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Because my son is ill and my husband has been ill, I have not slept properly for weeks.
I am not going to lie – it has been difficult and I obsess about sleeping more than I think about chocolate – which for me is a big thing.
During my many waking hours, I have had time to think of all the people who, like me, were lying awake at 4 in the morning.  4 in the morning is the worst time to be awake because it seems too late to go back to sleep so you while away your time waiting for the sun to rise.

And whether you fall asleep or not, the sun will rise and a new day starts.  And no matter how much you are convinced you are never going to make it through the day, it seems that you do.
Our bodies are amazingly resilient.  While there may be a lot of research about how lack of sleep affects our bodies (and I just read one article about how you don’t produce enough growth hormone if you don’t sleep, which may or may not explain why my son who is constantly awake is so small) it seems that you will probably not die from not sleeping.

This I do know:
– Obsessing about not sleeping is really not going to help you to sleep. Stop trying to sleep and just use your bed to relax.
– Practice deep breathing and try to calm your thoughts while just focusing on your breath. (No, it is not a good idea to kill your boss or your husband or your mother-in-law…)
– A cup of chamomile tea before bed can really help
– Hug a teddy bear (or your pillow if you don’t have a bear) and no, you are not too old for a bear!
– Do not, I repeat, do not look at your phone!  There are always exciting or scary things happening around the world that will only disturb your sleep further.
– Remember that no matter how stressful the night may be, you are so blessed to have a warm bed with a roof over your head to spend the night awake in.
– Nobody (as far as I know) has been awake forever.  When your body is ready and your mind is calmer and you are in a better space, you will sleep.