Sleep is a very funny thing. It’s one of the most important factors in our lives for health and happiness and to most, it’s something they do every single night without even giving much thought to. I mean sure, we all know when we haven’t had enough and we’re feeling tired, but most people will just go to bed earlier the next night to catch up. But for some, it’s just not that simple.
I thought I’d expand on why this column is called ‘Ramblings, Rants and Sleepless Nights’ or at least the sleepless nights part anyway!
Sleep has always evaded me. Not entirely of course, and I wouldn’t even go as far as to say I was a full blown insomniac, but I do have an issue with it. Of course like most things though, the more you worry about it, the worse it gets. I actually like going to sleep with the light on, or at least leaving it on until the very last minute. You see, the moment the light is off then it’s time to sleep and the pressure is on!
Believe me, I’ve tried all manner of supposed cures:
– Fiction books: I get too involved and end up staying up to read them
– T.V.: the same problem! (although they say T.V. before bed is too stimulating anyway)
– Lavender: body lotion, pillow spray, you name it
– Aromatherapy oils
– Soothing nature sounds in the background (yes, I do have these on my phone!)
– Camomile tea
– Breathing exercises
– A clean and tidy bedroom
Blah, blah, blah….
I’ve even tried reading magazines as something not too stimulating. Most recently I went to bed with Gwyneth Paltrows new cook book, that I got for my birthday. A flick through a few recipes surely couldn’t keep me awake, could it? Well, this post was written the very same night! Handwritten, in my journal of course, not on the computer- I am getting better at my curfew! (read about it here, if you don’t know). Though my sleepless nights continue on.
So is there a cure for sleepless nights or am I hard wired to just not need as much sleep? Well, I’m ALWAYS tired. But I feel that way no matter whether I get 9 hours or 5. You could blame social media (again), or work, or or or… BUT I have always been like this, even from a young age. Now before you jump to conclusions, let me explain:
– We rarely ever had sugar, chocolate or sweets and certainly not at night (including sugary drinks, it was water or milk for us)
– I was a very active child and did some form of sport every single day
– I didn’t have a T.V. in my room or watch it downstairs straight before bed (we used to play cards and the like!)
So all the usual reasons why a child wouldn’t sleep have been eliminated. The fact is, I used to think and WORRY. About what, as a child you might ask? Well, among other crazy things I used to worry about house fires and I’d spend many a night mentally planning my escape and I could best get everyone out and in what order, depending where the fire was. Crazy huh?!
Well, that’s the sort of sh*t that keeps me awake at night. You can image how little sleep I got whilst working on a cruise ship- I could barely find my way around it in daylight!
I believe the only answer for me and my sleep pattern is to learn to meditate. That surely will clear my mind?! The problem is doing it- I started to teach myself a few years ago, but then never carried on with it. I really must dig that book out again….
I do also believe, although it’s not the root cause using my phone at night is certainly not helping. So I am continuing with my quest to stop checking emails and social media past 9pm. I will be doing a short update on that next week, so look out for that to see how I’m getting on.
Other than that, any other (non mainstream) tips for avoiding sleepless nights will be gratefully received!
P.S. I’m feeling sleepy as I finish writing this…. could writing be the way forward… ?!
Sleepless Nights- What’s the Cure? By Hollie Brooks
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