A Plan To Manifest Better Sleep

My top takeaways from “Make Sleep Your Superpower” in advance of my Friday, Nov. 4 public interview with Medium author Robert Roy Britt

Adrienne Gibbs

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I’m reading an advance copy of Make Sleep Your Superpower, the latest book by esteemed science journalist Robert Roy Britt, who is also a top writer here on Medium. And this book, much like James Clear’s Atomic Habits, is chock full of good, actionable advice that is super easy to implement. There are a lot of tips in the book, but this top bit of advice made me rethink my approach to bedtime: Plan your sleep like you plan your work day, or your family vacation. Give it top billing and it’ll give back tenfold.

I certainly plan my children’s bedtime and their sleep. Bath. Shea Butter. A nice gentle book — nothing too scary or overly exciting. (We recently finished Holes, started Alice Through the Looking Glass but we also discovered over the summer that Harry Potter books three and up before bed are huge no-nos.) Prayers. Hugs. Kisses. Pillow Fluffs. Water. Sometimes a humidifier. Sleep.

As I read Robert’s words I thought about how I could — and why I should — give myself the same bedtime attention as I give my kids. It also made me think about my Aunt Galina (from France and not the U.S., coincidentally) who always, always, put on her nightgown after she cooked dinner when she got home from work. We kids had to put on our nightclothes straight after dinner. When I spent the night at her house, we would have lovely fish stew, dessert and then bed — and then by the time we started to nod off while playing, we were already dressed for sleep. No muss. No fuss.

As a young adult I often wondered why my tante would get ready for bed so early! But as a mom? I totally get it. I pretty much do the same with my own kids. But how can that work for me?

Upon further reading I also learned a new word to describe my every- Saturday-morning, self-identified, sleep condition: dysania

Rob writes: “There’s no formal medical label for not wanting to get out of bed. It’s sometimes referred to as ‘dysania,’ but this isn’t a medically recognized condition, so it has no specified set of symptoms and can’t be formally diagnosed.”

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Adrienne Gibbs

Director of Content @Medium. Award-winning Writer. Editor. Mother. Featured on Beyoncé's year in review film.