How do you unwind in order to get a good night’s sleep?
If you said reading, you may not enjoy the same kind of books as I do. I read mysteries—cozies, traditional, police procedurals, suspense, thrillers—all of which keep me up reading way past my bed time. And don’t tell me to give up coffee. I’ll admit to being a caffeine addict. I’ve given up trying to give it up. Seriously. Just no.
My husband sometimes plays video games to unwind before sleep, but that hypes me up. Generally, watching TV wakes me up, too. But, I have found some TV viewing options that actually help me sleep.
If you share my struggle with shut-eye, I hope this helps: It’s called Slow TV. It’s a hit in Norway and now syndicated around the world. I view it via Pluto (which is a free network on my Roku streaming device).
The Slow TV movement started with a train journey across Norway. A few cameras are attached to the train, catching the scenery. Some of it is beautiful, much of it is monotonous. It’s amazing how many tunnels they have in Norway, which show up in the video as: darkness. This particular video runs for SEVEN hours. Occasionally they’ll let someone on the train talk. But since I don’t speak Norwegian, it doesn’t keep me from nodding off.
Slow TV has become a phenomenon in Norway. There are other episodes, besides the train trip. There’s one called “National Knitting Night” that starts with sheep being sheared, yarn being spun, and finally people knitting. It runs THIRTEEN hours. I’m a little upset this one hasn’t made it to the American market yet.
Norwegian public television executive Thomas Hellum explained the idea behind the Slow TV episodes, which are broadcast with some music, but without plot or narration. “It’s important that it’s an unbroken timeline, that you don’t take away anything,” said Hellum. “It’s all the boring stuff in there, all the exciting things in there, so you as a viewer has to find out what’s boring and what’s interesting.” And a professor at the University of Oslo describes Slow TV as an “escape valve” from fast-paced “eye candy” television viewing.
I doubt Slow TV will ever catch on in the U.S. the way it has in Norway (About a quarter of all Norwegians tuned in to watch at least part of that train trip)! And, to be honest, I haven’t watched all seven hours. Thirty to forty minutes is usually enough to put me down for the count.
Seriously, though, Slow TV, helps me fall asleep more quickly than herbal tea or counting sheep. And I really, really want to see the knitting episode that starts with sheep shearing and ends with a finished wool sweater.
Readers, what about you. Any tips for overcoming insomnia, getting a better night’s sleep?