Zoë chats with Dr Lindsay Browning about the importance of sleep


Dr Lindsay Browning is an international sleep expert, psychologist and best-selling author.

She founded Trouble Sleeping ( in 2006 to help companies and individuals with better sleep. She works with the NHS, police, utility companies and the airline industry to advise on shift work and sleep.

Dr Browning is often asked to appear on TV, radio and in print media to comment on sleep issues.

Her qualifications include two degrees in neuroscience and psychology and also a doctorate from the University of Oxford in the treatment of insomnia.

Dr Browning has written the Amazon No 1 self-help sleep book, Navigating Sleeplessness, and can be found on all social media @DrBrowningSleep and at

Show notes

Oh my goodness I enjoyed this hour! We packed in ‘almost everything on sleep’. I realised afterwards that I forgot to ask about shift work, but I remembered most other topics.

We kicked off with Lindsay’s seriously impressive qualifications – three degrees – one a doctorate (PhD) in insomnia from Oxford. Lindsay is a genuine sleep expert. She explained at the top of our conversation that anyone can set themself up as a sleep expert, but few are.

We then covered some of the science – sleep cycles… what pattern they follow… why we sleep in cycles (think evolution)… light, deep and REM sleep… How things may differ between people in their 20s and older people.

Then we were into short questions and great answers:

- What is insomnia? (Linday explains the two types).

- What should we do if we wake in the night and don’t go back to sleep?

- What is sleep? What are microsleeps? Are they OK?

- When people say they didn’t sleep, what probably happened?

- What type of person goes to Lindsay as a client?

- What is the clinical guideline for treating insomnia? What free-of-charge help can people get?

- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia – how tough is it? What kind of approach does it take?

- What about sleep hygiene? What can we do during the day to sleep better at night?

- What about jet lag? (Circadian rhythms came up here.) What does help jet lag and what doesn’t?

- Where are you on sleeping pills? Where do they fit in with clinical guidelines?

- How much sleep do we need? Can we get too much? What might too much be a marker of?

- Are naps/siestas, OK?

- Can we train ourselves to need less sleep?

- What tips help to fall back to sleep quicky after, say, going to the loo?

- What have been your best success stories? (People can see Lindsay privately if desired).

- What’s sleep tourism?

- Does Lindsay sleep well? Lindsay’s book is here

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