The Rest Room
The Rest Room
Actually useful sleep advice for chronic illness

Actually useful sleep advice for chronic illness

Not just your standard basic "sleep hygiene" tips.

Sleep (or lack of it) can be of the cruellest paradoxes of living with chronic illness: you spend your days fatigued beyond words, only to struggle to fall asleep at night. Or you spend a huge amount of time sleeping, but never wake up feeling rested.

And yes, having trouble sleeping is not a problem unique to people living with chronic illness, but I always found that a lot of the basic advice that’s supposed to help us sleep better just doesn’t really take into consideration some of the unique challenges that come along with being chronically ill.

For example, one of the first things you’re sure to hear if you look up advice about how to get better sleep is that your bed should only be for sleep and sex.

But what if you’re not well enough to be outside of your bed the majority of the time? What if your bed is where you’re most comfortable and supported? What if you work from your bed because you have no other option? 

And that’s exactly what we’re going to be exploring in this episode of The Rest Room. I’m joined once again by friend of the podcast (and my personal Occupational Therapist) Jo Southall to learn all about how to get better sleep, through the lens of chronic illness.

We cover all sorts in this episode, including: 

  • Why sleep is particularly important for people with chronic illness

  • Why those of us with long-term conditions often struggle to get good sleep

  • The importance of light cues

  • Advice for how to create a day/night distinction, even if you need to spend your time indoors and in bed

  • How to create a manageable sleep routine that works for your lifestyle 

  • Plus, a bunch more realistic tips for a better night’s sleep

To listen, you can just click play at the top of this email, or you can listen on Apple, Spotify, Amazon and Google. If you’d rather read the transcript of the episode, I’ve made that available on my blog.

A huge thank you to Jo for sharing her sleep tips with us. You can follow her on Twitter and find out more about her work on her website

A big thanks to my friends at Phlo for supporting this episode. They’re the online pharmacy that makes ordering your medication easy. Visit or download Phlo on your favourite App Store to manage, track, and have your medication delivered at the touch of a button.

Thanks to my brilliant producer Philly Guillou at OG Podcasts, to Lucy Dove for the episode art, and to Amit Rai for my intro music. 

If you want to support The Rest Room, please consider becoming a premium subscriber here.

Do you know people who struggle with sleep? Share this post and see if some of Jo’s tips can help them learn realistic and modifiable ways to actually get some shut eye!


The Rest Room
The Rest Room
Welcome to The Rest Room: a place to explore what it means to live (and live well) with chronic illness.