I have chronic insomnia and in some ways it’s fine since most of my work gets done at 2am because I can’t sleep because my mind keeps reminding me of the time I accidentally ate a live fly in front of my 7th grade crush, or the time I literally peed my pants in public because I was hesitantly reaching out to touch a terrifying animatronic full-sized Santa that I suspected was filled by a serial killer and someone grabbed me from behind and screamed “HE’LL EAT YOUR FACE OFF!” (I was 40 and it was Victor.)
In other ways though, insomnia is a total asshole and I would like it to go away so I’m asking you, what are your best techniques to fall asleep?
PS. It seems only fair that I share what works for me. Mild prescription narcolepsy meds for when my days fully become nights, listening to the Sleep with Me podcast guy bore me to sleep, walking at night, using a light therapy machine in the morning to reset my clock, a heating pad on my feet because they’re always cold and it makes me claustrophobic to wear socks, stress relief tea and gas station turkey.
PPS. That’s a link to the light therapy machine I bought two years ago but maybe there are better ones out now. Also, my gas station has great turkey. It’s sort of famous for it. Don’t just eat random gas station turkey. You will not sleep well.
492 thoughts on “Insomnia thinks it’s my best friend.”
Read comments below or add one.
Hot baths, although I have actually fallen asleep in the tub, and woke up shivering in the now cold water. I ❤️ Hunter!
My daughter suffers from anxiety and has a hard time turning her brain off when she goes to bed at night. She’s found that Melatonin is really helpful if she takes it about an hour before she wants to go to sleep.
My only experience with insomnia is my husband telling me how bad his was, after he kept me away all night with his snoring.
But – getting serious, which I hardly ever do, so you are in for a treat – I imagine myself lying on the beach, and I can feel the sun poring over my body, and the seagulls and the waves…. it really works. Whatever you do, don’t think about sharks.
Vitamin D supplements? Especially at this time of year. And how are your gut bacteria?
I’ve been trying out a meditation app, but generally I have so much fatigue sleeping isn’t an issue except when my anxiety weasels go nocturnal. That’s where the meditation comes in.
I have been using melatonin the last year and it seems to help. That and some whiskey sometimes. Hang in there. And thanks for the gas station turkey tip.
Noise machine, eyeshades, and Benadryl!
Xanax, lol. Really, it’s the only thing that works for me.
Tell me about it!
I attempt to sort of bore my mind into falling asleep by playing endless rounds of sudoku or solitaire on my phone. It doesn’t always work, but on the plus side, I’m super great at like five different kinds of solitaire now?
Sleep stories on the CALM app. A weighted blanket.
Sorry about your lack of sleep, but on a positive note you do get some work done 😺 I take many different et medicines for different ailments but I have found if I take melatonin when I wake during the night I do get back to sleep , they are non addictive and you can buy them cheaply over there ( much more expensive here in Australia 🇦🇺
Melatonin pills work wonders for me. And no “hangover” like other sleep aids.
The only thing that works for me is ambien. But I’m out. So I don’t sleep.
Nothing. I don’t sleep at night either, sorry! Um, isn’t Hunter neutered?
Gas station turkey.
I’ve been living too sheltered a life.
And I don’t have any cures…well, my sometimes cure is to use a chihuahua as a hot water bottle. But while that relieves joint aching a bit, it doesn’t always guarantee sleep. Not like gas station turkey.
“Gas station turkey?” You mean like the turkey legs they have at Allsup’s?
Three deep breathes and a spoonful of honey (if you were a man ,rubbing one out ,as you yanks say,works wonders,ask vic)
Getting my husband a CPAP! The quiet really helps.
Also, warm feet, a softer comfier bed, no TV or phone in the bedroom, and if I’m really wired, moderate doses of alcohol.
Usually I need to listen to the recording my therapist made for me a couple of times. We’ve been working on generally feeling safe and comfortable, so the recordings about relaxation and creating a safe place are helpful.
Also a really simple thing that makes a difference for me is to cover my clock. This means that the light that it gives off won’t bother me, plus makes it harder to constantly check the time if I’m not sleeping.
I have to do those things in addition to Ativan and some other clunk-out meds, though.
Pot. Seriously. I keep a tin of dried blueberries covered in weed infused chocolate. When I can’t sleep, which was often during chemo, I’d pop a couple. I drift off within 30 minutes. Every time. Wish it were legal in Texas. Sorry that it isn’t.
I always go back to the very beginning of my day and think about it in the tiniest, most excruciating detail (i.e. “My alarm went off at 7AM, I hit snooze twice, then I got up and peed…”). It very rarely fails, probably because my life is very boring. On the rare days when something exciting or upsetting happened and thereby thinking about it would only serve to keep me up, I take generic Zzzquil.
Ambien, Melatonin and Amitriptylene (Fuck Spelling) country peach tea and as many foot massages as my kids can be bribed into.
I’m really glad you explained gas station turkey, because I was imagining a big-ass wild turkey hanging out by the door, pecking at a Snickers-flavored coffee and crooning lullabyes.
I listen to guided sleep meditations on YouTube, mostly this Australian guy named Jason Stephenson.it’s the only thing that seems to work for me, pills and nyquil do nothing, but something about that guys voice pita me right out.
oh boy. I am really bad at falling asleep. Pretty bad at staying asleep, but REALLY bad at the falling asleep part.
Anyway, I’ve developed a routine that I do every night, without fail, even when I’m already super tired, and it is kind of like pavolvianly (is that a word) telling my body that it is time to sleep now.
Same steps. EVERY TIME. No matter what.
1. Take dog out
2. Brush teeth
3. Put dog in sleep cave (it’s her favorite)
4. Wash face/do other skincare things
5. Lie down in bed, wait for cat to join me.
6. Set alarm for the next day.
7. Read boring book – pet kitty belly.
8. Read until I’m so tired book falls into my face.
9. Turn out light and pass out.
Traveling disrupts this greatly, so i’ve pretty much just determined that I will forever be not sleeping when I’m not at home.
When I really can’t sleep, I travel to different destinations in the house. I don’t have insomnia by any means, but when I’m up because something is bothering me, sometimes the sofa in the living room does the trick.
Melatonin (for me and my cat) plus hot bath with epsom salts + lavender essential oil.
The first chapter of The History of the Goths. It was written in German, and translated into English by a German speaker. It is the. Densest. Book. Ever.
I’ve found a noise app that puts out something called “Pink Noise” that seems to help.
You should have called — I was up most of last night too. 😉
As you might guess, I’ve got nothing that works all the time. I put on podcasts, books on tape, youtube, etc. Sometimes that works and other times it doesn’t Occasionally, I’ll use pharmaceutical assistance, but even that doesn’t always work.
Oh, and if my hubby ever made me pee my pants, I’d totally buy all the towels (and metal chickens) I wanted!
My meditation teacher recommends re-living your whole day in your head, in as much detail as you can, starting from when you went to bed and going backwards. Says you always fall asleep before reaching the morning before. It sounds boring AF so I’ve never tried it, but other people have told me it works really well for them.
I try, in vain, to get through any audio book read by Neil Gaiman. Sorry, Neil, but your voice is just so soothing.
I visualize a semi-imaginary place (based on a location that has very good memories for me and enhanced by how I would make it even better). Somehow, just putting myself into that setting and reconstructing the environment in extreme detail (seashore, rocks, waves, waterfall, tress, animals, etc.) and doing it exactly the same way every time becomes, in a sense, like counting sheep. This also involves imagining the sound of the water and wind. Works for me MOST the time. Shall I invite you over tonight?
Melatonin here too. You have to play around with the dosage to find what works for your body. I can’t take medications or drink alcohol so this has been a life-saver for me.
Drugs (prescription), are my last resort, but you’ve got that down. The rest is maintenance:
No TV in the bedroom. No anything in the bedroom, actually; the bedroom is for bed, and the bed is for sleeping and sex. Period.
I have delayed sleep issues, so I’ve learned I can’t be popping up just because “it’s not working” and I’m bored. Since actually turning a light on and reading is right out, the blue light filter on my kindle has been a life-saver.
Change the light settings on your phone, so that it automatically changes to Warm colors a few hours before bed time. The blue light from phones has been proven to stimulate the brain. I thought it was bunk, but after about 2 weeks it really made a difference.
A lavender bath salts bath, Vic’s Vapor Rub on my feet, and a super cold room. In the winter I close the vent, put a vent cover on it, and some pretty heavy books. Last winter I could see my breath in there. I had to buy a sleeping cap because my head was too cold but man, did I ever sleep good!
A sleep mask and a guided meditation are foolproof for me. Although in all honesty sleeping is my superpower so I rarely need help.
I usually go to sleep listening to a movie play on my iPad beside the bed. It distracts my brain from thinking about a million other things. It doesn’t really matter which movie it is, as long as it’s something I’ve seen before so I can picture what’s happening but not engage too fully.
I mentally walk through the cupboards and drawers in the kitchen and list what is in every one. It’s tedious and super-boring, and I usually nod off before I get to half the cupboards. If that doesn’t work, I read by headlamp but do NOT get out of bed. And if all else fails, an Ambien every few weeks seems to reset my clock. Good luck.
Melatonin never worked for me, it gave me weird dreams. After the FDA realized they were overdosing women on Ambien and chit the dosage in half, it never worked again…my pharmacist suggested liquid Benadryl, so I could control the dosage. No kidding, they use it in hospitals to knock people out. Same active ingredient add all the otc sleep aids. I just have to take it with 9 hours to spare or I’m sleeping through an alarm.
Lavender helps relax me
Also, get off all screens at least an hour (or more if you can) before you’re heading to bed. From what I understand, the blue light that filters from almost all screens jacks up your brain. I read a book with real pages to turn.
Counting to 100. Over and over. And rocking myself slightly with the rhythm of the counting.
Exercise, unfortunately, regularly is the only thing that works for me. Can’t seem to get away from it.
I use Alteril, which is OTC and has melatonin, tryptophan, and valerian, I think. Plus I listen to the BBC “In Our TIme” podcasts, usually history or religion for me. Most are around 42 minutes, which distracts my brain with something mildly interesting, but then the voices lull me to sleep.
First of all….. I would closer those closet doors… I can not sleep with an open or not completely shut closet door. Yikes. That’s it. That’s all my ideas. Lol
I get a pouch of Sleepytime Extra tea and brew it by putting in a mug of milk, which I then put in the microwave for a minute. Sometimes I add just the teensiest bit of sugar and vanilla. It’s warm milk + Sleepytime Extra tea, but with less need to get up and pee in the middle of the night.
Then I either play iphone sudoku/solitaire until I fall asleep, or I do an alphabet game (ocean animals A-Z can be a good one).
I also now have a 14-pound weighted blanket, and I have a heated mattress pad, and I wear a night guard for teeth grinding, and special knee-pad pillows so I don’t need to sleep with a full pillow between my knees to protect my back. It’s HEAVEN.
(I don’t use my CPAP as often these days, but I have one of those too.)
It would seem my phone doesn’t like to word today.
Have you tried ASMR?
About 30 minutes of some type of exercise that gets my heart rate up helps me. It’s important not to do it too close to the time you are going to bed. It also helps me cope with anxiety and depression.
I’ve been tempted to try a gravity blanket because they say heavy blankets make you sleep better, but I’m not sure if it would work on me since my joints are so bad that I have to move them a few times in my sleep or I wake up basically frozen in place.
My current insomnia ‘plan’ just involves me deliberately trying to go to bed an hour early, then sitting in a dark place while I wait for the melatonin to kick in, then usually waking up tired and hating life anyway. So it’s less a ‘plan’ and more a… failing habit?
Also, and I say this bc I was curious if anyone else has this problem. I sleep with a white noise machine, and sometimes when I take my anti anxiety pill it makes me weirdly sensitive to sound and I lie there in bed passively annoyed AF because I can suddenly HEAR a cadence in the WHITE noise.
It’s weird how pills to fix whats wrong with me sometimes make me even more aware that there’s SO much weird inside my brain.
PS This is too many words. This is why I stick to twitter, so I end my stories BEFORE they get awkward. Mostly.
I like the LORE podcast or streaming some random PBS documentaries. Soothing voices, vaguely interesting for my brain but not requiring open eyes, and if I drift off and I want to actually know what happens I can go back
I listen to tan old RadioLab podcast about the Ring (the opera), the soothing voice of Jad Abumrad and Opera music.
This is what you need!
Trazodone. 50mg at bedtime. ( I split a 100mg) Does nothing to help my depression but I usually sleep like a baby.
Stress relieving lotion or something with lavender. I’m kind of picky.. but I LOVE the Aveeno in the purple bottle (can’t remember the specific one though). Also, a brain game.. 3 things that start with a, then B..so on and so forth. Also, I have 2 sound machines of thunderstorms on. Not guaranteed to work but hopefully to help!
Melatonin has helped me. I am lucky to be married to a physical therapist, so when Coach gives me a seriously intense massage I fall asleep! Tell Victor, it is time to learn.
Unfortunately I was diagnosed with celiac disease two and a half years ago (translation: I miss sheet cake and all things that taste awesome!) – anyway, be sure it isn’t something that you are eating. I just had an issue for months, and the blood-work that I finally had done revealed that I am inadvertently getting gluten in my diet. I think it is because now that I don’t eat it I am super sensitive to it. I’m going to a dietitian Friday at Univ of Chicago hospital to learn what I am doing wrong. In the meantime, I opened my own peanut butter so the kids’ can keep their glutenous PB&J knife out of my jar. Good luck! I too find that I get a lot of writing done in the middle of the night, but real life starts to become hard to deal with.
