When the Loose Women panel welcomed Richard Hammond to the show, one of the topics discussed was the issue of sleep deprivation and how it effects people. This followed the release of new stats, which have revealed that using technology right before bedtime is disrupting our pattern.
Ruth, Coleen, Jamelia and Nadia checked in with their audience to find out if they had slept well that night, to which they answered a resounding “yes!”
Nadia wasn’t so confident in her own sleep pattern:
“Ever since I’ve been in the Big Brother house, I haven’t had more than four hours sleep and I’ve never suffered from sleep deprivation. It’s terrible.”
“If you’re in your fifties,” Ruth said, “there is a growing sleep disorder affecting us. Our love of gadgets – tablets and smartphones – is preventing us from winding down at night and then we’re not sleeping. This can actually have a very serious effect on your health – a series of people are being hospitalised.”
“We’re kind of laughing about it, but lack of sleep can make you very ill. The big problem with youngsters and particularly us over fifties, is that we’ve got computers,” she added.
Ruth questioned Richard as to whether he took the laptop to bed with him.
“Not really no… I just really enjoy my sleep,” he shrugged. “I’ve just done a dry January, and the quality of sleep you get is amazing.”
“I’m very good at sleeping. It’s a skill,” Richard added.
“I think I’m married to a door mouse!” Coleen asked. I’ll say to him ‘Why are you so tired? You’ve had ten hours sleep’ and he’ll say ‘I need twelve.’ He’s a musician so he goes to bed at all different times.”
Jamelia is a short sleeper:
“I can’t sleep for that long. For me it’s four or five hours and I’m cool. If I sleep more than that it affects my day and I feel really tired. But, I can also sleep anywhere, like standing up in a club,” she laughed.
“Do you have gadgets in the bedroom, like a laptop?” Coleen asked.
Jamelia confessed: “I have everything in there, and I’m wondering if that does have something to do with it? I have my laptop and I’ll watch a film to go to sleep. It’s like I need them, or I’m going to miss out on something.”
Coleen said that electronic gadgets weren’t her problem: “I have a husband, and he’s the gadget that keeps me awake, with his snoring!”
Richard also admitted to being a snorer: “Mindy, my wife, gets quite cross. I can’t help it! My preferred way to sleep is on my back with my arms crossed but then I snore.”
“How does Mindy combat this?” Ruth asked, “Does she give you a pinch on the nose?”
“No!” Richard replied, “She’ll shout ‘Richard!’ I try to find alternative places to curl up if she’s woken me three or four times. We have six cats in our house, and I’m allergic to cats, I so can’t help it.”
“Has she tried re-homing you?!” Coleen suggested. “I think that’s the hint.”
“What about on location?” Ruth asked Richard. Have you had to sleep in some strange places?”
“Hammocks on mountains, in deserts – I could sleep here now if you leave me for five minutes. I can be out like a light” he answered.
Ruth then turned her attention to Nadia’s Big Brother experience: “How much sleep did you get in the house?”
“Well I was in a mad house, don’t forget” Nadia replied. “There was so much fighting going on, my adrenalin was up! I just couldn’t fall asleep.”
“I’d just lie there, in pitch black. You don’t know what the time is. You can’t read, you’ve got nothing to do – it was one of the worst parts” She added.
“If you don’t sleep at night, do you nod off during the day?” Ruth questioned.
“You’re not allowed – they wake you up,” Nadia responded. “It is all part of the torture: sleep deprivation, loads of maniacs, bright lights or pitch dark!”
Richard asked the panel, “When you don’t sleep as an adult, do you find it connects to when you’re a kid? If I can’t get to sleep now, I’m like a ten year old at Christmas.”
The stats also suggested that people in their fifties have quite stressful jobs.
“We’re still working and worrying about our children too, but often we’ve got elderly parents as well,” Ruth mentions.
“I think most people now use their phone as an alarm, so you’ve got that link to your phone the whole time,” commented Nadia on the technology aspect of the survey.
“I read somewhere you’re meant to switch your phone off at least an hour before bed,” Ruth agreed.
Do you find yourself taking a rucksack full of technology to bed with you? Or is it stress that keeps you awake? Maybe you’re more like Richard and can sleep soundly absolutely anywhere. Whichever it is, get in touch and let us know!