There was a local powercut in my street on Sunday night. This is quite rare and the last time I remember a power cut was several years ago when I was living in London, so I am really grateful that it doesn’t happen that often. I am also aware that this blog has quite a global audience, so powercuts maybe more frequent for some people reading this.
However the timing could have been better as it was 15 minutes before an on-line event, I was organising, went live! It was frustrating knowing that it was all happening and I wasn’t able to monitor the progress or sort out any blips. It was also frustrating seeing the lights on in the building opposite and having the internal debate with myself about whether I should go to the local bar and log on to their wi-fi.
Aside from all that, it was quite interesting experiencing a black out. The power went at 6.45pm as I was doing the ironing (in fact there is still a huge pile to be tackled, watching me write this!) At first there was the hope the power would come back quickly.
It was still daylight, reading was an option – until it got to dark to do that.
I had one head torch but don’t think I’ve replaced the batteries on that, so didn’t want to use it too much as I didn’t know if they would run out.
So then it was the candles – which seemed very romantic at first, but were difficult to read by or do anything by, I have to say it was fun at first and quite novel but not something to be repeated too often!
Then I had a bath reasoning that by the time I’d soaked for a bit the power would be back on, it wasn’t. This made the internal debate about the local bar even more difficult as I was now in pyjamas and didn’t want to get dressed again!
Cooking by torch and candle light is interesting (but fortunately have gas!)
Once the washing up was done – what was there to do?
Yep, the night owl was curled up in bed by 10 pm, almost unheard of!
It made me think a lot about how our sleep problems are quite a modern day phenomenon. I am not for one minute suggesting that insomnia is a modern day problem, there are enough references to it in literature to know it has been around a long time.
It is the other sleep problems that we have that are more modern in making. The fact that we have distractions such as TV and the internet, smart phones, kindles – all of which raise the level of brightness that we expose our eyes too just as we should be doing the opposite and preparing our bodies for the night, the dark and bed.
How modern technology, that is supposed to liberate us and make lives simpler, actually makes it more difficult to have ‘down time’ as we check our emails one last time before bed, or ‘just listen to the news headlines’ or ‘just watch this one more programme’, before switching off.
Computer games (of all sorts) where we think ‘Just one more round/level/game etc’ before going to bed.
All this is eating into time where we used to be able to unwind and relax. The ultimate result of this relaxing and unwinding was a better quality of sleep for most of the population. No wonder that we are facing a health crisis in the West – with raising rates of stress, diabetes, heart disease, obesity. All these health problems have been linked to people who suffer from sleep deprivation (ranging from insomnia to not allowing enough time to sleep).
So my lesson from the powercut is to really make an effort to unwind and relax in the evenings – dim the lights, switch off the technology and allow time for me.
I hope I can do this long enough so that it becomes a habit!
Charlotte Welply is a life coach and speaker and specializes in insomnia and other sleep difficulties. Having overcome years of insomnia herself, Charlotte has developed a passion for helping others who suffer from sleep deprivation and the effects it has on the body and lifestyle. She enjoys working with her clients helping them to achieve their goals of a great night’s sleep. She is also able to combine her years of experience as a child carer and family worker with her life coaching skills and also works with parents in helping them to teach their children to sleep – ensuring a restful and restorative night’s sleep for all the family.
There are links on her website www.charlottewelply.com to free guided mediations and pamphlets to help you and your children sleep, as well as information on upcoming courses. You can also follow her on facebook https://www.facebook.com/charlottewelply and twitter @CharlotteWelply for tips, news and information about the world of sleep.