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Byline: Merle Brown

DID you sleep well last night? If the answer is no, you're not alone.

One third of people in the UK find it difficult to fall asleep, according to a recent Gallup poll.

And even more people complain of waking up often in the night, while others feel they wake far too early.

But now that a professor of sleep disorders has launched a new line of indulgent products, you can at least rest assured you'll be pampered.

REM Dreamline - named after REM sleep, or the "dream sleep" stage - was created with the consultant expertise of Professor Chris Idzikowski, director of the Sleep Assessment And Advisory Centre in London, and chairman of the Royal Society Of Medicine Forum on sleep and its disorders.

And while he admits his new range will not cure insomniacs, he does believe the sprays, bath oils, pulse point gels and lotions have their uses in aiding peaceful sleep.

He said: "Some may say these products are not evidence based, but it has been proved that hot baths improve sleep quality.

"Research has also shown that people's body temperatures should be two degrees lower then their daytime temperature for a good sleep.

"Dropping the body's core temperature by first raising it in a hot bath sends blood away from the brain and skin surfaces to make you feel drowsy.

"In insomniacs, the lowering doesn't happen." Professor Idzikowski recommends sleeping in a cool bedroom so that the body temperature is lowered.

He added: "The Chinese water cure, which is relatively well known, was a hot bath, followed by a cold foot bath, which opens up the blood vessels and reduced the body temperature.

"So, the bathing side of things is evidence-based.

"Of course, a bath won't cure your insomnia, but if you have a bath at the same time every night, before bed, then you begin to associate sleeping with a bath."

Professor Idzikowski admits that the fragrances used - including the traditional sleep promoter, lavender - are marketing myths.

But again he believes conditioning can help.

He said: "We've used these fragrances from folklore, and they help by making the bath, or the spray a pleasant thing to associate with sleep. Our pillow spray means that you associate your bed, where you have sprayed this, with sleep.

"Getting your sleep pattern back is done by regulating your routine.

"Of course, I am not talking about extreme sleep disorders that have been controlled with sleeping tablets. But for those that have transient problems, then I hope this range can help." The REM Dreamline contains various products including Cloud 9 Dream Bath softening soak (pounds 8), Drowsy Dew Pulse- Pointacupressure gel (pounds 5), Sleepy Head Night Cap pillow mist (pounds 6.50)and Restless Nights Tension Relief dry oil (pounds 6.50).

Origins also promote a sleep line, Sensory Therapy which includes Sleep Perchance To Dream pillow mist (pounds 15), and Call It A Night sleep- priming body lotion (pounds 18) based along the same principles as the REM dreamline.

lREM Dreamline is available from selected Boots, while Origins can be found at House of Fraser. For more information, log on to www.
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Title Annotation:Vital
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 12, 2003
Next Article:beauty counter; Take five Valentine gifts.

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