What do you do when you can't sleep?

Associate
Joined
14 May 2010
Posts
1,133
Location
Somerset
If my mind is racing and so I can't sleep I follow what someone recommended to me years ago which is to focus on the end of your nose. That is surprisingly effective for me.

You could also follow the steps the millary recommended (allegedly) - https://www.joe.co.uk/news/sleeping-tricks-197402

One: Relax the muscles in your face, including your tongue, jaw, and the muscles around your eyes.

Two: Drop your shoulders as low as they’ll go. Then relax your upper and lower arm on one side, and then the other.

Three: Breathe out, and relax your chest.

Four: Finally, relax your legs, first thighs and then calves.

So what comes next? Well, after ten seconds more of trying to clear your mind, Lloyd Bud Winter (the book's author) suggests that you picture one of the following three mental images:

Lying in a canoe on a calm lake, nothing but blue sky above you.

Snuggled in a black velvet hammock in a pitch-black room.

Saying “don’t think, don’t think, don’t think” over and over for ten seconds.
 
Associate
Joined
20 Nov 2016
Posts
734
Face the same, not alone.
Generally Sunday nights are worse when I start dwelling on work and the anxiety that brings keeps me up.
 
Man of Honour
Joined
5 Dec 2003
Posts
20,347
Location
Just to the left of my PC
Something I've sometimes found useful is to consciously try to relax my body in parts while thinking only of that. Literally lying there thinking "I am relaxing my head" 4 times, then "I am relaxing my neck", etc. A key point being thinking only of that. Or smaller parts, e.g. "front of my neck" followed by "back of my neck". But not thinking about anything else, at all. Not even thinking about sleeping. Just the phrase, overwriting any other thoughts. If that doesn't work by the time I've done it for my whole body twice, I get up. Lying in bed not sleeping does me no good.

Also possibly useful:

A sleep mask/travel mask/whatever you call it. Anything you can sleep in that blocks light to your eyes.
Ear plugs. I use 3M 1100, bought in bulk from Amazon. They're about 10p a pair. If I have to be up at a specific time, I only use one. I sleep on my side with a plug in the ear that's not on the pillow. That's in case 2 earplugs is enough to muffle my alarm enough for me to sleep through it.
Drink enough water throughout the day.
Pee last thing before going to bed.
Buy the best mattress you can afford. The best one for you. Ideally try some and see which you like best.
Get the bedding right for you. It's a Goldilocks thing - not too hot, not too cold.
Get the pillow(s) right for you.
More physical exercise during the day.
 
Soldato
Joined
11 Jun 2015
Posts
8,579
Location
Bristol
I take the easy way out and take sleeping tablets. Had to buy a box on Monday as I'm going through a self inflicted period where I can't sleep (exercise makes little difference atm)
 
Soldato
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
2,595
Location
Royston, Herts
Sleep hypnosis tracks from Amazon help my wife. "Sleep hypnosis" by Positive Life Therapy Limited, for example.
They may sound odd, especially the way in which the narrator breaks sentences sometimes, but that's part of it. My wife finds them very effective and they're quite restful.
 
Caporegime
Joined
17 Feb 2006
Posts
28,680
Location
Cornwall
Positive Life Therapy Limited
hippies-hippies-everywhere.jpg


:p
 
Soldato
Joined
5 Aug 2013
Posts
5,592
Location
Shropshire
I have just taken a sleeping pill and a few others - They work for one night -Doc will only give me 4 pills for 4 weeks - so 4 good sleeps.
When I was younger I could throw it off but now it wrecks me.
Long term sleep deprivation is a killer - I just feel worn out all the time.
 
Soldato
Joined
11 Jun 2015
Posts
8,579
Location
Bristol
Where are you buying sleeping pills? Or do you mean stuff like Kalms?

Things like Nytol - but not the herbal one. I bought some 50mg Morrisons own brand ones and they allowed me to sleep throughout the night without waking up every other hour. I would've preferred something harder but they've done the trick
 
Man of Honour
Joined
13 Oct 2006
Posts
83,061
I think one issue with insomnia is that it is poorly recognised (partly due to it being inconvenient to recognise that) that not everyone can sleep a pattern that fits in with society and some people don't even realise/recognise that themselves and persist, maybe because they don't have a lot of option or don't want to live other patterns, with trying to sleep around the 9-5 which just wrecks their sleeping pattern - some people no matter how hard they try will never sleep well around a "normal" sleeping cycle.

I naturally sleep well around a 3am to 11am pattern, though I'm more productive if I'm in a pattern that wakes around 5am and if forced to conform to sleeping around 9-5 I never sleep well - I don't really suffer from insomnia but will get individual nights I can't sleep until around 1-2 hours before I have to get up - and end up with days/nights like now where I'm all over the place sleeping wise until I fall back into a pattern and the knock on effect of that - no energy, mind not clear, short term memory so-so, etc. (struggling to even put a sentence together which makes sense).
 
Caporegime
Joined
20 Oct 2004
Posts
25,604
Location
....
I went on sleeping tablets for the docs, after suffering for a good year of sleep issues. Probably the worst year of my life, trying to do the 4th 12 hour shift in the heat and having slept 3-4 hours in total is awful.

I tried everything, most of the time I'd force myself to have an awful sleep just so I could have a good one the next day. It's finally sorted, through ages of forcing good sleep habits. The only real advice I can give, is not to spend time trying to sleep - just do something.
 
Soldato
Joined
17 Nov 2003
Posts
4,448
Location
St Breward Cornwall
Out like a light sometimes like last night 9.15 pm read kindle for 2 mins and boom I'm off, but up at 5am do my Internet, Netflix then, before 8am work. I think a physical job as opposed to a pen pusher helps.
 
Man of Honour
Joined
13 Oct 2006
Posts
83,061
Out like a light sometimes like last night 9.15 pm read kindle for 2 mins and boom I'm off, but up at 5am do my Internet, Netflix then, before 8am work. I think a physical job as opposed to a pen pusher helps.

One of my sisters was like that (probably still is) - 9:15pm on the dot out like a light, 5am wakes up ready to go like flicking a switch.
 
Associate
Joined
30 Apr 2017
Posts
147
Listen to an alan watts talk. His voice is so soothing but if you still can't fall asleep then at least it will be interesting.
 
Top Bottom