Ah, sleep. The thing all of us want more of. It’s pretty evident by now how much sleep affects us. Well, the lack of it more so. In a world where everything is on the go 24/7, it’s not surprising the same goes for our minds and bodies when we’re trying to get some shut eye at the end of a long day.
West Yorkshire based mattress and bed manufacturer, bets.net conducted a recent survey to discover exactly what keeps Brits up at night:
- 73% of respondents are kept awake by stress (unsurprising)
- 34% of respondents are kept awake by an uncomfortable bed or mattress (again, unsurprising)
- 2.4% of respondents are kept awake by ghosts (I mean… make of that one what you will)
They also found that those who live in London are the most poorly slept – having lived near London my whole life, this isn’t a surprise to me one bit – due to noisy neighbors mostly (and noisy pets).
As amusing as some of the findings are, the fact is, BRITS ARE NOT SLEEPING. And it’s a problem. Because you know… sleep is important? One of my favourite quotes is, “you have enough energy for one day at a time”. And with our ongoing sleep problems, we’re sometimes lacking energy for 3 hours, let alone a day.
So what keeps ME up at night?
I’m certainly not exempt from sleep problems. Although I rarely have trouble actually FALLING asleep, I certainly have trouble staying asleep. I honestly can’t remember the last time I slept through the entire night from beginning to end. Waking up 4 or 5 times a night is just the norm for me now. But let’s get into some specifics:
If my boyfriend can’t sleep: This is one thing that generally does give me trouble with actually falling asleep and that’s knowing if my boyfriend can’t sleep. I have the luxury of working from home but he has to commute into London and has long ass days. So for him, not being able to sleep is a problem. I’m a hugely empathetic person so if he can’t sleep, neither can I.
Needing to pee: I need to pee ALL THE TIME. And since I’ve been on a new medication for my anxiety which it’s main side effect is a dry mouth, I am drinking ALL THE TIME too. So I’m just a pee machine at this point. It’s really annoying. And I’m really fed up of getting up to wee a hundred times a night.
Monkey mind: I’m lucky in that I’m always very productive in my day to day life and often have a lot of ideas swimming around my head. But that becomes a bit of a pain when it’s time to go to sleep and I’m still thinking about work or Christmas gift ideas or places I want to go.
Anticipation: Either from nerves or excitement, if there’s something going on the following that I’m anticipating – say I’m going on holiday or I have a doctors appointment – that usually plays on my mind for various reasons and keeps me up at night.
Having to get up early: This is without a doubt the most annoying one on this list and that’s when I know I have to get up early the next morning, usually when my boyfriend and I are going away somewhere, I can never sleep the night before and I end up waking up cranky and exhausted the next morning.
What do I do to help?
Well actually, I wrote a blog post earlier this year about a new night-time routine I had adopted which actually helped massively with my sleep. But I have no will-power and can’t commit to anything so that routine is currently out the window. However, I do still have some techniques which help me get a better night sleep:
Writing everything down / tomorrow’s to-do list: This helps the monkey mind problem as it gets things out of my head and written down so I don’t have to worry about forgetting the things I was thinking about the night before.
Giving thanks and expressing gratitude for the day: I know this one will sound a bit hippy dippy to some but I’ve found myself doing this a LOT this year. And it really does help me. I love acknowledging the day, what went well and all the things I’m grateful for. Doing that kind of gives me closure for the day and allows me to focus on rest.
Not looking at my phone too much: Screens themselves don’t bother me too much. I actually love going to sleep whilst a film is on in the background or my boyfriend is playing PlayStation. But I try and not look at my phone and get sucked into the endless scrolling. Which definitely prevents me sleeping.
Yoga in the evening: This definitely helps. And I find it so relaxing too. I love doing a short, gentle Yoga practice late at night before I go to bed as it really helps settle my body and mind.
What keeps YOU up at night? Do you struggle with any of the same things as me? And what do you do to combat the restless and sleepless nights?
* This is a sponsored post