sleep school workbook and teaching them how to sleep naturally once more. In addition clients will learn how to effectively manage co-existing and contributing conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression in general life. Dr Meadows has helped over a thousand insomniacs find good quality regular sleep over the last six years using his approach. Please feel free to read what past clients have to say about their experiences with Dr Meadows here.
Currently, there is a waiting list for One-to-One sessions, so please email for more information here.
Sleep School Workshops & Retreats
What actually goes on at a Sleep School Workshop or Retreat?
What you will learn about on one of our classes. . .
. . . why your insomnia started and how your actions right now might be keeping it fuelled.
. . . the truth about sleep and all of the unhelpful myths that surround it.
. . . tools to calm your racing mind and live more in the present moment rather than spending all your time worrying about past poor quality sleep or how bad you will feel if you don’t sleep.
. . . to notice and let go of the reoccurring stories in your head that tell you that won’t sleep or that constantly remind you of how many hours that you have left to sleep.
. . . to free yourself from the unwanted emotions that keep you awake at night such as the anxiety, frustration, despair and/or loneliness of not sleeping.
. . . to accept that the arrival just before bed of a raised heart rate, tight chest or a knot in the stomach does not have to spell out another bad night.
. . . to be able to control the unhelpful urges that flood through the body in the middle of the night such as the desire to get up, drink alcohol and/or take more medication.
. . . to start focussing your energy on getting back to living your life again rather than struggling with your sleep.
. . . how to effectively manage any co-existing conditions that could be impacting your sleep such as excessive daytime stress, anxiety, depression and tinnitus, as well as any dietary or exercise problems.
What you will NOT learn
We promise NOT to tell you to drink warm milk before going to bed or that you need to have a warm bath (unless you really want to!). You won’t need to wind down for hours before going to bed or have to get out of bed in the middle of night and do something boring and completely unrelated to getting to sleep. You won’t have to delve into your past or give your life story (unless you really want to). Just turn up and be ready to learn and start living your life again.
What you will leave with
Whichever class you attend, everyone leaves with a copy of The Sleep School workbook. This details everything that was discussed and provides a clear explanation of what needs to be done to start sleeping naturally once more including exercises to practise on your own and homework to follow.
What are The Sleep School Webinars and how do they work?
Webinars allow clients to log into a live seminar hosted by Dr Guy on a specific date and time. The sessions are hosted live on the internet and at the end of our classes students can ask Dr Guy questions relating to their specific problems. Please take a look at our events page to find out more.
Do you have any other products apart from classes that could help me?
The Sleep School is currently in the process of developing a range of products based on our approach to Insomnia but we would like to know which products you would find most helpful and therefore which we should focus our time on developing. Please take our survey HERE to help us help you!
Help With My Insomnia
Do I need to set aside a period of my life to do one of your classes?
The Sleep School knows that we all live busy lives and there is never a good time to start implementing a new plan. Everything we suggest is designed to be integrated into your normal life, after all that is exactly when you want to be able to sleep normally.
How long will it take for my insomnia to go away?
Everyone is different and so the exact length of time that it takes to start sleeping naturally again can’t be predicted. It does not take long to learn the tools, but it is the willingness of the individual to sit with their insomnia rather than try to control it that determines its longevity. All of the tools that we offer are designed to help people through this process as quickly as possible.
Do you see people who are on sleeping pills?
The majority of the clients who come to The Sleep School are regularly taking some form of prescribed, over the counter or alternative medication to help them sleep such as Zopliclone, Night nurse or Valerian root. Our aim is to teach you to trust in your natural ability to sleep without the use of medication. All sleep medication exit strategies are provided and performed under the guidance of the clients Doctor or GP and not by Dr. Guy Meadows (PhD).
Do you see people who are on anti-depressant medication?
Yes, the majority of clients who attend The Sleep School are taking some form of anti depressant medication such as Mirtazapine, Trazodone, Amitriptyline, and Sertraline. The intricate link between depression and insomnia means that most clients who experience an improvement in their sleep whilst on the plan also experience an elevation in mood. However all anti depressant medication exit strategies are provided and performed under the guidance of the clients Doctor or GP and not by Dr. Guy Meadows (PhD).
Am I the only one who suffers from this?
No you are not alone chronic insomnia affects up to 25% of the UK population with females being the greatest sufferers. Our clients range from teenagers, new mothers, executives, retirees to professional athletes and come from all ethnic backgrounds and of all ages.
My sleeping seems to be is getting worse, when is it going to get better?
The Sleep School teaches you to sit with the fear of not sleeping so that you can weaken the grip it has over you and sleep naturally once more. In order for you to do this you need to experience poor sleep at the start of the plan rather than trying to avoid it. In this instance it could be said that poor sleep offers an opportunity to start practising all of the techniques that you learn and begin to start letting go of struggling with your insomnia. In some cases withdrawing from sleeping medication can cause your insomnia to worsen for a few days. However the plan aims to limit this effect by providing you with the tools and knowledge to achieve good quality natural sleep.