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The Quest for Sleep - Documentary Review (Melbourne Documentary Film Festival 2022)

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Narrated by Academy Award winning actor Octavia Spencer
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Images - MDFF & Osmosis Films

Is there really anyone on this planet that has not suffered from sleeping issues at one time or another? The Quest for Sleep is for all of us to get an understanding of the science behind how we sleep, and what can keep us awake. You may think you have all the answers, but what's in this documentary could be an eye-opener for many. Hearing about the long-term consequences of sleep deprivation alone is enough to scare you and have you scurrying to shut your eyes and get enough sleep to function at optimum levels. The soothing, calming voice of Sleep itself is narrated by actor Octavia Spencer, who without the distraction of a body, sounds like a mysterious, insightful entity, with a voice as sweet and warm as honey, that could easily be the solution to lull you to sleep.

It begins with the three things humans need to survive. Oxygen, water and - sleep, which comes in the form of a beautiful poetic riddle, before it is finally called by its name and revealed. Here's an excerpt for example, in no particular order. 'I rebuild your mind and body at night, I keep you healthy throughout your life, you must return to me night after night, whether you want to or not. I am sleep, and it's time we talked.' You might think you know all about sleep, but do you really?

You'll discover how sleep slows down your brain waves and shapes your memory. Did you ever consider that your memory is shaped by sleep? You'll learn the many pluses of getting a good night's sleep, why would you not want to buy into it. Unfortunately for some, insomnia is a reality they've not been able to overcome, sometimes for years and years, and it's impacting on their quality of life. Sleep is important to our cellular function, to restore, to repair, to rebuild and so much more. Not sleeping can build up toxins in the brain that lead to larger issues.

There's still a lot to learn about sleep, and how we can change our relationship with it. Cognitive behaviour therapy for insomnia (CBTI) is mentioned as one of the ways to reprogram the body, by practising its principles. However, it's not the only treatment around and may not be for everyone, or work for everyone. The truth is, even if the treatment is working, it doesn't mean insomnia can't recur. The subject of medication is talked about, but not necessarily favourably. There have been many advancements on the subject of sleep, and doctors are starting to realise that sleep disorders are worth paying attention to. This documentary is filled with information we all need to wake up to, and this is the one time the adage 'you snooze you lose' does not apply.

Be sure to catch other amazing documentaries at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival this month of July, online and in-cinema.

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Why? The Quest for Sleep Documentary Review
When: 1-31 July 2022
Where: Online and In Cinema in Australia
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