How To Sleep… For Insomniacs

Everybody will have a hard time getting to sleep every once in a while. Those who suffer from insomnia (which is a symptom of various illnesses) will probably have an even harder time sleeping, and as I suffer from depression I know what it is like staying up all night for many reasons. Sleep is natural, but there are certain things you can do to make it easier for you to get to sleep.

Tips To Get To Sleep:
– Get up earlier in the morning
– Exercise during the day but not shortly before going to sleep
– Do not take naps (especially after 4pm)
– Do not have a large meal shortly before going to sleep
– Do not drink caffeine (coffee, tea, coke, etc.) in the evening or at night
– Make sure your bed is comfortable
– Make sure your room is not too hot or cold, and turn off the lights
– Do relaxation exercises before going to bed

The tips are from “Understanding Depression” by Dr Kwame McKenzie and was published in association with the British Medical Association, so they are from the experts and are very likely to work. There are even more in the book, some of these tips are common sense and you can figure out that they will work.

For those who dream of sleeping...

For those who dream of sleeping…

I thought one idea mentioned in the book was particularly useful. If you cannot get to sleep for half an hour or wake up and have trouble getting back to sleep, you should get up and do an activity. Do not do anything intense, reading a book or watching TV is fine. Just laying in your bed could make the situation worse, while occupying the mind will use up some energy and help you get to sleep. I woke up at 2am this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep, I started playing a game on my phone and just fell asleep while playing (the game wasn’t boring)!

This would be the end of my post but I realise I haven’t released a poem in a while so I’ll just leave a related poem for those who are interested to read.

One Night Sleep
I burst alive at stroke of midnight,
Move around without the light,
Work, eat and play throughout the day,
But tonight I struggle to dream away.

Brain overflows and mind too full,
Wrapped in my blanket, silk and wool,
Why can’t I sleep for just an hour,
I don’t think I possess the power.

Every night it seems the same,
Rest my head is the impossible aim,
But when I decide to just give in,
I’m as quiet as I’ve ever been.

And that’s everything. There are certainly more ways which can help you get to sleep that I did not mention in this post. Do you have your own little secret to help you sleep? Share in the comments.

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8 thoughts on “How To Sleep… For Insomniacs

  1. Depressionless,

    i am inspired by your change. keep it up!

    another thing i heard is to set a sleep and wake time.

    • go to sleep at the appointed time.
    • use your half hour rule; if you can’t get to sleep, get up and due “light duty” until tired.
    • if you wake up during the night, apply the half hour rule. then get up at the appointed wake time.
    • to get this to work at all, no nap times; they just screw up the sleep cycle.

    I used this one time when i found myself waking at 4:00 in the morning. I had myself switch back over to a sleep pattern i could work with in a little over a week.

    oh, another thing, use your bed for sleep only. As i write this from my bed, i have to wonder if this is contributing to the screwed up sleep pattern i currently find myself in. :^)

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  2. Do you do any “relaxation exercises”? Because I suck at relaxing at night before bed and I can never seem to force myself to do anything traditionally relaxing, like meditation. Searching for new ideas.

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    • Have you looked up deep/progressive muscle relaxation? It’s basically tensing specific muscles then relaxing them, so you can teach yourself to relax them at any time. It takes practice. I know it’s been recommended to people with anxiety but it can help anyone relax. I actually prefer meditation though 🙂

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  3. I learn meditation 30 years ago. Otherwise I would of never slept. My mind is too active. I must shut down to find peace. Your advice is very good. Now I drink herbal tea before sleep. Calm the body and the mind. Coffee is my downfall.

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