A FORMER City worker has set up a specialist sleep clinic in rural Hampshire spurred by his own insomnia.

Jonathan Grant was plagued with sleepless nights for years with the stress of balancing a young family and a new business after leaving the London world of financial markets.

Fed up with endless diagnoses of antidepressants, he forged ahead with his own research only to find 37 per cent of people will suffer from a form of insomnia at some point in their lives.

It's all down to the increasingly stressful lifestyles we all lead, he claims, and, in an effort to help those suffering, he's founded The Sleep Retreat in Warnford.

Set in the beautiful 14th century Riversdown Estate - the owners of which Mr Grant has known for some years - the Sleep Retreat is a health resort for anyone and everyone looking for new ways to help get their much-needed rest.

“Research shows insomnia is really debilitating,” Mr Grant said. “So I wanted to do something about it. Sleep deprivation is terribly bad for you and can affect so many different aspects of your life. It's a very physical problem.

Marguerite McDaid with Sleep Retreat founder Jonathan Grant

“Our aim is to bring together the evidence-based therapies that sleep experts have developed over the last 30 years, and put them in a setting where people can enjoy the leisure and social programmes that we put on. We offer a mix of one-to-one and group sessions, and the sharing of experiences is very powerful. We are quietly delighted with the results so far, which are way beyond what we hoped for.”

Despite ongoing research within the NHS there is simply insufficient funding and resources to help people actively change their lifestyle because insomnia is not directly treated, he added.

The five-star hotel has a wide variety of activities in addition to the four-step treatment programme. This includes clinical assessments as well as nutrition, social activities and group programmes.