My story

Hello, and welcome to SleepAngels.

It has been a long road that brought me to founding this web site.  For many years during the 1990s and 2000s, I worked for a leading film technology company.  As I crawled up the corporate ladder, responsibilities increased as they do.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved my job.  I was dealing daily with some of the most creative (and challenging) people in the world, many of whom I was privileged to be able to call my friends.

But film is a demanding 24/7 business:  I was often woken in the middle of the night by a client who had run into technical difficulties, or needed some special piece of equipment on set within an hour.

Call times for productions are often very early, and the shooting day often extends late into the night.  Filming is a very expensive business (especially if you have a Hollywood ‘A’ list star on set), so there is a lot at stake.

As you can imagine, sleep wasn’t always a priority!  On top of day to day work responsibilities, there was a busy social life to consider.  The entertainment industry likes to (and has to) entertain.  A lot!  So, often at the end of a long working day, I would have to put on my tux and go to an awards ceremony, premier of a new film, or fundraising event.

It was a very exciting and satisfying lifestyle, but inevitably certain aspects of one’s health get compromised.

Sleepless in Hollywood.

In 1997, I took a fork in the road on this great adventure and moved from my native England to Los Angeles, California.  It was somewhat inevitable as Hollywood is the center of the film industry, and to achieve my goals, I had to be where the action was.

I spent 11 glorious years in LA.  It was a great, inspiring, energizing place to live, close to the heart of the creative industry in which I lived and worked.  The sun shone an average of 329 days a year, the beach and the mountains competed for one’s few off-duty days, the howls of the coyotes and the chattering of the mockingbirds contested the quiet city nights, and everyone worked and played hard.

I spent much of my life on a ‘plane, jetting from coast to coast between offices in Chicago, North Carolina, New York, Orlando, Florida, Toronto and Vancouver.  Several times a year, I would also visit our businesses in London and Paris.  This added time zone shifts to my already confused sleep schedule. More late nights amongst friends of whom I saw too little, and early mornings for breakfast meetings and dashes to the airport.

At some point, I realized that my health was suffering.  I would go months without adequate sleep, exercize or relaxation.  I was drinking too much coffee and alcohol, was overweight and eating a pretty unhealthy diet.

In 2003, I left my corporate job and started my own property and film business.  It did well for a while, until the fallout from Lehman Brother’s collapse and the sub-prime mortgage crisis wiped most of my property interests out.

The End of a Dream: The Start of a Nightmare.

By 2008, I was forced to wind up my businesses and consider my future very carefully.  In some ways, this moment of truth was one of the best things that could have happened to me.  But more of that in a minute.

As I struggled to dismantle what I had spent the previous four years creating, trying to do so in as orderly a fashion as possible, I recognized how important it was to stay calm in the face of adversity.  This required that I was physically fit, faced my demons, and looked to the future with a positive outlook.

I changed my diet, cut back on caffeine and alcohol, started practicing yoga and meditation on a daily basis, worked out regularly at the gym, and replaced some of my gruelling work schedule with more time with my closest friends.

I spent time every day working on my health, both physical and spiritual, trying to live in the present and enjoy where I was in my life, despite the challenges.  It wasn’t easy.  In particular, one fundamental aspect of my life proved  to be a tough nut to crack: sleep.

Nights literally became a waking nightmare.  I only managed one or two hours of sleep a night.  I couldn’t concentrate during the day and became less and less effective in everything that I was trying to do.

After several months of sleeplessness, I eventually went to my doctor, who prescribed sleeping pills.  Like so many other people in the same situation, I found that they were not for me.  They didn’t really help me to fall asleep, and I was frequently left feeling “hung over” and even groggier the following day than I had been before.

I was sure that there must be a better way.

A New Adventure: Towards Better And More Satisfying Sleep

As I write (towards the end of 2011), over three years have passed since then.  I have spent much of that time investigating alternative remedies for sleeplessness and insomnia.  I have researched traditional medicine, relaxation techniques, homeopathy, nutrition, sleep hygiene and more.  I’ve read extensively, interviewed doctors and psychologists, sleep specialists and nutritionists, as well as many insomniacs to find out what works for them.

Not all the techniques which I discovered have worked for me, but many have helped.  I now sleep much better, with only temporary lapses.

I now realize that it would have helped a great deal if all this information had been available in one place, in a readable, accessible format, well researched but free of jargon and quackery.  In 2011, I resolved to create a place for other insomniacs and their families, where I could present information in an easy-to-understand form.  So was born.

I hope that you will find it helpful.  SleepAngels is a work in progress and will only succeed with your feedback, so we would welcome your experiences, ideas for new features, and constructive criticism.

I am on a new adventure.  I am now living back in England, in a rural part of Kent, in the South East of the country.  I recently got married to the most wonderful, loving and supportive woman.  And we have a growing family.  I am kept busy in ways that I would never have imagined before.  And I am inspired to provide a service which will truly make a difference to other people’s lives.

Everyone is an individual.  So different approaches work for different people.  For insomniacs, the search for adequate, satisfying sleep can mean trying out many different remedies.  I hope that I have narrowed the field of options and that you will find something here that works for you.

Thanks for taking the time to visit this web site.  Please stay in touch and let me know if I can help.

Sweet dreams,

Will Paice

Founder and Editor, SleepAngels

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