Last week on Instagram, I gave an impromptu tour of my bedside table and let’s just say, there was a lot to unpack. Turns out I am an incredibly high maintenance sleeper! After the year we’ve all had — eesh, even the week we’ve had, I can’t believe that some of you can just go to sleep with your phone. (I’m sorry, but…HOW??)
There were so many hilarious comments and questions, so I feel like I needed to give you all the details so you can either 1) sympathize or 2) continue thinking I’m extra. I also asked for your favorite sleep aides, and y’all had some great picks, and a few that really surprised me! Lets get into it.
Five years ago I was having the worst time sleeping. I am talking insomnia — up all night long — for days and days in a row! It would go until I would completely break down, and then the cycle would start over. I had to make some changes so I could function like a human.
I started with ear plugs – My partner snores, so this made a huge difference and now I can’t sleep without them. I find listening to my heartbeat super calming. In the insomnia days, it wasn’t always that way. I would get stressed about no sleeping, my heart rate would increase, adding to my anxiety, which just made my heart race more. So glad to be past that!
Then I added an eye mask like a 90’s sleepover movie. Did you know that any ambient light can interrupt your sleep cycle? At the time, our apartment bedroom had a huge uncovered window. I purchased black out curtains and a three pack of these eye masks. These are my favorite because they allow you to open your eyes while wearing them. Often I will open my eyes and be like “oh yes, pitch black, very nice.” It’s soothing.
Having ice cold water is my favorite luxury. I keep it in my stanley cup (this is low key my favorite cup of all time, I have three) so if I wake up parched in the middle of the night I can have an ICE COLD swig and it is just so refreshing. If I don’t have water I get stressed because I anticipate waking up thirsty and having to get out of bed. I am a special sort.
Aquarphor is a habit that I picked up in college 10 years ago and can’t break. I went to college in Utah where the air was so dry. I had this stuff on me at all times to avoid chapped lips and chapped hands. It is unscented and just thick enough to feel effective but not smothering.
A journal (and pen!) is something that a lot of sleep experts recommend. Instead of letting anxious thoughts loop endlessly, you can get them down on paper and move on. Maybe it’s your plan for the next day, a comeback you wish you’d said out loud, or an angry letter you want to write to your elected officials. I don’t write in my notebook too regularly, but If I am especially anxious about something it works every time. (Honestly, this helps with anxiety in the middle of the day too!)
My last must-have is a back scratcher! This is the one that puts me in the running with that Princess and the pea. But, I don’t care! I love this thing! Instead of contorting myself into all sorts of weird angles, fighting against sheets and pillows, I can just pop it open and reach that ghost itch no problem.
I also keep melatonin in my bedside table. It’s not recommended that you take this every night, but if I can sense that I am not tired or going to have a tough time I will pop one of these.
Ok now that you’ve all related to or judged me (ha!) let’s talk about your favorites!
Chapstick – YES. I use aquaphor as chapstick so I 100% agree. Can’t live without it.
Water – I hope y’all are using a container that keeps your water ice cold. Bonus is cold water helps you wake up in the morning.
Phone – This one I totally understand, even though experts keep telling us not to! I have a goal to plug my phone in in the kitchen more regularly. The goal is to have more down time at night…but the book I’m reading is on cloud library…so…maybe later?
Bed – Literally for some of you this is all you require!! What is this sorcery that you have? You just like…climb into bed…and fall asleep? No potions or spells? It fills me with envy.
Sound Machine or Fan – this is common for a lot of you! We don’t currently sleep with one, but when our son was young we did. I like it!
Heating Pad/Warmer – This was a popular response, but clearly these folks don’t live in Dallas. Never have I ever needed a heating pad in bed. Not only that, I think I would lose Michael to the floor or the couch if I started using one! I am actively looking for ways to cool my bed. That was a big reason we bought a purple mattress… the airflow that allows for a cool sleep sold us.
Humidifier – I love this one! I want to be the person that actually uses the humidifier but filling and cleaning ours regularly was too much effort to me.
Socks – I mean… HOW DARE YOU, but okay.
Lotion – This is a great suggestion!. Have you ever seen the IG account called @nightlotion? Putting on lotion before bed seems to be a ritual for women. I should get into it, I know my elbows need it.
Weighted Blanket – These have really taken off in the past few years, and I’ve yet to get a recommendation that wasn’t along the lines of “iT CHAngED mY LIfE.” I need to try the one I got for Christmas!
Eyelash Serum – This is genius because I always forget to put mine on! I think having it bedside would help me remember. Also remember my eye mask — it would be totally compatible! I’d have no excuses…
Alright, that’s a wrap. Too fun! Thank you for sharing and joining in the conversation — it was a fun detour last week and I hope you all enjoy better REM cycles!
So, what should we do next? Junk Drawer? Glovebox? Purse?
A few of you really like my nightstand. I can’t find it anywhere in the US (Ikea seems to have stopped making them?) so I found a couple of other nightstand that I really like. The color is tough to match… so a few are color dupes and some are style dupes. Hope that it helps!