Updated: Apr 24
Back to the blogs again after a crushingly busy Spring, and the sudden, unexpected death of my mother from Covid. Accessing a deliciously deep sleep has become more elusive than ever.
I'd pay good money for a good night's sleep. I really would. For my entire professional life I have had trouble sleeping - and I'm dead tired of it. 20 years or so now I have flipped and flopped, stared and the ceiling, stood staring into the fridge at 2 am, 3 am, 4 am, tried mediation (good), yoga (generally excellent, though I quit during Covid), and tantric sex (infrequent for sure, but very excellent always). I’ve tried it all, really. And while I've had successes sleeping all night, sometimes, these are vanishingly rare. My sleep problems persist nightly.
I think many of us have suffered from poor sleep since Covid times; but it's also a chronic and growing global problem, what with rising light and noise pollution, more people, more humming machines with lighted screens we stare into. How important is sleep to feeling good, working and thinking well? For this timeless problem, there have been endless studies, essays, and articles on the subject and importance of sleep.
As I’ve gotten older, I find that I sleep less, but I also have trouble getting and staying asleep. If it was only a shorter window of sleep, that’s one thing. Interrupted and restless sleep over any period of time is just not, well, restful.
What can a person do to get and stay asleep? I’ve tried everything, and this side of sleeping meds from your doctor or over the counter, I recommend to try the following for ongoing restless nights. These don’t always work for me, to be honest, but I am trying to make these habitual in the hope that a repeat routine will increase the likelihood of success.
The caveat here is if you have ongoing trouble sleeping, you should visit your doctor to see if it’s an underlying medical condition. With that out of the way, and you’re having trouble getting some shut eye night after night, here are things that have (sometimes) worked for me:
1. Pre-game your mind. Visualize yourself having a delicious, deep, comforting, and healing sleep. Think about how good it will feel to the point you smile to yourself as you visualize.
2. Try boiling a banana in the peel in water. Drink the water.
3. Breathe deeply while you do number one.
4. Use ASMR.
5. Try Deep Brown Noise. It’s like white noise but a deeper frequency. I have found deep brown noise works better for me than white noise. There are other wave lengths you can try, including pink!
6. Cat nap in your day. Or have an afternoon siesta.
7. Stretching before bed.
8. Sex with someone you love.
9. No eating in the middle of the night.
10. Meditate, meditate, meditate.
Getting a good night's rest is an important part of being highly functional. You could be one of the many who sleepwalk through your days because of a lack of quality sleep. If none of the above helps, see your doctor for more advice. (But first ask if they sleep well.)