Sleep and I, we’ve never had a good relationship. I suffered from night terrors and sleep paralysis into my twenties, I always struggled to fall and stay asleep, so I became an unrepentant night owl. I suffer from anxiety, so the quiet night always felt especially busy to me, and I’d stay up until first light and take plenty of afternoon naps. It was acceptable when I was young, but now having a regular eight to five work schedule five times a week and a family, my old schedule just doesn’t work for me anymore. I’m always miserable when I wake up tired and have to drag myself to work, and I work with adult college students so I need to be alert and cheerful.
I’d tried several treatments in the past with varying effects. Sleeping pills make me feel dead in the morning and drowsy driving the next day is dangerous and terrifying. Melatonin can be hit or miss, warm baths work sometimes. In terms of actionable solutions, I thought that this book could give me a few ideas and ideas it did provide. I’ve learned that I’m definitely a 9-hour sleeper, it’s when I feel the most rested but if left without an alarm, I’ll sleep much longer and feel utterly gross. I regularly run on 6-7 hours of sleep which is not great and I know it.
“I prioritize and protect my sleep like it is absolutely necessary for my survival… because honestly? It is.”
Dr. Harper does a great job of making the boring science explanation of how sleep works readable, which is a blessing honestly. I’ve taken multiple cognitive and biological psychology classes between my two degrees, and I can say with honesty that I zone out whenever I get to the sleep chapters. I appreciated her down-to-earth way of explaining things, even if the hip sweary slang made me cringe at times. Banana peel tea and weighted Korean mink blankets I had never thought of, but I’m keen to try as non-medical interventions.
This little book is small and easy to read in a sitting, it provides a decent overview of different interventions, the pros, the cons, and an understandable explanation as to why sleep is more important than folks give it credit for. It’s not super in-depth and doesn’t do anything new or original, some of the information can be found elsewhere easily if you know where to look, but it’s short and sweet and gets straight to the point.