Evening Standard - ES Magazine


BY Want to crack the happiness code? Read on…


When sleep goes, joy goes. Forget, for a moment, the brain fog, the clumsiness induced micro-injuries, the dodgy eating patterns and the god-awful weariness that goes with compromise­d sleep. The main takeaway from years of insomnia was, for me… despair, really.

I thought I’d tried everything. I even flew to a sleep clinic in Portugal where they wired me up overnight, told me that I’d been in deep sleep for a total of one hour and 57 minutes and advised me that I was heading for an early grave — without helping me swerve it. I was super-resigned and super-blue. Reluctantl­y, I booked a sleep consultati­on at The Bronte Clinic, a new, female-focused centre of excellence near Sloane Square. Dr Dani Russell (compassion­ate, calm, wise) listened carefully and prescribed sleep training. As though I were a baby. Totally low-fi. No cost. Slightly trying, she warned, but works for almost everyone. It went like this: I had to go to bed incrementa­lly 20 minutes later week on week until I slept through to 6am. No naps even at weekends. No pills. Hideous. I pushed myself, miserably, to a 12.30 bedtime (that’s a lot of bad telly) and then it shifted. I stuck at 12.30 for two weeks and then started to pull my bedtime back. The woman’s a genius. I no longer collapse at 10 and wake — as though my life is on fire — at 3am. I am now a person who sleeps. And that person is profoundly happier. The Bronte Clinic, 9 Wilbraham Place, SW1 (020 3488 2582; thebrontec­linic.com)

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