Peaceful Slumbers: The Top 7 Tips Every Model Needs for a Blissful 8 Hour’s Kip…
It’s a shame our job isn’t really conducive to a good night’s sleep, then. Off the top of my head, here are some of the obstacles I’ve experienced to getting a good night’s sleep:
1) Sharing a room with other models in a model apartment. Endless nattering, 3am Skypes to Russia, coming back from parties at all hours and others getting up for 5am call times – sharing a room with 1-15 other models does NOT equal a good night’s sleep.
2) Stress about having to wake up at 3:30am the next day.
3) Stress about NOT having to wake up the next day due to NO castings/shoots
4) Sharing a bed with a boyfriend who does not take the concept of ‘beauty sleep’ seriously.
5) Endless travel, affecting sleep cycles.
6) Phones beeping (we shouldn’t leave us off as our bookers should be able to contact us 24/7 – cue 6am emails from Transport for London).
7) Work trips where one is required to shoot through the night for four days straight
8) Acute homesickness.
9) The pressure to have a good night’s sleep.
Without sleep, though, we can suffer from dull, puffy skin. We might not give shoots 100%, and start to fade a bit towards the end of the day. Plus it can really affect a person’s happiness – that dragging tiredness throughout the day that finishes with a whirring, active mind and wildly pounding heart at night.
I’ve discovered some failsafe techniques for dealing with lack of sleep: let me guide you through them.
I suggest drinking chamomile tea after dinner and until bedtime, as it’s well known for having relaxing properties. It’s a shame it smells and looks like wee, but highly recommended to calm you down.
I discovered this at Uni when I didn’t sleep for weeks straight. I was really unhappy as I didn’t feel like I was making friends and found the whole process very stressful.
Someone suggested valerian, and I bought the tincture from Neals Yard Remedies. Oh my god. Not only did I sleep right away, but the sleep was deep and satisfying and I woke up feeling far more refreshed than sleeping pills leave you.
If you don’t believe me, I recently recommended them to Emily Vickers-Willis, who now swears by it, too. If you find the taste of the tincture too strong (by strong I mean rank) then get the pills or go for Dr Stuart’s Valerian Plus Tea – a true miracle worker.
Exercise at the Right Time
Exercise is key to a good sleep, but the right time to do it is different for everyone. I like to exercise in the morning for an energy burst that lasts until around 4, when I start to flag (and have to resist the biscuits). Others like to feel exhausted and fall into bed after a vigorous evening workout.
By the same token, a late workout might leave your body beign pumped full of endorphins and oxygen, keeping your wide awake and full of energy…
…’til the dawn when you unhelpfully drift off.
Yoga and Meditation
True, this is a toughie in a model apartment with four bunk beds. But get your roommates onboard and have a group yoga and meditation session. It’s bonding, and the feeling of establishing friendships will make you feel nice and cosy before bed. Doing this will also take your thoughts away from your worries & phones and help you unwind from the day.
I can’t recommend Headspace App enough – it’s changed my life. I know that sounds hugely drastic but those 10 – 15 minutes a day of deep breathing and letting thoughts evaporate leave me feeling relaxed and my body feeling oxygenated. They’ve got a free taster pack of ten sessions – what are you waiting for?
Turn the Ipad off
I know we can’t turn our phones and tablets completely off, but we can stop staring at them incessantly from around 8pm. I know it’s tough but if you’re having trouble sleeping this is a huge contributor. The blue light from those screens is very stimulating, so even though you think you’re unwinding with a film, you’re actually cranking your brain up a notch.
It takes a lot of willpower, but it’s worth it for a restful sleep.
Eat and Drink Well
By eat, I mean a proper meal including good fats, protein and some brown rice to make you feel full. Your body actually needs energy to sleep, and feeling miserable pangs of hunger won’t help you drift of peacefully.
And by drink well, I mean water and herbal tea. A glass of wine may feel relaxing at the time, but booze disrupts your sleep, meaning you don’t have a lovely, solid, deep slumber.
Finally, this is the best tip I’ve gained about not sleeping. I still frequently have a sleepless night before a shoot. I’m not sure what it’s caused by – stress about the shoot, or perhaps about the impending alarm – but I used to get more and more worried about what kind of grey and puffy state my face would be in for the morning.
Just know this: If you’re in bed, relaxed and lying down, then you’re still resting. It won’t be the full benefit of a great night’s sleep, but it won’t make you turn into Quasimodo overnight, either.
There are plenty of times I’ve rocked a shoot with little to no sleep, and I keep a mental bank of them to remind me not to worry when I start stressing in my PJs.
I hope my tips lead to sweet dreams for you all,