What do you do to fall asleep?

Dudley Bowring
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 10:34 am
Sleeping during the day would definitely affect your ability to sleep at night.
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Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 10:53 am
I don't have any caffeine after 6 pm. (I have to watch the chocolate intake in the evening too)
Then I'd suggest doing something that relaxes you before bed. Reading on the computer at night sometimes makes my head all jumpy when I try to sleep.
I read fiction. I have a little bed-time ritual. I have to read at least a few pages before bed. Kind of clears my head of my daytime thoughts.

Any kind of regular schedule during the day is helpful too.
Get up at a decent hour, doing purposful things, move your body, eat at regular intervals... you know, a "normal" schedule.

I know when I'm not working, I have to watch that I don't slip too far into my "bad" habits. ie. stay up late, eat badly, get up late, be lazy....
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 11:16 am
yeah im utterly random...

Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 11:38 am
Do people find you cryptic?
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Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 01:11 pm
Here's a thing I do sometimes; it's a relaxation technique I read about a long time ago--I don't know if I remember it completely correctly, but this is the way I do it...puts me to sleep most of the time, not always...

You just lay down flat on your back, breathe slowly and deeply, and then tighten all your muscles really tight (don't clench your jaw though--bad habit!), head to foot. Then, starting with your feet, you relax your muscles very slowly, just one area at a time. Go as slowly as you can, don't do your entire leg next, but just your calves. Then knees, then thighs. Then hips. Etc.

This sounds silly, but spend a little while at each body part, and imagine it relaxing so completely that it just kind of melts away... You have to really focus to keep the rest of your body tense and yet completely relax one small area. It takes a while to do your whole body, so a lot of times I start drifting off as I'm doing it. I do it twice if I need to... It helps because you let out a lot more of your muscle tension when you've just had them tensed, because you can feel the contrast so clearly, if that makes sense. My favorite part is feeling the muscles in my hands and face feels relax, that really eases a lot of tension.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 01:40 pm
I've been lucky most of my life, and sleep at least eight hours every night. Once in a blue moon, I get up about 3AM, and can't get back to sleep, so I'll go in the family room to watch TV for an hour or so.

I like to work in my garden for my "regular" excercise, but do most of my walking when I'm on a trip.
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Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 02:06 pm
Sleep isn't an issue with me since I walk with the undead.
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Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 02:42 pm
I think others have mentioned getting physical activity and yea, it worked real well for me. I used to have trouble sleeping but started making exercise a priority and fit it into my days however I could.

I no longer have any trouble and have never slept better honestly, and this is over years now I’ve been making it routine. Plus you get yourself into shape and it ends up making your brain function better along with your body " more oxygen. It’s an all around win.

Being in better shape equals better sex too which could also help you sleep more, or at least it can, and well… it can’t hurt regardless!
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 04:38 pm
A lot of people have already mentioned many of these things, but here's a list, anyway, of things that can help promote better sleep.


I think a set bedtime routine can help. Try to go to bed at the same time every night. Take a warm shower or bath before bed, if that will help you unwind. A glass of warm milk can really help to promote sleep. Reading in bed will generally help me to become drowsy. Sometimes I will take melatonin, and my doctor told me it is safe as long as I don't take it nightly for more than three weeks.

Since you are under stress, it's important to clear your mind so you can fall asleep. I often use imagery to turn my mind off. When I'm ready to nod off, I close my eyes and I imagine I am alone on a beautiful beach, in the warm sun, with a gentle breeze blowing. I really try to feel the warmth of the sun and the breeze against my skin. If thoughts come into my mind, I imagine them washing out with the waves. I try to concentrate on feeling physically comfortable and relaxed, while making my mind as blank as possible. Sometimes I will imagine I am swimming underwater, near the bottom of the sea, and observing colorful fish swimming by me. I concentrate on the feeling of swimming and what I am observing, and I don't think about anything else. You can use imagery to put yourself into any situation which might be relaxing for you, and then enjoy being there and not thinking about anything else.

If I can't fall alseep in 10 or 15 minutes, and I start feeling upset about still being awake, I get out of bed. Either I will sit in a chair and read or watch TV, or I will go on my computer. On the computer I'll generally read something like the NY Times until I start feeling tired or sleepy. Sometimes I'll come to A2K and play the trivia games, or, I'll go to a game site and play something like Text Twist or Bookworm until I begin feeling tired enough to try getting back into bed. I don't do anything that really requires a lot of mental energy or is likely to make me feel more awake. But I do things which are mildly distracting if something is bothering me and keeping me from falling asleep (in my case, it's usually back pain). When I get back in bed, I might listen to some relaxing music, or I might put something on the TV that I really don't have to pay attention to--like CNN, or some other cable news station. I sleep better with some background noise, so I generally leave my TV on all night, but tuned to a station I can basically ignore and I keep the sound relatively low. But, don't stay in bed tossing and turning, if you can't sleep. Get out of bed and do something else--but something that will help get you ready for sleep.

Try to get yourself on schedules during the day. Eat properly and regularly. Go walking around all the small shopping centers and business areas you can find for some exercise and to see if anyone has help wanted signs in their window. As bad as the job market is, I regularly pass stores and businesses and restaurants that have signs up looking for help. Consider doing volunteer work at an animal shelter, if you like working with animals. You might not get a salary out of it, but you might wind up with a reference to help you get a paid job, and it's better to be busy while you are unemployed. Your local library might also need a volunteer.

Good luck with everything. I hope you find a job soon because that will certainly reduce your stress level. But, getting better organized and less "random" about things will also help you feel better. Get control over those things you can control.

Insomnia is miserable. I think we can all commiserate with you about that. I really hope that some of the tips you've gotten will help you.
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Reply Fri 22 Aug, 2008 08:44 pm
Sleeping (as I am about to go ...) -- I do what has worked for me since I was a wee lil jes. I tell myself a story.

Nothing too exciting. Just people did this or that, went here or there. Nothing violent, nothing screaming. Beach trips. Friends meeting for coffee. Giving a horse an apple. Photographing Venice. Peaceful little things like that. I write and I do work out scenes (they have to be calm ones) before I go to sleep. I often find myself waking up with new ideas and tangents for writing, so that's a very enjoyable side effect of it.

Very often the story is maybe two sentences long and I'm asleep. But I do need it; I find if I can't get to sleep it's because either my story is too fascinating or fast-paced, or I just need to tell myself a little more of it. Smile
Reply Fri 22 Aug, 2008 11:00 pm
ive been takin 4 melatonin pills and 4 nightime advils or someshit if i stay up past like 2 am, it worked now i have to get up at 3 in the morning for work. yay HAHA.. rigth after i got on schedule.

oh yeh im doin construction so ill be mighty tired no need for slepe aids hoohaa hooray
Reply Sat 23 Aug, 2008 05:56 pm
Physical activity should help, long as it isn't too close to sleepy time. When I started lifting weights, I found that if I did it within an hour of bedtime, I could not sleep.
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