Sleep is important to our health, happiness and mental well being yet it is something we give so little thought to, we take no care and attention to creating a good sleep environment. As a long term sufferer of insomnia I was pleased to team up with Button & Sprung on this series of posts on sleep and beds! Two great subjects.
I often joke with my friends that I get so much done due to my insomnia and that is true but insomnia is also massively debilitating. Continued lack of sleep does irreparable damage to the body and your psyche, probably why preventing sleep has been used as a means of torture. So I think we can all agree that insomnia is not a good thing. With that in mind how can you deal with it? Well starting a fight club and trying to take down the financial sector is one option but that does not end so well, depending on your perspective. I am NOT a medical professional, or an expert in sleep, (quite the opposite in fact), but I can share with you some of the tools and methods that I employ, after all your bed should be a place of solace not torture.
I like many insomnia sufferers have a psychological reason for it. Many of us are able to carry on with our daily lives but as soon as we try to settle down in our quiet bedroom our mind is free from chores to think, and think, and think some more. Before you know it you have gone without sleep for another night.
Tip One: Distract yourself until you pass out. You see I was not lying when I said I am not medical. Many insomniacs are wandering around dead on their feet during the day you would think that they would drop off with ease once they get the chance to lie down in bed. Wrong, because that is the time our mind becomes very busy and keeps us awake. Obviously those are problems you will need to work through in the cold light of day but you need to rest. in order to problem solve. Sometimes I read until I pass out, the only problem here is that sometimes your eyes become exhausted before your mind does. In those cases I listen to radio plays. I used to watch films or series on the laptop before I realised that was a huge mistake. That brings me to my next tip.
Tip Two: Avoid blue light. The light emitted by TV, computer, phones, e readers etc has a short wavelength and the blue light affects melatonin, the sleep inducing hormone. So what can you do about this? Avoid the light, don’t charge your phone by the bed it is too tempting to check social media especially when you are lying awake at night. If you are having real trouble you can buy special glasses that will block the blue light, plus you get to look like robocop.
Tip Three: Work on your sleep environment. That means make sure your bedding is always clean, that there is not a TV in your bedroom, I am very anti TV in the bedroom. Try a pillow mist, Neroli and Lavender oils are both helpful in sleep. Make sure your mattress is the best you can afford, comfort is key. There is comprehensive advice on choosing the right mattress in this post.
Tip Four: Do not look at your clock. It may sound like a cliché but the more time aware you are the worse you will feel and the more stressed out you will become about how many of hours you have left before a new day begins. And guess what stress is not great for sleep.
Tip Five: This one is not always possible but I am sharing all of my secrets so here it is. Have lots of sex. Not just one quicky a real session and then pass out!