Sleep­ing part­ners

The Daily Telegraph - - Features -

Lack of sleep, sta­tis­tics keep sug­gest­ing, is be­com­ing so com­mon­place that feel­ing per­ma­nently ex­hausted is the new norm. One of the prob­lems for in­som­ni­acs is that we’re so shat­tered by 9pm that we can’t sum­mon the en­ergy to go to bed. Not only that, we’re anx­ious that if we do go to bed early, we’ll be awake at 3am. Be­sides, hit­ting the sack that early feels weird.

In her New York Times best­seller, Better than Be­fore, Mas­ter­ing The Habits of our Ev­ery­day Life, Gretchen Ru­bin adds that many of us feel re­sent­ful steal­ing into our leisure time by go­ing to bed be­fore mid­night. We don’t want to feel all we do is work and sleep. A law school friend of Ru­bin’s, ev­i­dently not en­am­oured of her job, told her, with what Ru­bin de­scribes as “sur­pris­ing ve­he­mence,” that with­out that time at the end of the day to read and to re­lax, “I have noth­ing for my­self.” We push through the pain bar­rier, feel rel­a­tively perky at 11pm, turn­ing the light out at 12.30am, con­vinced we’re in­vin­ci­ble.

Un­til the morn­ing. As Ru­bin says, “it’s all very well try­ing to stretch out our days to cram more ‘fun’ in, but we might feel better and achieve more if we got more sleep.” Ru­bin’s personal so­lu­tion is to get ready for bed ear­lier – take the make-up off, brush the teeth, and do what­ever other rit­u­als and sleep cues are part of your rou­tine be­fore you’re too whacked. She does it after she puts her chil­dren to bed.

I’m do­ing it around 9pm, after I’ve granted my­self a fi­nal look at my phone but be­fore I’m so tired those sim­ple prepara­tory ac­tions seem over­whelm­ing. It makes a big dif­fer­ence.

Two weeks into my new pro-sleep cam­paign, I’m see­ing re­sults. What do you know, go­ing to bed when you’re tired, rather than chron­i­cally worn out doesn’t mean you sleep less but more.

It helps to have pre­sentable night­clothes and maybe that’s why match­es­fash­ re­port that sales of lux­ury sleep­wear are “off the charts”.

I love cot­ton py­ja­mas: Bo­das have a gor­geous pale blue with red pip­ing com­bi­na­tion (£58 for trousers and £70 for the shirt, bo­, as well as lovely cot­ton and jer­sey robes. I am also very par­tial to a cot­ton ki­mono robe. Try the White Com­pany, from £60, or look out for beau­ti­ful pat­terned ones, which tend to be pricey, in the sale (Isa’s are cur­rently half price, at £143.20 on And make a point of sourc­ing in­ex­pen­sive cot­ton ones on hol­i­day. True you might wake at 6am in­stead of be­ing dragged into con­scious­ness by the alarm at 7am – but, pro­vid­ing you got your six to eight hours, there’s your ex­tra fun time.

Lux­ury py­ja­mas, £120


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