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#WeWork Cambridge – a talk

So, today we had a blast at #WeWork Station Road in Cambridge.

The topic:

  • Sleeplessness – is it as much of an enigma as we think? 
  • Research and a practical approach to sleeplessness. 

What an amazing bunch. The Q&As are always so enlightening. To some, sleep feels like they are skipping Non-REM sleep altogether. As always, the amazement at what we actually know about sleep, sleeplessness was palpable. Research has so much more in store than meets the eye.

I don’t get tired saying it. Everyone’s situation is different. Yes, there are probabilities with respect to what the most underlying issue could be, statistically speaking.

But all of you deserve the attention and focus the medical society has in store for you.

Use. It. Ask for the free preview of “Your Night’s Architecture”. Fill out the questionnaire. Check the initial findings I have added to start an informed conversation with your GP.

You get to act.

Please don’t give up on sleep.

Had they known… A view on what my former company wish they had known about helping when I had insomnia.

Credit – Caroline White Photography

Last week, as you know, I started sharing an incredible accomplishment. I presented the world with a preview of a book in the making, ‘Your Night’s Architecture’. To you, it will not sound like a big deal right now, but for society at large, it is. My former boss and friend commented on it. Way back when, I had never told him, or any other former employer for that matter, that I had been dealing with a severe insomnia. His comment was this:

“What could we have done for you?”

This article will give you an idea on what the medical society has to say. I will also look at what assistance can look like for corporations. We will discuss the handling of impacted individuals on operational level another time, shall you require it. Ping me for that. For the sake of this article, issue refer to sleep-related problems impairing people’s daytime functioning and people who feel they are transitioning into a pattern like that, alike. 

So, here goes. On 7th September, a close circle of friends and I celebrated the free-of-charge preview of my book ‘Your Night’s Architecture’. It’s a fraction of what the book will provide and an exact the opposite of sleep hacks, looking at sleep issues in the individual’s context. If you have ever spoken to someone with sleep issues, you will quickly learn that prescribing sleeping pills or self-prescribed measures to sleep are common practice. Individuals quickly get stuck in the medical system. This is why the book in the making and its preview is such a big deal. It gives people a chance to understand sleep in their own context, using a medically accepted questionnaire. It empowers people get the right help on board because they understand the background of those questions. Sometimes, it’s as simple as agreeing with one’s physician to change the dosage or timing of medication. 

Anyway, right after sharing that 33-pager, jam-packed with a questionnaire that’s medically recognised and some of the basics to shed light on the reason these questions are being asked, amazing feedback keeps pouring in. Amongst them, my former boss and friend gets in touch via Facebook. He had just read the first few pages, and he dropped the question on me.

“What could we have done for you?” 

Well, first of all, we need to find a way to get people to open up about this topic, which is tricky. I will share good news about this later, the stigma I felt seems to be vanishing. Back in the day it felt to me like sharing my predicament was pointless, I had toughened up like some of the sleepless do. Plus, why would I discuss an issue that was only getting worse over time? Help seemed out of reach. That’s how, unbeknownst to me, my movement started. You see, from time to time, I had sought help, got checked from head to toe, my physicians were struggling. According to my medical records, on 12th June 2006, I genuinely crashed and showed up at a psychiatric clinic to get help. There I was again, actively trying to fit get a psychiatric diagnosis to stop the misery that sleeplessness presented me with. You read that right. It didn’t pan out that way, yet again. I am perfectly healthy, but you get the point. I did work it out and overcame insomnia eventually, but that’s a story for another time.

On corporate level, I want to see education happening to prevent people from transitioning into sleep issues in the first place. I want to see practical guidance happening for people to discuss their specific situation with their physicians. 

What currently hasn’t hit the media in detail is this: Sleep issues depend on the individual. I mean, think about it. One’s biological set up, psychological traits, personality, social environment, work demands, view of the world, state of health, hormone levels… all unique. Hence, we need to address it as such, even its precursor. It’s recognised among the medical society that, for instance, insomnia might require addressing of several layers playing into sleep, such as medical issues, psychological traits and/or behavioural aspects. They go further saying that as long as we don’t address that way, we’re amiss. Sleep apnea and other ailments in themselves need to be looked at closer, too and not rubber-stamped as per the status quo. There are influencing factors even here. The good news is this: there is a structured way to address this rather than having insomniacs getting stuck in the system like I did. The structured way is what my movement is all about. 

