A few months ago, I was listening to an episode of the Girl Next Door podcast and they were talking about a topic that I thought would make for a really fun blog post: sleep! So, I dutifully copied down all the different categories they talked about throughout their discussion on sleep and I’m excited to share my thoughts on what sleep looks like in my life. However, when I started writing this post, I realized I have a lot to say and I’m a bit wordy so I’m going to break this post into two parts, publishing the second part next week.
How Much I Sleep
I have always felt that I need more sleep than the average person. I’m a Highly Sensitive Person, which means my nervous system is wired differently than most people and I get overstimulated much easier. So, I think the fact that I need more sleep isn’t just in my head. I think it’s a real thing because the world is just a lot for me and exhausts me easily. I’d love to get 9-10 hours a night, but I regularly get around 7-8. I’m happy with that, though. Anything less than 7 hours and I can’t function. (And yes, I realize what that sounds like to parents of young children. Everything is relative! Also, my need for sleep is one of the reasons I’m still on the fence about kids, haha.)
What I Sleep In
I love long pajama pants. They’re just so cozy for lounging! However, those pajama pants get shucked off the minute it’s time for bed. My typical sleeping uniform is a tank top or large t-shirt and underwear. I need my legs free of any constricting material. (And don’t even get me started on socks. No to socks when sleeping.)
How I Sleep
I am trying to train my body to become a side sleeper, mostly because my favorite sleeping position (on my stomach with my arms splayed over my head) has resulted in awful lower back pain. I’ve seen a chiropractor about it and had multiple massages to ease the pain but the only thing that has actually helped is to stop sleeping on my stomach. But I love sleeping on my stomach! It’s the most comfortable position for me. However, I do not enjoy chronic pain so I am learning to sleep on my side.
Pillows, Blankets, & Sheets
I have a lot to say about this topic. I’ll start by listing out what is on my bed when I sleep:
- A fitted sheet – I recently bought new sheets for my bed that cost a pretty penny but they are so soft and comfortable and make me feel oh-so-cozy.
- A quilt – I always use a quilt. Yes, even in the summertime in Florida.
- Medium-firm pillows – My pillows need to be soft but not too soft, firm but not too firm. So, medium-firm. And I need a lot of them. Currently, I have six. I would be okay with more.
- A body pillow – This is what I snuggle with at night. It’s way better than a boyfriend because it doesn’t snore or move or talk in its sleep.
I do not use a top sheet when I sleep because I think they’re useless. I will die on this hill. I also cannot understand people who sleep with one pillow. ONE PILLOW. How is that comfortable?! Then again, most people can’t understand why I need half a dozen pillows to sleep, so poh-tay-toe, poh-tah-toe.
How I Fall Asleep
I am admittedly blessed in this department as falling asleep is usually not a problem for me, especially when I’m getting regular exercise and cutting down on my caffeine consumption. Sometimes, I toss and turn and when that happens, I just take melatonin and fall asleep not too long afterward. For the most part, though, I’m asleep within 15 minutes of turning out the light.
When I was in sixth grade, I had insomnia for an entire year. My parents had separated and the huge shift in my family environment must have altered something in my brain because sleep was elusive for me. I was probably getting 3-4 hours of sleep every night for an entire year. So, basically, I feel like I have earned my good sleep behaviors after losing out on an entire year’s worth of good sleep.
Napping is one of my superpowers. I try to take at least two naps every weekend and it honestly disappoints me if I can’t make it happen. (This is another reason I’m hesitant to have kids. What happens to my naps? It’s possible I am way too selfish to be a mother, haha.) My naps are sacred to me.
My naps are also… lengthy. For me, a good nap is at least three hours. That’s when I feel like I have a full sleep cycle and can wake up feeling refreshed. It’s the times when I only take a 1-2 hour nap that I wake up feeling super groggy and out of it.
I’m also blessed in that my naps typically don’t interfere with my sleep at night. On the days I nap, I will typically go to bed an hour or so later than my normal bedtime.
I firmly believe that my naps are part of my self-care. As mentioned earlier, I need more sleep than the average person because I’m an HSP and taking naps ensures I get that necessary downtime and silence that I need to recharge my batteries.
I know it’s a charged topic – what are your thoughts on pillows, blankets, and sheets? Are you on Team No Top Sheet like me?