I have found lavender oil to be helpful. Lavender is such a soothing scent. It can be rubbed on the body or sprayed on the pillowcase, or even diffused into the air. Good luck, I hope you find relief soon!
Melatonin, sleepy scented oils in my diffuser, heating pads on my forehead and neck, quiet spa music, and a couple of rounds of Candy Crush.
Black out curtains, meditation, sleep music with nature sounds on YouTube. Unisom if I’m having a hard time. Booze helps me GET to sleep but it makes it harder for me to stay asleep.
And during baseball season: MLB tonight. That crap is so freaking soothing….which is code for boring.
I like the Sleep With Me Podcast too…it’s my go to when my insomnia keeps me up at night. I also drink chocolate milk, which may or may not help but it’s comforting to me.
I have to cut out the phone / ipad / electronics for a solid hour before I can turn my brain off. In the last year I’ve gone back to only real books in bed, no kindle, and just have to make myself put away the phone before bed and no peaking. I’ve noticed a huge difference in my ability to fall asleep.
Drugs. Followed by more drugs as the night progresses and I’m still awake
The things that help me the most when I have severe insomnia are: A very dark and cold room with a fan for white noise. A large goose down comforter to burrito up in, and a load of freshly laundered clothes straight from the dryer. The warm, clean smelling clothes are to dump on top of you, either inside or outside the comforter burrito, your choice! The warm laundry really does the trick, it is scrumptious and stress-relieving! I recommend using a load of towels, they are soft, large and they don’t wrinkle or get lost like smaller items can. My magic recipe is to use Original Gain laundry detergent with a little bleach added, and with one or two Gain Original dryer sheets. I also add my pj’s to the dryer, because climbing into warm pajamas is the bee’s knees! Best Wishes!!!
I tend to have more problems with staying awake or my dog waking me up in the middle of the night, but when I do have problems with turning my brain off I have a few go to thought exercises I focus on to quiet my mind. Usually a scenario like I’m back in high school but I’m the current me and how that changes the experience.
I was going to say the Sleep With Me podcast. The British History podcast is also a good sleep inducer, although since I’m actually interested in that subject, it doesn’t work that well. I find the Harry Potter books, as read by Stephen Fry, to be a nice soporific, especially the first book.
I don’t have a big issue with insomnia, but when it crops up I force myself to focus on sitting on the bow of a sailboat. I love to sail and find it relaxing, so I suppose you’d call it my happy place. I force myself to just imagine laying on the deck, which is gently swaying up and down, and not think about anything else. Most of the time I drop right off. (Another is lying in a hammock on a mildly breezy day.)
I had trouble falling asleep every night for several decades. Then I took the Ambiens for about two years or so. Then I quit taking the Ambiens because they killed Heath Ledger but for some reason I stopped having trouble falling asleep like I used to. The end.
In addition to my sleep meds, I listen to soft music at 432hz. There’s some kind of biofeedback theory it’s based on, my therapist recommended it to me. There are youtube videos with it and playlists available on spotify.
I use visualization to distract myself from the inner monologue. I visualize a seashore, and as I breathe in the water pulls back from the shore, as I breathe out the wave crashes.
Also, do easy crossword puzzles. They keep my mind occupied just enough to stop the inner monologue, but are monotonous enough to put me to sleep.
I watch ASMR videos on youtube. Look up “Gentle Whispering” or “Tingting.” Those are two of my favorites. ASMR is a technique of using soft speaking or whispering in combination with certain types of sounds to promote relaxation. For some people this also triggers a kind of tingling sensation phenomenon. I don’t really get the tingling, but these videos almost always lull me to sleep.
I move or organize my living room, kitchen or spare around in my mind, start sorting where I would shift pictures, furniture, dishes.puts me right to sleep.
Jenny do you take baths to relax? if so i could send you my majik bath soak –
If it could knock an insomniatic firefighter (a firefighting man of 6’3″ 260) right tf out – pretty sure it could help you.
(but you gotta enjoy the bath or obvs it won’t work)
I use a weighted blanket, it helps most of the time. That and a shot of whisky!
I love my Sleepphones. My husband bought me a wireless pair for Christmas last year so I pipe in sleep music/sleep sounds from the RelaxMelodies app as loud as I can get away with to drown out all the random thoughts in my head. On the weekends when I can afford to sleep in, I’ll go for the meds, but I can’t stand the foggy, groggy feeling I get when I use them and have to get up at stupid o’clock for work.
Insomnia is a total arsehole. I hate insomnia. I want to poke it in the eyes.
OTC sleep aids, valerian root is an herbal sleep aid I use now and then. I’ve found that being careful not to turn my bedroom into a work space, but keeping it only for sleep helps a lot. Also keeping a routine for my wakeup time and bedtime routine. Keeping my bedroom tidy helps a lot too, oddly. Chamomile tea. Lavender oil. Keeping the bedroom dark and cool. White noise.
I mean, I still only sleep through the night maybe twice a month, but these all seem to help!
A combo of melatonin 1-1.5 hours before bed, magnesium glycinate (could be right before bed, but I need it with food, so I take it with dinner), wearing oh-so-not-sexy blue-light-blocking glasses (Uvex orange safety glasses) 2-3 hours before bed, and no screens 1-1.5 hours before bed. I even get ready for bed by candlelight to avoid the blue light waves. I’ve also asked for a weighted blanket for Hanabirthamas. They’re supposed to help immensely with sleep and anxiety, so we shall see…
FYI, the Cleveland Clinic has an online class about getting better sleep, but I haven’t done it. It’s $40, and I’m fairly sure it’s open to non-patients. Another idea I can’t vouch for but was highly recommended by a health coach is HeartMath, which recently came out with a specific sleep program.
Good luck with finding what works for you. I hope you get some quality zzzs soon!
I’m on Seroquel. It’s the only thing that turns the voices off.
To get to sleep my wife imagines she is in a small plane with our 2 dogs, flying over some sort of snow covered, tundra-like place. Then she imagines that the pilot has a heart attack, the plane goes down, and she and the dogs have to survive in this frozen wilderness alone. (Basically the plot of the movie The Mountain Between Us.) She thinks this is a perfectly normal thing to think about before going to sleep, and it works for her every time. I, on the other hand, had a panic attack just hearing about this scenario and could not even think about sleeping afterward.
For me, when I can’t sleep, I read until I’m tired. I keep a bible on my nightstand, and will often go to either the Nativity or to Psalms. When I go to Psalms, I try to find one that seems to fit my frame of mind, and I read it. Sometimes over and over again. Holding the bible (its a nice hand-hold-able size with a leather cover) helps calm me. I hope that helps!
I’ve had insomnia all of my life that I can remember and the only thing that usually works for me is to keep very regular hours and NEVER “sleep in”. Also to eat about 3 hours before bedtime so I’m neither hungry nor digesting something. This isn’t easy since my tendency is to be awake for 20 hours and sleep 12 hours and eat whenever, but that really messes me up after awhile. Also, also, a white noise machine so I can’t hear the incidental house sounds that make me think that my mom’s spirit (she passed recently, at home) is trying to get out. Or possibly to get in. Or is travelling through the air ducts/plumbing. I KNOW these things aren’t true, but I sometimes think maybe they are.
I take 5mg of Melatonin and 2 benedryl, sometimes I include Trytophan and magnesium (for restless legs. If you come up with a better solution let me know. Once I start stressing about not falling asleep, it’s over. I’m thinking of starting to use a wine slushy. They took my Ambien away. (sad sigh).
I do crossword puzzles in bed with just a side-table lamp on, but it has to be puzzles that are hard enough to really make me have to struggle a bit to make headway. The intense thinking combine with lying down in bed and doing them with dim lighting tends to put me right the heck out.
I keep my iPad next to my bed (in night mode, to eliminate the blue light), and put on a TV show that I’ve seen a million times before. Somehow, hearing the familiar dialogue lulls me to sleep in minutes.
I recently got an 4-inch memory foam mattress topper, and it’s like getting a hug without actually having to touch another person, so it’s been good for feeling safe as well as back pain. It’s also pretty warm, which is nice right now, but that part will probably be less nice in July.
I searched Pandora for Massage and got a station that plays the music you hear getting a massage. Doesn’t work if I’m too hyper though.
I agree with everything you are doing. I would add that there is a great mediation on the isleep easy app that is called Wee Hours Rescue. It is more for when you wake up suddenly and can’t get back to sleep because you are over thinking. There is this calming voice that tells you things like, don’t worry about your crazy thoughts at the moment, they aren’t true and it is the middle of the night and you can’t do anything anyway. And you can choose how long the meditation music plays. I use it at least once a week and it really helps me turn my mind back off.
I also end every night by saying goodnight to all my pets living and those who have passed away and what i love about them and that has become a little trigger to tell me to fall asleep.
Melatonin about 60-90 min before I want to go to sleep works. Ativan (or similar) works if you’re up only because you’re too anxious to sleep. I always allot 30-45 min in bed with lights out and with my e-reader app (black background) and sleepy classical music. My phone can automatically put on a blue light filter at 8pm but I use the app dimly to add an additional blue light filter and a lower screen brightness than your phone allows.
Benedryl. Three. Because I itch. Or I believe I itch. This sweater is itchy bear from your coloring book is me, only air is also itchy. My feet are also cold and claustrophobic. But I would be anxious about burning my feet, so I just siphon heat from the husband’s thighs with them instead. Now I’ve planted the idea of burning your feet? Sorry. Also? Victor is awesome but also a total douchecanoe for that remark about animatronic Santa. He deserves cold feet against him for that.
This will sound kinda crazy, but we’re all crazy here. I have a jigsaw puzzle app on my phone. Normally, my OCD won’t let me work a jigsaw without spending 24 hours working on it until it’s finished. Something about this app though — it always puts me to sleep. I got bored at work once and started a puzzle, woke myself up when I started to fall out of my chair. Thankfully no one busted me. It’s called Magic Puzzles. Works like a charm for me.
I take Trazadone every night. I can break it into thirds. I was down to 1/2 of one third and now I’m taking two. If I get up and watch TV, I will watch ALL the episodes of whatever I’m watching until my husband is ready to leave for work. I sleep about 5 hours after that, which isn’t too bad considering my husband leaves for work at the crack of dawn. I’m also way too considerate to wake him up and ask for more medication so I can sleep. (yes, we keep my medication in a locked bag, I was stupid once and wound up in a 12 day coma, the effects of it still are with me. No memory at all. I also walk to the right as if I am going in a giant circle. It sucks)
So, what I am saying is, I have no secret for falling asleep. I just stay awake all night/morning and then binge sleep. Is that a thing?
Melatonin doesn’t work for me. L-theanine does.
Clonazapam aka Klonopin.
Usually I just take a benedryl and then read until I start reading the same sentence over and over, then I shut off the lights and go to sleep. However, if I really can’t sleep and my book is not that great I close my eyes and think about exactly how I would spend the money if I won the lottery. I usually fall asleep before it’s all spent. 🙂
If that photo is indication, I’d start by closing the closet doors. How can you possibly get to sleep with the closet doors open? Who knows what might come jumping out of there?? (In fact, I’m probably not going to be able to sleep tonight, thinking about your open closet doors.)
I’m back. I tried biofeedback, takes too much practice, but if you learn to relax it works sometimes, sometimes it just pisses me off that my body won’t listen and my mind will not shut the hell up. I also looked up all the medication I am on to see which ones make me drowsy. So, it took a couple of weeks to rearrange all that shit, but it helps. I also plot ways to embarrass my boys. Like wearing a tiara and prom dress on senior night for his last football game, just make sure to practice the royal wave so your arm does not get tired. Plotting always helps me.
Ummm, it is sort of freaky that you posted this today because my coworker and I were having a discussion about our insomnia and how much we hate it just this morning. Our not so helpful coworker explained that we just need to tell our brains to shut up and just stop thinking about things. People that have never had real, true insomnia so don’t get it.
But that isn’t what you asked . . . what helps me is to get up and go to a different room to sleep. And if that doesn’t work, I just accept that I’m awake and go do random stuff downstairs and freak the cats out.
Also, be careful on the melatonin. That stuff used to be my go to – took it every night. Turns out that it is a hormone and it can mess up how your body absorbs cholesterol. There is such a thing as too low “good” cholesterol it turns out!
Variation on a theme, I usually do my grocery list in my head visualizing by aisle in the store or count backwards from 1,000 or 500. Anything to make my brain do something mundane so it’ll let me fall asleep
My cat’s testicles make Hunter S. Thomcat’s look like child’s play. He also enjoys treating me to the sight of them upon those nights (which are pretty much all of them) when I lie awake watching the hours creep by while the anxiety monkeys play twister in my brain, all while downing the simian equivalent of Red Bull and scoffing at my pleas to keep it down. They’re terrible tenants but I can’t seem to evict them.
Melatonin, I scoff at thee. Hot baths, warm milk, podcasts and meditation- all peashooters in my battle to sleep, only the big guns stand a chance- and this from a long time meditation practitioner and aficionado of homeopathic cures.
