Question of the day.

   What three things do you need for a good night’s rest? 

   My answer: 

  Well, I need a lot more than just three things, for one thing I need at least two pillows so it’s already two things, but let’s at least try to narrow it down to the most necessary things (let’s skip the pillows though since they’re pretty default, except for their preferred amount  which I’m sure varies for everyone). 

   So, for the most part of the year, I need a hot water bottle. Like I recently wrote, I’m okay with being cold during the day, I’m totally used to it, I even like it, and really the fact that I am cold most of the time doesn’t necessarily have to mean that I feel cold, but at night, regardless of whether I feel subjectively cold or not, it will take me ages to fall asleep if I’ll have cold feet. Another thing that I need quite critically is some background noise. Not too loud, so that I can actually fall asleep and sleep deeply, but also not too quiet so that my brain can latch onto something when I’m awake so that it doesn’t have to generate scary auditory stimuli itself, or so that it’s less likely that it will do it. For lack of anything better, even some white noise humming will be better than nothing, but if I have a choice, which I usually do, I much prefer it to be something more tangible like music that I like or a radio station where they talk in any of my favourite languages, because it’s just more interesting to listen to some nice music or a beautiful language before I fall asleep, and gives me something to focus on so I won’t start ruminating and overthinking which I generally have a tendency to do a lot at night anyway. Also it’s fun to have a nice soundtrack to your dreams. 😀 For that reason, I also really like to sleep with Misha. I’mm not really including him on this list, because he’s not a thing and it’s not like I really really need him to sleep well, because he doesn’t even sleep with me every single night, but when he does sleep with me, it also tends to decrease my night time sensory anxieties and makes me feel more peaceful overall, even though Misha is very quiet, but his mere presence makes me feel safer. 

   And the third thing… I was going to say a good book because I often read before sleep, well, I almost always read before sleep, and sometimes I get so engrossed in a book that I just can’t fall asleep because it’s so interesting so I keep reading instead. But a book doesn’t really make my sleep better or worse, it’s just a fun element of my bedtime routine. So I think the third thing on my list is going to be an open window. I guess I take it after my Mum that I can’t sleep in stuffy and very warm rooms or else I’ll wake up with a raging headache or even a migraine. And usually I’ll oversleep then and wake up feeling totally, disgustingly lousy, as if I had a hangover or something. And since I already have way more than enough migraine triggers, I’d rather avoid the ones that I have control over and keep the window at least partly open, or at least solidly air the room before going to bed, depends on what the weather is and what seems most reasonable at a time. So I’ll sleep with a hot water bottle, Misha who generates a lot of heat, and in the autumn-winter season like now Misha sleeps on a lamb skin, which lies on a blanket that belongs to both of us, and the blanket lies on my duvet which is quite thick in itself, so I like it to feel warm and cosy in bed while at the same time having very cool air in the room that makes sleep feel refreshing and that keeps my brain cool so that it won’t overheat. 😀 My Mum is a lot more hardcore though because she sleeps with her window wide open every night, and she doesn’t do hot water bottles, has no blanket most of the time and just a single duvet, but unlike me she always puts something over her head and ears, like a scarf or something, to keep more warmth in and to isolate herself from noises that could wake her up (like my Dad’s snoring). That would make me personally feel very much out of control and, knowing myself, I’d constantly wake up thinking that someone was calling me  or something and I didn’t hear it, not to mention that it would make my anxiety worse, but my Mum literally can’t fall asleep without covering her head, and she can’t have any light. My Dad was previously a definitely window-closed person, but he just had to get used to it being different when they  married, because this is one field where my Mum doesn’t tolerate compromises, and now that she’s going through menopause, she’s even worse, so my poor Dad sleeps under a huge duvet and a really warm, heavy weighted blanket, and with socks on, and he says he’s still freezing some nights. I guess that’s because he does socks instead of a hot water bottle. Socks don’t really give you additional warmth, just keep your natural warmth in, and if you’re not really warm to begin with, that’s not much help I guess. Sofi also likes to sleep with a hot water bottle, but it’s more just because she enjoys it a lot rather than that she won’t fall asleep easily without it. And she’s also like me in that she needs some quiet sound in the background, as well as a bit of light because she’s scared of the dark.

