Tag Archives: hacks

When getting the F*ck to sleep isn’t that easy.

I don’t know about you but falling asleep is just about impossible for me, even since I was a kid. It’s like there is a switch on my pillow that puts my brain into overdrive and I. Can’t. Stop. Thinking. This sleep onset insomnia sometimes lasts for hours.

Turns out brain injuries need sleep to heal so I needed to get serious about the zzzs.

Now I wear blue-blocking glasses at night (Uvex safety-style, trés chic!), as blue light has been shown to interfere with our sleep cycles (& it can trigger migraines for me lately).

I avoid anything stimulating after 8pm. From chocolate to interesting podcasts/TV or even washing my face, I do it before 8pm or I skip it.  (For the face wash obsessed: yes, I at least do an oil cleanse to wipe makeup off with a tissue.)

I listen to soothing music.  I’ve always been a jazz fan so listening to Tim Tamashiro’s Tonic on CBC is a treat.  (nightly at 8pm on CBC Radio2 or free streaming anytime here. Also a free app on iTunes.)  Tim says there is thinky jazz or drinky jazz.  Tonic is drinky jazz.

Speaking of booze… red wine or a cocktail works – sort of. The alcohol relaxes me but then the sugar rush kicks in later and is counterproductive to sleep.

Even with a wind-down routine, I still need help getting the brain to slooow down once my head hits the pillow.

I rotate between these to help me go the f&ck to sleep! I can’t listen to the same one every night or my brain tunes it out and it generally doesn’t work. (sigh)

  • Bone-melting relaxation in this yoga nidra session.
  • Drift off to sleep self-hypnosis, as recommended by FR staffer Sho
  • White noise app by TM Soft (free on iTunes). I like the campfire one.
  • I have a ~20YO guided meditation CD from Puja Thompson’s Roots & Wings series. It isn’t this one but same idea: a lovely voice giving my brain something else to do other than think.

If I’m already wired at bedtime, I listen to a half-hour of an audiobook (since I still can’t do a lot of reading) and then listen to one of the above.

Yep.  It is a frigging process for me to get to sleep.  Worse – the more tired I am, the harder it is for me to get to sleep.  That tired/wired thing we all know and hate.

Please share if you’ve got any good sleep hacks!  I can always use fresh ideas to add to the rotation.