There is a truth universally acknowledged that if you are a light sleeper you will attract someone who is the complete opposite – someone of can fall asleep at the drop of a hat and spend a lot of the night in blissful slumber while you toss and turn and hope something will wake them up so they share your pain of NOT SLEEPING (but nothing does). In this I am the person who has issues sleeping, in fact I am the person who is the most fikle sleeper in the history of the world. But over the years I have discovered somethings which work and wanted to share in case you, like me, think of the land of nod as a bastard mister(ess) who just won’t love you back.
I am not the kind of person who thinks sleep is only for the dead. Fuck that, sleep is way to important to leave for when I won’t be existing. It is such an important part of a healthy lifestyle and benefits your body and your mind. I know what I am like when I don’t have sleep – the word ‘slangry’ should be coined for me because I am very, very angry when I don’t get enough sleep. I find it hard to function at work and outside when running. Nothing tastes as good or is as good. Sleep is important and the goal is to have at least 8 hours of it every night.
- Exercise. I can tell the different when I try to sleep after having done some sort of physical activity and the days when I haven’t. But I don’t just mean physical exercise – my brain needs to have had a work out too. I work 5 days a week (and not in the fitness industry) and usually meetings, presenting, succeeding in my work life is enough of a mental workout so that by the time it’s time for bed my brain is content to shut down. Strangely I also don’t need to be mentally and physically tired to have an excellent night’s sleep: for me personally the mental side of things is so much more important almost all of the time. However since I started workout out and running things have gotten better.
- The perfect bedroom environment. I am not the tidiest person in the world (somewhere The Mothership is shouting ‘you are the messiest person in the world’ and I have developed a healthy immunity to clutter. I know some people advocate a clean and tidy bedroom with no mess so that your mind reflects this (I assume though my mind doesn’t reflect my cluttered bedroom) and can find it easier to relax but I am completely fine with that. It is way more important for me to have my work clothes, bag, gym kit, and gym bag ready for me in the morning than have everything tidy. However if mess does bother you then try and make sure your sleeping environment is as clean as it possibly can be.
- Eye Masks. My perfect bedroom environment would include blackout curtains but since I discovered eye masks I don’t care anymore and no longer have to worry when I go travelling and stay in hotels where the curtains may as well have been made out of lace and dreams. If you don’t like waking up at 5 in the morning in summer due to the light streaming into your room then I can’t recommend eye masks enough. The one I am wearing in these photos is by British fashion label Yolke. When I interviewed them a while ago I had the pleasure of discovering their pure silk eye masks and haven’t looked back since. They are luxurious, decadent little items and I love them.
- A good moisturiser. Ahhhh itchy skin, something else I am very familiar with. I have had weird, sensitive skin for my whole life and occasionally develop random patches of eczema. I have tried a lot of creams and Lush’s Dream Cream will always be a firm favourite. I know it says it’s only for hands and body but I also occasionally use it on my face –my whole body loves it. Itchy skin used to wake me up but thankfully not any more. And, as a huge giant bonus Dream Cream smells amazing.
- A book. So many people say that in order to have a good night’s sleep you must put your phone to one side. I love listening to audio books and do quite often listen just before bed, so my phone is with me in the bedroom. What I have decided is while the phone can stay because then audiobooks can stay, I have to try and stay off my emails and social media sites. I don’t always succeed but I am trying. I also love reading physical books before bed but sometimes I get so into what I’m reading that the next time I look up at the clock hours have passed. Shrill by Lindy West is my current book of choice and I am loving it.
- Clothes. Have good sleeping clothes, stuff you feel comfortable in and garments which won’t irritate you in the middle of the night. One of my quirks is my love of socks, which I have spoken about in great length over the years. What I haven’t mentioned quite as often is how I have to sleep with socks on. And I mean have to. Like an eye mask, these are not up for negotiation and have caused quite a lot of controversy over the years!
So those are the things which help me to sleep at night – is there anything you recommend or think I have missed out? I am always willing to try out new things (unless it means foregoing the socks or the eye masks because that is a NO!).