Sleep, that elusive capricious mistress. You feel it pressing down on you when you least want it; the middle of the day in work; when you're driving a heavy goods vehicle, laden with live horses, across the country, when participating in a charity sponsored 'stay awake' competition, and it will elude you when you need it most, ie. when you're trying to sleep.
For myriad reasons, decent sleep has proved to be, for many people these days, a commodity in all too rare supply. Well, if that's been the case for you then researchers at the Northwestern University in the US have offered a simple solution that could help myriad people get a better night's sleep.
There are a multitude of factors which feed into our quality of sleep. In a paper, published in the journal Sleep, Science and Practice, they found that if you've a plan for your next day, then it can significantly improve the likelihood that you'll have a good night's sleep.
The study's senior author, Jason Ong, associate professor of neurology at the Feinburg School of Medicine in Northwestern University, said that "Helping people cultivate a purpose in life could be an effective drug-free strategy to improve sleep quality, particularly for a population that is facing more insomnia... Purpose in life is something that can be cultivated and enhanced through mindfulness therapies."
Despite the majority of the some 800 people involved in the study being over 60, it infers that its findings ought be applicable to people of any age.
Given that it can seem that it is only when you attempt to lie down and go to sleep that every single one of your life's anxieties and uncertainties appear to rear their heads, having a somewhat cogent - however vague - plan in mind for what tomorrow will entail seems like a fairly simple yet effective way of engineering some piece of mind.
Should that fail you could perhaps take this needlessly complex quiz to see how you would fair in Love Island to dull yourself into a stupor.