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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