Before we talk about sleep: it was my birthday last week! Happy birthday to me! I turned 31 on the 16th, and spent it having coffee with friends, doing DIY, and having dinner at The Black Swan at Oldstead – recently named the top restaurant in the world in the TripAdvisor awards, so it really was a fabulous day.
Currently I’m dozing on the sofa in our new house, looking out at the view over rolling fields and trying to get this post all typed out before falling asleep (rockin’ Friday night, I know). But evading sleep is, given the subject matter, kind of tricky.
I’ve always struggled with my sleep. For as long as I can remember, I’ve needed a certain environment to fall asleep properly. Blame anxiety, blame growing up an only child in a big house and being in control of the light & noise levels, or blame me being generally uptight. My husband jokes that I have a list of ‘Bed Rules’ that he has to adhere to, and he’s not wrong. As someone who has previously suffered from extremely severe insomnia, I have become a little set in my ways when it comes to bedtime. I’ve read a lot about sleep hygiene online and have compiled my own little cheat sheet of things that work for me. I don’t do all these things every night, but I fit them all in at least once per week.
I always sleep with a huge pile of blankets and pillows; my side of the bed genuinely looks like a nest. I also have a small collection of Jellycat toys, and sometimes one or two of them sneak into bed with me. Shhh, I didn’t tell you that.
I think the final thing that keeps me sleeping well these days is my cat, Mickey. He normally sleeps at my feet, but has developed a habit of coming up and curling at my back, which is so comforting and cosy especially on chilly nights like the ones we’re suffering through right now.
My top three bedtime essentials: