Katie Archibald column: Sleep hack #1 – move from sofa to bed

A change in sleep system is paying dividends

It’s just outstanding the amount of time you can spend on YouTube. I’ve chosen not to say “time you can waste” because, who knows, it might come in handy to know the full history of the athletics 400m world record, about gender equality in Rwanda, or that joke about turtles. It might.

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I’m in the habit of falling asleep watching it. I confess this knowing it’s pretty common but also wishing I wasn’t one of the many who do it. We’re so weak.

I like to be distracted enough from my own thoughts that I can drift off, yet not so stimulated as to unavoidably retain consciousness. I don’t skip the ads. There’s one, narrated by Stephen Fry, for an app designed to send you to sleep, that’s 23 minutes long. I love it when that comes on. I’m pathetic.

At least now I do it in bed; I used to feel convinced I could only fall asleep on the sofa. Well, the sofa or the car. But once you’re over five-years-old, people are reluctant to drive around all night with you in the back, out cold. And, although it works, I’ve vowed to stop doing it when I’m the one driving.

No, the sofa was my happy place. Even when I moved house and the sofa was too small and quite obviously uncomfortable to sleep on.

The way my old system worked, I’d fall asleep watching TV and sleep half the night on the sofa. At around three or four in the morning I’d wake up and totter off to bed while mentally tip-toeing (I think you know what I mean, just like when you go to pee in the night and keep your eyes closed to avoid waking up too much), and do the second half of my sleep there.

It’s only ended in embarrassment a handful of times when I’ve not done the wake up and totter bit and been caught on the sofa by a housemate.

If someone catches you at 7am, you can pretend you woke up early and came to watch TV. If someone — for example Neah Evans leaving the house at 5am to drive to Aberdeen — catches you much earlier than that, it’s harder to explain.

So yes, the new system, though not perfect, is much better.

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