Tuesday, 15 March 2011

25 Things To Do When You Can't Sleep

I go through phases with my sleeping, and the current mode is that I DONT. Either I can't for the life of me get to sleep, or I wake up at stupid o'clock in the morning. For those of you that have suffered from any degree of insomnia, you know how frustrating and lonely it can be. Thus, as a fully qualified bad sleeper, my reccomendation is that if you really can't nod off, get up and do something, then try again, rather than lying there, gradually going more and more crazy (manys the sleep deprived night it seemed perfectly logical to me that sleeping on the floor/upside down/in the barn would be easier). So, here are some ideas for things to do when you really can't sleep - and a few what not to dos...

1 - If you can't sleep because theres something on your mind, write it down. My dad taught me this one. Think of it as physically removing the thoughts from your head, ready to pick up again tomorrow.

2 - Stretch. I'm a massive fan of a good stretch anytime (SO good for you in SO many ways), and it does help me get to sleep. See also; feeling like a cat.

3 - Hot milky drink. Traditional for a reason.

4 - NOT coffee or tea. I'm as caffeine tolerant as the next student, but much as I claim it doesn't affect my sleep, it does. Give your body a chance.

5 - Listen to Sigur Ross. Damn, do it anyway.

6 - Read that book you've been meaning to read forever.

7 - Have a wee snack. A big meal will stop you reaching deep sleep, because your body has to process it, but something small and yummy can settle the stomach quite nicely.

8 - Find an animal, preferably furry. Pet it.

9 - Try avoid the computer - bright screen and multiple windows is pure stimulation.

10 - Tidy your room. I'm sure theres some Feng Shui reasoning behind this.

11 - If you really truly are awake, do some work. May aswell use the time profitably!

12 - Colour code your diary. Organised filofax = organised mind. And highlighting is so satisfying.

13 - Have a hot shower or bath. Your body slows down to try and cool itself, thus making you feel sleepy. This shit is scientific y'all.

14 - Find someone to cuddle. We are not solitary beings, and whilst a duvet hogger can be very annoying, I for one sleep a lot better when I'm not on my own (que: violins.). A friend, sibling or dog will do.

15 - Bon Iver anyone?

16 - Make a 'sleepy playlist' on itunes. Play it. Press Ctrl + t. It will blow your mind.

17 - Go outside for ten minutes and watch the stars.

18 - Some people rate lavender. Some rate herbal sleeping pills. Some rate prescription sleepers. I've tried em all, and didn't find any particularly helpful, but you should probably try them for yourselves before writing them off.

19 - Call your friend who lives on the other side of the world. NB - time difference is crucial here, Bristol doesn't count.

20 - Read lists of things to do when you cant sleep. I slay myself.

21 - Get up and do something. Anything, for just fifteen minutes. Then go back to bed.

22 - Not technically for when in bed, but if you're struggling to sleep, get some damn excercise. Its nature's cure all.

23 - Same vein - get up at the same time every morning (I suck at this). If you cant get your body into a pattern falling asleep, force it into a pattern by waking. Its painful, but successful. Your body loves routine.

25 - Pay attention to yourself. Is there a pattern to your insomnia? Maybe certain foods dont agree with you, maybe certain days, see what your body is trying to tell you.

For me, the one thing - and in no sense am I prescribing this - the one thing that really settles me is a good sudoku session. I really bloody love sudoku, all the numbers fit nice and neatly in their places, it makes me happy ok?

What works for you my little night owls?


  1. My mind has been blown! :D

  2. haha, thankyou! Which bit?! xx


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