Pillow Talk with Dr Idzikowski; Dr Chris Idzikowski Is Director of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Idzikowski

November is sleep disturbance month, according to findings of a recent survey.

The three areas of sleep that can falter are duration, quality and continuity. Insomnia (too little sleep) and hypersomnia (too much sleep) are also prevalent at this time of year.

Turning the heat up in the house results in poor breathing.

The survey of 4,000 people by the manufacturers of Crampex tablets, which can relieve nocturnal muscle pain, found that the average continuous block of sleep is about five hours.

When I'm asked what constitutes a good night's sleep, I say sufficient duration, quality and continuity so that you wake up feeling well and refreshed.

Five hours is rarely enough.

Q. Why are most of my dreams in black and white?

A. It may mean you are over 50.

Research in the Twenties by psychoanalysts who trained their patients to recall their dreams found that most of them dreamt in black and white. This contrasted with research in the Seventies that found most people dreamt in colour.

A recent publication by Eva Murzyn, a researcher in Dundee, has extended this work and discovered that recall of black and white dreams, mixed dreams in which only some parts are coloured and colour dreams may depend on exposure to films and television.

The older age groups will have had more exposure to black and white films than the younger age group and tend to dream more in black and white. …