Nightlight
Photo by Gilles St-Laurent

How to keep an insomniac guest entertained

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This article was originally published in the Summer 2016 issue of Cottage Life magazine.

Got guests who are up late, and no TV? Here are three ways to keep them happy—and maybe help them sleep.

Go stargazing

At the lake, less light pollution means that you can see things in the night sky that are impossible to spot in the city. Thanks to the Internet, pre-arming yourself with stargazing know-how is easy, says Robert Dick of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (check out skynews.ca). “You used to have to go to the library.”

1. Wait until dark Really dark— past 11 p.m. in the earlier part of the sum- mer.

2. Give your eyes time to adjust “The longer you stay outside, the more you see,” says Dick.

3. Turn off every single light “Even a neighbour’s light from a quarter- kilometre away can make a difference.”

4. Find the Summer Triangle The last half of the summer is one of the best times to locate it in the night sky.

Provide a mid-night reading list

Help your guests nod off with some relaxed cottage reading.

A History of the Metal Lawn Chair by Skip Torrans

The cottage wouldn’t be the same without these trusty folding wonders.

Toilets: A Spotter’s Guide by Lonely Planet

Stats say we spend 92 days on the toilet in a life- time. Check out these babies!

This Road Sucks by Don Consiglio and Brad DeMarea

Road signs are largely useless, say the authors. Better? Signage that applies to the real world, with its distracted drivers, potholes, and cyclists who do whatever the heck they want. One example: Shockingly Filthy Restroom, Next Exit.

Prep the perfect guest room

A bedroom in the main cottage. Note the lovely kilim-covered headboard.

Be sure to include:

• Tiny flashlight

• Extra blankets of different weights

• Reusable water bottle or cup (a glass is a recipe for a groggy, acci- dental smashing)

• Reading light

• Multiple pillows, fluffy and firm

• Ibuprofen (for adult guests)

• Earplugs and sleep mask

• Small fan

• Decent blinds or drapes