Consult the Experts
Here is an alphabetical list of organisations which specialise in advising on a whole range of issues related to sleep - from dealing with back pain or allergies to narcolepsy and sleep apnoea.
Formerly The British Allergy Foundation, Allergy UK is a national medical charity established to increase understanding and awareness of allergy, to help people manage their allergies, to raise funds for allergy research and to provide training in allergy for health care professionals including Doctors, Nurses, Dieticians and Pharmacists. The website offers advice and support to sufferers with leaflets and factsheets available and members also receive a bi-monthly magazine.
BackCare, the charity for healthier backs, is dedicated to educating people on how to avoid preventable back pain, and supporting those living with back pain. BackCare does this through education, information, publications, a telephone helpline and local branches. It also funds research and campaigns to raise the profile of issues surrounding back pain. Helpful books, videos and audiotapes are available to buy on the website and the new helpline service should be available in the near future.
British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association
Helping snorers and their sleeping partners in the UK and worldwide, the association provides information on the causes and also advice on remedies for snoring. A range of books, devices and remedies are currently available to purchase on the site, providing information on achieving an undisturbed night's sleep.
British Waterbed Association
Set up by retailers and manufacturers, the aim of the British Waterbed Association is to promote quality waterbed products, increase consumer awareness and advise waterbed users. The website provides information on how the use of a waterbed can aid a good night's sleep and also includes a list of affiliated members and how to contact them.
Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
- 020 7306 6666
- www.csp.org.uk (choose the physio2u option from the home page for patient information)
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the professional, educational and trade union body for the country's 45,000 chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and assistants. It aims to support its members and help them to provide the highest standards of patient care.
CRY-SIS (Parents with crying/sleepless babies)
Cry-sis offers support for families with excessively crying, sleepless and demanding babies. There is a section aimed specifically at providing information to parents or guardians who are struggling to get their children to sleep plus a comprehensive list of available books on the subject. There is also a Helpline available on 020 7404 5011 from 9am-10pm, 7 days a week.
Edinburgh Sleep Centre
The Edinburgh Sleep Centre and its associated centre The London Sleep Centre are the only centres in the UK that provide access to the full range of services for patients with all types of sleep disorders across the life span within one location. Both are private clinics that accept referrals from General Practitioners and other medical specialists. They also accept direct patient referrals where the patients are self funding. Their specialist teams are recognised by all of the UK private health care companies and by the major international health insurance companies.
Enuresis Resource and Information Centre (ERIC)
The Enuresis Resource & Information Centre (ERIC) provides support and information to younger children, teenagers, parents and health professionals on bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis), day-time wetting, constipation & soiling and incontinence in children with special needs. It offers a range of services, including literature, leaflets, resources, training, research, subscription to ERIC newsletters, and a wide range of products, including enuresis alarms &amo; bedding. There is also a Helpline available for professionals as well as parents and carers on 0117 960 3060 (Mon-Fri 10am-4pm).
Insomnia Helpline (Medical Advisory Service)
This helpline run by the Medical Advisory Service puts callers straight through to trained nurses who will talk through problems and, if necessary, refer to the right source for further help and advice.
London Sleep Centre
The London Sleep Centre and its associated centre The Edinburgh Sleep Centre are the only centres in the UK that provide access to the full range of services for patients with all types of sleep disorders across the life span within one location. Both are private clinics that accept referrals from General Practitioners and other medical specialists. They also accept direct patient referrals where the patients are self funding. Their specialist teams are recognised by all of the UK private health care companies and by the major international health insurance companies.
Narcolepsy Association UK (UKAN)
Narcolepsy is a malfunction of the sleep/wake regulating system of the brain where the sufferer has an irresistible tendency to fall asleep - often in unlikely circumstances - or may have sudden loss of muscle control triggered by excitement, anger or amusement. The website was set up by UKAN, the Narcolepsy Association UK, with the aim of promoting awareness and providing information on how the condition is diagnosed and treated. Members also receive a quarterly newsletter.
National Asthma Campaign (NAC)
The NAC campaigns for the interests of people with asthma, provides public information in the form of leaflets and other publications and funds research. Its website contains up-to-the minute news and information for anyone affected by asthma and provides a direct email link to trained nurses who aim to respond within 72 hours. The helpline runs from 9am to 5pm weekdays and handles 1,500 calls each month.
Osteopathic Information Service
This service aims to provide help and information to those suffering from osteopathic related problems such as back pain, which can result in a poor night's sleep. The site lists published research and all registered osteopaths by the area in which they practice. Leaflets can also be read on site or ordered free of charge.
Advice on complaints and independent inspections. Qualitas Furnishing Standards works to improve the standards and service offered by furniture and floorcovering companies, encompassing retailers, manufacturers and other related businesses. Members operate to a Code of Practice and have access to an impartial conciliation service to help solve any complaints. Qualitas expert inspection and assessment service is also available where the retailer is not a member of Qualitas (a home visit for inspection costs from £250). An independent assessment of the product will help to ensure that both parties know what the problems are and whether there is a valid complaint. If the dispute reaches Court it is almost certain that the Court will want a report from an independent consultant so that they can ascertain whether or not the claim is valid.
Sleep Apnoea Trust
Sleep apnoea is a disorder that occurs during sleep when the sleeper actually stops breathing due to a tightening of muscles in the throat which awakes them in a breathless state before quickly returning back to sleep. A registered charity and managed by volunteers, the trust aims to improve the lives of sleep apnoea patients and their families by offering information, support and non-medical advice while also sending regular newsletters to trust members. Membership can be obtained via the website, which also lists a number of sleep clinics and helplines to call for advice.
8 Hope Park Square
Edinburgh EH8 9NW
- 0131 6511392
Self-help group for families of special needs children in Scotland with severe sleep problems
The Royal College of Psychiatrists
17 Belgrave Street
London SW1 8PG
- 020 7235 2351
The Royal College of Psychiatrists is the professional and educational body of psychiatrists in the UK and Ireland. The website looks at many related subjects in the area of psychiatry, one of which is sleep. Leaflets and factsheets are available to read on the site along with the option to send off for the leaflets or purchase audiotapes to help with sleeping problems.
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