Laura Gaynor

Laura Gaynor (19) is a first year student in film and television production at IADT, Dún Laoghaire. She stays in digs near college during the week and likes to get up early and go to bed early

Video Diary


Laura Gaynor (19) is a first year student in film and television production at IADT, Dún Laoghaire. She stays in digs near college during the week, going back home to Sligo every second weekend or so. She gets up early and likes to go to bed early. “I get up about 7.30am and work on projects before I get the bus to college. We have lectures, projects and filming from 10am-5pm most days so it’s not that much different to school,” she says. In the evening, she meets up with friends. She also presents a weekly show in Irish on Radio na Life.

Laura says that she eats a fairly healthy diet and doesn’t smoke or drink alcohol. However, she doesn’t exercise much. “I used to do kick boxing in school but stopped that before the Leaving Certificate. I’m not the type to go running or go to the gym and I’m extremely unfit now,” she explains. Regarding sleep, she says she has a few bad habits and often wakes up tired in the mornings. “It takes me between half an hour to an hour to get to sleep. I’m quite a deep sleeper and people tell me I snore but I’ve never had that investigated or treated.

“If I’m lying in bed trying to go asleep, I’ll often pick up my phone or iPad and go on Facebook or Twitter which probably wakes me up more. I also drink a lot of tea and sometimes bring a cup of tea to bed with me. I’d like to see if small changes I made around bedtime would make a difference.”

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: A regular schedule is generally the most productive and the most wakeful hours are between 10am and 12noon for most people, so this fits nicely with what Laura has planned. It is quite normal to take 20 minutes to fall asleep, but an hour to fall asleep would seem inefficient.  Using electronic media or drinking caffeinated drinks at bedtime will have an alerting effect and Laura recognizes that these are "bad habits".  Laura is worried about her exercise regimen and this is correct.  Irish people spend about 23.5 hours a day immobile - sedentary or lying down. Laura recognizes that exercise late in the evening can disrupt one's sleep, so it is probably wise for her to exercise early in the morning.  Getting up at 6:30 and taking 30 minutes exercise either before or immediately after breakfast will energize Laura's mornings and will ensure she falls asleep quickly at 10pm. It is uncertain whether Laura is snores every night (which is a medical disorder that requires investigation and management) or like many young people she might be snoring because she is extra tired due to irregular sleep hours.


Feb 3-4
Time to sleep 00:06 hrs
Sleep onset 22:05
Sleep duration 07:45 hrs
Final awakening 08:45
Sleep efficiency 78%

Feb 4-5
Time to sleep 00:00 hrs
Sleep onset 23:29
Sleep duration 07:49 hrs
Final awakening 09:36
Sleep efficiency 85%

Feb 5-6
Time to sleep 00:47 hrs
Sleep onset 23:25
Sleep duration 07:36 hrs
Final awakening 09:31
Sleep efficiency 90%