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How to Sleep Well at Night

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  • How to Sleep Well at Night

    Do you struggle with insomnia? Staying up late to post on TI is one thing, but when it's the middle of the night and you're not awake by choice, it's no fun. Not getting enough sleep can really make your daytime hours a bummer, and even keep you from thinking clearly at your job or at school.

    As a long-time insomniac, I've read lots and lots of articles about how to get to sleep and stay asleep. There's way too much advice out there to wade through, so I've boiled down what I've read to a few tips that really work for me and for other people I know.
    • Go to bed at the same time every night, whether you're tired or not. If you do this consistently for a few weeks, your body and your circadian rhythms will start to adjust, and you'll start to feel sleepy around your bedtime. This doesn't mean you have to lie awake in bed for hours when you first start out; you can certainly do something non-stimulating like reading in bed. See tips below for more advice about what's helpful to do before bed.
    • Before you go to bed, do something kind of boring for about 30 minutes. Watch a TV show, read a book that's not very challenging, listen to some music. The idea is to calm your mind down before you get into bed, so you don't lie awake thinking with your mind racing.
    • Try to avoid using any device with a backlit screen just before you go to bed. Research has shown that filling your vision with bright light "tricks" your brain into thinking it's daytime, and inhibits the release of natural hormones that induce sleep. From personal experience, I think this is probably true. So avoid laptops, tablet computers, and handheld game consoles just before bed. If you like to read before bed, read a paper book or use an e-reader with an e-ink display.
    • Don't eat just before you go to bed. Eating a meal kicks your metabolism into high gear for an hour or two, making it hard to fall asleep.
    • Get as much exercise as you can during the day. The more energy you use during the day, the better you'll sleep at night. Even if you work at a desk all day, taking a walk at lunchtime or after work can help. Going to the gym is even better.
    • If you're a light sleeper, and noises wake you up in the middle of the night, invest in a white noise machine (easily found with Google for $30 or so). You can also get white noise apps for various portable devices. It takes a few nights to get used to, but it can really mask outside noise and noise from adjoining apartments.

    All of these things have helped me sleep better at night. I hope they help you too. If you're a fellow insomniac, please post some things that have worked for you!

  • #2
    "Watch a TV show"

    I would advise against this. Kind of collides with the brightness thing for one. It also keeps your brain going. I find reading to be much better for falling asleep.

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    • #3
      get medicated, that is the best way to sleep, if you guys are down with the 420

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      • #4
        I also researched about this quite a bit, I'll add a few points.

        • Do not use your bed for anything other then sex and sleep. it's not a cloths hanger, not a table, not a couch etc.
        • Falling asleep with the TV on is not recommended, it makes you dependent on it, it also puts you in passive zombie mode which is unwanted if you want to fall asleep fast and rest.
        • You should sleep in complete darkness some important hormones (Melatonin) are released only when the body is asleep and no light reach the skin. These hormones are key to having well rested sleep and important for your systems.
        • A proper form and comfort is also important, try different pillows that suit your sleeping habits, if you sleep mostly on your back, get a low pillow or no pillow at all, if you're sleeping on the side, get a higher pillow that will support your neck.
        • Room temperature, we can be a in a good mental state only in temperatures ranging between 20-25 C, if you can't heat or cool your room properly, at least cover your self with enough blankets and warm clothing.
        • If you can't fall asleep don't jump on the computer and have fun on the internet! Get your mind to learn that if it won't fall asleep it won't get any positive stimuli instead do some boring repetitive task like cleaning or reading a book.
        • There are a few sound tracks out there that were designed to help you fall asleep and sort of hypnotize you to sleep, Dr. Jeffrey Thompson has a few discs which can be found easily. There's also White/pink noise, Delta wave, nature sounds such as rain, fire, jungle etc. These should be listened to with headphones for full effect.
        • You want to get your body used to going to sleep and waking up at the same time everyday, even on your day off.
        • Go to the toilet before going to bed even if you don't feel you need to.
        • Count backwards from 300, try to sync your breathing with the slow count.
        • Try not to eat at least 3 hours before going to sleep and even more would be better. Try not to eat any of the following during the evening: dairy products, any kind of meat and green vegetables as those are hard for our body to digest.
        • Do not do any strenuous activity such as working out right before going to sleep, it will kick start all of your systems, making you hungry, more awake and alert and less tired. Work out during the day.




