How an ex-NHS scientist from Waterlooville helped people with sleep problems in lockdown

A FORMER NHS scientist has been using her skills to help those struggling to sleep in lockdown.

Monday, 10th August 2020, 12:28 pm
Updated Monday, 10th August 2020, 1:58 pm
Marian Timms. Picture: Steven J Phyall, Zooming Photography

Marian Timms left the NHS four years ago to pursue her dream of helping people through holistic therapies and reflexology, and started her own business when she moved to Waterlooville.

The 62-year-old was left with a lot of free time after lockdown restrictions meant she couldn’t see her regular clients so decided to take her business online and made videos offering advice, particularly on sleep problems.

Marian, who worked in an NHS test result laboratory, said: ‘I love helping people to make changes to make their life better and with lockdown I decided to use social media to make videos and did Facebook Lives offering advice.

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‘I noticed a lot of people were saying that lockdown was having an impact on their sleep which is such an important part of people’s health so I wanted to offer free tips to people.’

A UK-wide study by King’s College London and Ipsos MORI found that 63 per cent of people said their sleep has been worse during lockdown.

Dr Ivana Rosenzweig, head of the Sleep and Brain Plasticity Centre at King’s College London, said: ‘Adequate and good-quality sleep is important to maintain our physical and mental resilience and disturbed sleep is often caused by stress.

‘But we also know that poor sleep can play a role in increasing our levels of stress, which can create a cycle that’s difficult to break. This is reflected by the findings that this effect was greater for those most vulnerable and those who were more concerned about the pandemic.

Marian said: ‘One of the main tips I gave out was around turning off your phone an hour or so before bed and not keeping it in your room. There is anxiety around technology and I don’t think people realise how much it can affect you.

‘I also talked about controlling the amount of news people were consuming about the pandemic because that can heighten anxiety which disturbs sleep. With just a few tweaks and tips, I had people say how much it helped them which is so great.’

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