Image by Claudio_Scott from Pixabay

Ok, so I may be good at some things (namely reciting Toni Collette's monologue from Hereditary at any chance I get), but one thing I'm definitely terrible at is sleeping. Not only do I have trouble falling asleep, causing me to not sleep until 4am, but I also have hypersomnia. So when I am asleep, I'm deceased for ten hours. It sucks.


So today I'm delving into the jungle that is Reddit to learn all about how to sleep better. Come along for the ride, it'll be eye-opening (or closing, if you wanna be literal). U/monkeyswingin asked:

People who fall asleep within few minutes, how do you it?

​Here we go, Sleep 101. Take notes, there will be a test at the end of this article that is 90% of your final grade.

That last tip sounds the most effective, tbh.

“Day dream like I would as a kid, get so immersed I fall asleep."

Korra123456

“The trick for me is meditation. Practice it all day every day. Don't think unless you need to, to accomplish something. Once it becomes your innate state of being, falling asleep happens in about 30 seconds. Just listen to your breath without thinking, and if you're in bed and it's dark, you'll fall asleep almost immediately.

Another way is to drink 3-4 9% IPAs starting at 5 pm."

PO0tyTng

I’m gonna try this tonight.

At Home Reaction GIF by IKEA USA Giphy

“I never used to be able to sleep through the night. I was up at 2 or 3 am for 3 hours. I read this can be due to anxiety. So I moved my sleep time from 9:30-10 to 11:30-12. So I am utterly exhausted by that time.

If I'm struggling to fall asleep, I try to re-image a dream I had another night or go through flexing each muscle and then imagining it off once flexed (starts my with each toe).”

Thats_what_I_think

Sometimes it comes from adaptation.

“I was homeless for about a year. One thing about being homeless: sleep conditions suck. I became conditioned to sleep through anything.

Now that I have a more stable life, falling asleep is a breeze.

So the trick? Homeless sleep therapy.”

Bryantmakesprong

Interesting way of putting it.

“I lay down, I sleep.

Having a fantasy (not sexual...although, of course, that does help you relax/get to sleep) to focus on definitely helps at times - but there can be times I overuse a fantasy so can't really get into it anymore, then I'm stuck without anything to focus on and my mind runs away with itself so I can't sleep."

UKKasha2020

God, I’m getting tired just reading these. Maybe I’ll have a normal sleep schedule again. Probably not, but a girl can dream.

Melatonin is the best.

Homer Simpson Coffee GIF by swerk Giphy

“No caffeine after noon, don't lay in bed unless you're going to sleep, and routine bed/wake up times

I also have medication just in case (melatonin and a real sleep aid).”

Zeliv

“I used to think caffeine didn't really do anything for me (I don't "need" a cuppa in the morning to get me going, nor do I feel any kind of rush after a drink), but I noticed that if I have coffee in the evening, I find it harder to sleep at night. It's really noticeable since I'm one of those who usually falls asleep within minutes of going to bed. So just to be safe I think it's okay to drink it earlier in the day, but not past tea time or something.”

Wolves_hunt_in_packs

Heads have a hard time shutting up at night.​

“It literally takes me on average 30-45min to fall asleep if not longer at times. This is mostly due to my head just never shutting up. I constantly daydream, fantasize, or re-live moments of the day/ week and I can't turn it off. It sucks.

I only recently started taking sleep gummies, but they only help me stay asleep not fall asleep.”

ClassyCarbine

Certain tricks work for certain people.

“Sadly there's no trick to it. I don't do any of the stuff you're supposed to - no cutting back on electronics, or only using your bed to sleep. I drink caffeinated sodas near bedtime, I'm not as active as I should be, I have anxiety, etc.

When I feel sleepiness stirring behind my eyes - I go lay in bed, put down my phone, and I'm gone in fifteen. I have random nights of fitful sleep but generally it comes easy. I also dream every night, sometimes several different ones.

I am very grateful as several close friends struggle with insomnia.”

Yokayla

​My weird sleep thing is that I fall asleep in about two seconds if I sleep on the couch, rather than the bed. Weird.

Sleep hygiene is important.

Tired Kim Kardashian GIF Giphy

“I've posted something like this before, but sleep hygiene.

I used to be a full on insomniac, laying awake in bed for hours, getting maybe a few hours of fitful sleep a night, always tired. I'm an anxious person and stuff would just run through my head all night and I couldn't stop it.

These days, I fall asleep within minutes and get restful sleep about 80% of the time.

Sleep hygiene changed my life, but fair warning, you're probably not going to like what it entails.

Start using your bed only for sleeping and sex. Don't read your phone, watch TV, play video games, etc. And start a regular bed time. It doesn't matter if for a few weeks you can't fall asleep, just get into bed at 10pm, read a book (paper or sidelit e-ink, no backlights) for 30-45 minutes, then close your eyes and lay there. Focus on your breathing, slow and deep breaths, direct your attention back to the breathing as it invariably wanders.

In general, try to avoid eating or using backlit screens (tv, computer, phone, tablet) for at least an hour before bed. Don't drink caffeinated beverages after 2pm, even if "caffeine doesn't affect you." Try to get a bit of exercise every day, even if it's light exercise like walking or doing a 7 minute HIIT workout.

If you commit to this for a month or two, doing it even when "it's not working" I bet you you'll eventually begin to sleep better.