Anyway, as much as I hate to recommend it, (and I’ve gone through a million sleep meds and a sleep clinic) I’ve been using Ambien for many years now. It works for me. I break it into small pieces, like Russian nesting dolls, and take it depending on what time of night I first wake. (I tend to wake up after about 2 hours of sleep and then every ten minutes or so for the rest of the night.)
If you can’t fall asleep, take a whole one and then take a chip off the old block when you re-waken at 3:00, 4:00 or 5:00 am. Or all of the above. It’s the only way I sleep. And please, guys, don’t crucify me for this, I’ve been desperate and I’m sure some of you are too. Stop resisting the dark side. Take the stupid sleeping pills and thank me in the morning. Or not.
Emergen-Zzzz Melatonin from the makers of Emergen-C really helps me to reset my clock and go to sleep at a normal hour. I also like to listen to Welcome to Night Vale, because Cecil’s voice soothes me to sleep, and distracts me from thinking about and mentally replaying that time I was mean to a kindergarten classmate for no reason over 30 years ago, or the time I accidentally burped really loudly in the middle of a lesson when I was substitute teaching. I set it to stop after an hour so I don’t hear it all night and have crazy dreams. Also, I think a weighted blanket would help, because we have a REALLY heavy afghan on our couch, and when I cover myself in that, I can fall asleep almost instantly.
I make alphabetical lists. Like “fruits and vegetables” (“A” is for apple/artichoke; “B” is for bananas/bok choy,) etc. Sometimes I do cities I have visited; sometimes I do countries I have visited (or not). Amazingly enough, when you’re focusing on making the list, your brain stops thinking about other stuff and I always fall asleep before I reach Z.
Exercise puts me to sleep if I do it around 4 or 5 pm. Or reading a book.
Telling myself elaborate, very detailed stories in my head- being fully occupied keeps the worrying thoughts from being able to germinate.
I suffered from it really horribly in University. I used valerian root capsules made by Nytol and I can’t say they worked, but they sure smelled bad.
Now I put on youtube directed self meditation. Now I don’t even remember when my head hits the pillow, it’s lights out. If you want some suggestions, there are a few good ones out there.
Trazodone. And lay down before you fall down.
Lavender essential oil on my pillow, Sleepy Time herbal tea before bed, and if all else fails pour a whole bunch of Jack Daniels in the tea and make it a hot toddy. Too bad we can’t all sleep as well as Hunter S. or cats in general!
Guided sleep meditation worked for a long time. I switched to a subliminal that had beach sounds, and that worked great. Melatonin never worked for me but Sleepytime tea did. I developed raging insomnia after I turned 50 and now take generic time-released ambien. It works better than anything I’ve tried (including alcohol and OTC sleep aids). I sleep like a rock now. I too am cold footed. I have to wear socks AND have a heat pad on my feet.
My best times getting to and staying asleep are when I’ve had a really good cardio workout during the day and have skipped alcohol before bed. Shall I leave my address here for the hate mail??
I have had problems with insomnia since my oldest daughter was born in 1983. Recently I rediscovered melatonin. I had tried it many years ago, but it didn’t help me then. Now it does. And I even found a flavored melatonin that dissolves on your tongue and starts working in 20 minutes. It really does help me sleep.
I like to listen to the audio book version of Beowulf translated and read by Seamus Heaney or putting on an episode of Painting with Bob Ross, that guy is so zen he always helps chill my brain out.
Hot bath with nice scented salts, followed by laying under my weighted, heated blanked in bed listening with my laptop (with screen turned off) to noisli’s birdcall and rain that I’ve got pre-programmed.
Husband has really bad insomnia, and his is similar, but with the addition of some heavy meds from the doctor’s.
I have insomnia often, but not clinically defined and addressed like yours. About half the time, a ridiculously simple trick seems to work for me (the other times, my gonzo brain simply won’t STFU until my body finally just collapses around dawn). I get into my favorite sleeping position, spend a few seconds relaxing everything as best I can, then I close my eyes. I try to achieve that visual situation of total blackness – no lights or shapes whizzing around, just plain black. Then I focus 100% on my breathing. Like in meditation, when monkey brain tries to take off, I just guide myself back into concentrating on my breathing. And I count breaths. When it works, I count 1 – 2 – 3 — and then I wake up hours later. I don’t know why it works. Brain’s sleep centers something-something, I dunno.
I hadn’t heard of the cat testicule remedy before
I really like the Calm app, which I have on my phone but can also be used on a computer. Their free content is great, and I actually bought the paid version and LOVE it. They have meditations during the day and a whole slew of sleep stuff.
I take generic lunesta which is better than ambien..no night eating or walking around or sleep baking( honestly baked a cake while sleeping, put the frosting on the unbaked cake and found a pile of sweet mush in the am) Sometimes even the lunesta doesn’t work..my brain can be VERY loud. I found listening to one book on audible to be extremely helpful. “Go set a Watchman” by Harper LEE and read by Reese Witherspoon. Something about the tone of her voice ( And I love Reese and Harper Lee..just not this one so much) and the writing make me sleep. Only 2 x have I had to extend my sleep timer on my iPad. I have listened to the book in its entirety 12 or 13 times and only recently could tell you the main concepts of the book. I have both your books on Audible. I listen to those while driving. They keep me awake laughing and crying. Try the Harper Lee book…and maybe lunesta too. I wake up feeling refreshed and not groggy and no side effects like Ambien.
oh ya, and if you can’t find any good meditation recordings, or stinky valerian root, try watching any wildlife films narrated by Richard Attenborough.
I have pretty bad insomnia too, And most of the time it’s because my mind is racing and I’m thinking too much to sleep. One thing that I found that helped is the headspace meditation app. It helped me learn how to quiet those thoughts that keep me up. They also have a specific meditation you are supposed to listen to as you fall to sleep that really works. It’s a paid subscription but it’s been worth every penny to me it’s wonderful.
Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra cds/tracks by Jennifer Reis. It’s the best kind of yoga–where you lie there with your eyes closed and someone talks to you, which for me, turns off the brain filibuster that kept me awake. Ambien or benadryl when I’m trying to get over jetlag. But I bought my spouse a subscription to ShutI, which is an online CBT for insommnia. It actually did help him.
“Anxiety weasels” is my new favorite thing.
A dark, cool room, in as comfy a bed as I can possibly make it. Most importantly, heavy drugs (Ambien gives me about an hour nap). I used to try to think what I would do if I won the lotto, but that got a little depressing.
I think you’ve already talked about this but a weighted blanket makes me feel instantly better and more relaxed and therefore sleepier.
Listening to Bob Ross…seriously that voice has lulled me to sleep many a nights
I can vouch for this: https://www.npr.org/2013/12/16/249722733/the-shipping-forecast-from-britains-seas-into-its-soul
My mother used to sing herself to sleep with hymns, which doesn’t work for me. I read until what I read is not what’s on the page.
Melatonin and ocean noises. And red wine.
Yoga Nidra. I always think I’ve heard the whole thing, but then I listened to it when I was fully awake and I’ve been sleeping through most of it. So yay, it actually works… 🙂
Melatonin, chamomile tea, ZZZQuil, cider vinegar and honey in warm water, a CD with thunderstorm sounds, a weight blanket (works like a thunder shirt for pets). Not all these at once, although combining one or two might not be bad. Also set any laptop, tablet, cellphone, etc. screens to a warmer color at sunset (iOS devices call it “night shift”.). Good luck. Insomnia sucks.
Count backwards from 100 in increments of 1.3. You can’t think about peeing in public if you’re doing hard math.
Also, curl up in the fetal position, tightly enough that it’s a little uncomfortable. It’s calming and distracting at the same time.
Find something like a poem or a prayer or a grocery list and recite it in your head. If random thoughts creep in, start over from the beginning. Sounds way too simple but it works for me.
Melatonin and pot
Copaiba oil–3 drops in a capsule. Works wonders for both pain and insomnia and is completely legal
I read every night before bed. I can’t sleep without reading and nodding off and then putting the book on the table and turning off the light. That always works for me, unless I am reading one of your books. Then I am trying to laugh quietly, so as not to wake my husband, but I end up silently jiggling the bed while hysterically laughing…quietly. He wakes up and looks at me like I’m messing with him. Then I have to quickly look very serious while staring at the book. It’s lots of fun, but no one is sleeping when I read a JL book.
ZQuil works but a little too well because I wake up like I’m a bear after hibernating all winter. I’ve been contemplating getting one of those music and lights baby aquariums because it always knocked my kid out.
Klonopin and a sleep mask.
I had awful insomnia when I was pregnant. I had acupuncture and I slept normally for the next two weeks. Something to try and no med interactions! 😊
When I have been awake for hours after going to bed I try resting instead of sleeping, as in even if I can’t sleep I can still rest. Relax all muscles and tell myself a story in my head or visualize
a pleasant but low stress project like cooking or crafting in lots of detail. This all distracts me from stressing about being awake and eventually I drop off.
Ambien also works, but by the time you know you need it, it is too late to take it if you have to
be up and alert on time.
If it’s pain from arthritis keeping me up (as usual) I lay on the hardwood floors till I’m in more pain and then I get up and try to sleep in bed. Sick, I know. But it somehow tricks my brain long enough into thinking I’m feeling better that I might just fall asleep. As for socks and claustrophobia have you tried handknit socks? They feel less claustrophobic.
You know, Crapnurse suggested rubbing one out if you were a man, but I’m a woman and I totally do this to fall asleep. Like, 3/4 of the time. Also, the app/program “f.lux” changes the color of your screen at night to prep your brain for sleep (less blue light, more pink).
Listening to podcasts or old audio books read in a British accent. For some reason the accent puts me right out. Didn’t help the teem I had an English art history prof though, I would doze off in class.
It sounds like you are doing a lot of really helpful things and these suggestions are good, too. What time do you eat your gas station turkey? Some research shows that a light snack about 2 a.m. can help because your blood glucose drops about that time. I’m usually good to fall asleep but wake up between 1 and 2 am. I have a piece of toast and read something non-stress-inducing like collections of heart-warming cat stories. It cuts my usual awake time from 3 hours to 1.5.
Your mileage may vary as it goes against traditional direction, but I usually manage to fall asleep easy if I either do Zumba or hop on the elliptical hour or two before bed. That usually is enough to start the drowsy process (shower afterwards is usually helpful too). I’ve never been able to read before/in bed as I usually end up all night to finish, but I’ve heard that works too.
Also the heating pad over the feet, I just recently figured that out. And I’ve been in new england almost 10 yrs now….
My partner has anxiety, depression, ADD and a scumbag brain. He also has an Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) to whispering. He uses his ASMR to get him to sleep. YouTube is a fantastic and horrible rabbit hole, but check out Gentle Whispering ASMR or ASMR Darling. I promise these ones are not p0rn.
Chronic illness does tend to cause folks to become noctournal – no idea why, just the most common complaint I had as a hospice nurse. I am now chronically ill myself, but this is also my baseline, so it is normal for me. My advice has always been not to fight it if you don’t HAVE to. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a night person. Sadly, we live in a world controlled by the diurnal, so sometimes you have to adapt. My go-to when I am exhausted and sleep eludes me is Neil Gaiman audiobooks. These are old friends, so the stories are familiar, and he has a wonderful, soothing voice. As does the narrator for Anansi Boys.
I tell myself a story. When my mind starts to drift away into areas I’d prefer not to visit for the 1400th time I just keep pulling it back to the plot. Example: you are standing on the top of a mountain on a cold winter’s night, half hidden in the scrub with the wind blowing your hair. Suddenly a figure dressed all in black gallops up on an all black horse. You are handed an envelope. What happens next?
I like to do something the DR suggests and then find ways to make it not work. For example, she said to try meditation when I wake up kicking myself for that thing that happened in 2nd grade and I can’t go back to sleep. I got wicked good at it. So good at it that my sleep monitor thought I was sleeping. But I was awake. Then I tried Melatonin. She treated me like I had jet lag, so it was a step up in milligrams and then done after about 2 weeks I think. It worked. And then it didn’t anymore. I’m seriously considering just whacking my head against the wall at this point. Maybe if I knock myself out…
Listening to ASMR videos on YouTube. I like the tapping or scratching ones best (no talking or only limited talking). They seem to calm my brain enough for me to sleep. Now, I can fall asleep within 10 minutes of turning one on.
I do pretty well with an app called “Deep Sleep” by Andrew Johnson. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hivebrain.andrewjohnson.deepsleep&hl=en
A sound machine playing the sound of the ocean has been putting me to slep in 15 minutes or less the last couple of weeks.
My husband is the one who has had more issues. Changing our mattress really helped him – we got a latex one which sounded really weird but we love it.
Just started using the Headspace app. It’s helping as long as my arthritis pain isn’t so bad that I want to chew off a limb.
I’m one of those rare people that can fall asleep within 5 min, but if you wake me up around 3 am I will be wide awake for about an hour. Unfortunately that’s the time my cats like to wake me up. I do listen to Liquid Mind sleep music and that seems to help my hubby who has trouble falling asleep.
love the names of your animals!
Textbooks. In college I would fall asleep in the middle of reading a boring science textbook. Not to say that science isn’t interesting and there are certainly good science books, but the ones they assign in school are so dry. You’ll be out in 10 minutes.
