The problem with sleep

I have never been particularly good at sleeping. For those of you falling asleep comes naturally to, you might not realise how much of a talent it is. But many of you will be like me and can manage to suppress your stress during the day, only for it to come out with twice-fold force at night. Anything and everything can make me anxious at night: from worrying over how much I procrastinated during the day, to mourning the loss of a school friendship that slipped away over five years ago. It is also an awful self-fulfilling prophecy that stressing over how much sleep I’m missing out on only makes it more difficult to get to sleep, and it escalates until all I can hear is my too-loud heart beating. You might rightly question why I am (over) sharing this, so here are some of the tips I’ve tried with my rating for how well I think they work.

  1. You’ve probably all heard of the app Headspace, but some of you might not realise that you can get free sample ‘sleepcasts’ on Youtube which are about 10 minutes long and an absolute life saver. They are not 100% effective, but they are definitely relaxing so I’ll give this method 5/5.
  2. Light is one of the many things which stops me from being able to fall asleep, so I now wear an eye mask to bed. Unfortunately does nothing to prevent my hardcore insomnia but on normal nights it’s pretty helpful. 3/5
  3. Spraying lavender pillow sprays. Smell pretty and maybe has some psychosomatic benefits, but does not really have much of an effect. 2/5
  4. I have always been told to avoid using my phone and laptop before bed, but I have never committed to this method for long enough to know if it actually works. Probably would be very effective if I had the willpower. ?/5
  5. Anyone who knows me will know my addiction to sleepy-time tea. It’s not just any camomile tea, it has to be the from the brand ‘Celestial Seasonings’, with a bear on the front of the packet. As far as I can tell it has made no difference to my sleeping habits, but it is insanely nice and I now need to have at least one cup per night. 5/5

Here are my editor’s picks for this week!

Election aftermath: the position of Labour by Hazel Laurenson

Medical Herstory: undoing gender based stigma and shame by Lauren Powdrell

Scotland on the road to EU membership by Niccolo Balducci

Chloe Moriondo and dode: from ukulele pop to universal success by Molly Knox

How to get a cat to like you by Anna Stringer

Image: Alexander Possingham on Unsplash

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