The Real Secret is a different kind of self help. We debunk the empty promises of so many books and DVDs and bring you a simple, sensible approach to real life fulfillment. We don't believe you can achieve happiness, or anything else, by simply wishing for, thinking about or visualising it. Our book - and this blog - takes only the best of what really works and turns it into a positive, practical 12-step programme that will enable you to take control of your life and raise your happiness levels.

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The Real Secret is simple, sensible, scientifically supported self help
by Lucy McCarraher & Annabel Shaw


Why we need to sleep well

All of us have trouble sleeping now and then, and notice how much it can reduce our ability to focus, function and feel well the next day. For the majority of us for whom this is only an occasional inconvenience – or a finite period, like the parents of new babies – we usually take it in our stride and catch up with sleep the next night, or week, or month.

If, though, you are someone who currently suffers from poor sleep, or regular insomnia, the effects may be seriously affecting your life and your sense of wellbeing. And more people suffer from this condition than many of us imagine. Recent figures show that:
  • On average, 50% of people slept badly last night
  • Over 30% of the population suffers from insomnia or another sleep disorder
  • 27% of people have sleep problems at any one time
  • 10% of people have chronic insomnia.
And far from being a minor irritation, sleep disorders put sufferers at significantly greater risk of physical and mental health problems, ranging from depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder to immune deficiency and heart disease.

“Whilst great emphasis is rightly placed on the importance of diet and exercise, sleep has for too long been neglected as a major influence on the physical and mental health of the nation.”
Dr Andrew McCulloch, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation

The UK charity, the Mental Health Foundation’s report, “Sleep Matters” shows the impact of sleep on health and wellbeing and details how, far from being a minor irritation, sleep disorders put sufferers at significantly greater risk of health problems.

Its data also reveals the extent to which sleep disorders like insomnia affect everyday issues such as relationships and work. Taken from the “Great British Sleep Survey”, the largest ever survey of the nation’s sleep (conducted by sleep organisation Sleepio), the data shows that compared to people who sleep well, people with insomnia are:
  • Four times as likely to have relationship problems (reported amongst 55% of survey respondents with mild, moderate or severe insomnia, compared to 13% of respondents who slept well)
  • Three times as likely to experience low mood (83% compared to 27%)
  • Three times as likely to lack concentration during the day (78% compared to 26%)
  • Three times as likely to struggle to ‘get things done’ at work or elsewhere in their lives (68% compared to 23%)
  • Over twice as likely to suffer from energy deficiency (94% compared to 42%)

Sleep Writing
One way of helping improve your sleep is to keep a sleep journal. Each morning, note down how easy or hard it was to get to sleep and the quality of the sleep you experienced. On good days, analyse what your evening routine was, what you ate and drank and describe your state of mind on going to bed. On days when sleep was elusive, do the same, noting what might have stopped you sleeping in terms of your own activity, attitude and consumption, or what outside factors kept you awake (noise, light, temperature). At the end of each week, look at the positive and negative influences on your sleep and try to incorporate the first into a regular routine, and minimise the second.

By the end of a month you should have a very clear idea of what helps and hinders you getting to sleep; the things which cause you to wake up in the night; and how to use this information to improve your sleeping habits.

“There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden or even your bathtub.”
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, scientist, doctor, educator, mother

Golden Glow
Another tip is to actively relax before sleeping. Download and listen to the free "Golden Glow" relaxation audio on The Real Secret website while lying in bed at night and get into the habit of clearing your mind of anxious and repetitive thoughts while relaxing each and every muscle in your body.

More info on insomnia in this blog post, and on reducing stress and taking control of your life in The Real Secret, available in print and Kindle formats on and

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