Listening to Sleepy Rain or Sleepy Ocean by Jeffrey Thompson. Taking melatonin and valerian sometimes helps, although I have insomnia every Sunday night because my brain doesn’t want to face Monday well rested.
I take 20mg Melatonin. My daughter recommends diffusing lavender and bergamot.
Have you had a sleep study done? I had to get a mouth appliance and we’re working on adjusting it.
Sometimes I’ll thank my body for all the work it did today and tell it how much I appreciate it. Starting with my toes, ball of the foot, arches, ankle. You get the idea. Just telling everything to relax and that I recognize how much work it did.
And no screen time for an hour before bed. My daughter found an app that will make fan noises – you pick the fan type. She likes that as white noise
I wish I had an answer for you, I really do, but the only that helps me get to sleep and keep my restless legs under control is alcohol. Three mixed drinks a night does it. And Hunter is adorable!
A sound machine set to rain and a swipe of Vicks under my nose helps
Recently discovered Kirkland brand Aller-Tec antihistamine. I take daily around 6 p.m. And go to bed about 11 p.m. Sleep through the night and wake up without feeling groggy.
I mentally play my favorite disc golf course in my head. Yes, I’m weird.
I have had some success with Rainymood.com. Tends to calm my racing mind day or night. When I did a sleep study for apnea I had to sleep in the middle of the day after sleeping all night, which I thought would not be possible, and the tech told me to think about how I would spend a million dollars, it worked and has worked since when I MAKE myself do it. Yoga breathing. I turn on my candlelight yoga DVD and just listen and breathe without doing the movements, it has worked, occasionally.
Count the windows and/or doors in my house. I either come up with a different number each time or completely forget what number I counted last time, so I start all over until I just fall asleep. I have no idea how many windows and doors are in my house.
I put this song on when I lay down. I’ve never yet stayed awake until the end. Something about its bass and rhythm slows your heart rate and breathing until you’re out.
I second the podcasts. Oddly ‘Welcome to Night Vale’ almost always knocks me out unless I’m working on something else while I listen. It must be Cecil’s dulcet tones, because it’s certainly NOT a boring show. 😉
Listening to MSNBC on a low setting with all the lights out. Also, I have a Victorian stove space heater that has fake fire visuals. I turn that on, pile up a bunch of pillows, grab a blanket and lie in the floor next to the heater (but obviously not too close so that its dangerous). My cat then comes up and starts kneading me and then plops over in front of my stomach like a hot water bottle and then we’re both asleep within about 20 minutes. This is also my go to when I’m completely stressed out. Of course that means you spend the night on the floor but it’s worth it sometimes. And it makes the cat really happy. Also this stuff called Sleep Ease herbal capsules by Life Quest.
Your books, soothing not boring
Two Tylenol pm
Kindle fire set on read out loud /timer.
30 minutes before bed: 6mg Melatonin and a small cup of strong chamomile tea. Turn off screens and dim the lights. Read a dull book. Earplugs, and a fan running for background noise.
I change time zones frequently and also get spells of insomnia.
The routine above works for me.
Good luck. Insomnia really sucks.
I find blocking out noise is a big help. I use earplugs and focus on my breathing and heartbeat.
I do a body scan meditation by Jon kabbat zinn a couple of hours before bed. I also have sleep issues. My shrink tells me I need to stop using tablets and computers 2 hours before bed bout I haven’t been able to do it.
I cast myself in my own murder. I have to lay completely still so the CSI team can do their work. Yes, I have named them. I narrate in my head how I was killed, if it was something I left sitting out that was a weapon of opportunity, or if they brought it with them. I go step by step with Amy and Tim, my CSI people, as the go through the house room by room while they gather evidence. The coffee cup the husband left on the end tables that I refuse to pick up. Crochet hook in the change dish. And I’m usually asleep before they bag my body.
Oh also, heavy blanket and these self hypnosis recordings from potentials unlimited – doesn’t matter the topic – I almost always fall asleep before the recording is over and wake up refreshed.
Accepting deeply in my soul that I will be okay without sleep. I won’t die.
Coming Home, a technique for highly sensitive empathic people. It brings your emotions and your aura back to yourself instead of intermingling them with other people’s negative emotions, thoughts, sensations. See: books about being an Empath by Rose Rosetree. You are without a doubt an untrained, highly sensitive, overwhelmed emotional Empath.
Those are my three weapons against insomnia….
Listening to Marconi Union’s Weightless gave me nightmares about drowning. Honestly. Can’t listen to that shit at all. However, what really works for me is to build things. Cozy places where I can totally relax. I have a cave with a bubbling hot spring in it and furs and books and hot chocolate. I also have a walking trail in a forest with bubbling streams and moss and ferns and it’s warm. I just focus on building these places in my mind, adding and sometimes subtracting things that I thought would relax me but don’t – like The Viking because he yells too much sometimes. Every place comes with invisible servants who bring me whatever the fuck I happen to want but I don’t have to pay them. Or be polite. Or even know who they are. I have a glass cubicle on top of a mountain, a log cabin in a forest, a beach house. I am so good at them that it takes no time to fall asleep anymore.
Also….press your tongue behind your top teeth and the roof of your mouth. Not hard, just put it there. For some weird reason it helps. :o)
Read an actuarial text book. You’ll fall asleep in self-defense.
Arbonne has a mist called Unwind. Chamomile based. knocks me on my ass. i also have a soft lavender filled eye pillow – the gentle weight & absolute darkness are wonderful. Hyland’s “Calms Forte” (non addictive) & a foot rub. that is my dream night.
I say a rosary. The combination of repetitive prayers, meditation, and feeling cool, smooth beads between my fingers calms me.
20 mg of melatonin, 2mg of Lunesta, and the sound of a fan for white noise. Doesn’t always work but I won’t sleep at all without any of them.
Go to bed at the same time every night. No screens within one hour before that time. Have a quiet pre-bedtime routine (mine is wash face, brush teeth and hair, turn on a lamp, turn down the sheets, get naked, and jump in). Read a fiction book, but not one that’s too engaging. Something that will make your eyelids get heavy, at which point – lights out and ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.
When I have insomnia due to anxiety, I find a couple of things help. Reading aloud, esp poetry helps to control my breathing and I start to think about the words I am reading. Memorizing songs and poetry also help. I have a few songs memorized that are complicated or long and I focus on getting it right, if I make a mistake I start over. One song is the 12 days of xmas. Another is Helplessly Hoping by Crosby Stills and Nash. I don’t even have to sing aloud, just sing in my head and get every lyric right. Eventually, thinking of the reading or songs push out whatever I was anxious about and I can acknowledge my tiredness and get some sleep. At least, it works for me.
Since melatonin doesn’t work for me, and Benedryl recently stopped working, I started taking CBD oil, which tastes absolutely awful, but gives me the most amazing sleep. I switched to capsules, which are flavorless, but will still give you gross weed burps, and they work just as well. I believe that CBD is legal in all 50 states, since it’s derived from hemp, not marijuana, but it’s inconclusive if it will make one test positive on a drug test. Anyway, it gets me to sleep and I sleep better than I do when I take Trazadone, which I just got a script for.
My go to trick is to lie on my back and inhale to the count of 7, hold it for a count of 7, and then exhale for a count of 7. Repeat 4-5 times. Usually works, but if it doesn’t I know I’m in for a looooong night.
Trazodone and the Honest Guys sleep meditations on YouTube. I especially like the shorter (half hour) beach waves one and the hourlong rain one (picture is all green like the forest). Or I read but if it’s a good book that has the opposite effect.
I take melatonin and you may ask your Dr or psych Dr about moving your meds around so the sleepy time ones can be bedtime ones.
On gas station turkey, at first I thought it was some sort of therapy then got it. You actually mean going to a gas station and eat turkey? Lol
Recordings of Gregorian chant. I have a CD I bought in the 90’s (thanks to Enigma) and I am not kidding: I have never made it to the end of the CD.
I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this – and unfortunately I don’t have time to read through all 182 previous responses (sorry, everyone). but have you considered trying a weighted blanket? They seem to be all the rage lately. I have never tried one, but I’d be willing to give it a go. Since I don’t have a weighted blanket, I generally read or put my headphones on and listen to music – I can generally drift off – even if it’s only for a few minutes at a time.
I use a corn bag (I make them for my family) that you put in the microwave and heat for 2 min and throw under the covers where you want warmth – it keeps your feet warm and no socks required. I think you can find similar in rice, etc if you google it – but don’t hesitate to contact me if you want more info. White noise is good which I get from my Honeywell room air purifier. And something that might be really a game changer (for some) , I shower at night – early before bed time so I’m “clean” when I retire. Good Luck!
Well since you asked. I have Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome and after 15 years of sleeping between 4am and noon, and trying every prescription drug on the market (including some very addictive crap), I finally went to a sleep therapist. She gave me a personalized list of do’s and don’t (mostly obvious stuff; dim red lights at night, sun exposure in the morning; no food at night, don’t exercise late in the day). She recommends a very low dose melatonin, most OTC supplements have 10-50 times the amount your body would make. I don’t use melatonin anymore but I take one OTC sleep aid (doxylamine succinate) and a Neuro Sleep drink every night and that’s enough. Low lights and boring books at night– by which I mean for 2-3 hours before bedtime– and outdoor exposure first thing in the morning are key. Good luck.
I pretend its morning and I need to get up. Works every time.
I have to occupy as many areas of my brain as possible. But in the most boringly consistant way I can manage. I count upwards, visualizing each number drawing itself in a differnt color. The numbers bounce up and down like a ball between “breaths”. Eventually I lose track and fall asleep. If this doesn’t work I take some xanax to make my brain stop talking. If that doesn’t work I have the one sleeping pill that mostly works but makes me feel like a zombie the next day.
There is a wonderful app called Sleep Pillow that has recordings of ever from bird song to crashing waves to traffic noises and music. It’s free I think and let’s you mix up to three sounds together.
Currently I listen to birds and frogs with a babbling brook and the distant sound of traffic (because you can also mix how loud each is)
Works great for a while, then I get too used to it and have to switch to a different set of sounds
I also have a cd of favorite relaxing songs.
The Calm app has sleep stories, a free one right now is called Blue Gold. A British guy talking about the lavender fields in Provence in a lovely soothing voice, conks me right out.
I always listen to the song “Weightless” by Marconi Union. It helps me calm down and at least slows my though spirals. I managed to find it on iTunes, but it’s also available on YouTube I think.
Sleeping with my best friend in the room helps.
And going for long, dangerous hikes in the evening.
Taking melatonin, a sleep routine which includes making sure the front door is locked, blackout curtains, being warm enough or cool enough (depending on the season), earplugs to block out most noise because I focus on it otherwise. Sometimes I have to repeat to myself that I can worry about whatever it is in the morning because the thing to worry about will still be there, that right now my job is to sleep.
For some reason, watching YouTube videos of kittens and puppies that are really sleepy. Yawning and falling over asleep seems to help me. Before long I find myself yawning too, my eyes will get that tired/gritty feeling.
Power of suggestion, maybe?!
I too listen to sleepwithme. I pay just enough attention to Dearest Scooter to keep my mind from falling down into the black abyss. I will queue up eight hours of episodes (that, or stuffyoushouldknow) so that if I wake in the deep dark night there’s a kind voice and a mildly engaging topic right there in my ear. Bless you, Drew.
A white noise machine. I also “virtually tour” different places that I’ve previously dreamed about to put me in a dreamy state. When that doesn’t work, I take Advil Nighttime, with the benylin–that sh*t knocks me right out for at least 6 hours.
I often have the same problem. This coming weekend I am going to try a slightly less than modest dose of alcohol. I’ll try it on Friday in case it doesn’t work so I don’t waste the whole weekend.
I read somewhere that your sleep rhythm is related to temperature. Cold makes you sleepy, hot means wake up. Because of the sun. Sounded too easy, but I was at the ‘I’ll try anything’ point, and it was easy to try, so what the heck. Set the thermostat to lower the temp by 5 degrees about an hour before what I wanted bedtime to be, And raise it back up about an hour before I wanted to wake up. And I’ll be damned if it didn’t help. A LOT. Now I even find my self yawning when the temperature drops. I still wake up in the middle of the night. But I find if I get out of bed and sit and read a little till I get cold, I get sleepy and can go back to bed. Not a complete cure, and your mileage may very, but at least it’s easy to try. Although I will say, depending on where you live and the cost of heating/cooling your house, it may not be cheap.
App on my phone that makes the sound of rain.
Hi, I’ve had trouble getting deep, restful sleep and staying asleep. It’s as if all the stories about “old women” and fear are true! Gasp! Horrors! (I’m 68) But I notice even a small worry that I get into when I wake up mid-sleep has a magical circling and increasing power that robs me of the ability to go back to sleep. Anyway, I live in California and I use medical marijuana, an edible called Bhang Bar. It’s 50/50 psychoactive and not. But I have to be VERY careful. It’s strong and tastes like candy. So, less than a 16th of an inch by 1/2 inch, and I physically relax, deeply relax and don’t wake up until morning and I’m very refreshed by the sleep.