Now, you have seen the numbers. An estimated 10% of people seem to fit the diagnostic criteria for insomnia, the number of people transitioning into that situation is even higher. Extensive research about sleep issues and the economic impact has been done – see RAND’s view here, Depending on where the individuals stand, the effects can be devastating. As a movement leader and researcher, I want to see prevention and practical assistance happen in order to assist you with your team goals, overall satisfaction at the workplace and retention.

Here’s the good news. While doing corporate work, here’s what I witness:

  • team leaders requesting a view on how to handle high-demand periods to assist their employees with better sleep
  • senior management pledging to assist their employees with mental health and wellbeing programs (google it – you’ll find so many organisations, and even the government pledging to an overhaul for NHS staff)
  • senior managers leading by example and requesting walk-in clinic slots or publicly speaking about their sleep woes during Q&As
  • people are so much more outspoken about their sleep issues 

From a prevention point of view, I want to see more guidance. When your staff gets a view on what we actually know about sleep and what to look out for, they will be more equipped to establish good sleep patterns or get help to address their medication or other aspects of health, well-prepped.

Coming back to my friend and his initial question, I thank him for asking in the first place. My movement will at some point address physicians, healthcare systems, knowledge-transfer and a view on how to implement an approach to sleep issues on a larger scale just like ‘Your Night’s Architecture’ proposes. Plus, we need the curated content I am providing, a single point of truth, quickly accessible. 

For now, it’s on us to help the individuals to understand sleep in one’s context.

As promised, if you feel that you or your staff member need to have an informed conversation with your physician, do reach out or pass the link on to your staff, they can thank me later. It’s a free-of-charge document. Get a copy yourself to see what all the fuzz is about. 

We can have a conversation about your corporate needs, too. 

Whatever you do, however, don’t let anyone give up on sleep. And I hope that you or your boss will ask the same question my friend asked me. 

“Your Night’s Architecture” – this is epic. Your preview is ready and it’s the opposite of sleep hacks.

Where did time go. This post is an announcement of epic proportions.

Your preview of “Your Night’s Architecture” is ready. 33 pages jam-packed with a medically relevant questionnaire, some background on the questions they need to help you…

The book is in the making but this preview will empower you already. Scroll down and send me an email for a free copy.

It seems like yesterday that I felt like I was losing my mind because of chronic sleeplessness’ tight grip. I am still incredulous about how I got over it. 

Then, there was that promise I made to get to the bottom of what the medical society actually has to offer about insomnia. Wanna make the world a better place? Help yourself to what we actually do know about sleep by requesting a copy.

Dear reader, it’s the opposite of sleep hacks, it’s a structured approach. I want to empower you to ask the right questions by working through the questionnaire in the “Here’s Looking At You” section. It’s an outline of questions recommend by physicians and then some. Once you have filled it in, use the cheat sheet to prepare your conversation with your healthcare professional. The whole point of this preview is to prepare you, so you can talk to your physician. You guys should review your situation, prioritise and get the right help on board.

“But Birgit, what are you talking about? Is this yet another set of sleep hacks? Is this a good use of my time?”

This preview is the closest thing to a plan for you, and it’s for free. It’s part of a movement to help society at large to address insomnia more efficiently. Here’s how what you can do right now. Either by requesting the preview, answering the following questions, I will send you the preview once it’s ready.

By donating or booking a 1:1.

Now, shoot me an email, this movement needs your input to grow.,

  • How did you learn about this movement and preview?
  • I am an Insomnia Analyst, helping people understand insomnia in their context and prepare them for their conversation with a healthcare professional of their choice. Plus, I am leading a movement to address this worldwide issue more efficiently. Given this unique view on sleep and insomnia, what are the top three questions you would ask me if you sat in front of me right now?

I thank you for any way you choose to contribute.

The newsreel

Book Me

I am so amazed at the progress “Your Night’s Architecture” is making. Helping you navigate the healthcare system is everything and there is so much ahead.

Don’t forget to ask for the free preview, a 33-pager outlining to get how it works, it’s a fraction of what the book will bring, already enabling you to see your practitioner.

