I can help you sleep. I am dead serious. It’s
a trick some tricks I use, and I am confident it will work for you. Forget about ‘counting sheep’. Never worked. What I need is a way to turn off my brain. I need to bore myself to sleep. If you are over 40, odds are you have trouble sleeping. If I cared to research it… and I just might… I would be able to tell you that 50 million Americans have trouble sleeping. I bet that isn’t far off.
I give my brain fun and meaningless exercises. For me, I use music arcana. An example is, I will lay in bed and name early Bob Dylan songs by alphabet. I can’t go on until I find one for that letter. So, it would go like this.
- All along the watchtower
- Bob Dylan’s blues
- Chimes of Freedom
Etc etc etc. I can do the same with a lot of bands. Pearl Jam
- Can’t find
- Dead man walking
Obviously, music is my jam. You can do this with artists, or sports teams. Then, I might do bands. But, it has to be harder than that, of course. So… maybe bands by alphabet that I do not like, and do not own a CD of. Let’s start later in the alphabet
J. Joan Jett (ok, I dig her, but have no CDs)
k. the Kings of Leon
n. ok… I am stuck here. Wait… I got it! Nada Surf
p. pet shop boys
q. queen (ok, I dig them, but have no Cds of them)
r. Rise against
try it, it works. If it does, just share this with someone… and tell us your story in comments. When band or song ideas run out, I think of something super tedious. Like, making a complicated dish. start with the grocery list, and think if we have some of these things. Trust me, you will literally bore yourself to sleep!
A bonus trick I use is from yoga. Once you are in bed, comfy, lights are down… concentrate on your body. From tip to tip, think about it, feel it… is it the most comfortable it can be. I know this works for me because in college I took yoga (which I love, but back then it was just for ogling girls) and they would end each session with us laying down on a matt. They would dim the lights and the instructor would go through this ritual. I would fall asleep every time!
*** update 3.29.19
I have found something new that far surpasses ALL of this above. It’s a weighted blanket. It has changed my sleeping life. To my knowledge, it is a relatively new phenom. We started light, 15 pounds. It cost about $80. It’s fairly small, in that it doesn’t cover the wifey and I, though I am sure they make larger. I now sleep through the night, and fall asleep much faster. In anticipation of getting it after we ordered it (amazon, of course. Who the hell wants to carry a 15 pound blanket around a store?) I figured it would have 1 of 2 likely effects. It would either feel like I am gently tucked in and hugged carefully all night. OR… it would be a claustrophobic nightmare of being gently strangled all night. It was the first, for sure. I can’t say enough good things about my weighted blanket.
I am not providing a link to what i got because this isn’t a product endorsement. Plus, I don’t remember who made ours. Wifey ordered it. I am sure its in my order history, though. If you want to know, leave a comment and I will gladly share their information. It has been such a game changer that I don’t mind throwing them some business.
*** update 7/2019
Another piece to the puzzle. A good alarm clock. I have a cell phone, I don’t use it as an alarm. I have an alarm clock and it is amazing. It isn’t ‘smart’, it isn’t blutooth, it isn’t a charging station. It is just an alarm clock, with some AMAZING attributes. I have a cell phone, of course, but it isn’t my clock or alarm clock. I don’t think it should be.
It gets the time from the power grid. If the power goes out, it resets itself (and your alarm) to the correct time. It does two alarms. But the BEST part about it? It is a few settings of dimmable, but one of them turns the clock completely off until a motion sensor turns it back on. Here is why that is a livesaver. When you can’t sleep, you get up in your head about how much time is left until getting up. Midnight? Fine, plenty of time to sleep. 3 am? This is going to be a crunch, but I can get by on 4 hours. 5 am? Aw crap, why even try and sleep.
With the clock time light off, you can’t see any of that. As a result, if I wake up… its dark. That is all I need to know. Dark is good, it means I have more time to sleep. I am going back to sleep. If you need to know the time, though, you can wave your hands in front of it and it will light up the time for about 15 seconds. Mine is made by Emerson. I can’t give you the model number because I don’t know it. I also couldn’t find it on their website. Mine is a few years old, but I LOVE it. If you are curious, shoot me a line and I will look on the clock and find the model number for you. Everything I found on their website is too smart and too dialed in to things.
What the clock with no face tells me is “who cares if it is 1 am or 6 am. The alarm didn’t go off, so just go back to sleep.”
Yes, I am high maintenance for sleep. special alarm clock, weighted blanket, OTC supplements (melatonin and CoQ 10)… but it works!