Left to my own devices I'd happily slumber until late morning every day of the week. My body clock seems seriously misaligned to the real world. My favourite time of "day" is around 1 or 2am when I feel a box of birds, but I have no desire to join the damn things chirping away at dawn chorus.

Holiday weekends like the one just past are my idea of heaven. On at least one day, I can usually close the door on the dog and the child and stay horizontal for hours longer than the usual weekday routine allows. I'm looking forward to an anti social old age. I won't be one of those up before daylight, in bed after Coronation Street types. Rather, I'll be reliving my misspent youth, snoozing until noon and up until the early hours. This time round, nightclubbing will be off the menu, but more reading undisturbed beckons.

At Viva we've been talking a bit lately about work-life balance. It's baloney, of course, life being more see-saw than equilibrium, but balance is something we all aim for. If you're reassessing your daily routines, don't forget to leave time to unwind and make sleep a sanctuary.

Everyone talks about healthy diets, relationships and lifestyles, but somehow sleep slips off the radar. We feel guilty taking our eight hours worth, what with all that other stuff to factor in. Yet, research and plain old commonsense tells us we look and feel better when well rested. Our health improves and we handle stress and pressure better. There are even studies that show our ability to absorb skincare ingredients is enhanced overnight.


The time people feel able to devote to sleep is slipping. Add in the incursions of screen time to pre-sleep wind-down and it's no wonder we feel wired. On top of that, idling about has been sidelined to holidays or guiltily snatched. Leisure is organised and goal-oriented: run a kilometre, take a class, rather than wander and ruminate.

Coffee break, that modern equivalent of the quiet cuppa, is scheduled and social, rather than an individual indulgence. It leaves you wired too. No wonder we can't sleep.