Miles to go Before I Sleep

Apologies for appropriating the line from Robert Frost   It was the words that kept going around in my brain when I started to write this.  Although I had to look up who wrote it.   Thanks Google! 

 Like almost everyone I know I am preoccupied at the moment with getting a good night’s sleep.  Whether it is the heat or life stress, sleep does not come easy, and then I worry about not getting enough sleep.

Cat yoga in my sleep does not help my back

Lately I have found myself waking up in the weirdest positions.  I am sure I was a cat in another life.  I have woken up almost facing the foot of the bed, with my head hanging off the side, and no clue how I got there.   When cats do it they look so peaceful.    It often takes me 20 minutes to straighten up and get over the contortion of the yoga-like sleep positions from the night before.

Sleep is important to our health.  Yes we know!

If you have read any of the books on the subject, I recommend, ‘Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams’ by Matthew Walker.   Seen the Ted talks, and been told by your family or well-meaning friends that you look a bit tired.   You will know how important sleep is to health, the ability to learn and just look good the next day.  Come on sometimes it is all about the ego too.   

The basics of sleep ‘hygiene’  – yes it is a thing now

The experts will give you some common sense to your sleep hygiene.
  • Don’t eat 2 hours before you want to go to sleep – those midnight snacks have to stop.
  • Switch off all devices at least an hour before bedtime –  put down the phone!  That means now.
  • Have a calming routine – not behaving like a hyped toddler on sugar every night before bed.
  • Block out all light  –  brain it is dark so must be bedtime.  Go to sleep!

For me at least I also need a little more help most nights.  I’m awkward that way. Thankfully the solutions nowadays are more sophisticated than counting sheep.

The money machine that is sleep

Be aware that I have been accused of being a gadget queen.  My brother claims I will use a gadget, even if it would be faster to do the task without a gadget.    You may find solutions that don’t involve spending the cash.  My Mum swears by chamomile tea.   But I love my gadgets and don’t love the taste of chamomile tea.

Weighted blankets for anxiety

I am an over thinker.  If a problem is getting to me it will whirl in the brain until I can’t sleep.  In those instances, the weighted blanket helps.   It forces me to settle. And over time my brain has come to associate it with time to switch off.   Unfortunately, I am also contrary, so some nights the weighted blanket does not work.  I feel trapped and suffocated and off it goes.

Sleep apps and sleep stories .. Tell me a bedtime story

I must admit I tried all the apps with their sleep stories, but they did not work for me. Steven Fry’s soothing tones did not send me to sleep.     I like a good story, and they just activated my brain until the story was over.   

White noise machine to lull me with the sounds of nature.

What I do find works is a good white noise machine.  You can get them at different prices and as apps.   Being the aforementioned gadget queen, I bought one of the pricier models.    It has several noise settings and a timer.    The important thing is it is all pre-set, so I don’t have to think about getting the settings right.   I go to sleep with the soothing sounds of a babbling brook and after about 40 minutes it switches itself off.    The switch itself off bit is important, as I have left it on a few times and been shocked awake at 2.30 a.m. wondering what the weird noise was.

A good mattress topper for those princess  and a-pea nights

I will admit I am a bit of a princess when it comes to a comfortable mattress.  It has to be the right combination of supportive and cushioning.   I would pass the ‘Princess and the Pea’  test.      You can also get mattress toppers that help regulate your heat.   Not tried one of those yet, as they are pricier, but I have heard good things.

For me sleeping is all about stopping my brain.  There will always be some nights where none of the above helps.   I’m sure there is another gadget I can try that will work.  Don’t judge!

Because you asked, links to things mentioned in the blog:

Adaptive Sound Technologies Sound+Sleep Global Edition Sleep Sound Machine

GnO Weighted Blanket for Adult & Removable Bamboo Washable Cover –