Iris is an aspiring architect and likes to write about vegan food. Together with her boyfriend Thomi and her two rescue dogs she lives in Graz' Gries discrict in Austria. She talked to us about her daily routines and the difficulties of falling asleep.
“... I don’t have a consistent sleeping pattern and I am not willing to take any medication, but I'm working with what I feel my body craves, so I somehow seem to get enough sleep. “
What are you doing during the day?
I am an architecture student, currently busy with exams. Aside from that I am a vegan food blogger and proud mum of two rescue dogs.
What time do you usually get up?
I try to get up as early as possible, which can mean anything from 7:30am until 10:30am. I am not really an early bird. My boyfriend Thomi usually gets up around 6am. I love it when he gets to work from home, so we can start the day together.
How does your alarm sound?
Most days the rising sun gently wakes me up. A very refreshing start and the best reason to have an east-west directed apartment. If I am not yet awake, Thomi, before going to work calmly says „I love you“ and my dogs sit beside the bed staring at me. That does a pretty good job as well. Thomis alarm clock is the radio. It goes on for hours and I usually don’t even hear it.
What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Lots of eye rubbing and dog kisses. Oh and the internet. Breakfast is very important to me. Having cold lemon & mint infused water or some iced tea is a must. This is followed by a smoothie or banana ice cream. Thomi usually just has some coffee.
What time of the day are you most productive?
That has changed a lot over the years. Now I’d probably say it starts around 11am until 5pm.
Do you think you get enough sleep?
Since I have inherited sleeping problems, not quite. Sometimes I don’t get to sleep properly for days and weeks especially when something stresses me in a very negative way over a long period of time. Other nights I sleep perfectly well and super deep. Sometimes when I have too much energy left I simply don’t get to sleep the entire night but I am very clear and awake the next day. When I have migraine falling asleep is the worst but I usually wake up early the next morning feeling more energized than ever. So, I don’t have a consistent sleeping pattern and I am not willing to take any medication, but I'm working with what I feel my body craves, so I somehow seem to get enough sleep. My grandmother and mother suffer from the same issue. Grandma told me stories about how she only slept 2 to 4 hours a night for many years: she was working on the field all day, preparing food, keeping the house clean, taking care of 4 kids and sewing their clothes until 4 in the morning. Yet, she is a healthy and happy woman in her late 80s, being thankful for the energy she has always had and still has. She is amazing.
Where do you sleep best?
Taking an afternoon nap with Thomi, or the dogs. Those mostly take place spontaneously, either on the couch or on the floor. Oh, and I love to sleep on long car rides and flights, but my back doesn’t.
Do you have any rituals before going to bed?
Doing some exercises while watching TV shows with Thomi and then getting a shower. My favorite thing in winter: a hot-water bag. Good times.
Do you remember your dreams?
Sometimes. I am a very empathetic person and I strongly feel with other people if they are going through positive and negative emotions, subconsciously I guess this shapes my dreams. But the ones I remember best are the nightmares that I very infrequently have. Usually a very frightening panther or man is chasing me in a house trying to harm me, at least that’s what I am scared of. I always wake up right before anything manages to catch me. I had nightmares like these since I was a kid. I guess some kind of fear is chasing me but instead of facing the situation, I am running and hiding.
Do you care for what you're wearing to sleep?
No, as long as I feel comfortable. This means anything from sleeping naked to wearing an Angry Birds romper or funny pajamas.
Describe your bed in 3 words.
Freedom, coziness, home.
I feel like my bed is a place of peace and comfort. I get to be my true self. This is freedom in its purest sense.
What is the most special spot you’ve ever fallen asleep.
In a very loud Slovenian club on a late Thursday afternoon when I was 8. There is a good explanation though. I was on a student exchange for a week, and they did a kids dance meetup, and of course I got my usual Thursday migraine and took a one hour nap, got back up and danced.
What do you think happens while we sleep?
Our bodies rest, so does our mind, but our subconscious finally gets to work on all the important things we postpone, ignore and suppress.
How many sheep do you count?
None. Either I reflect too hard or I pass out right away. I admire Thomi for always falling asleep within several minutes.
What would you like to dream about tonight?
I'd dream of a vegan, cruelty free world. And Thomi would dream about a world where the people in our street not rioting, screaming and being loud in the middle of the night. No more arresting, police cars and drunk fights please. We love our neighbourhood (Gries) but it's still a bit controversial. The infrastructure is great and there's lots going on but there's always drunk people around. So many times our windows had so much more to offer than any kind of reality TV show ever could.
“Sand and Such“
1. Yesterday: cut and freeze your ripe organic bananas. If they look pretty, they are not ripe. We want spots.
2. Make your sand: blend oats, cashews, almonds and hazelnuts and heat for 10 minutes with coconut sugar on medium heat. Stir! You want it to be crunchy.
5. Nice cream? Easy! First blend black sesame seeds with just a dash of water, add frozen bananas & ground vanilla. Use a spoon or a tamper. The less water you have to add, the better. If you don’t have a high speed blender, let bananas defrost for a couple of minutes.
6. Layering! Form nana ice cream mountains and cover your land with sand.
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“For me it´s very often a 'replay' of stories that bothered me during the day.“