The brilliant writer and self help wonder woman, Gretchen Rubin, describes herself as a ‘sleep zealot’ and I am right with her. Gretchen is the author of the best selling book The Happiness Project a thoroughly researched guide to happiness and good habits. I have just listened to her being interviewed and she spoke so helpfully on the subject of sleep, why it is important and why we massively underestimate it’s power. We live in a very achievement oriented culture, where getting by on 3-4 hours sleep is seen as almost admirable, but she believes that we normalise feeling less than great and have almost forgotten how well and contented we actually should be feeling.
She describes her daily routine. Although she is an incredibly successful author and blogger and I am just a humble interiors writer, her daily life is very relatable to me, to be honest it is quite similar to mine. She has a dog, which she gets up at 6am to walk every morning, which I do not, but I do go for a walk every day. She starts her working day on social media and answering emails and then has meetings and writes and has hobbies and fun activities – so do I!!
Plus, she ends her day by mentally deciding – “it is the end of my day”. I know that sounds obvious, but if you are self employed, making that decision can be incredibly challenging. Like me her office is upstairs (this is getting weird!) She finds that it being slightly inaccessible: it is up a spiral staircase in her otherwise one level apartment, helps. She admits that if it was beside the kitchen she would never switch off. Gosh – I so, so relate, my office used to be on the ground floor, near the kitchen – so handy, except while I was cooking I was always nipping through to check emails, end up answering them, dinners burnt, pans ruined!! So NOT convenient in fact!! Now my office is also upstairs and I find the separation invaluable.
Like me, she has two children, one at university and very enviably, unlike me she has a daughter with whom when her day ends, she has a lovely chat with – if only!! I think her daughter is only about 11 though, just wait til she is 17!
At the end of her day, she gets ready for bed significantly before she actually goes to bed – I have to say, that is such a good idea. I have an awful habit, at the end of my day, of getting into bed with a lovely cup of tea and some dark chocolate, watching an episode of a scandinavian thriller, nodding off at the end, and then having revive myself to clean my teeth put my pyjamas on, by which time I am WIDE awake again and cannot get to sleep.
I am absolutely certain that if I had one of these gorgeous stylish grey velvet divan beds from the Sleep Station, I would not dare do this, I would have my cup of tea and chocolate in the living room, get ready for bed, applying all the right creams and potions, slip into bed and read or watch a Scandi noir and nod off absolutely perfectly!