I’ve written on here before about how I struggle with insomnia. I’m sure some of you reading this suffer with it too, so you’ll know all too well how frustrating, not to mention exhausting, it can be. So, when Febreze offered me the chance to stay at a hotel, have a consultation with a sleep doctor and have my own little sleep sanctuary, that was an offer I definitely wasn’t about to turn down. I rocked up to the Charlotte Street Hotel in London on Friday evening and was shown to my room, which had been kitted out with all my favourite things; Conde Nast Traveller and Harpers Bazaar magazines, Carlito’s Way DVD, some goodies from The White Company, almonds (favourite snack ever) and the most enormous, welcoming looking bed I’ve ever seen in my life. Friends, after the week I’d had last week, I almost wept at the very sight of it.
I then had a consultation with Dr Guy Meadows (AKA The Sleep Doctor) author of The Sleep Book while someone gave me a manicure (I know, right? It’s all a bit too good to be true). Dr Guy gave me some ace tips and explained what’s going on with some of my sleep problems really well.
Firstly, I don’t have a ‘power down’ period before sleep. I’m that idiot who literally works in bed with my laptop on until I fall asleep at the keyboard. Apparently, that’s not healthy – who knew?! (Duh!). Getting yourself properly ready for sleep is really important, as is trying to have a regular bedtime (totally guilty of not doing that too).
I explained that I often go through periods of insomnia and even when I sleep ‘well’, I wake up a fair few times in the night. Dr Guy says that stems from when we were hunter gatherers – we’d sleep in cycles of around 1.5 hours, then we’d wake up to check for danger before drifting back off again. I live in Stratford, East London – no wonder I wake up every couple of hours. I was checking for danger all this time!
I also tend to panic when I’m going through insomnia and will lie in bed stressing out about not sleeping. Dr Guy said it’s best to be mindful in these moments. Acknowledge those feelings, but don’t let them drown you. Become aware of the feeling of the pillow on your face, the duvet against your feet, the weight of your body on the mattress etc and eventually you’ll drift back off.
I’m really looking forward to reading his book, The Sleep Book (and downloading his Sleep School app). I’m definitely in real need of sorting out my sleep habits.
As for my night at the Charlotte Street Hotel – it was divine! I watched Carlito’s Way, had room service, took a lovely, relaxing bath in the Olympic sized bathtub and actually slept really well. I came away with a bunch of Febreze Sleep Serenity goodies and when I got home, the first thing I did was change my sheets and spray Febreze bedroom mist and bedding spray around the place – it really did help me feel pretty zenned out.
Obviously, I think moving in to the Charlotte Street Hotel would put an end to all my sleep woes – hey, a girl can dream!