"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." - Darrell Royal
Question #92420 posted on 07/26/2019 9:47 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I’m having a hard time falling asleep/ a hard time getting in a good sleep schedule. Any tips for a good night’s sleep?

-My Name Here

A:

Dear you,

I'm sorry you are having a hard time getting in a good sleep schedule. I personally don't have that problem, but can imagine how frustrating it might be. You might want to check out the tips here.

After thinking about what I do that might help me sleep better at night, I came up with the following:

  • Journaling. I'm not the best at writing in my journal, but my mind is more at ease when I do
  • Stay out of/off my bed during the day time (unless taking a nap). That way my brain associates being in bed with sleep time
  • Spend time outside. I've found that when I spend time in the sun, I usually get more tired throughout the day.
  • Drink enough water throughout the day. I find that I tend to sleep better when I am hydrated.

I don't know if any of those suggestions will help, but I hope you can find some answers. Getting good sleep is a must for me!

-Sunday Night Banter

A:

Dear Sleepy Time Tea Bear,

  • Listen to relaxing music or white noise. Spotify has some really good sleep playlists with relaxing music, and when I can't sleep I like to turn those on really quietly.
  • In a similar vein, if you're into audiobooks or podcasts, a lot of apps have a sleep timer you can do. Listening to a book that's somewhat interesting but not super interesting, if you know what I mean, can sometimes help me fall asleep by making it so my brain can't go into overdrive thinking about all sorts of random stuff, and that relaxation then helps me fall asleep. And with the sleep timer, you don't have to worry that it will be playing all night!
  • Cut down on blue light in the hour or so before bed (I hypocritically write on my laptop right before going to bed). 
  • Have some sort of bedtime routine that signals to your brain that it's time to go to sleep.
  • Only use your bed for sleep, so that your brain doesn't associate the bed with other things.
  • Have a consistent sleep schedule, where you go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time every day.
  • Try meditation and/or deep-breathing exercises. Headspace is a good app for meditation, and here, here, and here are some breathing exercises you can do.
  • Get a good pillow and mattress. I never think this matters until I go on vacation and sleep terribly, and just can't wait to get back to my comfy mattress and awesome pillow (I have a cooling memory foam pillow like these, and it's the bomb). 
  • If your bedroom is too bright, consider getting blackout curtains or a sleeping mask.
  • If you absolutely can't sleep, don't just lie in bed stressing about not being able to sleep (as this can create neural pathways of your mind being stressed out and unable to sleep when you're in bed). Instead, get up and make yourself a cup of tea, or go read a book, or write in your journal, or whatever, until you feel sleepy again (just don't get on your phone or computer during this time, as the blue light will make it even harder to get to sleep).

-Alta

A:

Dear friend,

This is a hard problem. Something that works for me is closing my eyes and counting to 300, trying to focus on only that. I've tried imagining going through the next day to relax my brain. The key for falling asleep seems to be getting into a state of non-stimulation where the brain can transition into its sleep cycles, and these things help me relax. You could also try breathing exercises (you can start at 8:00 for that second video), or my brother read the book Say Good Night to Insomnia and it helped him a lot. A lot of sleep techniques and habits seem to differ by person, so try to find what works best for you.

Best of luck and sweet dreams,

Inklings

A:

Dear Sleepy,

I'm one of the few that like ASMR and use it to sleep occasionally. Don't knock it until you try it! It works so well for me and I fall asleep quick. You don't have to watch videos, there are Spotify playlists as well. (If you have Spotify Premium like myself. Ads are very bad when you're trying to fall asleep.)

-Goldie Rose

A:

Dear friend,

Melatonin supplements. They help me sleep deeper and wake up feeling more rested, and while it normally takes me a long time to fall asleep, a 5mg chewable before bed knocks me right out. Easiest solution ever. Works great for cranky kids on road trips too. 

Cheers,

Guesthouse

posted on 07/27/2019 9:26 a.m.
Something that I found helps that isn't mentioned here, is massage. If I listen to something calming while I massage my feet and legs, or my shoulders using a Theracane, it helps relax me so I can fall asleep faster.

Zwerg Zwei
posted on 07/27/2019 2:48 p.m.
Alta mentioned journaling and avoiding blue light, but neglected to mention installing a red filter. I find that having a red filter app on my computer and phone really does help on those nights when I need to write it out, or work later than I'd like. Getting some exercise earlier in the day helps too. I also find that doing the same things in the same order each night triggers my brain that it's time to sleep. One doctor suggested I try Valerian. (warning- the smell will catch you off guard) It's more effective for me than Melatonin, which gives me a headache, even in tiny doses. Another doctor suggested Isaiah. Just make sure if you are listening to it, that you have a sleep timer set, it's no fun waking up in the middle of the night with it still playing, or running down your battery. And don't knock warm milk. Stir 2 tablespoons of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla into a cup of milk and microwave it until it's comfortably warm. Sprinkle some nutmeg on top, and think soothing thoughts. It really works! (you can try honey and cinnamon too)

Sweet dreams!
posted on 07/27/2019 2:58 p.m.
If you can't sleep, just listen to some general conference talks (especially by people like sweet Richard G. Scott) and you'll be dreaming in no time...

gets me every time.