As National Bed Month yawns to its sleepy close, we climb into bed with our contributors to see what they get up to at slumber time.
Arriving back late at night from a gig, pumped full of adrenaline and Diet Coke is not a good sleep routine, especially if your kids are early risers. Fortunately, I know that sexy-times always leave me sleepy.
This won’t work for everyone; some people feel more awake after doing the do. I’ve discovered that you can use this to your advantage.
Just as I am drifting off I say something like, “Did you mean to leave the kitchen like that?” or, “There is something weird on the floor in the hall. I don’t know what it is; don’t worry I’ll check properly in a day or so.”
At this point his obsessive tidiness kicks in so he pootles off to clean; I get to drift off in peace and wake to a nice neat house. Everyone wins.
If none of the above appeals, try this: breathe in for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of seven and exhale for a count of eight, repeat 30 times or more. I don’t know if it works; I’ve never reached 30.
About a year ago my old man and I got into bed and he turned his Nintendo DS on and started playing Animal Crossing (New Leaf). The sleepy music sent me off to sleep pretty quickly and I had an almost perfectly peaceful night. This has been a semi-regular thing ever since.
I’ll snuggle into his armpit and enjoy watching him going about his evening, being mayor of his town. The skunk that works in the shoe shop looks like our friend Dave, so that’s nice. We don’t see Dave enough. The only downside is that the townfolk can get really pissy if he’s not played it for a few days. Passive-aggressive arseholes. But on the whole they’re a nice bunch.
I have to have noise. Either the TV with a familiar old movie on or an audiobook, otherwise my brain just keeps yelling random crap at me keeping me awake. However, this is also a good source of material so sometimes I just take a bad night for the team because she’s coming up with gold.
“On my iPad I have a brilliant app that can mix noises of birdsong, woodland and fire burning. I programme it for two hours but I’m probably sound asleep dreaming I’m a mermaid in 15 minutes.”
I make a hot water bottle, snuggle it to the foot of the bed. Brush my teeth, forget to floss, fill up a glass of water. Read for a bit, but not an exciting book, because otherwise I’ll stay up too late to finish it.
Then out of bed for one last wee and press play so the sound of crash, swish and trickle fills the room. (Hippy-dippy but waves and thunderstorms really do the trick.) Light off, pillows punched, eye-mask on, deep sigh. And then I daydream that I’m floating in the ocean until I drift off.
Bedtime for me is ALL about routine – to the point that if I’ve missed any part of it, it stresses me out so much that I get up and do it (that’s unless I’m passed out in a gin-fuelled coma, contact lenses in/shoes on).
It starts as soon as I get through the door: prising the contact lenses out, jewellery off, shower, PJs. Then near to bedtime, it really starts.
Full-on moisturising session – body, feet, hands and face. A different cream or spray for each and then a 10-minute digital turn-off lie-down, no phones or noise, just lying there. And then the waves start. On my iPad I have a brilliant app that can mix noises of birdsong, woodland and fire burning. I have to have the sound of ocean waves to get me to sleep. I programme it for two hours but I’m probably sound asleep dreaming I’m a mermaid in 15 minutes. Heaven.
Alternatively, gin-fuelled evening, try to undress, trip up in tights/shoe combo, lie on top of the bed covered in mascara and smelling like a tramp. Yin and yang.
I listen to the same Adam and Joe podcasts over and over again. They’re burned in my brain like the periodic table. I can’t listen to new things because my brain gets too excited but if I don’t have a podcast on then I spend the night rigid and listening for Imminent Danger.
I always put a glass of water on the table next to my bed so the cat’s got something to push into my face at 3am when she’s bored.
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