Environment, sleep, and individual differences

There are a ton of environmental factors that can impact and alter the quality of our sleep (p.s. there’s a new sofi blog post on this here), but, as we know by now, there are also HUGE individual differences that set us apart.

I, for one, realised that it’s probably a bit weird that I like to sleep with the curtains wide open, with all the city lights pouring through. For some reason, the ambient light doesn’t bother me and I find the exposure to the sun really helpful for waking me up every day.

On the other hand, I have a friend (@mckenziemshelton (sorry in advance for calling you out :heartpulse::rofl:) that can only fall asleep to static white noise. It always plays so loudly in her room that I can’t fathom how it could possible help anyone get to sleep.

But there are many people who find it easier easier to sleep when there’s a TV show playing in the background (@Kaveh - I think you are guilty as charged here) or perhaps a podcast left on. As a light sleeper myself, I would hear every word and have absolutely no chance of falling asleep!

So it got me wondering…who else is similar?

Are there habits that seem to help you, that might not work for everyone else? Or something that works for others that you just don’t get? :laughing: :innocent:

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Guilty! But also I think I need some down time … so I watch the news about the Russian invasion … probably not a great choice of content to unwind to! :pray:

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I would so not be able to stay asleep with the curtains open. I would be able to fall asleep but once I wake in the middle of the night, I’d struggle falling back asleep if light seeps in.

Whenever I stay over at my parents for example, they have ‘curtains’ which don’t actually hold back any light. And in the summer when the sun gets up at 5, I might as well get up too as there’s no way I can lie in bed for hours staring at the ceiling listening to the birds waking up.

In that regard I’m like a baby wanting a blackout blind :slight_smile:

The darker the better!

My parents tell me, ahh just turn over and fall back asleep but that’s just not how my body works at all. Once it’s light my body goes ‘ping!’, it’s time to get up bud! :rofl:

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I find i need to wind down first so usually watch YouTube documentaries or listen to music. I find it easier to sleep when it’s really dark, which is a bit hard as there’s a street light right outside my bedroom window. I sometimes use an eyemask and i find it harder to sleep if I’m too hot or too cold. I really need to get blackout curtains! Anxiety too- the more stressed i am, the longer i lie awake.

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My bedroom window is literally the whole wall :rofl::rofl: and sun rises towards me, it’s a beautiful sight, but I really think I need to get some blinds and blacken out the windows since the blackout curtains aren’t doing the greatest job against this much sun :rofl::rofl: also so much glass its cooking me :rofl::rofl:

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I like to have a fan on me when I sleep though, I like the Cold and the noise :rofl::rofl:

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@Quinine what sort of Youtube documentaries do you tend to watch? I love them, but depending on the subject they can get my mind going even more. That, and there never seems to be a good place for me to pause! It’s all or nothing :laughing: :blush:

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haha, that’s definitely a good one, especially because fans can be so divisive!

In the States it’s fairly common to have a ceiling fan in many rooms, and boy have I witnessed some lighthearted arguments take place as people fight over off or on. :grin:

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I know where I’m from in the UK the older houses used to have ceiling fans put in, I somehow remember being at my grandads house as a kid and turning the fan on and watching a balloon getting knocked around the room by it :rofl:

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I’m in the UK as well, but can’t remember ever having seen a house with a ceiling fan. It’s never warm enough to put it on surely? :smiley:

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Maybe it doesn’t but I remember it being on all the time for no reason :rofl::rofl:maybe it was a Lincolnshire thing when I was a kid :rofl::rofl:

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It sounds like a high quality problem @Aaron … thinking about your perch from my lower garden flat!

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Curtains closed…I love putting the electric blanket on andvthevcatbpops up to say hello.

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The more noise-that I can control-the better. For whatever reason, as soon as I turn out all the lights, I hear everything outside and my anxiety skyrockets because my mind conjures up all things you’d find in horror flicks… I don’t watch TV, so I’m not watching scary movies that would influence these thoughts. I set the A/C and fan to high (yes, even in the winter when it’s freezing outside) :woman_shrugging:t3: I also put earbuds in and listen to audio books designed to help you fall asleep. It masks the ‘uncontrollable’ noises outside.
That being said, I still ‘hear’ things, though I know these noises don’t actually occur-they still wake me up and terrify me, then I have to convince myself it wasn’t actually real. Schizophrenia likes to torture me some nights.

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I can’t imagine the uphill battle you’ve had to face in order to gain back some control over your sleep, and find what helps and what doesn’t. Thank you for sharing @t-michelle.

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@alexwalkerjones I couldn’t imagine sleeping with the curtains open! I need complete darkness! Even a sliver of light peeking through the curtains throws me off! I also sleep with an eye mask and have white noise (thank you bose noise making buds) on a medium-ish sound level to block on street noise and snoring partners!

Regardless of how tired I am I always have to read some of my book even if its just a few lines. It helps me ‘close the chapter’ on the day. I think less of the day’s worries when I read before bed and it definitely helps my sleep as a result.

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I need complete darkness, luckiky where i live on the outskirts of town theres not much ambient light around, and its safe enough that i don’t mind walking in the middle of the night, when i get reatless legs, its better to walk it off, usually its because my fentanyl patch has run out a few hours before it should, and i can also go a short way and literally scream at the top of my lungs, gives me some release when trying to sleep sends me senseless. Othwr than darkness, i like it quiet, i have never got on with sleep masks, which i do regret, as ive been i hospital many times, and will ne again soon, and its always light and noisy, noise is easy to block out, wax ear plugs, but not being able to wear a sleep mask is a pain, as theres always lights on somewhere.

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