Songs of sleep

Tips on good sleep are really important right now. Here’s a summary of the most common suggestions, all set to song titles (well, why not?).

If you’re struggling to sleep tonight, see if you can name who or what made these songs famous! Answers at the end.

Let the Sunshine In

Sunshine directly into the eyes helps to regulate our sleep patterns, so leave your sunglasses behind when you walk outside. Early morning sunlight is best to help regulate our day/night patterns.

I’ve Got Rhythm

Yes, you’ve heard it before, especially now we’re at home all day long, but it’s worth repeating – stick to a routine. Not only is this beneficial for mental health, it teaches our bodies when to wake up and shut down. Get up and go to bed at the same time if you can, and have a structure to your day.

The body has its own circadian rhythm, a 24-hour cycle between sleepiness and alertness. It’s normal to fluctuate between the two, but you’ll feel the tired spells much more if you’re not sleeping well. Regular sleep habits help your circadian rhythm to work at its best, so you feel rested and alert when you need to.

I Don’t Need This Pressure On

Having said that, don’t force yourself to stay in bed if you really can’t sleep. Putting yourself under pressure only makes it worse. Get up, read, walk about or listen to gentle music until you feel sleepy (we don’t recommend this song). Bed needs to be associated with sleep, not anxious wakefulness.

I Like To Move It

Nowadays it’s not only common sense for good health and sleep, it’s also government guidance, so get out once a day and exercise. It will help to relax your body, de-stress and shift your perspective.

Space Oddity

Ok, not that kind of space…this is about having your own personal space to sleep in. During lockdown it may be easy to lounge in bed or allow kids to invade your room. As far as possible, keep your bedroom private and peaceful, and only go there to sleep.

Blue Eyes

Blue eyes aren’t a sleep deterrent, but blue light shining into our eyes from TVs, phones or laptops is notorious for stimulating the brain and keeping us awake. However tempting it may be, try to switch off all technology when you go to bed. Reading a book is much more soporific.

Food, Glorious Food

The panic buying seems to be over, so we know our favourite snacks aren’t going to run out any time soon. But try to eat a healthy, balanced diet and avoid eating a big meal within two hours of bedtime. Steer clear of coffee after 5pm if you want to get a good night’s sleep.

I Feel Good

What helps you relax and feel good? Sitting quietly in the garden (or by a window), listening to music, meditation, singing, playing an instrument – the list is endless and much of it perfectly doable under lockdown. Make sure your routine includes a quiet, relaxing pursuit each day that reminds you how good life can be.

I Am What I Am

Everyone is unique, so try things out and make a note of what seems to work for you. Follow basic guidelines but adjust your behaviour as you get to know your sleep preferences. You are the ultimate expert in your own sleep needs.

I Will Survive

And finally….this song says it all! Try to stay focused on the present, not on past regrets or future worries. Keep positives at the forefront of your mind, even the smallest things. You can do it!

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Answers

‘Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In’ from the musical ‘Hair’
‘I Got Rhythm’ by George Gershwin
‘Chant no. 1 – I Don’t Need This Pressure On’ by Spandau Ballet
‘I Like to Move It’ by Reel 2 Real
‘Space Oddity’ by David Bowie
‘Blue Eyes’ by Elton John
‘Food, Glorious Food’ from the musical ‘Oliver!’
‘I Feel Good’ by James Brown
‘I Am What I Am’ from the musical ‘La Cage Aux Folles’
‘I Will Survive’ sung by Gloria Gaynor