Today on Twitter, Doug Coupland, one of my favourite Canadian writers - the man who defined my generation (X) - tweeted out the following plea for suggestions on getting-to-sleep-secrets:
I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't put my two cents in here. After all, we do claim to change the way people sleep. Maybe we can change the way Mr. Coupland sleeps.
Mr. Coupland, here are my top 6 tips for improving the quality of your sleep:
1. THE RIGHT PILLOW. If you've ever watched one of my videos, you know I am obsessed with pillows. Good pillows. A good pillow is a game changer. Unfortunately, so is a crappy one. If you don't have a good pillow (not too firm, not too soft, not too stiff and flat like a Maxi pad) then please go treat yourself to one. Try them in the store. Lie down on a bed and don't be shy. If it's right, it will feel like heaven. Invest in goose down and/or feather. You won't regret it.
2. A GOOSE DOWN DUVET. Like a good pillow, a light, airy goose down duvet will feel float above your body, adapt to your body temperature so there's no shivering or sweating, and feel like you're sleeping in a cloud. (All right, I confess I've never slept on a cloud so I can't really speak to that experience, but I imagine that's what it would feel like.)
3. AUTHENTIC QUALITY COTTON SHEETS. I say "authentic" because I am an advocate of real quality and not half-truths and buzz words that mask inferior quality. Authentic quality sheets are made of 100% Egyptian cotton, woven by masters (like the Italians) and have a thread count higher than 200 TC. (Read this for an in-depth conversation about what makes an authentic quality sheet) [handbook] You don't need 10 million thread count sheets to have a magnificent sleeping experience. You just need authentic quality raw materials, and then thread count is totally a personal preference. (I love 410TC the best.)
4. A FEATHERBED. This is just a little added luxury that will transform your bed, and your sleeping experience, from something ordinary into something extraordinary. Enough said.
5. FRESH AIR. I rarely talk about all the ways I've devoted my life to sleeping well. I tend to focus mostly on the components of the bed, but I also have a couple of rituals that not only enhance my sleep, they actually help me fall asleep when my thoughts are racing and ideas are popping around like kernels in my head. This is a pretty simple one: I open my window. A breeze, a rustling tree, the smell of outside air, city noises in the distance - all of it lulls me to sleep.
6. PITCH BLACKNESS. I am absolutely OCD about having a dark room. I cover every blinking light on our electronics, every digital number, and (to my husband's astonishment) I even put a piece of black electrical tape across a small neon dot of light on our DVD player.
Mr. Coupland, I hope these tips find their way to you. I wish you an extraordinary sleep.
Your humble fan,
Side note: Here's a look inside Mr. Coupland's bedroom, very nice!