I’ve really been struggling with sleep my entire life.
And thought that I’d heard just about every piece of advice on sleeplessness there was.
Until I found this post on Reddit.
Now I’ve got a whole new patch of things to try! Let’s dive in, shall we?
1. Create a scenario
A tactic I use is to close my eyes and imagine a scenario or fantasy that I have.
Most of the time it’s s**t like what I would do if I had the power to control time and who I’d f**k over with it. Or I’d think up other scenarios like how I’d rob a bank n s**t. Once you get into it you end up falling asleep.
Somehow, reading is both really effective at quieting my mind, and making me feel semi-rested.
I’ve read until like 3 and woke up at 9 feeling better than if I got a solid 7-8 hours of sleep.
3. Wear yourself out
Usually when I can’t sleep it’s because I’m not exhausted enough and my anxiety is acting up.
I usually up doing, sit ups and push ups until I’m tired enough to sleep
4. The alphabet game
Go down the alphabet and for every letter, think of 3 words, any words, that begin with that letter.
1 word per breath. I’ve never gotten to the end.
5. The hand trick
I might have a technic that can help you out without taking any medication.
when having a hard time sleeping, I place my hand on top of my forehead with my hand facing the ceiling.
This sounds weird but it works for me and I don’t know why.
6. Have a nice listen
Listen to an Audiobook or podcast.
Not the best thing to do, but i find that it makes good use of my time while simultaneously letting me rest my eyes.
When i read a book at night, my eyes are still straining and the light source does not let me sleep for longer. But audiobooks let me turn off the light and close my eyes, i usually fall asleep within half an hour. just remember to set the sleep timer on the audiobook app though!
7. Pick a spot
Keep your eyes fixed (in the dark) on one spot, don’t blind for as long as you can and don’t move for as long as you can.
If you blink start over. Eventually it will be so hard to keep them open and boom your out!
8. Pretend you’re already asleep
Well you generally can’t sleep without pretending to be asleep so I usually slow my breathing (which slows heart rate) to they same sort of rhythm when you’re half asleep or just waking up.
Or if I’m overthinking life I put on some music so I’m focusing on that rather than whatever thoughts are keeping me awake.
9. Imagine a rock
I lay in bed and imagine a rock. Like a boulder. And i completely remove any form of movement from my thought.
Just a rock. Nothing else. And bam. Out like a light. Learners this trick from a friend I have in the army. Said he could sleep anywhere in mere minutes.
Works for me everytime.
10. Find relaxing noises
I put on my AirPods on and play “relaxing rain sounds for deep sleep” on Spotify.
Basically sounds of rain pouring and gentle thunders in between. Does the job
11. Do some math
Do multiplication in my head- sounds insane but that’s what I always was told to do as a kid.
My parents are math people and told us that doing double-digit multiplication would bore us to sleep. Surprisingly it works!
12. A nice cuppa tea
I usually have a cup of chamomile tea an hour or two before sleeping.
I also turn down the brightness on my phone and have night light at night. Then i meditate for 10 or 15 mins before sleeping , works like a charm every night.
I also don’t drink caffeine at all
13. Just breathe
Concentrate on breath. When ever I start to think about something else I think NO and go back to just concentrating about breathing.
I used to have fantasies about all kinds off stuff but that would keep me awake.
14. Count to 100
I count from hundred to one.
If that doesn’t work, I think of a verb, noun and an adjective for every alphabet. And if that doesn’t work I just give up and stay awake until the ripe hour of 4 am.
15. Find your cold
Usually I sweat in bed in the summer (like now in North america) I usually roll to the very edge of my bed where nothing touches and most of the time, it’s cold.
I wait there until my base point on the bed has the same cool feeling
16. Go do something else
My doctor once told me if you can’t sleep and you’ve been trying for an hour get up and do something else then go back to bed.
17. Count the time
Count the exact amount of time I have left until I have to get up. Goes like this:
“OK, its 3:29 am. I have to get up at 7. If I fall asleep in the next 5 minutes I can get 3 hours and 26 minutes of sleep!”
