Whatever gets you through the night: Sleepers bare all

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Now, open the curtains and let’s shed some light on all those dark secrets of the night.

Truth is, we’re all creatures of bedtime habit, each nursing secret nightie-night, ‘jama-’jama habits, routines, rituals and obsessions that go right back to the cradle - and which we are convinced we simply cannot sleep without.

For most, it’s the little things - like having to thoroughly brush your hair as well as your teeth before you get into bed (yes, husband, I’ve noticed). Or sleeping on a certain side of the bed (even when you’re on your own), under a certain type of sheet. It may be the sleek luxury of Egyptian 200 thread count cotton for some, but it’s the bitty bobble of fleecy flannelette for millions of others.

Relatively normal so far, but sshhhh, whisper who dares... Some of you undoubtedly sleep with a certain furry bedmate.

How do I know this? Research; I’ve just read, with some astonishment, that a third of adults still take a cuddly toy to bed. This is not some euphemism for a chubby sexual playmate. We’re talking teddy, most often than not the same, surely somewhat manky and threadbare one that accompanied them into the Land of Nod in childhood. Travelodge discovered this on realising their lost property section was starting to look like Hamley’s, even though most of its customers were business-folk. Intrigued, they quizzed 6,000 adult Brits and 30 per cent admitted sleeping with teddy was a “comforting and calming” way to end the day. Even more bizarrely, 25 per cent of men ‘fessed up to taking their teddy away on business because it reminded them of home. Bless them there captains of industry and super-salesmen.

But if you think that’s weird, I’ve just discovered something about my BF’s bedroom habits which has shocked me to the core. Let me fall over myself to tell you. She is 51 and she’s had the same pillow since she was 12. All together, now.... Eeurgh. Think of the amount of spittle it’ll have absorbed in 39 years. Not to mention the tears.

This is a woman who changes three piece suites, houses, even, on a whim. She must redecorate every other year and yet she clings like a limpet to a pillow you wouldn’t wish on a homeless person. Her husband is repulsed by this stinky, yellowing object, but she even takes it on every holiday. Plane, train, out in comes. On arrival at her hotel, goose feather ‘hotel quality’ hits the floor and she hits the deck on a piece of foam so compressed it’s as thin as a Greg’s cheese sandwich.