If you have trouble sleeping, and who doesn’t from time to time, you may have heard of sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene is a fancy schmancy term for good sleep habits. To encourage our bodies to relax into a good night’s sleep we should turn the lights down low, have a little routine we do every night before bed, get up and go to bed at the same time everyday and DO NOT USE YOUR BED FOR ANYTHING EXCEPT SLEEPING AND SEX.
That means no laptops or smarty-pants phones, no eating, absolutely no television watching, no playing tug of war with your dog or chase the laser pointer with your cat, on your bed! When I tell people this they look at me like ‘You’ve got to be kidding. That is never going to happen.’ So I just ask that they try to limit the extra curricular bed activities because you want your body to see your bed and think ‘sleepy time -zzzzz!’ not ‘time for Craig Ferguson, whoopee!’
Meanwhile I break my own rule by reading in bed. I turn the lights low, I have my bedtime ritual and I go to bed, usually, around the same time, yes even on weekends. My sleep hygiene rocks! Except that…
Part of my bedtime ritual since I was eight and hid a flashlight under my covers so that I could secretly read Nancy Drew, has been to read until I was too sleepy to hold the book. My bedtime book is total fluff, brain candy, the kind of book that I would deny reading if the literature police burst in.
The only trouble with this habit, aside from the rare book that was so good I read all night, was when I lay on my back and the book I was holding aloft would fall on my face because I fell asleep. Hard backs are the worst!
Recently I discovered the convenient joy of using the Kindle app on my iPad. I could read the same book across devices, from my iPad to my iPod Touch to my MacBook and back again. No need to balance a book light clipped to my book. The program would pick up where I left off. I can have multiple books with me to suit my mood wherever I was. I can get the definition of a word without feeling guilty about not looking it up in the dictionary. I love books. I have shelves and shelves of books so I was surprised that I really enjoy my Kindle app as well.
Last night I was in bed reading Devil Bones by Kathy Reich (Temperance Brennan is Nancy Drew all grown up). All the lights were off. I was very sleepy, snug as a bug. When BAM! What the heck!!! Ow! My iPod fell out of my hands and hit me smack on my mouth. I was lucky it didn’t chip a tooth! I was sure this morning I would have a fat lip. No swelling but there was a bruise that was easily covered up with lipstick, thank God. Lucky I wasn’t reading the iPad!