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Woman’s Own: Interview: ‘I’d Go 10 Days Without Sleep’

March 21st, 2013

A new interview with Toyah, fromĀ ‘Woman’s Own’ magazine.

Actress and singer Toyah, 54, reveals how her life was plagued with insomnia for 40 years before she discovered acupuncture…

You might think staying up all night is part of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, but four decades of insomnia left former punk princess Toyah sick and very tired! Last year she finally found a solution with acupuncture – just as well now she’s busy touring with the two-woman stage show Hormonal Housewives. Toyah, who lives with her husband of 26 years, musician Robert Fripp, tells us about her new zest for life…

Have you always had trouble sleeping?
Yes. It started when I was 14, triggered by the pressure of exams. I was doing revision all night and, once you’re in that stress-related pattern, it sticks. Then in my late teens it was ideal, as I was working in music and theatre, where everyone stays awake until the sun comes up!

How bad did it get?
I could go 10 days without sleeping, by which time I’d be delirious and feel very poorly. I’d get nauseous and stop functioning. I’d have an episode as bad as that about once a year. But I won’t take sleeping pills. I tried them in my twenties and found them very negative.

Surely you would get so tired you had to sleep?
I’d eventually fall unconscious and wake in the same state I fell asleep in. My body wouldn’t relax and I’d wake up with every muscle solid, like I’d run a marathon.

Was your lifestyle to blame?
I do work very anti-social hours. If I have to rehearse in the daytime and then travel to a show and back, my day starts at 7am and ends at 2am. I also come from a family of insomniacs.

What made you finally do something about it?
Two years ago, I learnt the body repairs itself when you sleep. If you’re suffering from sleep deprivation your immunity drops and it can trigger heart disease. I wanted to address it so I began having acupuncture last year. It’s been incredibly helpful and I’ve had about a 70 per cent improvement in my sleep.

Why acupuncture?
A friend recommended a wonderful acupuncturist, Ann Quinn, so I thought, ‘Right, I’ll give it a go.’ Some people are scared of needles but you really don’t feel it – they’re as thin as a strand of hair. Acupuncture is about your whole wellbeing, it deals with everything.

UPDATE: It appears that this is the interview from the GET HEALTHY issue of Woman’s Own, mentioned a few weeks ago.

(Thanks to Andrea & acupuncture.org.uk)

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