in a new bbc three documentary daisy maskell: insomnia and me, daisy looks deeper into the sleep disorder that’s plagued her since she was nine, and makes a surprising discovery. the increase in people talking about insomnia is a reason daisy herself began to think about her own issue more, and came to making the film. “you can experience very physical effects of insomnia, but for me i’ve always struggled with more of the mental effects and the knock-on effect it had on my mental health,” she says. being a breakfast show presenter seems a bizarre, or perfect, choice for an insomniac, depending on how you look at it, and daisy says her job led to her making light of the condition in the past. another reason she played down the seriousness of her insomnia, she says, was the general narrative around insomnia, and the stereotypes that come with it.
while daisy says her employer was “brilliant” on the one occasion she overslept and didn’t make it into the studio on time, other people’s jobs are less likely to be understanding. “you can’t call your boss and say, ‘i can’t come in today because i had a bad night’s sleep,'” she says. “i always felt like my insomnia was a by-product of something else, or a trauma that presents itself as an inability for me to get to sleep, but i pushed it to the back of my mind,” says daisy. while not all people who have insomnia will have suffered serious mental health issues, daisy – who is a chronic sufferer – says: “it was validating and a breath of fresh air to have a medical professional think of it the same way as i had. for the first time, she was able to look at her insomnia in the context of her overall physical and mental health – and it was this, as well as finding solidarity with other insomniacs, that has helped her sleeping since making the film.
now, in a new documentary for the bbc, she’s exploring how the disorder has impacted her mental and physical health – and speaks to other young people dealing with the same problem. i often say that the impact my insomnia has on my mental health is a lot harder to deal with than the impact it has on my physical health, such as feeling exhausted all the time or experiencing heart palpitations and migraines. and number two because, when you’re at your worst, no one is around or sees you during those times, so it’s really difficult for people to understand what it is that you’re going through.
the majority of people who have prescribed a scented candle or a bath to me have done so from the kindness of their hearts and have been trying to help, and bless them for doing that, but i think those kinds of suggestions come with a lack of understanding of the challenge insomnia presents. i hope that anyone that watches who does have insomnia learns that there are more people out there suffering just like them, and i hope that it helps to ease their feelings of isolation a little bit. i wasn’t walking into this documentary wanting to be cured – i don’t know if you can be cured from insomnia – but what this experience has brought me is a lot of hope for the future. she’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and tv from time-to-time.
daisy maskell, the uk’s youngest ever breakfast radio host, has suffered from insomnia since childhood. for as long as she can remember, she has survived on as little as a couple of hours of sleep each night and is wide awake until the early hours of the morning. radio dj daisy maskell tackles her insomnia, revealing emotional insights into her own mental health. she meets experts and some of the thousands of young in a new bbc three documentary daisy maskell: insomnia and me, daisy looks deeper into the sleep disorder that’s plagued her since she was daisy maskell: insomnia and me: this new bbc documentary explores the reality of not being able to sleep one of the main side effects you talk, daisy maskell, daisy maskell, insomnia tv programme, insomnia documentary, in my skin bipolar.
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