Regardless of your politics, I think we can all agree that we are in a culturally agitated time, and that a lot of the conflicts we’re watching play out are happening via news and information. As one of my favorite researchers, danah boyd, put it: “The news media have become a pawn in a big chess game of an information war.” It’s happening, and we’re all on the battlefield via our smartphones.
We’ll see how it plays out, but based on conversations I’m having with friends and colleagues, the first place we’re ALL feeling it is in the bedroom. Mostly notably, most folks I know are struggling with sleep. Having trouble falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night freaking out, waking up early and deciding to just get up and start reading the news for the day… it’s fucking with everyone.
A friend mentioned that in order to combat it, she was focusing on creating nighttime and morning routines to help protect her time in bed as precious and not to be fucked with. Basically, she’s making rituals to protect the sacred space of FUCKING SLEEPING. This is what’s known as “sleep hygiene,” and of course it’s important all the time… but maybe extra important during times like these, when the cultural anxiety is through the roof. You can’t get shit done if you’re exhausted. Sleep is crucial.
So, let’s crowd-source our bedtime and morning routines, in the hope of helping each other have better sleep hygiene, better sleep, and hopefully more energy to do what need to be done during challenging times. Here are some options that you can play with:
- Put phone on airplane mode an hour before bed
- Meditate for 10 minutes
(I like the Headspace App, other people love Insight Timer)
- Brush teeth, wash face
- Warm shower
- Journal to get the shit out of your head
- Read something comforting
- Lights out 15 minutes before you hope to be asleep
- Charge your phone outside the bedroom
(Get an alarm clock if you need one. This cute one is like $15.)
MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT COMFORTS
- Breathing exercises
- Warm milk with honey
- Explore options like eye shades, ear plugs, fans, or white noise machines
(I have one of these and it changed my whole sleep life)
- Do not check your phone, I repeat: do not check your phone
- Make your morning cup of whatever before checking your phone
- Shower before reading the news
- Turn off all push notifications from news sources.
- Ease in gently with the news
I realize that lots of these things sound… silly. Self-indulgent. Privileged, even!
But the reality is this: We all need to pace ourselves and stay healthy. Exhausted, sleep-deprived people aren’t able to make good decisions, take action, or get involved. Put on your oxygen mask first, THEN apply the oxygen mask to others. Keep donating, keep resisting, keep working… but GET REST.
What are YOUR bedtime routines? Share!