After you're in a habit, you can break these rules for special occasions once in a while and the impact won't be as big since you're in the habit already. But at least for a month or so, be rigorous and inflexible.

If all this seems too difficult, the half-@ss version is just no backlit screens an hour before bed. Doesn't matter if you have flux or a blue light filter on or whatever. Just don't do it.

Good luck!"

Lampcouchfireplace

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Meditation always helps.

“Meditation.

It definitely did the trick for me. I used to struggle falling to sleep even someone else's light breathing would set me into a sleepless rage.

Once I got the hang of meditating I applied it to my sleep. I had a few techniques. One of them was each time I had a thought or train of thought, and came to the realisation I was having a thought I would let it go. Essentially stop thinking about it and focus on emptying my mind. Maybe I would focus on breathing or how exciting it will be to fall asleep and wake up feeling rested."

"I felt this basically broke the habit of me overthinking before sleep. Or getting too emotional from lights or sounds around me. It took quite a few weeks to get the hang of it and make it a habit but eventually I got there and started seeing results.

I also think investing in a good pillow and bed or mattress topper. I got my bed 2nd hand for $300 NZD and spent $80 NZD on a latex pillow and it totally changed the game.

Also a good stretching practice or yoga so your aches and pains don't wake you in the night."

Sorceress777

CPAPs are a life-saver.

“I managed to train myself with my new CPAP machine. It is so much quieter and comfortable than my previous machine. Mask goes on and I am usually out within 15 minutes. If I reach more than 30 minutes I get up for a little while.”

Raynethackery

Be Creative

"I don't know if it will help you but I choose a creative subject like a recent game where I'm trying to build a house or how I want to build my garden, etc. Then I just work through steps on what it would take, where they would go, etc. just avoid doing it with any actual work."

"Part of the reason people can't stop thinking about a work task while falling asleep is because they're anxious they'll forget by morning. Sleep therapists or whatever instead suggest you write that down as a short note in a journal on night stand instead and don't focus on it until the next day."

- TheMadPugly

Through the Calves...

"I have been using this trick for a few years that has not failed yet (that I'd use if i really had to sleep right then and there), which is to slowly relax all your body muscles/parts. Starting with your feet, relax your feet muscles and pretend that you no longer have feet, don't move it at all, then once you feel that your feet aren't there anymore, u move on to your calves and thighs, then hands, arms, etc. usually id fall asleep by the time i reach the calves."

- shappirand

The Game Inside

"I play a game inside my head where i imagine cleaning my room. It doesn't matter if my irl room is actually dirty or if the dream room even resembles mine, I just pick a few tasks and get to work. focusing on this keeps me from getting anxious about stuff that happened during the day, which i find is what keeps me up most often. plus it's relaxing, and i always fall asleep before i actually finish tidying."

- rthosetobaggans

Bring Tissues...

Monsters Inc Reaction GIF by filmeditor Giphy

"Cry right before going to bed."

- perpetuallyy_hungryy

Exhaust...

"Sheer exhaustion. Or illness. Otherwise, I'm wide awake for too long."

- escalatorkid37

"It's the exhaustion to me also. When I just sit at home doing nothing, I find it difficult to go to bed in the first place and when I do it's difficult to fall asleep too. When I work out during the day or have otherwise busy day, I usually fall asleep faster and the quality of sleep is much better for me as in I'm actually not tired the next day even when I've slept similar hours."

- Joulle

That's A Rap

"I wake up at 5am which helps me get tired earlier. Sexual release helps a lot whether it be real or masturbation. I turn on my side, and that's a rap. I don't have any tv on in my room either. It's dark. Probably not the answers you are looking for, but that is what happens. I tend to sleep through the night (go to bed around 10 or 10:30 and wake up at 5am)."

- 247Toughguy

AC/DC...

"To make my brain shut up at night I put in earplug headphones and put a song on repeat. Having the music playing forces my brain to shut up and just repeat the song lyrics instead. I only do this with slow sad lofi songs that really only have a few lyrics. Trying to sleep to AC/DC wouldn't work. The only bad thing is that I wake up tangled in my earplugs."

- OrphanPounder

9 to 5 Process

"I work hard so that by the end of the day I'm tired enough to pass out."

- AtomicXET

"This. If you haven't done much work that day and spend your last hours in front of a bright screen it's certain you aren't gonna get sleep. If you are exhausted the first thing you wanna so is sleep, late night internet browsing be dammed."

- poopellar

Press Play

"I just lie down and close my eyes. I'll often put a podcast on, but I rarely get past the first couple minutes without falling asleep."

- ConnivingCondor

"I fall asleep much faster with a podcast or audiobook on! Not sure why. But if I'm having a hard time sleeping I'll just play something and I'm usually asleep in minutes. Maybe it mimics being told a story to sleep when we were kids."

- Oddment0390

"For me it helps prevent my mind from wandering into anxiety territory which happens to me at times. If I get started worrying about one thing it will lead to more things to obsess about and sleep gets far away. A podcast or audiobook focuses me on that story and I have a much better chance of nodding off in a more timely fashion."

- Zinfan1

Gone...

At Home Reaction GIF by IKEA USA Giphy

"I just lay my head on the pillow and.... I'm gone."

- M4dMil0

My husband can confirm that last one. Once he has his CPAP on, he’s out. I’m lowkey jealous, I say as I sit awake at nearly 1am writing this article.

Thanks for reading, now go to sleep. You gotta be up early.

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