Getting *to* Sleep
Just looking for some advice here.
Sometimes when I take myself to bed, around 10pm I find it really hard to get to sleep.
My mind will just "switch on" and start thinking about all sorts of crap.
My training is great, my diet is Paleo. I take fish oil, vitamin d and dont drink coffee. (though I do drink Green Tea - but not after 4pm)
Sometimes on Saturday nights, I might stay up late with mates playing poker or just being out n about. But thats just once a week if that.
Any help appreciated.
I find magnesium helpful.
Try not to think that you have to go to sleep. Just watch your thoughts play out as they will without trying to control them. You may soon lose that sense of control, and then you will slip into a dream.
Do you feel tired when you are going to bed around 10 pm? Try journaling for just 10-15 minutes a night. Write down all your current thoughts and when you run out of stuff to write then try and fall asleep.
And, make sure you have a pitch black room!
ah - the 'thought beetles'. Instead of letting your thoughts wander - try to direct them along a certain path. I have a set of stories I work through. Don't let yourself get distracted (easier said than done) and before you know it you'll be out. For me, the trick is to keep the mind busy, but not allow it to get too stimulated.
I've had problems getting to sleep in the past, but I seem to have mostly got that under control these days. It seems for me that my lack of sleep comes down to only a few causes, either excess caffeine too late in the day, the really bad tinnitus that I suffer from, or from stress. When I'm stressed about things, I get like the OP, I have the same thoughts going around and around in my mind, which effectively kills any sleep I might get.
I've come up with a few strategies to cope with this over the years. Caffeine's the easiest, as I try not to have any after mid afternoon. The tinnitus I manage by masking with other sounds. I have a couple of iPhone apps which I use to play various natural sounds (rain, storms, rivers or waves) as I'm drifting off to sleep. I also use this as a way to cope with the circular thoughts when I'm stressed out.
If I'm struggling to clear my mind, I'll simply lie back, and visualise myself in a scene that matches the sounds I'm currently listening to. I seem to be listening to rain a lot these days, so I'll typically imagine that I'm lying back in a tent in one of my favourite bushwalking destinations. I'll normally try and imagine the location as accurately as I can, and it seems that most times I'm asleep before I'm even half way done.
On top of the other advice, I would experiment a bit. Eliminate tea for a few days to prove the caffeine (although it's not much) is not part of the problem. I am sensitive to it and if I have two teas rather than one in the morning it sometimes affects my sleep.
My other recommendation is to stretch just before getting into bed for sleep. Slowly relieve all the tension in your hamstrings, front of thighs, ankles, shoulders, arms, neck, etc. You need to know how to stretch these muscles but that info is readily available. Do it slowly and carefully, being aware of the tension being released as you hold each position. This really helps me, because when I get into bed after stretching I sort of collapse/relax into a sloppy pile of relaxed me rather than a tense log jam of arms and legs....can't explain better.
**EDIT** - another thing that works is to drink a shitload of wine, but that's not really primal. :-)
Last edited by Viking; 09-29-2010 at 12:04 AM.
This used to happen to me all the time, especially when I was premenstrual. Try and visualise the colour black, it really helps me.
Mindfulness meditations tend to help me. Or the blinking trick. Open and close your eyes slowly, pretty soon you will sleep.
OTOH, I have trouble sleeping maybe once per 6 months...
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