Hi! My name is Gijs Kummeling: I'm a medical doctor, experience expert and founder of Sleep-e-Clinic.
You read that correctly. I am an expert by experience. I have slept poorly for years, and I know how undermining sleeping problems can be for your daily functioning. Also, I have used sleep medication for a long time: I knew that was ill-advised, but at the time I did not have a better solution. At one point I decided that I could not carry on that way, and had myself examined at a specialized clinic. However, those investigations did not help me, as the doctors there could not identify an underlying medical cause. I decided to dive deeper into it myself since I was determined to resolve my sleeping problems. No doubt, sleep medication was not the solution given all the side effects. That I already realized.
In the end, home measurements turned out to be the solution. First of all, I found out that my sleep was often better than I thought, which naturally reassured me. This discovery by itself already improved my sleep considerably. Secondly, this method gave me insight into what behavior could help me to achieve better sleep. Thirdly, it turned out to be of substantial support to get off sleep medication.
The improvement of my sleep, and moreover the stopping of sleep medication, has given my quality of life an enormous boost. Ever since I feel a lot healthier, clearer in my head, and I'm more interested in doing things. I also become agitated or irritated way less often.
In retrospect, I was amazed that my physician prescribed this medication for so long, and that I continued to use it for such a long time, without discussing how I could get rid of it again. As a result, I became curious about how often a situation like mine occurs. To my tremendous surprise, 1.5 million people (!) in The Netherlands turned out to use sleep medication. Fortunately, these people do not all use a sleeping aid every day, but still regularly though. They depend on it to a greater or lesser extent, which makes them addicted. With 1.5 million users of sleep medication, this poses a greater public health problem than drugs and alcohol use added together.
As physicians, we know very well that sleep medication generally only works for a short time (two weeks), after which it quickly becomes addictive and purely gives side effects. Still, we continue to prescribe it on such a large scale.
It strikes me that we pay little attention to this great dependence on sleep medication. For me, this is the primary motivation to make this treatment method available for people who have trouble with sleeping. On the one hand to prevent them from using sleeping pills, on the other hand, to help them to recover from their dependence. The latter is probably even more challenging but crucial, considering the scale of this problem. Unquestionably, there needs to be a change in the current prescribing behavior of doctors, but above all people need to feel that they can resolve their sleeping problems without use of medication. I believe I can offer this with Sleep-e-Clinic’s© treatment method.