I don’t recommend it
I like to write stories, so I imagine the whole thing in my head- I’ve been doing so since I was 6.
It’s the same story too! It just evolves with new characters, places etc.
19. Deep breathing
Take a deep breath, hold it for about 5-8 seconds, then slowly let it out.
As I breath out, I relax all of my muscles and feel my body sink into my bed. I do this 3-5 times to fully relax. If that does not work, the eventually, I will get up and watch tv for a bit till I am extremely tired.
20. Count backwards
I count backwards from 300 by threes. 300, 297, 294… It helps occupy your mind just enough to keep your thoughts from wandering, but it’s mundane enough to not make you more awake.
I’ve been using this trick for years and I’ve only reached the end a couple of times. It also helps to start with a different number every now and then so you don’t get too used to the sequence.
21. Do a mental walk-through
I mentally walk through something that is calming. In my case, that is flying a plane.
In my mind, I walk out to the plane, carrying my flight bag. As I get to the plane, I set down my flight bag, unlock the door, climb up, put the key on the dash, enable the battery, set the basic lights, and then climb down and start the walk-around.
After that, I get my kneeboard out, put the flight bag in the back, climb back up, turn off the lights, and start the preflight checklist. After that, I open the window, shout, “CLEAR!”, and start the engine. Then, I request permission to taxi to the runway, taxi over to run-up, check the engines, taxi in line, request takeoff clearance, and head into the skies.
Much of this is theoretical, as I rarely make it through the entire preflight checklist. Flying a plane is the most calming thing I know.
22. Imagine a scenario
I try to imagine myself in a scenario but with like super specific rules to keep myself thinking I mostly think of a super power I’d want and then give it a nerf or weakness and try to work around it.
I also think whether it would be used for combative purposes or if I’d just have a power to go with my everyday life. This usually keeps me busy till I fall asleep.
23. Let your brain wander
During the day I have to try hard to keep my brain from thinking about random things and getting wildly off topic. But at night, I just stop trying to control my train of thought and eventually I fall asleep. Its kinda like removing a barrier and letting myself finally relax.
Allowing my brain to wander like that is very relaxing. But if I do it during the day, it usually makes things crazy and hectic for a minute or two while I focus on getting my train of thought back on topic.
Sometimes I catch myself starting random conversations because I already rationalized them in my head and I always find it so funny
24. Get cold
Take off all the covers and then I eventually get cold.
Once I get under the warm sheets again it feels really nice and it makes me sleepy.
That mixed with a good sleeping position is key.
25. Do some stargazing
I go outside and stargaze a bit, maybe take a couple (edit: Melatonin not melanin oops!) gummies or browse reddit every so often/think about the work i’m procrastinating on.
26. Fix on a point
I pick an object in my room, like the lamp or door handle, and stare really intensely at it while consciously making sure my eyes are fully open.
After a few minutes, it becomes impossible to keep my eyes open and I fall asleep
27. The usual routine
Nothing effective. Pick up and put down my phone every 5 minutes.
Check the time, count the amount of sleep I’ll actually get if I fall asleep “now”, scroll useless social media, think about how tired I’ll be tomorrow. Roll around, flip pillows, pee every hour.
28. The 4-7-8 breathing method
I use the 4-7-8 breathing method, normally gets me to sleep after like a few minutes
Just breath in through the mouth for 4 seconds
Hold for 7 Seconds
Breath out through the nose for 8 seconds
29. Read the Economist
That magazine is basically printed Valium.
Just find an article about monetary policy in Moldova and see how long you can stay awake.
30. The sleep aid song
I’m in the process of conditioning myself to fall asleep to a specific soothing, “sleep aid” song.
I went through a million of them to pick one and every time I know I can fall asleep, I put it on. I’m starting to fall asleep faster and faster, although sometimes I have to start the song over if my mind was too busy when I first started, but once it calms down more, starting over helps me get back into the zen space.
I could give most of those a try!
What about you? Do you have any sleep tips?
Let us know what they are in the comments.