Insomnia is one of the least talked-about and most problematic disorders currently in existence. There are myriad books that are supposed to “trick” your brain into sleep, but let’s be real. You want sleep, and you want it now! Here are 24 tips from real people that actually help them get to sleep, and fast.
Number Twenty-Four: Picture Your Body Powering Down. By envisioning every part of your body relaxing and “turning off,” your muscles will physically relax, making you sleepier. Freaky, right?
Number Twenty-Three: Think About Every Bed You’ve Slept In. When you make a mental list, your brain will stop focusing on your insomnia and will instead focus on completing a task. Plus, thinking about really comfy beds will make you sleepier.
Number Twenty-Two: Masturbate. It’s science. When you jerk it, your brain releases endorphins, and when you climax your body will be more physically tired than it was before you started.
Number Twenty-One: Listen to the Right Sounds. By choosing an appropriate soundscape, your mind can more easily transport itself to sleepy land. Try soothing sounds like rain, a rustling breeze, or white noise.
Number Twenty: Count Things That Aren’t Sheep. Try glow-in-the-dark stars, for example. By focusing on something and repeating a simple task like counting, your brain will slowly power down.
Number Nineteen: Avoid Looking at Your Alarm Clock. Paying attention to just how many minutes you have left until you have to wake up will only add to your anxiety. Forget about the time, and turn your clock away from your line of sight.
Number Eighteen: Minimize Your Bedroom Decor. A busy bedroom will inevitably lead to a busy brain. Keep it clean, and your headspace will stay clean as well.
Number Seventeen: Eliminate Screens. Speaking of minimalistic decor, avoid keeping screens in your room. The blue light signals to your brain that it should stay awake.
Number Sixteen: If You Need a Screen, Use a Blue Light-Minimizing App. Of course, if you absolutely cannot live without a screen, try an app that minimizes the blue light being released. One such app is called f.lux.
Number Fifteen: Monitor Your Breathing. Focusing on your breath is a technique used widely to calm down people who suffer from panic and anxiety disorders. You don’t even have to count your breaths; just maintain lengthened inhales and exhales.
Number Fourteen: Buy Nice Pillows. When you’re surrounded by soft and fluffy things, you will have a much easier time relaxing and feeling safe. Cuddle with a body pillow if you don’t have a bae.
Number Thirteen: Listen to Boring Audiobooks. Try finding free audiobook files of books that you enjoyed as a child. Transporting your brain back to your childhood will help trigger positive memories and feelings of comfort.
Number Twelve: Listen to Stephen Fry. Or any British voice, really. The accent has been scientifically proven to soothe people who suffer from insomnia.
Number Eleven: Get Creative. Try doodling if your brain is in power mode. By getting what’s into your brain onto a piece of paper, you will no longer be so burdened.
Number Ten: There’s a Podcast for That. And it’s called Sleep With Me. The podcast focuses on funny and interesting ways to help people fall asleep.
Number Nine: Search Out the Right Voice. It doesn’t matter what voice it is; if you find one that soothes you, stick with it. You can even compile a playlist of videos containing said soothing voice to help you sleep for hours on end.
Number Eight: Keep Warm. When your body warms up, it naturally becomes more lethargic. Try taking a bath, sipping tea, or even purchasing a heated pillow or electric blanket.
Number Seven: Write it Down. Again with the whole “get creative” schtick, writing will help clear your brain of any thoughts clouding it. If you don’t know what to write about, try a dream journal!
Number Six: Smoke Weed. Where it’s legal, weed is a great way to cure insomnia. Try smoking and then listening to relaxing music as you doze off in a haze and wake up with no hangover.
Number Five: Exercise. It may seem counterintuitive, but exercising at night will help your body spend all of the energy it built up during the day. And you can exercise however you want!
Number Four: Make up a Story. Begin with a storyline, and add a little bit each night. You will then begin to get excited about the prospect of going to sleep so you can add to your story.
Number Three: Monitor Your Feelings. You might not realize it, but your emotions could be contributing to your insomnia. Are you feeling anxious about a relationship? Sad about your job? Think through it, and then take the next steps necessary to handle those feels.
Number Two: Plan the Next Day. If you can’t sleep because you’re nervous about the next day, try mentally going through every single part of the day. Plan your outfit, what you will eat for breakfast, and what time you need to leave your house.
Number One: Repeat a Mantra. It may sound cheesy, but it really works! Make up a peaceful mantra, and stick to it. By repeating the prefix “I will,” your brain and body will actually begin to physically react to what you tell it.