Insomnia is an issue faced by a lot of people these days, but for Jennifer Aniston, the problem has persisted for a decade. Speaking to People Magazine, the 53-year-old star opened up insomnia to sleepwalking and having sleep anxiety, making her dread another night of “counting cracks in the walls.
“I think it started somewhere in my 30s or even earlier, but you just don’t start to notice the effects of a lack of sleep when we’re younger because we’re so invincible,” Aniston shared. “It began as something that I would just accept and then all of a sudden you realize the effects of your lack of sleep and how it affects your day and your work and your mind function and your physique.”
Aniston would try to go to sleep and end up watching the clock, “a big no-no,” because it just made her focus on how much time was passing rather than having actual sleep time.
However, this was not it. Jennifer Aniston also suffered from sleepwalking at times.
“I have been known to do that. I’ve been woken up by house alarms going off that I’ve set off. And I don’t think I do that anymore — that was when I was super sleep deprived,” she says, adding that “at least there’s that silver lining” to her sleep woes.
“The body is saying, ‘Now don’t go out and set the alarm off again, okay?’ “
While a medical intervention was the need of the hour, Aniston thought her sleep problem wasn’t of priority. But in the last few years, she realized she needed a real fix for her insomnia.
“It became something that I really was struggling with,” she says. “It used to be the last thing on the list, but you can’t really abide by the three pillars of health — which are diet, exercise and sleep — if you can’t really exercise and you can’t really eat right if you haven’t slept well because your body clock is so completely thrown off.”
Once Jennifer Aniston got help from a doctor, something she “absolutely recommends people do,” she joined in on a new campaign, Seize the Night and Day, where people can find news and advice for dealing with their own sleep issues.
Aniston now advocates that having a nighttime ritual makes a huge difference. She gives herself time to wind down, does some stretches or yoga and leaves her phone out of the room. She also tries to “make bedtime the same every night, which is challenging for us actors, because if we’re on a movie, the schedule is all over the place.”
One thing Aniston is not willing to give up is sleeping in bed with her three dogs.
“It’s just too cozy when they cuddle!” she says. “It’s worth it. Especially since Chesterfield [her 1½-year-old dog] is not a puppy anymore. Now he’s just a sweet, deep sleeper. I actually envy his sleep sometimes.”