Get your free preview.

Mar 2020 – Medium – a worldwide first & strategic guide for individuals

All hands on deck. Click here for the latest and greatest and what to look out for as individuals.

Feb 2020 – MadWorld article – a worldwide first & strategic guide for corporations

All hands on deck. Click here to view Mad World featuring me. Mad World is a platform dedicated to companies in the pole position with respect to Mental Health & Wellbeing.

  • It’s a worldwide first for corporations.
  • A how to to carve out a sleep-related program based on your company’s specific demands
  • A view on what plays into sleep and how you can carve out a strategy based on what the medical society has in store. Get in touch to shape your strategy

January 2020

What a great way to start the year.

There is a feature out there, so grateful to Velvet Magazine Cambridge.

5th Dec – WeWork Cambridge – what a blast:

“Sleeplessness, is it as much of an enigma as we think?” -> Research and a practical approach to sleeplessness.

WeWork members joined, conference room 2F was packed. Click here for details.

7th November – assisted Maria Conde’s Oasis community:

Ooh, what a great conversation with Maria Conde yesterday. We kicked the conversation off by discussing the most important principles re sleep and then went on to discuss really juicy stuff.

The three principles to understand sleep in your context are the following. Be it light sleep issues or fully blown sleeplessness. The medically recognised questionnaire helps to get some structure in, but the following applies 🙂 

  • Don’t be a heroe (you are overextending yourself by being tough ) 
  • Observe and don’t judge
  • Trace it back to its origin

And while that might sound quite ‘vanilla’, we discussed practical cases. 

  • when to check for sleep hygiene issues (not always relevant and sometimes even unnecessary)
  • a high-level view on what the medical society considers feasible for women in menopause (the research is inconclusive and, as everything else only to be considered in your context, get in touch for the details)

Thanks so much, Maria for having me : ) You are doing a great thing by helping your community to assist themselves with self-care. They will thrive because of you. 

Get your free preview. 

Corporate work: 

I am so glad to have presented an overview of what sleep means last week and how to prepare for high demand periods. It was awesome.

  • Mid August it was time to present sleep, the why, what the downside of sleep deprivation can trigger. We got invited to a great barbecue. Thanks, team 🙂
  • Weeks ago, it was walk-in clinic time. Two days of 15 minutes slot we used the questionnaire which is part of the preview you can order

Online Summit 15th July:

Check out my contribution to Dr. Orlena’s Wellness Summit

  • Why you can’t sleep
  • Your individual context matters so much
  • What you can do by yourself to improve your sleep
  • How to get further help


The Somnex Sleep Show & chairing of the Healthcare Stage.

Trade Day (Friday 12th October):

“Addressing sleep issues as a healthcare practitioner. Can looking at the sleepless in their individual context be more efficient”

Public Day (Sat and Sun, 13th/14th October):

“Addressing sleep issues in your individual context. How to navigate through insomnia and other common sleep challenges.

Further Features

Charlotte, over at whatever your dose wrote this wonderful piece to explain insomnia – what it is, what causes it and how to fix itHer website looks at what a pleasure seeker needs wellbeing related guidance on and I’m proud to have been featured alongside Natalie Lamb.

Jane at The Healthcare Holiday beautifully summarised a massive amount of facts and figures provided, An Expert’s View into Insomnia. Her website looks into the art of wellness specialising in health and wellness from the ancient therapies of the East to the latest diagnostic techniques of the West.  An Expert View Into Insomnia outlines who is prone to insomnia, potential causes, lifestyle factors, power napping, how much sleep is sufficient. She also describes sleep quality and daytime coping as part of what insomnia means.

This project requires funds to pay for copy editing, layout and other expenses. Forever grateful for every pound you choose to invest in this movement.
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The amazing Somnex Show in London

Dear ones,

The Somnex Sleep Show is coming and I will be holding talks 🙂 Are you joining or what. 

Trade Day (Friday 12th October):

“Addressing sleep issues as a healthcare practitioner. Can looking at the sleepless in their individual context be more efficient”

Public Day (Sat and Sun, 13th/14th October)

“Addressing sleep issues in your individual context. How to navigate through insomnia and other common sleep challenges.”