Dear 100 Hour Board,
What do you do when its 1 am or later (earlier?) and you are wide awake, without any capabilities of falling asleep, but you know you have to get up early and really need some good sleep? Is there any way to make yourself drowsy quickly, that late at night?
-a sleep deprived student
Dear Soon To Be Me Too,
I listen to music to help myself fall asleep. There are certain songs that whenever I hear them played, they calm me down, and I almost always can drift back off to sleep.
Barring that, I've heard that getting up and moving around, or performing some sort of menial task can be good for restoring sleep.
Dear feel ya,
If you have the time, you might want to read/listen to The Promise of Sleep. And though I heard about it from stand up comedy, it seems to be pretty legit. My dad's been reading it and seems to have less sleep issues lately.
I feel your pain. Usually when I can't sleep, it's because I can't stop thinking about something so distraction from my thought process helps. Meditation works pretty well, especially stuff like body scans. For that, you don't even need a recording. You can just close your eyes and put your full attention on one part of your body at a time, starting at your toes and moving all the way to your head. If your thoughts start wandering, you just bring them back to the body scan and keep going.
Or, even though it's probably not the healthiest way to go to sleep, background noise helps me if I can't sleep because of stress or anxiety. I like listening to rain sounds or really quiet-sounding podcasts. A couple of weeks ago, though, I tried to do this with Beautiful/Anonymous (which is my favorite podcast of the moment) and ended up having some bizarre dream with that podcast flitting in and out of it because I didn't turn it off and it kept going all night. Trying meditation is probably a better idea.
Whatever you do, though, make sure you set an alarm so you don't oversleep once you eventually drift off. Sleep Cycle is a good app because it calculates your approximate dream cycle pattern based on when you go to bed and wakes you up in your lightest sleep phase. This prevents drowsiness as much as possible.
You could also try taking melatonin. It's natural and doesn't have any side effects, but it does help induce sleep.
I was playing basketball this week and I overheard some people talking about this very issue. I quote, "I told my wife that if she ever needs to get to sleep and she doesn't know how, she just needs to open the scriptures and start reading Isaiah." Now, this may offend Nephi of old, but I think the man has a valid point.
-Sunday Night Banter