In high school, I read the dictionary to try to put myself to sleep. I also read Don Quixote in Spanish, which I don’t speak. Both were moderately effective. I take Valerian Root before bed sometimes. Smells like death, but dogs seem to really like it. But then, dogs will gnaw on dead things, so they’re hardly good judges of these things. Except you gnaw on gas station turkey, so…
Things that I do when I’m having trouble with sleep – make sure to turn off technology like phones and tablets a few hours before bed so the electronic light isn’t also messing up your sleep clock, write everything that’s bothering me on a paper (allows me to sort of release it to the universe…. or at least get it out of my head so it isn’t spinning), lavender essential oils, and I agree with heating pad or microwaved warmie for the feet!
I take a cocktail of melatonin, pain reliever PM (Advil or Tylenol depending on what’s in the house), and an OTC allergy med. That helps get me drowsey, but if I don’t distract myself my anxiety gets the better of me, so I play Sudoku, TaiPai, or some other game that requires active thinking, but not enough active thinking to keep me up.
Black and white subtitled french films. If that doesn’t work then I’ll hit the scotch.
Move out of Texas;Try the pot. As someone who never tried an illegal drug until they were 36 and only did so at the recommendation of their neurologist to alleviate a neurological issue that caused chronic pain, insomnia, muscle spasms and other fun, fun, things, and who had tried literally every single other prescription medication on the planet to treat my pain and symptoms, I am now a dirty illegal drug user who takes one pill of marijuana a night before bed and am off every other form of medication, and I used to be on heavy pain pills…like Dilaudid. I live in constant fear of being arrested and going to jail for life for living a life without pain, and being able to sleep at night, but I was literally on the verge of “going to Switzerland” from the constant pain before I tried this.
I’ve been researching weighted blankets, but I’m concerned because the damn night sweats are in full force. How does one wash at 15 pound blanket without killing the washing machine when you’re having night sweats? But all the research says it helps with anxiety (except for me being worried about sweating through all the other stuff protecting my 15 pound blanket – but a definite plus) and with sleep. Watching different sites to see if they go on sale.
Homeopathic Calms, Calcium/Magnesium pills (especially during hormonal insomnia), and reading history books on my kindle paperwhite (kindle fire and phone wake me up more). And if none of those work, then watching Ancient Aliens! I don’t know what it is about that show, but it knocks me and my husband out in about 10 minutes. But you have to be fully watching it, not on your phone or anything else, for the full hypnotic affect to work.
Cool house, warm blanket, and a cup of chamomile tea. I dim the lights and read a book until I get sleepy. This routine at bedtime helps me stay asleep through the night. I also try to have an outfit laid out for the next day and put whatever I need to take with me when I leave the house by the door. This helps my brain “check out” and feel done with the day and prepared for the next day. Also when my daughter was a toddler and slept five hours a day (including naps) I used to sit with her and put the history channel on the TV. It put us both to sleep! 😜
Sort of like your podcast – I listen to audiobooks that I’ve listened to before. White noise and a bedtime story all rolled in to one.
I take the extended release Ambien–usually just 1/2. It works wonders.
I also find that I like sleeping in 4-hour shifts. After work, I sleep for 4 hours, take my meds, and then stay up a couple hours chatting with friends, then sleep 4 to 5 hours and get up for work without being tired.
I also like to put something very long on to listen to: An entire Ken Burns documentary; a long playlist of youtube documentaries; whatever won’t stop in the middle of the night, because that wakes me up. (My favorite docs are all Ken Burns but I also like murder mysteries and serial killer interviews. Murder soothes me to sleep–LOL.
Thanks so much for sharing the show Jenny! Happy it can help you out and hope it can help others out there catch some sleep to our silly little show.
To fall asleep, all I have to do is lean my head against my husband’s arm or shoulder and I’m out like a light, lol. But I struggled to stay asleep all night until I started supplementing with Magnesium Citrate, 500mg. Most people in the US are deficient yet the body needs it for many processes!
When I was in high school, we used to have to clean the blackboards in our classroom. To do so, you would erase with a standard blackboard eraser and then take this 12″X2″X2″ foam eraser, dip it in a little water and go over the blackboard bit by bit, getting rid of every bit of leftover writing and chalk dust. So, when I have trouble sleeping (which is infrequent – I’m usually exhausted and fall asleep immediately, only to wake up at 1, 3, 4, and 4:30 am when there’s a problem), I picture my mind as a blackboard full of thoughts, erase them all, and then slowly clean the blackboard of my mind, bit by bit. I guess it’s essentially meditation, but since it’s about words, which are what’s keeping me up, it helps me. Alternatively, I will either clear my mind of all words except one (like calm or quiet or something like that) and only think of that word, or relax all the parts of my body one part at a time, from my toes to the top of my head (with continuous rechecking as I move along. Toes – relaxed. Toes, feet – relaxed. Toes, feet, ankles -relaxed, etc.)
Acupuncture!! It will change your life!!
Pink noise. Read in a neuroscience journal that it can improve the quality snd duration of sleep. Bought an app for 3.99. 4.5 years of waking at 1 or 2 am erased. I have only had 2 poor night’s sleep since I’ve been using it. -4 months. One was due to too many cocktails. One was bc the app kept cutting out and I woke up without the sound in my ears. I know it sounds crazy. But it really works for me. Kept me from taking zoloft.
Melatonin, the sound of rain (I use a white noise app), journalling and wiggling my toes. Sometimes I also have restless legs in conjunction with the insomnia and the journalling also helps with that – as does lying on my stomach with a heating pad under my legs.
Remember: Insomnia is nothing to lose sleep over.
I have insomnia a lot of nights – things that help for me include hot baths, strong coffee (paradoxical effect – I’m pretty sure I’ve always had ADHD, but regardless of why, it works), and setting the thermostat a bit on the chilly side, pulling the covers up to my neck, and visualizing being someplace I’m so well hidden no one can find me, like in a secret cave no one knows about. Being impossible to find was one of my favorite things when I was a kid – about the only way I felt safe most of the time.
I remember having insomnia when I was four. It’s one of my earliest memories. The only thing that ever worked was I had a cat named Lana that would let me rub her tummy till I feel asleep or she would sleep on my back. She’d let me rub her tummy for hours. She has soft curly hair on her tiny little tummy. She only weighed 7 lbs full grown. Now that she’s gone I sleep horrible again. Man I miss her
Trazadone. In my whole life suffering from insomnia, it is the only thing that has ever worked.
Defuser with some stress relief essential oil, lavender body lotion, Xanax, fan for white noise, and then a weighted blanket.
White noise helps me sleep. My spouse uses a CPAP, and I was surprised to discover that the background noise actually improves my sleep quality. Of course, it also helps that he isn’t snoring when the machine is on…but I do find it harder to sleep in a totally silent room.
6AM. 6AM helps me fall asleep when I have insomnia. Unfortunately my alarm clock goes off at 7.
I am sorry for you having insomnia. I sleep, but often poorly, so I seem always on the verge of dozing off. I can sleep almost anywhere, anytime. Napping is my superpower. I can’t come up with a superhero name to go with my superpower that doesn’t bug me, though.
When I can’t sleep…. which is rare, don’t kill me or sic rabid raccoons on me, I usually eat something, then take a bath, then my b.o.b. helps me relax a little more.
Nothing relaxes me the way the sound of a thunderstorm does so that’s my go to thing. I ask my Google Home to play me thunderstorm sounds.
melatonin, a giant pillow fort under my covers so I can be warm and cuddled but not, like, held down. a heated mattress pad I can turn on when it’s cold, ambien, a xanax to deal with my “if I fall asleep the house will catch fire, let’s go over the plan to get us all out when that happens” issues, a choice in mood stabilizer that also happens to make you sleepy, no caffeine after 11am, and I don’t know why I’m listing all that cuz it only helps like, half the time.
But that’s better than none of the time, which is what I had before all that. 3-4 hours of sleep a day, counting naps, for months on end was NOT helping my bipolar or anxiety issues.
insomnia sucks, and it affects everything all the time, and I’m so sorry you have to deal with it.
you are not alone. thank you for being vulnerable enough to help us all feel not-alone too.
Doctor told me to get up, and do something though-free and repetitive. I would get up and fold laundry then go back and fall asleep
The Sleep with Me guy is gold. Also I find if you just give up on sleeping you eventually fall asleep. I tend to stress myself out figuring out exactly how many hours sleep I’ll get if I fall asleep right then, it’s never good.
Pink/red lightbulbs in the bedside lamps. Did it out of desperation for the kids and suddenly feel asleep easy peasy.
This sounds odd, but when I have trouble falling asleep, I turn on reruns of the painter Bob Ross’ show. His voice is soothing, relaxing and puts me to sleep like a charm.
I like the suggestions of melatonin or Benadryl. I also like to watch science or nature shows, with people like Sir David Attenborough narrating in a pleasant, droning way. Also go to YouTube and try ASMR videos; I recommend Gentle Whispering. Nighty-night!
My therapist suggested 2 options after making sure that you have a routine – it’s yours and you follow it always.
First, a mental gratefulness list that includes – being safe, secure and (warm or cold – each of us has our preference) enough to relax and doze.
Second, a mind game – close your eyes and list what you would see if you opened your eyes. You go through the list repetitively. I see 5 things – blah blah blah blah blah – I see 4 things – blah, blah, blah, blah.
The first works wonderfully for me – the second was a loser! I started worrying about what I was missing and when I figured it out, I worried there was some kind of subconscious problem with the missing item.
My favorite is trying to recreate the map in my head of places I’ve lived or visited extensively. Something about cartography calms me down. A recent discovery is revising the script (in my head) of the Charmed episode I just watched, so its logical. If that doesn’t work, a crappy novel on my kindle and a shot of zzzquil usually do the trick but then I sleep until 10 am!
Infrared Sauna followed by a whirlpool bath with lavender Epsom Salts. Once I’m in bed I use 4-7-8 breathing and a guided mindfulness mp3 with earbuds. Or I raid my husband’s Ambien.
Inaomnia totally sucks. I wish I could post the picture I snaped of the “Insomnia” wine label at my local Aldi. It was cheap Pinot Grigio or Merlot. I’m not sure of the marketing but the label art was of a man looking half awake.
2 mg of Klonopin and listening to this:
Kava is great relaxer, just be careful with it and don’t drink more than one teabag as it depresses your heart. Trust me, I do this shit for a living. And maybe take one of these, tastes like fruity ass, but totally works.
A nice warm bath with Epsom Salts + drinking resistant starch: win-win! I do paleo & drink potato starch at bedtime each night. It keeps the gut bugs happy & helps me sleep. The dreams are over-the-top!! Details here: https://wellnessmama.com/17005/resistant-starch-gut-superfood/. Sweet dreams!
Admittedly I only rarely have problems getting to sleep. My problem is not waking up. Nonetheless I’m pretty obsessive about it because changing my sleep schedule has been the thing that got me out of two really stubborn depressive episodes, so I know it matters a lot. Things that work for me:
1. Totally dark bedroom and no electronics or electronic lights for at least 2 hours before bed. When that’s not possible (which is usually) I wear blue blocking safety glasses/ change my lights to warm temperatures/install flux to trick my brain into thinking it’s dark. My partner has even stopped making fun of me for the goggles! And I definitely notice a difference in how alert I feel in the morning and how sleepy I feel at night.
2. I do the dawn simulator thing too…these days it wakes me up before my alarm has a chance, which is nice.
3. Bedtime and wake up time are always within 2hours of the same, if not 30 minutes. This is hard, but I’ve been committed ever since the first time I tried it and felt about a million years ones better in just a few days. I also started needing less sleep, but that might just be me.
4. Comfy bed and pajamas and a comforter even in the summer. Always a negotiation if you share…
5. No alcohol or caffeine after about 3 (this is a tweak for me, but still noticeable if I’m sleeping badly)
6. If I really can’t sleep, I drink valerian tea or lavender/vetiver oils or take a benzodiazepine if I have a prescription at the time. I’ll also listen to audio books. I like books I know pretty well with a good narrator on cassette tape (because they end automatically, although I just noticed that Audible has a sleep timer and I’m sure there’s other ways). I went to sleep listening to Douglass Adams read Hitchhiker’s Guide for years when I was a kid… I’ve had some good luck with meditation tapes as well. Usually if I’m that wound up I can’t meditate on my own, but listening to someone else is good.
Of course you can’t sleep; the closet doors are open and the closet monster has been released and of course it will eat you. Close the doors!
I use a homeopathic remedy called Calms Forte when my mind gets too busy to sleep – except I take double the dose they recommend at night. (Sometimes I take one or two during the day for anxiety, too.) And audio books help. Eat, Pray, Love nearly always works for me – my imagination gets engaged and stops entertaining itself with scary scenarios. Plus, Liz Gilbert has a great voice. I tried using magnesium oil on my feet before bed (a friend swears by this) and it seemed to help, but it made my skin peel.
Only two things have worked for me: listening to an audio file of a rainstorm and a drug called Mirapex. I have to be careful, though, because Mirapex can cause severe nausea (one of the first days I threw up six times), so I always take it after eating, usually a muffin or toast. But it does help immensely with the insomnia, so I put up with the inconveniences. Oh—it’s an off-label use (it’s actually for Restless Leg Syndrome) that my doctor wanted to try, so if you ask your doctor and he/she says “That’s not what it’s for!”, tell him you’d like to try it anyway, because you know someone it worked for.
