People often ask how I started in sleep medicine. And it’s quite an interesting journey…
I knew I wanted to go into neurology and psychology, and whilst I was doing one of my degrees I got this amazing experience to go to Harvard Medical School.
We had a sleep lab there and carried out studies for NASA looking at astronaut sleep, and sending them to Mars on a 25-hour day.
For me, it was really cool stuff!
So, I was considered a sleep physiologist when I returned.
I went into the clinical field and got to work in a really good sleep disorder centre in London – Guy’s and St Thomas’. From there, I started to realise that we were really ignoring the biggest issue of all which was insomnia.
We were treating all these very complex illnesses, like narcolepsy and sleep apnoea in the sleep lab… But unfortunately, we weren’t treating insomnia.
And yet people, even with those conditions, were asking me questions about insomnia. As a result, I did a load more studying and built my own business, and on the way built several of NHS services.
Finally, insomnia treatments are being used in the NHS and in the UK in general. It’s taken us years to build that acknowledgement for insomnia in that people can actually be treated.
There are sleep experts like me out there. And we are actually treating sleep disorders including insomnia as the most common one, every single day.
We’re treating it… it’s a really awesome place to be.