FAQ's

Other

Do you see people who are on anti-depressant medication?

Most clients who come to the Sleep School have been regularly 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 are also likely to experience an elevation in mood. Should you wish to explore anti-depressant medication exit strategies, please consult your Doctor or GP.

Do you see people who are on sleeping pills?

Most clients who come to the Sleep School have been 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 and not to rely on medication. All sleep medication exit strategies are provided and performed under the guidance of the client's Doctor or GP.

Can Dr Guy Meadows or Dr Kat Lederle prescribe sleeping pills?

Dr Meadows and Dr Lederle are sleep physiologists, with doctorates (PhD) from Imperial College, London and the University of Surrey, respectively. They are not medical doctors, and therefore they cannot prescribe medication. What they can do, however, is help you find a medication-free solution to your insomnia, whereby you can train yourself to fall to sleep naturally.

What does the online course involve?

The Insomnia Online Course is a highly interactive digital support tool designed to help you overcome your insomnia. It consists of over 70 high definition videos and audio tracks designed to offer you advice, tools to practice and ongoing support to help your recovery from your insomnia in your own time and at your own pace. It works as a standalone product or an excellent support tool to the live workshops and private clinic sessions.

Am I the only one who suffers from insomnia?

No, you are not alone. Chronic insomnia affects up to 25% of the UK population, with females being the greatest sufferers. Our clients come from all ethnic backgrounds and are of all ages. They range from teenagers to new mothers, executives to retirees, and even include professional athletes!

Can my sleep get worse before it gets better?

The Sleep School teaches you to overcome your fear of sleeplessness by increasing your willingness to experience it. At the start of the programme, if it feels like your insomnia is getting worse, see if you can embrace poor sleep as an opportunity to start practising all of the techniques that you've learnt. In some cases, your insomnia can worsen for a few days if you're withdrawing from sleeping medication. However, the tools and knowledge we provide you with will help you to eventually achieve good quality, natural sleep.

Approach

How effective is the Sleep School Approach?

In 2015 we completed an in-house clinical study to evaluate the effectiveness of the Sleep School approach. We tracked the sleeping patterns of chronic insomnia sufferers for one year after attending one of our Workshops in central London. The results showed significant improvements across a wide range of sleep measures including a 30% increase in total sleep time (4.8hrs to 6.8hrs); 70% decrease in the time taken to fall to sleep (50 mins to 15 mins); 72% decrease in the time taken to fall back to sleep (90 mins to 25mins).

Is the Sleep School approach scientifically based?

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness have a fantastic evidence base across a wide range of treatment interventions, including the treatment of anxiety, depression, and stress. Recognising the strong link between such conditions and chronic insomnia, we're pioneering the use of ACT and Mindfulness to help clients completely reshape their relationship with their sleep, and we've done so with amazing results.

How long will it take me to recover?

The results of our 2015 in-house clinical study showed that significant improvements across a wide range of sleep measures occurred within just 5 weeks, including a 50% reduction in self-perceived insomnia severity. Further significant improvements were then reported at 10 weeks, and then at 6 and 12 months, all of which culminated in 86% of the participants becoming a ‘normal sleeper’, despite previously suffering from insomnia for over two decades. Everyone is different, however, and so the exact length of time that it will take for you to overcome your insomnia can't be predicted. All of the tools that we offer are designed to help you through this process as quickly as possible, but your willingness to redefine your relationship with your insomnia is of course a very important factor that can't be ignored.

Do I need to set aside a period of my life in order to follow the Sleep School plan?

The Sleep School knows that we all live busy lives and that there is never a good time to start implementing a new plan. Everything we suggest is designed to be integrated into your normal 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.

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.

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.

Which Sleep School Insomnia service should I choose?

The Sleep School has created a series of products to suit your individual needs enabling you to achieve good quality sleep in the fastest way possible. The Online Course is the perfect tool for anyone wanting to learn how to overcome their insomnia in their own time. With over 70 high definition videos and audio tracks, you can listen to the advice, practice the tools and receive continued support in your own time and at your own pace. It can be used as an insomnia recovery tool or as an excellent support tool to the live workshops and private clinic sessions. The live workshops offer an exciting group learning experience whereby you gain direct access to our sleep experts who will guide you through the essential tools needed for you to recover from your insomnia. You will also meet and spend time with other individuals who are going through the same as you. Private clinic sessions offer a highly bespoke experience whereby you get to work on a 1-2-1 level with one of our sleep experts. The sessions are tailored exactly to your needs and you leave with a personalised plan of action for you to follow.

What you will NOT learn at The Sleep School. . .

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 is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or ACT?

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.

Private clinics

What do Follow Up Clinic sessions involve?

When necessary, 1-hour follow up support sessions are typically scheduled for 3-4 weeks after the initial consultation. They offer an opportunity to discuss your progress, ask questions, and learn additional tools to further improve your sleep and keep you on track. The cost of a follow up consultation is £160. Sessions can take place at our clinic in Little Venice, London, or they can happen via phone or Skype.

What does a Private Clinic consultation involve?

A private consultation with Dr Lederle lasts two hours and is an in depth learning experience to start you on the path to natural sleep. All sessions start with an assessment of your insomnia risks, triggers and symptoms. Dr Lederle will then offer a helpful explanation as to why your insomnia is happening, and what you can do to tackle it. During the session you will work through the Sleep School workbook with Dr Kat, who will then provide you with a tailor-made sleep plan for you to take away. You will also discuss and practice specific tools and exercises for you to follow in the coming weeks. Following the session, you will receive weekly support emails designed to assist your practice and get you back to sleeping naturally once again. At the end of your initial consultation and based on your circumstances, Dr Lederle might recommend additional support sessions. The cost of an initial consultation is £300. Sessions can take place at our clinic in Little Venice, London, or they can happen via phone or Skype.<br>

Workshops

What you will leave the workshop with

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 practice on your own and homework to follow. You will also receive five support emails over 10 weeks designed to boost your practice and support you on your road to recovery.

What you will learn about on one of our workshops. . .

. . . why your insomnia started and how your actions right now might be keeping it fueled. . . . 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 focusing 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.