Holly Fawcett

Holly Fawcett (28) works long hours as marketing manager for Social Talent, an internet recruitment training company. She tries not to work weekends but often takes work home

Irish Times Sleep Challenge - Week 1


Holly Fawcett (28) works long hours as marketing manager for Social Talent, an internet recruitment training company. “It’s a highly demanding, all-hands-on-deck kind of job but I enjoy my work,” explains Fawcett. “I try not to work at weekends but I take work home two or three nights a week and the other two nights, I’m studying a degree in marketing with digital media and cloud computing,” she adds. For rest and relaxation, Fawcett goes hiking twice a month and goes to the gym in the mornings or at lunchtimes. She says that she’s fairly fit. She gets up around 6am, leaves for work at 7am, arrives at 8am and has breakfast and lunch in work and eats dinner between 7pm-8pm. “I go to bed after midnight because it takes me between one and three hours to go asleep. Sometimes, I resort to my iPad or phone to watch a movie, answer emails, go on Facebook or play a game to entertain myself but it doesn’t help me go to sleep.”

Ten years ago, Fawcett sought help for her sleeping problems. “I was told not to go to bed until I was tired and I forced myself to get up at 7am and go for a long walk. I did that for about six months and it helped at the time,” she says. She volunteered for the study because she hopes there is a “good natural remedy” for her poor quality sleep. “I don’t want to take medication but it’s very frustrating not getting off to sleep at nighttime,” she says.

Dr John Faul is a respiratory physician and sleep specialist at the Hermitage Medical Clinic. During the Sleep Challenge he will be providing practical input on how people can improve their sleep.

Dr Faul comments: Holly appears to have a good schedule and rises early.  In spite of her busy day, she still has difficulty getting to bed early and this might be due to her late dinner.  A large meal will cause a sugar and nutrition rise that stimulates the mind and body, making it difficult to get to sleep within 3 hours of a big meal.  Some foods promote sleep - turkey meat is a classic, but warm milk also promotes sleep. Electronic media is eroding into modern sleep times and it may be important for the body and mind to understand that lying in bed at night is for sleep and not for typing and reading. Holly could use her long commute to use social media - providing she is using public transport.


Feb 1-2
Time to sleep 01:12 hrs
Sleep onset 02:05
Sleep duration 08:25 hrs
Final awakening 12:16
Sleep efficiency 84%

Feb 2-3
Time to sleep 00:38 hrs
Sleep onset 00:35
Sleep duration 04:58 hrs
Final awakening 07:10
Sleep efficiency 82%

Feb 3-4
Time to sleep 01:38 hrs
Sleep onset 01:19
Sleep duration 04:59 hrs
Final awakening 06:41
Sleep efficiency 96%

Feb 4-5
Time to sleep 00:04 hrs
Sleep onset 01:57
Sleep duration 04:10 hrs
Final awakening 06:25
Sleep efficiency 94%

Feb 5-6
Time to sleep 00:42 hrs
Sleep onset 00:03
Sleep duration 05:45 hrs
Final awakening 06:43
Sleep efficiency 90%