Mine is mostly a matter of pain management. I use heated rice packs in a sleeve of fleece to even out the temperature, and place them over my knees, because my arthritis hurts less if my knees are warm. I put the TENS units’ (2 of them, one for each foot) on my feet (4 per foot, right side one on toes, one on heel, left side one on toes on heel), and crank it up to interfere with the neuropathy that emanates from my feet. A 5-325 Vicodin to mute the pain in the knee, and toss in a 25 mg. diphenhydramine for its sleep inducing side effect. If I’m REALLY lucky, I’ll get 5-6 hours of sleep. . . They don’t tell you when you are younger that sleep is horribly hard to come by when you get older. Sigh. (Sometimes I wrap my feet in clay ice packs instead of using the TENS units.)
Inaomnia totally sucks. Anxiety sucks I wish I could post the picture I snapped of the “Insomnia” wine label at my local Aldi. It was cheap Pinot Grigio or Merlot. I’m not sure of the marketing but the label art was an abstract of half a face looking half awake and very unhappy about it. I’ve also tried those mhz tones on YouTube..like white noise tones for sleeping, healing, anxiety and releasing negativity, aligning the chakras, etc. Do Not listen to the Thunderstorm stations they just make you want to pee. Lately I just read a bit of “Fuirously Happy!”
Jenny, if you suffer from chronic pain, you might talk to your doc about Amitriptyline. It apparently changes the way the brain processes pain signals (which disrupt REM sleep). It’s been a miracle – and best of all, no morning hangover like Benadryl, et al.
Klonopin. Lots and lots of klonopin. Also a really hot shower and for no reason that I can fathom, icy hot on my knees.
I’ve had chronic insomnia for over 15 years, but started taking Mirtazapam for about a year and it hasn’t failed to make me ineluctably tired within an hour.
I take melatonin gummies but I don’t know if it really works. However they really taste good! I’ve also tried can ibis in candy and it really works!
I just wrote about the fan ibis candy. We live in a state where it’s legal.
I’m trying to write cannibus but spell check doesn’t recognize it!
Insomnia can suck a huge elephant …. trunk. I hate it as much as a bloody toothache. But, the one thing that I’ve found helps me tremendously is ASMR. If you suffer from misophonia, then just take me out back and shoot me for the suggestion. If you don’t, then there are a few really great ASMRists on YouTube. Just don’t go after the role playing videos. They get creepy. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
PS: My favorite ASMR YouTuber is ASMRZeitgeist.
I totally get the claustrophobia thing with socks. I can’t wear socks, pants, or a gown to bed. I get freaked out by anything restrictive on my body at night.
I take a warm bath, listen to podcasts I’ve heard before or set the timer for Audible for an hour. I keep your books downloaded for when I’m having a bad spell. It helps me smile. Sometimes I give up and just watch YouTube and knit. I am afraid of taking prescription sleep meds and only take OTC ones sparingly. Addiction filled family = terrifying. I’m also afraid they’ll (otc) quit working if I take them too often. Sometimes if it’s really bad and I know I won’t be able to sleep early enough I will take a Xanex. Usually that’s when I was up the whole night before and all day.
Reading…it always makes me sleepy and I don’t think about other stuff…and maybe just maybe…you are doing a little too many things to fall asleep…and they are all working against each other…
I have to have a blanket with some weight to it on me, which is problematic in the summer. I can fall asleep no problem–out like a light in minutes; its staying asleep for more than a few hours that alludes me. I’ve used relaxation exercises including breathing meditation, but that doesn’t always work. Lately I’ve had some success with cannabis oil (no THC) esp. the strain Charlotte’s Web.
I’ve had some luck with Bach’s Sleep-ease or Rescue Remedy. It’s all natural and made from flowers. And wine (not the Bach stuff, it’s just made of flowers, wine is made of wine – well, grapes… but anyway, I like wine too. And coloring until my eyes no longer focus – but it has to be with glittery gel pens for it to work properly. Okay, that’s all for now. Go to sleep.
I usually don’t have insomnia, but when I do, a couple of big slurps of Half & Half will knock me out within 30 minutes. Don’t know why; somehow the dairy & fat make it impossible to remain awake.
As a lifelong insomniac I’ve tried a lot! Some things only work temporarily for me or need to be combined to be effective. But what really made a huge difference for me was starting regular neurofeedback sessionsfor my anxiety/OCD/Panic disorder. It also helped make my insomnia more manageable. My usual routine: pitch black room, avoid all LED lighting for at least 1 hour prior to bed, white noise machine and fan. I often take 5-HTP and/or GABA supplements in the evening (which also help with anxiety and depression) and sometimes apply essential oils such as beriberi, lavender or sleep blends. When the insomnia is bad, I usually take 5 mg melatonin and 50 mg of Trazodone. If I wake up in the night, I take a Chinese herbal formula called Spirit Pearls by the Classical Pearls line (I’m an acupuncturist). When the insomnia isn’t terrible, I can get away with just taking Spirit Pearls and maybe a melatonin.
Going to a licensed acupuncturist would be a great option. Acupuncture/Chinese herbs can be very effective at treating anxiety, depression, insomnia and lots of other issues.
Vetiver not beriberi for the essential oil. Auto-correct 🙄
Body Scan meditations on Insight Timer app. It’s free
Being a theater/drama person, I insert myself into my favorite tv shows or movies & run scenes in my head (or sometimes aloud). It especially helps if it’s a super familiar scene I don’t have to think much about. I’m usually asleep before the ‘scene’ ends! I don’t know why, but it works for me!
Benedryl, melatonin, and imagining that I won the Powerball, Mega Millions, or Publishers Clearinghouse jackpot and how I’d distribute it to family, friends, causes and charities. The math usually does it. 🙂
I actually wrote something similar about my insomnia about a month ago maybe. It was driving me INSANE. And I started taking melatonin and actually getting rest at night when I need it. Another friend suggested lavender oil scent/burner that seems to work as well.
“In other ways though, insomnia is a total asshole and I would like it to go away so I’m asking you, what are your best techniques to fall asleep?” – I read your blog.
Sleep stories using the Calm app. I hardly ever make it to the end of a story.
Interestingly enough, magnesium works amazing well for me as I suffer from insomnia too, have most of my life. I got this sleep bundle, a natural sleep aid from Dr. Frank Lipman. https://www.bewell.com/sleep-bundle.html
Staying off my phone playing games at least an hour before bed. Great stress reducer, not so good for sleeping. Also I have been using a meditation app on my phone at night and that it really helping. It’s free and they have thousands of meditations and hundreds for sleeping. Some nights I fall asleep before it ends. It’s called Insight Timer. Unfortunately, I still wake up every couple of hours but now I can usually fall back asleep pretty quickly. I use Lavender essential oil – rub it on my hands and sniff it or use it in a spray that I spray on my pillow before getting into bed. Most of the time these all have been working but I still have my occasional nights with little to no sleep. Damn anxiety!
I unfortunately have the opposite problem, in that I can fall asleep just about anywhere — including sitting in a virtual meeting with my headphones on, waking myself up when I snored. And worse, was not on “mute.” I fell asleep earlier today while reading. I need something to get rid of the exhaustion. (Conversely, come Sunday night, I can never fall asleep despite needing to get up in the morning for work.)
Long time insomnia sufferer (among other things!). My cocktail, though a lot of people would object! 😘 walk couple miles in the a.m., Xanax, trazadone, melatonin & lavender essential oil on pillow @ night. went the natural route for a couple years (autoimmune diet protocol, omission of all meds, essential oils) and it just didn’t work ☹️ Good luck!!
I sleep best when my cats cuddle with me. Hunter would make a good foot warmer.
I know you probably wont reach my comment but TRAZADONE.. I literally couldn’t sleep for multiple days and nights when I had my first depression. Only thing that put me to sleep was trazadone. Now I take a small amount every night and it knocks me out.:):)
Mint tea helps me relax and get drowsy. I’ve had Insomnia (to varying degrees) for about 16 years and the best thing that’s worked for me is being diligent about a sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time, even on weekends. An hour before bed I shut all of the lights off except my bedside lamp so I can read, which makes me sleepy. I meditate before bed too. Resist the temptation of artificial light from TV, phone, computer, tablet, etc. Don’t eat and drink too much right before bed or you have to pee in the night which disrupts your sleep, or your body is working too hard to digest food it can’t relax and concentrate on sleep and repair as much.
I hope something here helps 🙂 Hugs!
25 mg amitriptyline at 5pm. cut out blue light by 8pm. wear amber glasses until 10pm, then get into bed in a room that is completely blacked out (put electrical tape over the little lights on the tv and any other components in your room) and very cold.
narc meds? do you take modafinil? be aware that it has like a 15 hour half-life so one dose in the morning will keep you up that night. my son has narc and if he takes modafinil in the morning, he HAS TO take amitriptyline to fall asleep at night.
I stopped being insomniac when I stopped believing I was insomniac. Now I’m an Uber driver instead.
I use the Deep Sleep with Andrew Johnson app..his voice is soooo soothing.
I feel your pain. I too have horrible insomnia. My mind would never stop going when I laid down. It drove me to drink, literally, and I am now in AA. I found a wonderful psychiatrist that worked with me to get a combination of sleep meds that worked. I have to take 3 pills each night. But the pills saved my life.
Weighted blanket. Swear by it.
Word girl…:) I am having an awful patch where i’m awoken with a sour stomach and fire farts that are LETHAL to hubs and cats…so keepin’ the humour is key and we all feel much better:)
Reading harlequins and watching lifetimes xmas movies.
About 20 years ago I moved the bed so it faced the east windows. That night I climbed into bed, took three deep slow breaths, and it was morning. Whoa.
I’ve always had that hamster cage in my brain, running, running…but for some reason after that night I’ve been able to just conk out about 95% of the time, every night. I’m still amazed by it. Enough blankets, the right pillow, and those three deep slow breaths.
I have memorized the lyrics to two VERY LONG songs and recite them to myself. I rarely make it to the end. FYI: this is a great method for getting through CT & PET scans too (if that’s a thing in your life). Sweet dreams.
WEIGHTLESS a CD by Marconi Union is supposed to be good. It’s on my wish list. Here’s the Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Weightless-Marconi-Union/product-reviews/B00MNYP5GU/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_paging_btm_2?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews&pageNumber=2
Yep, melatonin. And, btw, how is your gut flora, & do you think you might have a little gut fauna contributing to your malaise? Hmmmm think worms.
Yep, melatonin. And, btw, how is your gut flora, & do you think you might have a little gut fauna contributing to your malaise? Hmmmm think worms.
Melatonin works for me but I learned that it should be taken THREE HOURS before bedtime.
I went through withdrawal from a 20+ year addiction to benzodiazepines, so-called “minor tranquilizers” and endured three months of sleeping 20 minutes at a time and waking suddenly from adrenaline surges. Horrible, but endurable. But once I accepted it, I stopped fearing it. And that really helped.
Try Melatonin at 1mg to begin with, then increase the dose as needed. I take 10mg.
Spoonk accupressure mat. Amazon sells them. Hope it helps!
My pillow! I swear to god it changed my life
After spending tons on anything to fall asleep all it took was that damn my pillow and a distracting romance.
My pillow. N rescue remedy
When I was a kid, I fought it off by pretending I was kidnapped and stuffed in the trunk of a car. I would curl completely under the covers afraid to make a sound, listen the the silence of the “road” (room) hoping to catch a whisper of where we going and my mind racing plotting my escape. After an unknown amount of time, my mind overwhelmed with the relief that I was not kidnapped and all the distracting thoughts that were keeping me awake vanquished, I could fall asleep. I still do this when it becomes unbearable.
Now most of the time I can read until I have to read the same page three time after nodding off in the middle and I will put the book down and fall asleep immediately. Some time this is at a reasonable hour, sometimes it is not.
All the drugs, pills, melatonin, etc. help to fall asleep faster, but not always fast, and I am a wreck the next day.
“that’s just my opinion, I might be wrong” – quoted from Dennis Miller.
Magnesium. Mindless games on my iPad (soda crush is my current favorite). If it is really bad, Xanax. Any or all of the above.
Before I was treated for a panic/anxiety disorder I was just like you. You’re already doing what I found the most helpful and that is just get up and do something else. Laying there worrying about that or why you’re not sleeping only adds unnecessary stress to the situation. Don’t have a clock around either, as checking the time feeds that stress circle.
Sleep will come and you’ll be ok.
Sleep with me podcast, melatonin, and liquid calcium. No I’m not kidding about the liquid calcium, strange as is sounds.
Spoonks accupressure mat. Amazon sells them. Hope it helps!
Gas station turkey? Is it Rudy’s? I live in Bulverde TX so eating at gas stations is completely normal to me.
You’ve gotta think of something boring. My mom always went through the states alphabetically and when she got too good at that she switched to state capitals. I’ve thought through children’s books that I have semi-memorized and thought through high school/college boyfriends. It needs to be something that’s hard enough that’ll it’ll take time and occupy your brain but not let your mind wander back to whatever is keeping you awake. In your case maybe try to remember every pet you’ve had or every city in order from your last book tour. Happy sleeping!
Mental math keeps your mind occupied so your body can fall asleep. Mentally do all the “squares” 2×2=4, 3×3=9, 4×4=16, 5×5=25…..Interesting: adding two consecutive numbers is the difference between the squares. (2+3 = 5, the difference between 2 squared (4) and 3 squared (9) is 5.) I usually fall sleep by 18 squared.
