Octavia Spencer Reveals How She Conquered Her Insomnia


It can be hard to get a good night’s sleep. Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer recently worked on a documentary about people who struggle with insomnia — something Spencer has also had to deal with. 

Spencer’s Work On Insomnia Documentary

The actress serves as the narrator for The Quest for Sleep, a documentary about people working to live with insomnia. Others, like professional basketball player Andre Iguodala and pro runner Emma Coburn, reflect on the positive impact a good night’s rest has had on their lives. 

This is an issue that is near to Spencer’s heart, as she also struggles with insomnia. The actress shared that her “turning point” with the condition came when she was staying at home during the pandemic. 

The Actress’ Sleeping Problems

Spencer realized that, even though she had more time and wasn’t always on the go for work, she still wasn’t able to get a good night’s sleep. This led to her deciding to examine her sleeping habits to try and get to the root of the problem.

Related: This Is The Position You Should Be Sleeping In To Avoid Waking Up With Aches And Pains 

“I’ve never had a great relationship with sleep,” Spencer explained. “I’ve always had a busy mind. When I heard about [The Quest for Sleep], I wanted to be a part of it. The ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’ saying implies that sleep deprivation is this great thing. I’d like for people to stop wearing sleep deprivation as a badge of honor. With age, your relationship with rest has to change if it’s not great already. So I had to seek out information and retrain myself to have better sleep hygiene.”

How Spencer Changed Her Sleeping Habits: ‘We Have To Start With The Basics’

So, how has her experience with the documentary changed the way Spencer sleeps? “Is my relationship with sleep better now than it was a year ago? Yes,” the actress shared. “I’ve learned a lot from narrating the documentary, but I’m still a work in progress. Electronics are part of the problem for me, so I’m learning to utilize them differently.”

“For me, it’s about thinking less when it’s time to sleep,” she continued. “You have to do whatever you can to calm your brain and not let your waking hours interfere with your sleeping hours.”

The actress also spoke about how taking care of yourself and your mental health can positively impact the way you sleep. “We all have an idea of what living our best life is supposed to look like, and we often assign value to expensive trips and items, but we have to start with the basics, which is proper health and proper rest—two factors that are integral for presenting the best version of ourselves,” Spencer concluded. It looks like the actress has found the secret to a good night’s sleep! 

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