The problem with insomnia

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Well, isn’t it obvious? 

Looking into Insomnia; from a psychosocial, scientific and artistic viewpoint  

This series of articles “Looking into Insomnia” aims to look at insomnia from varying perspectives such as scientific, psychological and sociological, creative and artistic, humanistic, meditative and mindful point of view as well as humouristic and maybe even a theological and philosophical viewpoint. 


Ok, that’s a lot. What does it mean and why would it be of interest? 

Well, it’s of interest to me for a couple of reasons. I am a certified practitioner of neurolinguistics, as well as a student of the psychology and sociology and my postgrad was is data-driven marketing and communication. Most import of all though, in building my credability with you is my lived experience. I have lived with insomnia for the best part of 42 years of my life (note I chose the wording “live with” and not “suffer from” this is an important point that I will come back to later on). As a practitioner and student of the arts and social sciences I have long been intrigued as to why professionals, scientist, and psychologists, experts in the field of insomnia chose to focus purely on one or two areas, usually their own areas of specialism and do not look at the wider picture, why do they not try and join the dots. Possibly because that’s what they have built their thesis, doctorate and career on and steering away from it seems counterproductive. Or simply it's because, like most of us, when you are so focused on one area you can't see the wood for the trees. 

For years, I have seen connections and dots and wondered why others (namely those writing the books and the blogs) haven’t, why they haven’t joined them together. So, I want to know what's going on. I want to look at all the evidence and interrogate it. I want to pick up the rocks shine a torch under them and see what's going on. 

What I would also like to do, through my training in data-driven and digital marketing and communications is to expand up on and explain how elements like social media are affecting us, subconsciously. How they are utilised, by marketers like me, to elicit a behaviour by influencing our emotions which affect our physiology, well-being and in our case our ability to sleep. 

Why do neuroscientist not take into consideration the sociological aspects and vice verse, why do psychologists focus on psychoanalysis or cognitive behavioural therapy over drugs and physiologists focus on the physical whilst ignoring the psychological and physiological benefits of herbal medicines or mindfulness and meditation practices, and what about the creative art studies and artistic endeavours to express and explain the issues around insomnia. Yet advertisers utilise all of it when attacking our subconcious. Now I know those are sweeping statements and not all practitioners ignore the practices of other scientific or nonscientific practices. But a lot and in my experience (and I have done a lot of research in the those 42 years) most focus on their own area only, on their own area of specialism as if it is their chance to stake their claim on the discussion, make their mark and make a name for themselves in their chosen profession. And whilst there is nothing wrong with this per say, we all need to make a living, I would argue that perhaps it means we are missing some obvious answers. And no doubt so am I.

So, over the course of the next few months I am planning (and all good plans etc etc) to write a series of articles looking at a psychosocial and neurolinguistics study of insomnia but with a consideration of the current hard science and social science viewpoints of insomnia from a neurological,  physiological and psychological perspective as well as bring in thoughts and considerations from NLP, sociology, as well as the arts and humanities and everything else I witter on about above. Trying to bring this all together to see how the world we live in is affecting our ability to sleep and what we can do about it. 

This is all going to be in layman's non-academic language because, well quite frankly, I am a layman, a blog writer/marketing technologist and amateur social science researcher but not a real scientist or academic. 

The reason I am doing all this study is that I love to learn but also I like to look at the world from as many different viewpoints as possible in order to see a deeper picture. This is, for me, the best way to apply critical thinking and in making sense of the world. 

One of the complaints I read about the social science and hard science journals and academic books is that they do a great job of discussing world issues and theories between themselves between academic to academic, but do a not so good job of relaying this information back to the general public, out of their network of discussion.  I am not sure I am going to necessarily do a good job of it, that will be judged by the reader, but I will do my best.

My plan is to look at studies or discussions in insomnia and break them down in order to understand them, question them and hopefully join up some of the dots between them.

So, let us get started. 


Image used under free Pexels licence 


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