O sleep, O gentle sleep,
Nature’s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my sense in forgetfulness?
~William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1
Shakespeare regularly knows exactly how I feel and can express it with far greater eloquence. And pleading with sleep, wondering what I did to offend it and wanting it to descend upon me, occupied far too many hours of my thoughts last night. But thankfully a night of insomnia, the kind of night where I toss and turn endlessly, is for me the exception as opposed to the rule. And so not being able to sleep last night, led me to consider what I normally do to counteract insomnia.
- Tea: I sip chamomile tea as I am winding down and starting to think about bed. It is calming and hydrating and definitely helps me unwind.
- A cool environment: I also turn off the heating so the room is warm but not too hot. In warmer weather I often sleep with the window open slightly. I find a cooler room helps me sleep better, but whatever your preferences, at least make sure the temperature is comfortable for you.
- Ditch the screens: I find that if I don’t look at my phone or laptop in bed, my unwinding process is far more effective.
- Read: I read until my eyes won’t stay open any longer. Thankfully, this generally doesn’t take too long. I do find however, that some books are not conducive to falling asleep and so I avoid books that unnerve me in any way or are so exciting I don’t want to put them down.
- Routine: I aim to go to bed at roughly the same time on weeknights and follow a similar bedtime routine. I like to go to bed about 10.30pm and wake naturally about 6.30am.
So these are my tips for a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately last night I broke all the rules – think caffeine, alcohol, food too late, laptop in bed, no reading and a bedroom that was too stuffy. The result was I lost count of the sheep long before I was able to unwind and doze off.
Tonight, I have learnt my lesson, so good night and sleep tight, it is time for me to turn off my screen. But remember, “laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone”!!!!