I love sleeping, I do. The only problem is: I’m not very good at it.
I struggle to fall asleep at night, I struggle to stay asleep AND I wake up early. On top of that I suffer with nightmares and sleep paralysis.
Sleep paralysis for me, is usually a point where my mind is conscious and awake, but I’m still dreaming and my body is paralysed. It can be quite traumatic as I’ve had such experiences as being in bed with someone pinning me down, someone hugging me, somebody in my room walking around. Very vivid, real experiences that I can feel as well as see. That feeling of someone getting in and out of the bed your in is terrifying. And you can’t move. After a brief bout of panic, I can usually recognise what I am experiencing and concentrate on moving my fingers and toe. Also trying to pry my eyes open.
It always leaves me anxious and afraid to go back to sleep, as I usually will experience it a few times in the same night over a period of days, but then not again for weeks or months.
I think one of the reasons I can’t sleep is due to my work patterns.
I work shifts that change every day. I can sometimes start at 6am, which means I have to get up at 4am as I live an hour away from work. Then, on the other end of the spectrum, I can start work at 3pm and finish at midnight, meaning I don’t get home until 1am.
I’ve laid awake many nights counting down how many hours of sleep I’m NOT getting and picked up my phone to Google things like ‘how to fall to sleep‘ or ‘how to get a good nights sleep‘ and even ‘if I’m laid in bed but not asleep will I still feel rested‘.
It’s a complete nightmare. Apart from I’m not lucky enough to be asleep.
Most tips that I read are either unrealistic for me, such as ‘go to the bed at the same time every day‘ or ‘don’t use electronics two hours before bed’ (lollololololololololol, good luck with that) or they are things that I already do, like exercise, drink water, eat well, don’t drink caffeine after 3pm.
The only ONE thing that seems to work for me, is a white noise app I have on my iPad.
I’m the type of person that needs complete silence while falling asleep. Once I’m asleep, noise doesn’t generally wake me but it’s getting to sleep that’s the problem. So my housemate coming down the stairs, somebody walking down the street in heels, a car pulling up and slamming it’s doors.. these are all things that might wake up up when I’m falling to sleep.
So, this app simulates a rain sounds. It’s a consistent noise that drowns out most other noises, such as a bathroom door shutting, or the neighbours dog barking.
Obviously another big factor to how well you sleep is how comfortable your mattress is. If you’re looking for a new one, you can buy your mattress online from Mattress Next Day, who kindly provided me with the following infograph that is jam packed with information about how much sleep Britain are getting!
How much sleep do you get?