In today's Daily Mail, you will find
a feature that has followed on from the findings of our study with
the University of Leeds. Nearly a quarter of Brits get by on less
than 5 hours sleep a night. So our sleep expert, Dr Nerina
Ramlakhan worked with four females who survive on little sleep,
giving her expert advice on how to improve their sleep

Dr Nerina

 The first lady, aged 44,
claimed her business has to come before sleep. She said, "The
moment I put on my pyjamas and fall into bed at around 10.30pm, I'm
dead to the world...until - ping! - it's 3am and I'm
I instantly check my phone and
spend the next 40 minutes in bed answering emails on my laptop. By
4am, my brain is in overdrive". 

 Dr Nerina said, "I find that women are much
more likely to be up in the small hours, multi-tasking. After all,
they're so often grappling many roles - wife, mother, professional
- and try to get everything done before they relax. While it's
perfectly normal to wake at night, when she does she shouldn't look
at the clock or her phone. Instead, she should relax and take some
slow deep breaths to help her get back to sleep". 

 The next woman, aged 32,
blames her lack of sleep on her kids, and never gets more than two
hours straight sleep. She said, "On an average night, one child
will wake up for the toilet and, just as I get them back to sleep,
another will have a bad dream. That will disturb one of the others,
who'll then sneak into my bed.
Each time it
takes me at least an hour to drift off again". 

 Dr Nerina suggested, "Claire needs support,
such as good friends who can help her with the children. She also
needs some coping strategies, such as the occasional massage to
help her rest and even a night out with friends". 

 The third lady worked for 10 years on nights
shifts at a nursing home and slept in the daytime. She claims she
never got more than three or four hours no matter how hard she
tried. She was exhausted. 

Dr Nerina commented, "All those
years of working at night can break your internal circadian timer,
which regulates when we feel sleepy and when we feel

 The final woman is aged 40,
and is consumed by anxiety at night. She is a stay at home mother,
who has many worries which keep her awake in the early hours. "I
eventually drop off, but by 4.30 am I'm awake again.
I try not to let it affect me but
it can make me grouchy. I just keep on going. Sometimes, when I get
back from the school run, I feel so awful that I want to go back to
bed. But I never allow myself to - I'd feel too

 Dr Nerina said, "Another vital factor in
sleeping well is living in the present - don't worry about the past
or the future. Think of something you feel grateful for in

 We worked with Leeds University to look more
closely at the UK's sleep habits. Our research found that a
worrying amount of Brits suffer from dangerously low levels of
sleep - with many of us getting as little as five hours per
night. Dr Anna Weighall, a psychologist from Leeds University,
believes the British population are in a debt to their bedtime,
losing a minimum of one hour per night. Alarmingly this equates to
many losing up to 15 days worth of sleep a year, which is nearly
three and a half years in an average lifetime. And for many Brits
this debt is even more serious.

 Read more of Dr Nerina's advice in the Daily
Mail here: