The Mindful Survey: Sleep

From Julia Child to killer toasters, we all have strange moments in our sleep. Dig deep into our readers’ subconscious as they share their nighttime rituals.

Yong Hian Lim/Dollar Photo Club

What method do you use to fall asleep?

42% rely on a body scan, 41% meditate right before bed, 24% drink a cup of chamomile tea, 14% rely on powerful sedatives, another 12% choose a nightcap. Only 6% count sheep—too baaaad.

Do you have a nightly routine?

42% don’t follow any routine, 39% follow theirs to a T, 15% lie awake in bed wondering why they’re not sleeping yet, and 4% turn off all screens by 8:00 (so disciplined!).

What’s your ideal sleeping situation?

64% chose a king-size bed in a luxury hotel, 20% chose the soft sand on the beach, a warm breeze rocking them to sleep (warning: grit in bad places), 10% could sleep on a bed of rocks if they had to, and 6% were adventurous, choosing a tent in the wilderness.

Some answers we liked:

  • Gentle rain
  • Somewhere snuggly
  • My recliner
  • I actually DO sleep in a tent in the wilderness every night
  • At home with my dogs
  • Cool nights and no worries

What’s your favorite synonym for sleep?

  • Coma
  • Glorious repose
  • Feeling human
  • Dead to the world
  • Pass the f*ck out
  • Peace
  • Pee time!
  • Dreamboat on the river of life in the dark
  • Fall into the arms of Morpheus
  • Horizontal unconsciousness
  • My husband and I call it Cuddle University
  • Get flat and check out
  • Nappy naps

What’s the funniest thing you’ve heard someone say in their sleep?

  • “Boo—I’m a ghost—boo, boo, boo, boo, boo” (whispered in my ear by my dear, dreaming husband)
  • “Get the eggs, we gotta get out of here”
  • “I’m not running for president. I’m walking the dog”
  • “Go and wash your dolls’ toes”
  • “Put the baseball bat in the refrigerator”
  • My husband saying “bring on the dessert!” in a Julia Child imitation voice followed by a Julia-like laugh!
  • “Are you god?”
  • “Clowns!!!”
  • “He took my toes!”
  • “I can fart louder than you”
  • I said, “Jump ball dildo”
  • “I need the butter, man!”

How often do you remember your dreams?


What’s the best dream you’ve ever had?

  • Watching Miles Davis play in São Paulo, Brazil
  • Feelin’ financially secure
  • I was taking a bath and small suns and moons were in the water with me
  • That I quit my job to become an artist
  • Having sex with Tom Cruise
  • I was the ruler of a great kingdom
  • Flying and being in a cozy mystical cottage in the forest
  • I dreamt that John Lennon kissed me on a beach
  • Performing surgery on a squirrel I found in my driveway. Not sure if the little guy made it!
  • My mother was alive and holding my hand

What’s the silliest dream you’ve had?

  • Trying to save my purse in a tornado
  • Hitler was trying to kill me… That wasn’t so much silly as it was utterly intensely terrifying
  • I was a flying eraser
  • I was married to my cat
  • Winning an air guitar competition
  • Bigfoot was a NASA astronaut
  • Aliens had chosen me to be their spokesperson
  • A killer toaster trying to get me