Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course, Chief nourisher in life’s feast. – William Shakespeare


For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a night owl. My Dad was a night owl. My Mom was an early bird. She caught the worms and we, well, we just were not morning people.

You know those people who can fall asleep at the drop of a hat, in the car, on a plane, as soon as their head hits the pillow, I’ve never been one of them.

I’ve had jobs over the years that fit my sleep patterns well, late-night catering, freelance writing, and now, blogging. In college, I wrote my best papers at 3 am. I brought up my wacky sleep patterns last week when I went to see my doctor and she said, “Yes, you are a writer.” Sure, indeed. In my case, the muse is fickle. She loves quiet and loves to dance when everyone else is sleeping.

This is all well and good, but, you see, I am not a vampire, and the world operates on a different schedule. Meetings, interviews, job assignments, meals, family, friends – they all require me to follow their lead.

So, I have struggled with my bouts of insomnia. The earlier I have to get up, the harder it is to fall asleep.

I have tried many different options. Some work better than others. I’ve tried no caffeine or spicy foods in the evening, meditation, yoga, essential oils, listening to the sound of the ocean on tape. While the real ocean works well, the tape never really did it for me.

I recently came across the National Sleep Foundation. This is a great resource that helps with understanding sleep issues and discovering healthy solutions. It contains a wealth of information on the subject of sleep.

Some ideas that I’ve been implementing which I found on this site are designing my ideal bedroom for sleep. This includes dimming the lights about an hour before bed to help shift both body and mind into sleep mode, creating a peaceful environment with calming colors and an uncluttered space, keeping the temperature cool, getting the right mattress, pillows and sheets, and incorporating soothing scents like lavender.

Something I’m working on is not having the tv or the computer on too close to bedtime. That’s a challenge for me, but, it truly helps as the bright light from the computer is not sleep-inducing, but rather the opposite. Daily exercise is helpful as is a warm bath before bed, especially when I add relaxing salts and essential oils like lavender, orange, lemon balm, bergamot or jasmine.

I’ve found that a good night’s sleep keeps me healthier, from having less fibromyalgia pain to being more effective at work. Waking up refreshed helps me face the day with a bright outlook, whatever it may hold.


Be sure to check out a new resource from the National Sleep Foundation at – a good place to start if you think you have insomnia or aren’t sleeping. The National Sleep Foundation is your trusted resource for everything sleep – understanding how sleep works & why it’s important, learning healthy habits, creating a relaxing bedroom & bedtime routine, & finding solutions to your sleep issues.