Just when we thought that the world was getting back to normal, the Omicron variant of the Covid virus reared its very ugly head. So now we’re all back to near-constant worrying, over just about every little thing.

zzz-Sleep-graphicThat concern manifests itself in most of us having some difficulty in getting a good night’s sleep, which I’m sure we all sorely need; I know that I do!

So, I realized that I have to do something to help all of us in this category.

To that end, I’ve recently done tons of research on the subject, and tried-out just about every tip I’ve come upon. And now I’ve broken it down to the top ones. If you’re in the category of insomniac, as I am, along with soooo many others, I hope that at least one of these suggestions helps you to get some sleep very soon. (And always, of course!)

Here they are:

~ Don’t eat or drink close to bedtime. (Duh!)

~ Stop looking at screens in bed!!! Even with blue light blocker glasses. It’s just too stimulating.

A mouthwatering image from one of Jacquie Lawson's magnificent e-cards. If only ALL our baths were like this one!

A mouthwatering image from one of Jacquie Lawson’s magnificent e-cards. If only ALL our baths were like this one!

~ Take a twenty-minute bath, (bubbles optional,) right before getting into bed. Do not make the water too hot. And if you have any aches and pains, a cupful of Epsom salts will do the trick.

~ Set the mood in the room. My best tip is that, even if you think you’re a person who’s often cold, make sure your bedroom, (or wherever you sleep,) is far from hot. Or even warm. If you can set the temperature for sixty-nine degrees or less, you really improve your chances of getting a good night’s sleep. (And you get to use cozy comforters, which is always a bonus.)

~ Another tip on your environment is to use some sort of diffuser to impart lavender oil into the room. There are big diffusers, of course, but even a small one will work. Mr. X and I have a big one, but so far we’ve eschewed it for a small size bottle of the oil, in which you dip the little wooden sticks that come with all the sets. I swear, on the nights I remember to use it, I sleep for much longer than on others. (Why don’t I use it every night, you may ask? Because I’m usually so tired that I fall into bed, and then after a restless hour or two, I’m just too lazy to get out of bed. I don’t keep it on my nightstand because there’s no room there among all the items that are next on this list!) [Note: Do not use candles! The danger of doing that should be obvious.]



~ Soothe your outer self with a couple of healing accessories, such as hand cream and lip balm. Ones infused with lavender do double-duty. (Are you getting the tip that lavender is a key to sleep?)

~ Spray your pillow with products made to help you sleep, such as—you guessed it—lavender!

~ Gently cover your eyes. A night mask is wonderful, but sometimes the elastic that goes around your head can be too tight, which creates problems all their own. And, let’s be real, it can really mess up your hair! So I usually go with just a soft tee-shirt draped loosely over my eyes. That works wonders.

~ And while we’re on the topic of blocking the light, make the room as dark as possible. You can use blackout curtains, or as we did, just tape some black paper over the small windows above our bed. Or…simply close the bedroom door!

Small weighted blanket. Photo by INAM staff.

Small weighted blanket. Photo by INAM staff.

~ If you won’t be disturbing anyone else, play some “healing music” on one of your devices. There’s a plethora of choices out there; just find the one that works for you.

~ My newest sleep-go-to is what I refer to as my “emotional support blanket.” It’s a little weighted blanket, that weighs only seven pounds, so it’s easy to just push it off to the side if it gets too heavy. But it really does feel like a hug, and helps immensely on those nights when I can’t keep my mind from worrying about every little thing.

~ Or buy a “feather bed.” It’s a fluffy topper for your mattress. The first time I slept on one at my friend’s house in New York, I eschewed all my activities for the day, which were plentiful because of my limited time there, to stay put in the bed!!! I’ve had one on all my beds ever since then; I even leave one at my friend’s house in Manhattan where I stay when I’m there, and put it on that bed the second I arrive, no matter the time!

One of my very many non-winning Solitaire hands. Photo by Karen Salkin.

One of my very many non-winning Solitaire hands. Photo by Karen Salkin.

~ When I get settled in bed, I often play Solitaire on my iPad for a bit, (with its light turned all the way down,) because the repetitive motion exhausts my eyes (and brain,) and I usually fall asleep doing it.

~ Of course, all pet owners know that the absolute best way to fall asleep is by hugging our pets!!! For almost eighteen years, my beloved Clarence, The Singing Dog, and I shared a pillow, (just like The Princess and the Frog!) I could not fall asleep unless I was hugging him. (And it was reciprocal for him—every time I tried to sneak out of bed to write for awhile, he was right there with me in under a minute!!!) And ever since he left this level of life, my almost-life-long best friend, Froggy, (who is technically a stuffed animal, but ya know…,) has filled that connection need. On that same note, when my mother was suddenly widowed, she really could not sleep for months. And then I got her the cuddliest little stuffed dog, whom she strangely named “Beauvois” in about a nano-second, and even she was shocked that his presence helped her start sleeping again! So hug a pet, or a stuffed bestie, or even a favorite pillow, once you’re settled in bed. I swear—it’s my best advice ever!

Karen Salkin and her precious Clarance, racking-out together, as always.  Photo by Mr. X.

Karen Salkin and her precious Clarance, racking-out together, as always. Photo by Mr. X.

Experts suggest we stick to the same bedtime routine each night, but for some of us, that’s just impossible. So just try some, or better yet—all–of my tips, and I’m confident that you’ll be catching your ZZZZZZZs very soon. [Note: I’m sure I forgot some, so if you have any other sleep recommendations, please share them in the Comments section below. Thanks in advance!]

Happy sleeping!!!



    • Do you mean the friend’s house where I leave my featherbed? If so, I do indeed! (I hope it’s still there! I hope to be back in the Fall!)

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