   So yeah, it’s funny how you can find so many tips on how to sleep well from all kinds of sleep experts, when in reality, everyone has such totally different habits, even within one family, and can’t fall asleep if something’s even slightly different than the way they like. 😀 And then there’s Misha, abut whose sleep routines one could write a whole essay and how they change based on seasons, his moods, external circumstances etc. I guess even I don’t know everything about them and don’t always remember the order in which all his sleep rituals should take place. 

   How about you and your ideal sleep conditions? 🙂 


6 thoughts on “Question of the day.”

  1. Uh oh, your mom’s going through menopause? How old is she? I hope she’s older than I am!! Yikes!! That’s why I ask! 😀

    A hot water bottle, huh! I wonder if you’d like an electric blanket!

    Yeah, background noise is an issue, but I’ve been sleeping very soundly since I relocated my bed to the back wing, farther from the street. I can’t hear much from there!

    Hmm… I need access to sedatives (the seroquel I take nightly and occasionally something like Ambien for travel or the hops for insomnia, etc.), and I also love my bed and want to give a shout-out to it: it’s a foam mattress that’s very firm, and I love firmness. I bought it on Amazon a few years ago, and the love affair continues. Best mattress ever. And when I visit Sonya, her sofa is similarly firm! The third thing would be… hmm… oh! My nice firm pillow. It’s also made out of memory foam, or something, and it retails for a lot, but someone gave it to me when they upgraded pillows, so I didn’t have to buy it. Oh! And my nice warm blankets. YAY!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My Mum is 48, but she’s already had menopause symptoms for several years. I mean actually she doesn’t have any other symptoms than the hot flashes, but these are awful enough for her and mess up her sleep and everything. Now she’s using a progesterone cream and that seems to be keeping it at a tolerable level. She’s had them for so long though that she’s thinking perhaps she’ll have to get used to living with them her whole life.
      Yeah, I’ve tried a variety of electric blankets, heating pads and similar things over the years (I’ve even tried a heated stone 😀 ), but I always come back to the hot water bottle. It makes more sense for me because while it’s still hot, it’s hotter and imo more effective at heating than an electric blanket, which helps me fall asleep faster, and then also it naturally loses its heat so I don’t need to turn it off or anything once I’m warm enough. Also the ones I’ve tried aren’t all that accessible so I can’t easily set them up myself. But when I can’t have the bottle, the blanket is a nice alternative.
      Oh yes, sedatives can sure be helpful. I thankfully don’t need anything every single night and I don’t like the brain feeling when I wake up after taking sleep meds, but I’m really grateful that I have something to help me out when I do need it badly.
      A comfy bed and good pillows! I really love mine too, and I love how huge my bed is so both me and Misha can wriggle around in it as much as we want without affecting each other.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s so sweet about you and Misha! In my case, I have a twin bed, and I share it with Mr. Kitty and my ninety-pound dog. We’ve mastered alloting the space, so go figure!! 😀 I curl up by the wall (it’s a daybed) and LuLu lies next to me longwise, and Mr. Kitty just plops down wherever he can, sometimes on top of me! 😀 I think I fell asleep with him on my shoulder! How sweet is that? 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Awwww, so cute! Misha would never fall asleep on my shoulder. Perhaps a quick nap during the day if he was very tired but nothing more, he has to have his personal sleep space and sometimes I wish he was just slightly more cuddly.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I would say my weighted blanket, my stuffed lemur and some background noise, like a soothing playlist on Spotify or some soundscape on MyNoise. Oh wait, I play said background noise on my music pillow, so that probably counts as a fourth thing, ha.

    Liked by 1 person

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