Celia Walden is not caught napping
SOME OF THE things I think about when trying and failing to sleep are: ‘LED light bulbs – are they better and longer-lasting than CFL? What does CFL stand for?’ ‘That ex from my early 20s, the one with the slightly overlapping front teeth: who did he end up marrying? Course Mum always thought he was gay.’ ‘Why bother having a car alarm if you’re going to let it ring, ring, ring? Hang on – is that my car alarm?’
I don’t know when sleeping became so damn hard – when I stopped blithely slipping into it. But I do know I should have appreciated those thousands of nights’ effortless slumber more than I did. And I’m painfully aware of the physical ramifications of all this nonsleep. Forget the brain rot, it’s the rest I worry about: the dehydrated skin with its lower ph levels (somehow responsible for both drier and sebum-tastic spotty skin – I mean, pick one, right?). There’s the hair loss lack of sleep causes and, of course, the decreased leptin levels that make you more likely to overeat and turn into an overweight, semi-bald once-young person with both parched, crêpey skin and teenage acne.
In the therapeutic world, this kind of wildly defeatist thought process is known as ‘spiralling’. The antidote, they say, is to install a ‘defence system’ for each of the problems you’re obsessing about. Which I have done by sourcing the best ‘while you weren’t sleeping’ beauty fixes. So that even if you wake up cerebrally and hormonally impaired, at least you’ll be looking your best.