Trazodone. The only way I sleep more than 2 hours. Works like a charm. Most the time.
Heating pad on whatever is hurting at night, Remeron (7.5-15 mg), fan noise, true crime show such as Forensic Foles, The FBI Fikes, or The New Detectives playing low in the background or an audio book., flipping through houses on the Realtor app on my phone, smuddling with my husband. Meds and background noise helps me fall asleep most nights but sometimes I have to try different combis. I also often sleep in another room when I can’t get comfortable or am overstimulated.
Sleep hypnosis or guided meditation apps (ordinarily I hate this kind of thing but sometimes they actually–surprisingly–help).
Break the rules–watch tv or play a game on your iPad using the blue-light blocking orange glasses that make you look like a serial killer from the 80s. Helps get your brain out of your brain.
Also, carb binging. Bad solution but it works nearly without fail. I recommend CheezIts. Or extra cheezy goldfish crackers.
And doc-approved pharmaceuticals. Plural.
People with iron deficiency often suffer from insomnia. Worth having that checked and take supplements if needed. I second the audiobook that you have heard before. Helps distract your mind without keeping you up wondering what comes next. Choose a book with a pleasing story and a narrator with a calm voice – the night circus, or the villa in Italy are wonderful. Set the timer so the audio will go off after 30 min or so. If you let it play all night your mind might re-engage with the story and wake you, or you end up with weird dreams often involving trying to get a radio to stop playing or someone to stop talking st you.
Ambien and a boring audiobook. The boring part is important–I woke up laughing a couple of nights ago from a deep sleep. Apparently, listening to comedy is not the best path to a good snooze. If you have to wake up though, laughing is the way to do it!
Chronic insomnia here. I have tried all the suggestions for keeping the bedroom clear of clutter and electronics. I have had up to a 4 mg dose of Xanax that couldn’t knock me out. Ambien…nope. I take Benadryl all the time, year round for allergies and it has no hope of knocking me out. Lunesta is downright evil with that wretched taste that comes creeping up from your throat. It also didn’t knock me out, but hours later I did actually sleep some, but I couldn’t stay asleep. I woke up feeling incredibly drugged, but couldn’t sleep. Trazodone was a disaster. There was no telling when it would actually knock me out. It could be in 3 hours or 12 hours or not at all. If it did knock me out I’d be out for 14 hours. It really messed up my schedule. Funny how the doctor thought that was workable. Yeah not in the real world doc! Muscle relaxers worked okay at times until I developed PTSD. Guided meditation didn’t do a damn thing except open the door for flashbacks. Now it is anyone’s guess when I’ll sleep or for how long. One thing I do, that experts say is a no no, but if I don’t things go so much worse for me is reading in bed. When I get into bed I read Let’s Pretend This Never Happened or Furiously Happy. I find that if I sleep that night they help reduce the night terrors and teeth clenching. I don’t know if it is the humor and/or feeling like there is someone who understands quite a bit of what is wrong with me, but they have a positive effect. Add to that the anxiety meds, pain meds, and whatever the doctor tries throwing at me to make me sleep… I at least get some sleep at some point.
I haven’t tried weighted blankets yet (Christmas list!), but I imagine they work miracles for helping your brain relax. Also, Harry Potter books on tape, because they’re engrossing enough to keep me from thinking, but I know the stories so I don’t get stressed when I fall asleep. Plus British accents are relaxing.
Sometimes when I’m really desperate I try with mother nature sounds apps… you know… listening to rain (which to be honest most of the times makes me cold and feeling like I need to pee) or birds tweeting (which always annoys me because their cell keyboard also vibrates when they press every single key)… bah, who am I kidding I’m writting this message at 04.14… I shouldn’t be giving any kind of advise.
Relaxio app on my smartphone, after slowing my brain down by working jigsaw puzzles on my tablet or phone.
Am I not the only one that melatonin gives nightmares to?
It usually takes me and hour or two every night to fall asleep after laying down, but that’s as bad as it gets. I used to take Trazadone to help me sleep but I don’t need it anymore, though my mom still takes it (it totally knocks her out). I’m that sort of person who can be awake for two hours and then be ready to fall asleep, even if it’s the middle of the day, so I don’t have much trouble there. But while I toss and turn trying to get comfortable at night (I’m pretty sure that’s what takes so long for me to fall asleep) I normally make up stories in my head… I’m an amateur fiction author (read: not published) and I tend to get my best story ideas while trying to get to sleep. I have made up entire plotlines, probably thousands upon thousands of words, while laying there waiting for sleep to come. It entertains me, at least, and often seems to help sleep come faster. I’ve also used meditation tapes, putting them on really low, but those only work occasionally. I also used to have a revolving aquarium-themed lamp thing that I used as a combination night-light and soothing device, watching it for awhile often put me to sleep. Like this one: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/552324341777733400/
I find certain shows or movies soothing. So I obsessively watch them. It’s like a lullaby. Just prop your laptop on something(I used a breakfast in bed tray) so you don’t knock it off the bed. You can pick your own show. I’ve used Castle and The Librarians.
I listen to David Attenborough’s voice on Blue Planet or whatever else he narrates…I’m out within 10 minutes. I don’t know if he’s soothing or boring, but I have yet to see the whole series despite owning it since it first came out…I can only watch it in 10 minute increments before I’m sawing logs.
Hi Jenny, Have you tried brain wave CDs? I took a class years ago about our different brain waves – they change from being awake and alert to relaxing/day dreaming to sleeping. You can use certain music to help move you into the more relaxed state. Maybe this would help you fall asleep? Search “brainwave cd” on Amazon. Hope this helps! Sweet dreams!
I occasionally find a quick round of play with my first best friend helps bring sleep.
SWMP Podcast is the best! Glad to hear he helps you and yr a fan.
I listen to Audible books I’ve read before with British narrators, preferably by Terry Pratchett. I just finished Thud! for the 2nd time and am currently on The Truth for the 3rd time.
Valerian. No hangover like Benadryl gives me. And Stuff You Should Know podcast. I’ve fallen asleep to those guys so often that I officially cannot listen to them while driving!
ASMR videos by Olivia Kissper on Youtube. Something about her voice and accent really relaxes me!
It’s a thing I’m currently winning at, but I’ve fought it all my life and so did my mom. My secret weapon lately is drinking a mug of boiled hot water that has a spoonful of a Calcium and Magnesium mix- powder in it. Man do I go to sleep!
You have to see if it’s OK with your Doc/other meds, as part of the magic is that the Calcium binds to stuff. Can make any meds less effective.
I was smugly telling my Doc’s nurse about it yesterday as she took my drug profile and she said to watch out I don’t muffle my electrolytes which, figures, rain on my parade why don’t you. It could cause heart problems i.e., heart stopping.
Short of my magic tea, I’ve been on a No computer devices after 9PM. I’ve got some downloads of self-hypnosis I bought online (something called Happy Whole Human) and the Sleep ones I am now listening to at night then the Wake up ones in AM. I am liking them.
I have actual plans for things I want to do when I wake up. I’m moving my writing time to this early slot. So I’m starting to wake up with a feeling I want to download what I’ve got stored up from overnight.
I’m moving the heavy eating from late night (helped me sleep) to AM (helps me wake up.) It’s working…
The biggest single thing was me asking myself – -how was this activity of mine a Winning behavior? What was I getting out of doing it? There were lots of reasons, from ducking socializations to (real) fears of a drunk bully in my building, vandalizing my property. A whole long list. Surfacing that was a real exorcism.
Cool room, heated mattress pad, weighted blanket.
No electronics in bedroom – if you use your phone as an alarm, buy an alarm clock & leave the phone in another room.
Something to distract your brain – math, meditation, recall games.
Medication. If it was any other part of your body (broken bones, stomach issues, etc.) you wouldn’t hesitate to medicate if a doctor recommends it. This is your head & heart. They need support too.
Insomnia is like the tag on a new shirt, chafing you and reminding you that it’s there all the time. My go to trick came from an NPR broadcast years ago. I imagine myself walking down a hallway, and I come to a door. I reach out and turn the handle and it opens easily and I walk through it. And then I walk a little further and there’s another door, and I do it again. My goal is to really focus on the details of the door, the handle, the flooring, and the walls. It’s rare for me to take more than two or three doors.
Hope you get some relief! I am rooting for you.
I have a mix of hypersomnia (because my brain is physically broken) and painsomnia (because it has also made the rest of me kind of broken), and I have basically turned napping into a hobby. I’ve got a sleep mask full of herbs to help relax me, magnesium oil spray, lavender/chamomile/vanilla tea, lavender/chamomile essential oil, you name it. I also sleep better when I’ve got a warm blanket and a cool room. Using things that automatically adjust the color temperature of your screen based on the time of day help, too.
I’ve found it also helps to have good sleep hygiene, like not using your bed for anything but sleeping (well, and other activities that require someone to be mostly horizontal). So no reading, computer use, or cell phones in bed (which has been something I really struggle with because sometimes I’m in bed because it’s the only way I can get comfortable and damn it I get bored).
I listen to sleep hypnosis things, affirmations and new agey music with chimes and junk. I go to sleep best with soothing voices, sometimes I have to take sleeping pills, but only if I think about it early enough so I don’t sleep through my alarms. Honestly I’m a little embarrassed about the affirmations, but they make me feel as if I have control.
I have chronic insomnia. My adhd does not know how to shut the hell up when I want to sleep. I have tried many different things. ZZzquil or Tylenol pm can sometimes be helpful but then the Tylenol ends up bothering my stomach. I recently bought a sleep mask with headphones and listen to sleep music https://smile.amazon.com/ACOTOP-Headphones-Canceling-Meditation-Relaxation/dp/B01N8108PF/ref=sr_1_17_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1512016138&sr=8-17-spons&keywords=sleep+mask+with+headphones&psc=1. It helps but is a bit warm and when a hot flash hits I end up ripping it off. I also drink herbal sleep tea before bed and practice 4-7-8 Breathing. (https://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0LEV76yix9aURIARF5jmolQ;_ylu=X3oDMTEybDI5dTU2BGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMyBHZ0aWQDQjQxMjNfMQRzZWMDc3I-/RV=2/RE=1512045619/RO=10/RU=https%3a%2f%2fwww.drweil.com%2fvideos-features%2fvideos%2fbreathing-exercises-4-7-8-breath%2f/RK=2/RS=1SOK3V9YpACl0e51RA4jYTQEp_M-)
Impromptu calisthenics often help me sleep. Also, a mini crockpot filled with water and a tbsp of salt defusing in my bedroom all night really works.
Calm books on tape (CD?). It gives my mind something to focus on besides the usual hamster wheel in my head, which somehow manages to soothe me. Just don’t pick a thriller, lol.
Have created a blended brown noise (no idea how to explain that but it’s real) with cat purring for a relatively relaxing sleep thingy.
ASMR. Partial to Heather Feather.
Various things that have worked over the years:
1, Reading children’s books: Wizard of Oz series, Ann of Green Gables
2. Reading in French: rarely finished three pages without dropping off
3. Trazadone helped for a while
4. No caffeine
5. Zopiclone about 2 hours before bedtime, evey other night
6. Melatonin at bedtime on the alternate nights
5-htp, gaba & l-theanine – in different amounts and combinations. I used a company called neurogistics for some lab work and it was really helpful to see the results and get feedback on what would help in different areas – like anxiety, stress (getting rid of my children seems like the best solution, but baring that the supplements really help)
I thought I had problems sleeping until I read this thread and you guys are amazing to me at the things I’ve read that you do to sleep. I am one fortunate MF and I didn’t even know it. Just damn. It would be Interesting to try all this different shit like a weighted blanket and a few nibbles of Ambien and some pink noise while counting the stuff you did all day backwards and in German after taking a hot lavender oil bath and listening to some hoo doo yoga music and maybe making a list of groceries in alphabetical order. I’m gonna go have a glass of wine and a cookie and count sheep. You guys are the best.
PS for #319, No Day Napping! And open curtains when getting up. Lots of wake up rituals you can count on.
Reading challenging scientific literature (I’m a scientist). It’s less about it having to be science, and more having to be something that challenges me so I have to read the same sentence/paragraph over and over and over, which eventually makes my brain give up and spontaneously shut off.
When I was a kid that Santa Claus song where he’s knows when you’ve been sleeping, just pissed me the heck off. I remember being 5 years old and being up all night unable to sleep. There are things I just can’t do late at night — sadly reading and writing are tops on the list. Old movies help. I often tune into something on TCM. It doesn’t matter that I missed the beginning — I’ve seen the beginning already. And when I get sleepy, I go to bed. Cary Grant always get the girl — I don’t need to see it. Some people swear by Melatonin. I tried it once, one pill kept me up for three straight nights. I’m fortunate to have a big jacuzzi type baths – a nice hot bath often does the trick. And sometimes I meditate — and sometimes I meditate all night long.
I usually put on a documentary or something with a narrator- very monotone. PBS is awesome, no commercials.. preferably something DVR so goes to screen saver when over. I usually wake up every hour or so and it used to stress me out because I’m mising so much sleep. I now have a different mind set. I really really LOVE. That feeling of getting all snuggly in bed. I get to have that feeling many times a night!! Just push start over and pet the cat and off to la la land.. again….
