Help! I can’t sleep! #AskAvery

Dear Avery,

YAWN. Oh! Sorry, I was just resting my eyes. For some reason, I’m sleepy all day.

I wake up tired, float from class to class like a zombie, and then once my head hits the pillow–I can’t sleep.

Why is my schedule so out of whack and does it have to do with Mercury in Retrograde? 

Your Friend, 

Pillow Princess


Dear Pillow Princess, 

Now, if I can keep it real with you (which I always do) sleep is something I’ve struggled with for years now. When I was little, I made my parents ‘check on me’ about 50 times before I dozed off.  I couldn’t do a successful sleepover until LATE 8th grade. (And even then it felt iffy!!)

I have always been under the impression that if I didn’t need to sleep, I would be happier, more productive, and somehow sexier? Unfortunately, until science catches up, sleep is going to be a part of our lives. Have I cracked the code? Maybe. Am I about to sound like your mother? Definitely. But, hey, it’s MILF-O’clock!


Read before bed, it’s hot

I have to give a shout-out to my good friend Noah for introducing me to this weird thing called “bedtime reading.” I have spent the past 5 years of my life getting into bed just to spend a good 2 hours with my phone 2 inches from my face.

Once TikTok came out, it was over for my bedtime routine. I wouldn’t stop scrolling until my fingers literally cramped. And even then I would use my nose to scroll instead.

Unfortunately, some smart people realized that this late-night screen time messed up your brain, tricking it into thinking it’s day because of the light. Silly brain! But with bedtime reading, I find that 5 minutes into a book, I’m knocked the fuck out. And something about it is incredibly hot for me. Superiority complex at an all-time high. 


Caffeinate without the shake

When I was a freshman in high school, I discovered coffee. It was served in our cafeteria every day at lunch. I always thought of coffee to be such an adult drink, (considering my parents were totally addicted) but was never able to drink it.

Flash forward to me, 4 cups in, hands shaking during math class. It was an awesome excuse not to do math (“Ms. Deakins, I promise that was a 4 my hands just aren’t letting me write the right number”) but not very sustainable.

I am not saying you can’t drink coffee, because I wouldn’t be alive without it, but be mindful ’cause that shit will keep you up. Try to limit yourself to a couple of cups a day and definitely not after 5 pm. Maybe even 4 pm? Idk, call your mom and ask her! 


Learn what makes you sleepy and wakey

This is a BIG secret!! When I can’t sleep at night, sometimes I’ll listen to boring lectures or math youtube videos and it puts me right to bed. That might not work for you but find your version of that.

Is it the Great Gatsby on audiobook? Maybe rain sounds or baby sleep noises?

And this goes for staying awake as well. A wise SAT tutor once told me that apples have natural caffeine in them, but in a way that doesn’t violently attack your body! Who knew? Or, honestly listening to DMX while walking to class normally wakes me right up. Yes, you can live on a constant Red Bull and melatonin cycle, but that’s pretty intense.

Something my mom used to say to me during those restless nights as a kid was “you don’t have to sleep, just rest.” Don’t put pressure on yourself, I promise you’ll find a restful cycle that works for you. Now sleep tight, cutie!