        Dr. Mercola:


        Might edit more points in the future.

        Thanks Himanlickman.

        Future Edit #1:
        • I find ear plugs to help a lot, I had hard time falling asleep with all the noises in the night (computer fans, footsteps, etc). I tried Hearos and OHROPAX, I find the latter to be better and each pair last longer but it's also more expensive.
        • There are countless herbal formulas you can take in pills or liquid, Valerian, passion fruit, Kava Kava and more combinations, in my experience they only make your body tired but don't affect your mind so they won't help if your really anxious. I also read that vitamin D and magnesium can help with falling asleep and staying asleep, I haven't tried that yet.
        • If you didn't move much during the day, don't expect to fall asleep easily, so do more activity like walking more and taking the stairs instead of the elevator .
        Last edited by LabChimp; October 12, 2012, 01:50 PM.
        九死一生を得る

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Himanlickman View Post
          "Watch a TV show"

          I would advise against this. Kind of collides with the brightness thing for one. It also keeps your brain going. I find reading to be much better for falling asleep.
          Yeah, good point. It works for me if I watch something boring, but I do sit pretty far away from the TV.

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          • #6
            Here is something that will work:

            AVOID WATCHING PORN BEFORE SLEEPING
            That's just from my own experience :-D
            Last edited by horses_ftw; January 16, 2012, 09:16 PM.

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            • #7
              Visualize you are drifting through space and forget about everything else. It's dark everywhere, there are little stars around you. Do that and you will fall asleep. Works for me.
              sigpic

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              • #8
                Originally posted by LibChamp View Post
                • You should sleep in complete darkness some important hormones (I don't remember their name right now) are released only when the body is asleep and no light reach the skin. These hormones are key to having well rested sleep and important for your systems.
                The name of the hormone is melatonin. Its release is suppressed by light, and helped on by darkness. You can also take melatonin pills, I haven't heard of any side effects from it. Valerian root can also help you fall asleep.

                Also, I would caution against this as it is addictive, and you gain a tolerance FAST, but Benadryl is the best if you really really need to fall asleep. Just take one, and you should be out like a light within 30 min with very few side effects (dry mouth in the morning). The problem is that after 2 days of consecutive use, it doesn't work as well anymore, and that's when people take more to get the same effect, and get addicted.

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                • #9
                  take a shot of two of your favorite liquor and watch a shopping channel

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                  • #10
                    I just take drugs and BAM!

                    Knocked out until tomorrow morning :)

                    Have Fun!

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                    • #11
                      work out 30 mins before you got to sleep, works for me everytime.

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                      • #12
                        I read somewhere that a glass of warm milk before bed will help you fall asleep. Has something to do with a chemical in milk that your body doesn't make, that helps your body make niacin. Which is a B level vitamin that helps your body relax.

                        Now all that might not be spot on as I was pulling it from memory. But it has helped me get to sleep many a time.

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                        • #13
                          One of the very best things to do before bed is take a magnesium supplement. Optimally in powder form mixed with water or warm milk. I personally use magnesium citrate but there are various forms.

                          Magnesium is the mineral of relaxation and stress-relief along with numerous important biochemical reactions.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by panamangix View Post
                            work out 30 mins before you got to sleep, works for me everytime.
                            Good call. What kind of workout do you do? Cardio?

                            ---------- Post added at 08:43 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:37 AM ----------

                            Originally posted by konVILEuted View Post
                            One of the very best things to do before bed is take a magnesium supplement. Optimally in powder form mixed with water or warm milk. I personally use magnesium citrate but there are various forms.

                            Magnesium is the mineral of relaxation and stress-relief along with numerous important biochemical reactions.
                            Magnesium citrate is also a fast-acting laxative if you take a large dose. Don't overdo it!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by panamangix View Post
                              work out 30 mins before you got to sleep, works for me everytime.
                              That's just crazy IMO. Working out increases metabolism. That will not help definitely.
                              sigpic

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