A few years ago I read about a deep breathing technique that actually really seems to help (4-7-8 breathing technique”). “Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight. This is one breath”. You’re so busy trying to think about counting and breathing that it shuts your brain up from all of the other worries that would normally keep you awake and really works to calm you down. This, a dark room, a white noise machine and no caffeine after 12pm usually does the trick for me.
I mentally alphabetize the members of my extended family. I used to work in a makeup store and I discovered this trick one night by trying to recall all our eyeshadow colors in alphabetical order. Now I use my family’s names because I don’t forget them. I have a HUGE family on both sides so I usually do one side at a time, often just living decendents of my grandparents and their spouses,’not great aunts & uncles. It’s not that hard to do but it takes concentration. And the kicker is I have to start over if I’ve missed someone so I almost never finish before I fall asleep.
Chocolate milk and thinking out plots for Star Trek fan fic.
Use to be a time when I turned on the Home And Garden channel. People talking about garden borders and proper hedge trimming put me to sleep every time.
Well, my new favorite is…cannibis oil, which is not legal everywhere yet. But it has no side effects and isn’t habit forming like so many sleep aids. Also, I have an app called Rain Rain that plays the sound of rain to lull me to sleep. There’s a bunch of different rain effects to choose from, and the app was free! Sometimes I’ll also listen to a soothing voice read a book on tape (not one that’s terribly interesting, mind you) and I’ve found the key there is to set the volume so that i have to pay attention to hear it. This means my mind is busy and can’t wonder around in circles keeping me awake.
Lots of folks wake up around 2 am. Acupuncture (meridian) theory says that 2-4 am (some say 1-3) is the 2-hr. time for the liver meridian. Because most of us are liver-challenged because of modern bad food and other habits, incl. medicine, not to mention menopause when the hormones shift, we tend to wake up then. Other 2-hr. periods of the 24 hr clock represent other meridians, so you can try to self-diagnose that way. So clean out your liver (milk thistle is helpful), and other life styles and sleep in a cold room because we tend to heat up in the middle of the night and that can wake us up. And try to get to bed before midnight, which is the gall bladder time when we start waking up again. Find a Jin Shin Jyutsu practioner in your area and they will teach you acupuncture-based self-care tricks you can do to help sleep.
Another interesting bit of trivia is that in the past, people often woke up at night and did things . . . they called it “First Sleep” and “Second Sleep.” They’d cook or even visit a neighbor before they got sleepy again. It was considered normal. But of course they went to bed much earlier. I read about it in Paul Bogard’s book “The End of NIght.” He referred specifically to the medieval period.
Check the fung shui of your bedroom and stay off the screens before bed. Although sometimes I fall asleep to old B&W films at low sound that aren’t as over-stimulating.
I had insomnia caused by anxiety. Yoga before bed helped calm me down enough to sleep. What cured it long term was changing careers, honestly. Now it’s my crazy insomniac kids who keep me awake. They tell me someday they’ll sleep through the night but after 6 years, I have yet to see it.
Complete and total physical exhaustion works for me. I don’t even call myself an insomniac since I got a job delivering mail. Also, no screens in the bedroom and less wine so I sleep all the way thru.
I take a magnesium supplement daily, sometimes I take valerian (but it does also give me crazy dreams, so that’s the trade off) on evenings I can tell it’s going to be bad, lavender essential oil, vetiver essential oil, progressive muscle relaxation, and loving-kindness meditation.
Also, I am so excited by your heating pad on your feet strategy! I too can’t stand wearing socks to bed, but a hot water bottle sounds delightful.
clonazepam! Meditation apps in headphones work in the plane for me.
Reading helps and tylenol pm. Also extreme sudden stress makes me sleep, and very poopy and gassy.
Sure you are best friend.
Sooo no one’s gonna say how having closet doors open is why she couldn’t sleep?!
Lavender oil along with “peace and calming” oil from Young Living diffused for at least 2 hours before I go to bed and I’m completely relaxed and my mind is calm. I use it most nights to help with my anxiety.
Almost always if I can’t go to sleep it’s because I’m hungry. If I get up and eat something, then I can get back to sleep.
Progesterone supplements, because my body isn’t good at it. Good fats like avocados before bed. Very dense audiobooks, usually history or science.
Melatonin will interfere with your prescription antidepressants (if you take prescription antidepressants), as will alcohol. Not to be a buzzkill or anything. Also St. John’s Wort. I use Benadryl.
I have an echo in my room and I have Alexa play me different soothing playlists, like classical for sleep, while I also have an iPod docked on nice speakers that’s plays rain ambience sounds 24/7. They’re very realistic & it’s literlly been the same rain for over 7 years now. I added help from Alexa when the rain stopped being enough. She has all sorts of options, but so far, classical for sleep seems to be doing the trick. Of course, my rescue pack of critters doesn’t care, but Victor may have other ideas. Of course, he made you pee in public, so he owes you one? 🤔
I’ve worked overnights for 11 years, so I’m always up at night. During the day, if I’m having problems with anxiety beyond what my meds handle, I listen to audiobooks, particularly ones which I know well and whose narrators have a soothing voice. If I wake up, then I can get back into the story before my mind reminds me of all the embarrassing/terrifying things from my past (days, months, and years). The voice then helps me get back to sleep.
I also played games on my phone, but that’s only led to me spending money I don’t have for coins, points, crystals, energy beams, etc.
I LOVE sleep with me podcast!!!
I do math equations in my head. I’m terrible at math and trying to do all the multiplication tables, and doing weird 3294 +7289 etc usually make me so board I fall asleep.
I also take meds to sleep but they aren’t always helpful.
I listen to Pzizz (it’s an app), which has some relaxing voice guiding me into sleep, and ambient white-noisy sounds. You can even leave it on all night, but I just have it playing for about an hour, and I’m always asleep well before then.
Try Rescue Remedy Sleep….works like a charm every time
I bought blue light-blocking glasses and it helps with the screens before bed … and I’ve read Joyce Carol Oates most boring book ever (I love her but this was an early work one of her gothic series), and I’ve been taking Lavella (encapsulated lavender) for the past few months. I take amytriptiline to help me sleep but it really doesn’t do it for me without the Lavella from Amazon. And it doesn’t interfere with any of my meds because it’s lavender. Also? Lavender burps aren’t bad.
Turning off all screens an hour before going to bed. That is turning off the laptop and throwing my phone out the window, (although not literally because that would be quite expensive in the long run), then a cup of herbal tea and reading a good book before bed work very well for me.
I’m a big book nerd (Terry Pratchett for life) so I never run out of books to read.
Hope that helps.
Benedryl has been linked to Alzheimers – AVOID IT
Has anyone ever tried this?
Nothing really works, but a few things sometimes help. Podcasts that are interesting to me so they hold my attention, otherwise the anxiety weasels drown them out. History, science, and real stories are my themes. Peanut butter sandwiches used to work for me, but you have to budget the calories for that as nocturnal eating will cause unwanted pounds. Sadly, training hubby not to put any part of his body on top of mine at night.
I do this and I read that Marilyn Vos Savant (smartest woman in the world) does this too. You picture a scene from a movie that you know well and you play it over and over again in your mind. You can put yourself in the scene if you want. It sounds boring but that’s kind of the point. It engages your brain from thinking about other things but the monotony puts you to sleep.
CBD oil 1000mg made from hemp and therefore legal in all states. I vape it (usially 10 piffs) and I usually am able to sbut up those negative voices in my head and sleep.
Wearing myself out with exercise helps me a lot. I run, but any exercise will do. I also take melatonin about 1/2 an hour before bed and that works, too, because well…I sometimes skip the exercise. Don’t judge me. 😉
First of all, CLOSE the closet doors!!! How can anyone get to sleep when there are open closets? (okay, maybe that’s just me) When I have trouble falling asleep I do a counting thing – backwards from 300 by 3s. It often works. It’s when my brain wakes me up at 3am with stories and songs and won’t shut up that I have trouble with. Nothing seems to work for that.
are you familiar with Wim Hof, the iceman? He uses breathing techniques to endure subzero temps. In any case I just looked at 20 mins of one of his vids and I took away a great relaxation technique, you take a deep breath, hold it for 10 seconds (or more when you get good at it) while counting the seconds actively (this is important to focus on the breathing and counting) and then very slowly exhale until all the air is out of your lungs. Now comes the hard part… don’t breathe in for another 10 seconds (you should be sitting or lying down for this in case you faint – it’s never happened to me but I can believe it could happen) and then slowly (very slowly) take a deep breath and repeat as needed. After about 2-3 cycles I find my blood vessels relax and I get very warm and comfortable. Never fails to calm me down and lets me get to sleep. Worth a shot, eh?
Listen to Weightless by Marconi Union. It is supposed to be the most relaxing music to induce sleep. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jordanpassman/2016/11/23/the-worlds-most-relaxing-song/#37d63e012053
Listen to Weightless by Marconi Union. It is supposed to be the most relaxing music to induce sleep. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jordanpassman/2016/11/23/the-worlds-most-relaxing-song/#37d63e012053
Just watching this 1 minute video puts me to sleep – but even better, would be to find an awesome person who would do this for you… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mnhg-mbPUiI
Lavendar and Valerian Essential oils and Sea Bands. https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2017/07/10/will-acupressure-bands-help-you-fall-asleep/
I find if it takes longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep in my bed, it is best to get up and lay down somewhere else like a big comfy chair. I read something boring, or if one is on, I watch a documentary on space, like Discovery Channel’s The Universe or The Planets. I enjoy them, but the narration is always so soothing that I fall asleep. Also helps if I can convince a cat to sit on my lap. That almost always knocks me out. The key is to not get back up to go to bed when you feel like you are about to fall asleep. Just go with it and sleep in the chair (or couch or whatever).
If I am just having a problem falling asleep but it hasn’t been more than 30 minutes, sometimes I imagine each part of my body falling asleep as I carefully breath in through my nose and out through my mouth. 2 breaths per body part. ie Right foot, 2 breaths. Left foot, 2 breaths, right shin 2 breaths, left shin, 2 breaths. By the time I get to my arms I am usually asleep. It is like counting sheep, but actually works for me and has since I was a teenager (long enough ago that I don’t want to say…)
Get up, pad over to the kitchen and fix yourself a hot toddy or cocoa (a shot of whiskey is NOT optional) and grab a not-too challenging crossword puzzle.Work it until the drink is gone or you get cold. Go back to bed and try to sleep. When the alarm rings to go to work, you will find yourself incredibly sleepy.
I Mary Sue myself into fantasy worlds. NOT MY OWN WORLDS THAT I’M WRITING, that counts as work/plotting and I’m trying to escape daytime responsibilities and anxieties. Currently my favorite playtime realm is Harry Potter wherein I’m bringing the war against Voldemort to a close several years earlier than Rowling did. (Harry Schmarry, I’M THE CHOSEN ONE!)
I just got that light therapy lamp for myself. I am hoping it helps with my Seasonal Affective Disorder. I find having a night time routine that included reading before I go to bed helps to signal to my body it is time to sleep.
Valerian root shuts my brain off so I can sleep. The down side is I have to take it 30 min before bed but if I drink water that close to bed time I have to pee 50 million times…………but I easily fall back to sleep when I go back to bed.
Acupuncture. I was hugely skeptical but was desperate. It works for me!
Please do not take benzos to sleep. They will cause cognitive issues over time, including memory loss. The older you are the worse that can be. Including higher risk of dementia. And getting off them can be total hell. I know. I was on lowest dose, usually cut in half for many months. Worked great for insomnia, then the memory problems started. The withdrawals from that very low dose were insane. I only hope my memory recovers. These drugs were never supposed to be taken long term but doctors ignore that. Here is an article that rolls up a lot of the issues: https://www.cchrint.org/2016/03/08/new-research-reinforces-grim-future-for-benzodiazepine-users/
I don’t usually have any trouble sleeping #humblebrag, but when I do I create a house in my mind and categorize all of the thoughts as rooms. I then imagine I’m going from room to room closing the windows, checking the doors, and turning off the lights. This seems to help me turn off my brain and then fall asleep.
I abused painkillers & sedatives as a teen and don’t touch them anymore, so I use a routine as my first effort (I eat some meat, drink water, wait a bit, shower, lie down, refuse to get up for at least an hour, masturbate if the mood is right).
My second try is imagery (close my eyes, walk away from my location and into a forrest, I wander unhurried through the forrest towards the sound of water until I come to a small beach with a little row boat. I climb into a boat, listen to the water lapping, take the oars after a while and slowly row out into the inky darkness and away from the land. The sounds of the forrest fade away until there is only the shush of the oars and lapping water on the sides of the boat. Then I lie back and let the boat rock gently as I admire – not count – the stars).
If neither of those work and it is the fourth night in a row or I have an important day, I take an Alka Seltzer Flu nite-time because it makes the world slow down to a stop and always makes me sleep but it is only a 4 hr dose so I’m not “hung over” with sleep grogginess in the morning.
There is an app called Calm that takes you on guided meditation for any length of time you set. When my insomnia kicks in, I do about 15 minutes of this and it always helps. Parts of the app are free and parts are pay but I only do the free part (because I’m cheap in addition to not being able to sleep.)
Rescue Remedy sleep spray, read for 30 minutes, then I’m out.