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Health Fact vs Fiction - A Good Night's Sleep

The first episode series two focuses on something we certainly all need, but many of us simply don’t get enough of – sleep. As Anna Richardson attempts to uncover the facts and dispel some of the myths surrounding what occurs while we’re in dreamland, she is joined in the studio by Dr Guy Leschziner, consultant neurologist and reader in neurology at HCA Healthcare UK’s London Bridge Hospital, and author of new book The Nocturnal Brain - which includes the subtitle 'Nightmares, neuroscience and the secret world of sleep'.

Listen to A Good Night's Sleep now: 

Apple iTunes

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Spotify

Episode 8 - A Good Night's Sleep

Sleep is fundamental to life. It is fundamental to our physical health and fundamental to our neurological health
Dr Guy Leschziner

Consultant Neurologist

 

With the help of Guy’s expertise, Anna opens our eyes to many of the common sleep disorders associated with our nightly rest patterns. This includes the difference between sleep deprivation and insomnia, a condition that affects one in 10 people and how cognitive behavioural therapy can play an important role in treating it. 

Then there’s sleep apnoea; that strange-sounding occurrence when a person takes a long pause in breath, followed by loud snoring – which while somewhat irksome for the other person having to listen to it in the early hours of the morning, can also be a signpost to some of the more serious underlying sleep problems. 

Things we learn in this episode

Don’t nod off  - this episode is all about getting the kind of sleep that dreams are made of. Dr Guy Leschziner is a consultant neurologist and reader in neurology at HCA Healthcare UK’s Sleep Centre at the London Bridge Hospital. Guy talks to host Anna Richardson about the importance of sleep, why sleep disorders happen and how to get a good eight hours in.

Sleep Fact

The brain doesn’t necessarily stay in the same state during the entirety of sleep. Guy explains it is possible for the brain to be awake and asleep at the same time!  

Sleep Fiction

Insomnia does not always equate to sleep deprivation. We find out there is a huge range of conditions described as insomnia. Not all of them involve being awake most of the night. 

Working at night Fact

Night shift workers have a higher risk of cancer and other diseases. Guy tells us if our body clock becomes out of sync it can have negative consequences on our health including, influencing our blood pressure and increasing our risk of diabetes and cancer.

Dreaming Fact

Dreaming for too long can be dangerous. Yes, you heard us right. Guy explains during a dreaming sleep we lose the ability to regulate our own body temperature and at risk of becoming hypothermic. If we didn’t cycle in and out of a dreaming sleep, the consequences could be fatal.

A Good Night's Sleep Fact

A good night’s sleep may keep dementia at bay, according to Guy. There’s a growing body of literature surrounding the association between sleep and sleep deprivation and conditions like Alzheimer's disease.

What to do next

Consultant Neurologist,Guy Leschziner,

Dr Guy Leschziner

Dr Guy Leschziner is a consultant neurologist at London Bridge Hospital, part of HCA Healthcare UK. Guy’s NHS practice sits within the department of neurology and sleep disorders centre at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital, one of Europe’s largest sleep units. Guy currently holds general neurology clinics and specialist clinics for sleep disorders and epilepsy. He is passionate about helping people to determine an accurate diagnosis and find the best treatment for their sleep conditions.
 
After completing medical school at Magdalen College, Oxford, and Imperial College at St Mary's, Guy went on to complete a PhD in the genetics of epilepsy and drug management.  Following this, he undertook neurological training at Guy's and St Thomas', Charing Cross Hospital and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, before joining Guy’s and St Thomas’ as a consultant in 2010. 
 
Guy is reader in neurology at the department of clinical neuroscience at King's College London. Alongside regularly giving lectures, Guy has ongoing research interests in narcolepsy, epilepsy, sleepwalking, Kleine-Levin syndrome and restless legs syndrome. 
 
Guy has a strong interest in public education. His recent work includes having presented a three-part series on BBC Radio 4 on the brain and sleep, as well as having been involved with the filming of Channel 4’s “The Secrets of Sleep”. In March 2019 Guy released his first book, "The Nocturnal Brain: Tales of Nightmares and Neuroscience", published by Simon & Schuster. 
Patient undergoing a sleep study

The Sleep Centre at London Bridge Hospital

The London Bridge Sleep Centre is dedicated to the diagnosis and management of sleep disorders including sleep apnoea, nocturnal epilepsy, insomnia and narcolepsy. 

 

During your time at the centre an experienced team of specialist neurologists, physiologists and sleep therapists take care of you whilst also undertaking a number of sleep studies. The team also provide support during in-hospital tests related to sleep.

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