I seem to get my best sleep on the sofa while I’m watching a TV programme that I really want to watch.

Why is that?

Why is it that I can fall asleep sitting on the sofa, with the TV on, the lights on, and sometimes a mug of tea in my hand – but I struggle to sleep lying in a warm and comfy bed in the dark and the quiet?

It’s a vicious circle – you snooze on the sofa, so you don’t sleep well that night, so you’re a bit tired the next day, so you snooze on the sofa…

I’ve never needed a lot of sleep – I go to bed after 11pm, and I’m usually awake by 5:30. I know that as a child I was a bit of a nightmare, regularly not getting to sleep until around 9pm even though I’d been put to bed at 6.

It used to bother me, I used to worry that I wasn’t getting the 8 hours sleep that I was supposed to be getting. But then I read a magazine article that basically said that if you’re waking refreshed and ready for the day then you’re getting enough sleep. And I am.

So that’s OK.

Starting the new job has affected my sleep in two ways – generally I’m sleeping better, I guess I’m just more tired, but also I’m not worrying quite so much about the money. But if I do the late shift, and finish work at 9pm, I find my head is still buzzing at bedtime, and then it can be a struggle to get to sleep.

I don’t lie away worrying – which surprises me. Some nights I simply don’t sleep, but that’s more to do with my brain not wanting to switch off – I’m not worrying, I’m just not asleep. The trick seems to be to not mind. The more you worry that you’re not sleeping, the less likely you are to be able to get to sleep.

I have a TV with a timer in my bedroom, and it’s a godsend. I put it on very quietly, with the timer set to 1 hour. Usually I’m asleep before it turns off. Some nights I fall asleep so quickly I can’t remember anything about the programme I was ‘watching’.

Ah, but I’m very particular about the sort of programme I fall asleep to. It can’t be funny – that’ll keep me awake. It can’t be anything disturbing – that’ll also keep me awake. I used to watch the BBC News channel – but any mention of Johnson or Trump gets me riled, so that doesn’t work anymore. It can’t be too interesting, or that will keep me awake too. Oh, and anything with sudden loud noises or flashing lights isn’t good either.

Basically, I’m reduced to watching repeats of A Touch of Frost, reruns of Poirot, anything on the Home channel, or BBC Four (so long as it isn’t actually interesting). Without the TV to give it something to do, my brain would go into overdrive as soon as I lie down – thinking, thinking, thinking. The TV gives my brain enough of a distraction to give the rest of me the chance to drop off.

Sofa-snoozing is just so pleasant. You can feel yourself drifting off, and you know you shouldn’t – but five minutes won’t hurt, will it… But then you wake up an hour later and you know you’re not going to sleep well tonight.

Every. Single. Time.

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. oldhowie says:

    I fall asleep playing scrabble on my phone and usually wake up with my finger still on a letter !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s brilliant!! Presumably it’s the letter Z? zzz…


  3. anglosvizzera says:

    Doesn’t fit well with the ‘sleep hygiene’ recommendations that we’re told to get a good night’s sleep etc; reduce screen time for 2 hours before bed or wear ‘amber’ glasses to cut out the blue light; keep electronic devices out of the bedroom especially mobile phones as they constantly ‘communicate’ with the mast even when not being used (unless in airplane mode or switched off) etc.

    The ‘blue light’ from screens before sleep has been found to affect melatonin production adversely which controls our sleep-wake cycles (circadian rhythm) and exposure to the blue light in the morning daylight is necessary to switch off melatonin production.

    It’s usually suggested that having a correct circadian rhythm is necessary for getting enough deep sleep (when the body repairs itself and gets rid of rubbish, including the brain with regard to Alzheimer’s Disease) and people on shift work often have other health problems too (weight issues, poor immune system etc) potentially due to disrupted circadian rhythms.

    However, it seems that you are one of the lucky ones that doesn’t seem to have any problems with having a TV in the room! Good for you!


    1. I’ve read about sleep hygiene, and did try following all their recommendations (a winding down period, no screens etc etc). In a way it made going to bed more of a big deal – so by the time I was actually putting my head on the pillow I was thinking ‘Will it work?’ ‘Am I asleep yet?’ ‘Why not??’ and so on!!! And also the silence meant my thoughts got very loud.

      I guess I’ve found what works for me, which is really all that any of us can do. But you can’t beat a good sofa-snooze!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. anglosvizzera says:

    I am also guilty of staying up late on the computer, doing family research which is sooooo addictive. I do have a thing called f.lux which takes out the blue from the screen a few hours before I go to bed, so I guess that helps. However, sometimes there’s such an exciting discovery that it keeps me awake as I am itching to continue the research – so I resort to counting backwards from 200. That didn’t always work, but more recently I’ve found that actually trying to picture the numbers as I go does the trick – I never usually get back as far as 100, occasionally I do get to zero then start again, but the second time it does work.

    We have also taken to watching the ITV News at Ten, mainly because we love Tom Bradby’s way of presenting it and Robert Peston’s weird analysis of everything. By the time the local news and weather is finished, it’s nearly 11pm…we used to have the Nine O’Clock News which was at a far better time. Why ever did they make it 10.00pm?


    1. Crumbs, I wouldn’t dare do any family history research late at night – it’s totally addictive, and I could easily still be doing it at 3 in the morning!! I’ll do a post one of these days about my family tree!!
      How far back have you got? Any skeletons??


      1. anglosvizzera says:

        My family is pretty boring although I have found lots of ‘4th cousins’ some removed and some not removed in conjunction with a DNA test I did. But my main research is to help my husband as he has a dead end at one of his great grandfathers who was a music hall artist who changed his name a lot. We can’t find who he was at birth or who his parents might have been. There’s said to be some kind of connection with the Gordon-Lennox family although that’s only word-of-mouth passed down over the generations (and some family resemblances) so it is likely to be an illegitimate liaison that we’ll probably never prove! However, there are some DNA matches for him that are leading us to likely areas in the country and some more names associated with the theatre so it’s all very interesting. The newspaper archives are also a good source of information…but so far we haven’t cracked it all!


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