Just after 9pm at Charing Cross Hospital, West London, and the corridors are deserted.
Patients are asleep, most staff have long left for home and the reception desks are shuttered up.
But in a small room on the eighth floor, the day is only just beginning.
For this is the Imperial College Healthcare Sleep Centre, an overnight clinic designed to investigate — and improve — people’s sleep problems.
Ed Tighe, 29, has had sleep problems for as long as he can remember - and they are extreme
Initially, this was just a research centre, but four years ago, after increasing requests for help, they started seeing patients.
Sleep clinics are in great demand as this problem becomes endemic — just last month, a study found one in three British workers is affected by chronic lack of sleep, with many so tired they feel ‘sleep-drunk’ at work.
The fortunate ones are seen at specialist centres such as the one at Imperial College.
There are just two consultants, seeing 140 new patients a month (there is an eight-week wait for an overnight assessment).
I have been allowed access to see what goes on and find out what is behind so many people’s lack of sleep.
As an extremely light sleeper — I’ve also been known to become aggressive when woken in the night — I’m hoping to find some answers to help me, too.
Ed Tighe, 29, is one of five patients who has come to the sleep centre for overnight monitoring.
He’s had sleep problems for as long as he can remember — and they are extreme.
‘I have episodes two or three nights a week and they can be pretty alarming,’ says Ed.
‘While I’m asleep I yell foul language at the top of my voice, walk about, struggle to breathe and do things such as opening the window and leaning out.
‘I wake up thinking the ceiling’s coming down and often find myself clutching on to the bed.
'It can be scary and takes a few minutes for me to realise where I am and calm down.’
A study found one in three British workers is affected by chronic lack of sleep, with many so tired they feel 'sleep-drunk' at work
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2137544/Cant-decent-nights-rest-Call-sleep-squad-tell-whats-going-wrong.html#ixzz1td7DL0M7