Oh, sleep. I miss you! Are you also a fellow vampire? Do you also struggle to sleep at night and instead walk the corridors of your home in a blanket of darkness?
Back in the day, I could party for hours, fall into bed and be asleep within seconds. But fast-forward to my mid-forties and my night routine is different. I struggle to sleep. Even with a diffuser puffing out clouds of lavender-smelling smoke and an expensive pillow and soft relaxing music, I still battle.
I take magnesium. I use ear plugs and a sleep mask. I try to meditate. But still I frequently wake up about 3am and start to think about all the things I have not done and all the people I have not contacted and all the emails I have not read.
Why haven’t I started cooking more organic food? Should we look at Airbnb-ing our home if we ever hope to take all the kids on an overseas holiday? Is it too early to start my Christmas shopping? Should I try the keto diet? Am I truly happy in life?
But instead of getting out of bed and achieving something practical, I stay awake for hours cursing myself and getting so worked up and worried about the fact I am going to be so tired tomorrow.
It is a vicious cycle. Throw in coffee every day, wine most nights and little people and little dogs sharing the bed and its no wonder I have not had a good night’s sleep in about a decade. But help is here in the form of Matthew McConaughey. I am in fact being McConaughied to sleep most nights.
I recently purchased the Calm app and it has celebrities reading stories to help you drift off into peaceful slumber. The actor uses his southern drawl to tell you about the cosmos. I look forward to my time with Matthew each evening. But I have a few men on the go. Stephen Fry takes me on a meander every night through the lavender fields of Provence.
The Calm app has more than two million paid subscribers with 150 million listens since only last year. And last week the US military revealed the trick it uses to help its personnel get to sleep in two minutes. You must first relax the muscles in your face and then breathe out, keeping your chest relaxed. But here is the strange bit: you must then visualise one of two scenarios. The first is lying in a canoe in a calm lake with blue skies all around you. The second scenario I am going to try. It is visualising being wrapped in a black velvet hammock in a dark room. Now that sounds like I would revert back to being a vampire. I know that routine well. Wish me luck.