Sleepless In The City

From a professional insomniac, here are my tips on how to cope the day after a night of zilch shut eye (including calling in a sickie)...

As anyone who's on Twitter with me will very well know, sleep is not one of my strong points. It’s nothing new so please, for the love of Louboutin, no suggestions of chamomile tea or Valerian. I've learned to cope with the insomnia curse fairly well over the years and ironically enough some of the random 4am ideas have been ridiculously successful.

Now, most people have trouble sleeping at one point or another.  But for those who are not quite the seasoned professional as some others around here, I thought I'd share a few damage control tips for when counting sheep has miserably failed to deliver a good night’s rest.

Take a sickie
If you've only got a couple of hours sleep - or none at all - embrace that sick leave you've been saving for a rainy day and let it pour. Without getting the sleep you're accustomed to having you're likely to be pretty useless at work.  Take the time you need to restore and replenish.  In fact, I was shocked to read recently that sleep deprivation “produces impairments in cognitive and motor performance equivalent to legally prescribed levels of alcohol intoxication” – drunk at work?  Save it for the Christmas party.

Try not to sleep
It's like getting over jet lag – you’ll want to snooze all day, but try not to give in until the time you would go to bed normally. Get outside relatively close to when you usually leave for work and get some morning light therapy to influence your body back into routine.  15 minute power-naps are always allowed.  Always.

Not coffee or alcohol; water and lots of it (but please don’t drown yourself).  Room temperature H2O for better absorption, maybe with some freshly sliced lemon to help neutralize your bod.  Not too close to when you’re planning to sleep again – that will just get annoying.

Nothing over the top, but a nice gentle stroll to freshen up, get some vitamin D and feel good about having the day off while everyone else is scrambling around in their lunch break.   If you’re keen, try some gentle yoga either at home or the gym – the Pocket Yoga app is pretty good for home yoga if you can spare the $2.99 download.


Fresh stuff. Apparently cherries contain melatonin but who has those lying around at home?  Note: Cherry Ripes do not count.  Go for bananas, oats, veggies and consider a vitamin B complex in the morning with some zinc and magnesium to help you with energy levels throughout the day.

Breathe & relax
Don't worry – be happy.

And finally, prepare for the new night ahead
No electronics an hour before bed, some relaxing music, caffeine free tea, a light dinner with a few complex carbs and lean protein (like a salmon and quinoa salad, mmm), and no sugar or caffeine after midday. You know all this – it’s just my chance to nag.

Happy sleeping peeps and if not, I might see you around in the twitterverse on#insomniaclub.


Little Miss Melbourne xoxo