Tik tok user cures her own insomnia using this trick

Originally published at: Tik tok user cures her own insomnia using this trick | Boing Boing

My trick: get off Tiktok, etc. at least an hour before bedtime…


When did BB start looking like an Outbrain stream?


I’ve done this occasionally for years; came up with it on my own, but it’s not that hard to think of. (Sometimes it works, sometimes I have to use another trick.)

What I do, in detail:
*List random thing. (I usually start with the same word every time, trying to get my brain to make an association with “oh, time to sleep”.) Sometimes, I start by saying it at low volume, and transition to thinking it later on.
*Breathe out. Try to let the next word come to you. Not necessarily unrelated. I’m OK with going "banana… yellow… paint… mural… walls… constructing… helmets… safe… ", but listing the same category of things gets you stuck. Bonus points for using a word you haven’t said in years.
*Breathe in.
*Breathe out.
*Breathe in.
*List the next word. (Doing this quickly is contraproductive. Better to take a break for a breath.)

When I’ve done this a couple of times, sometimes a sentence fragment or whole sentence pops up in my mind. I dutifully repeat it, or part of it, in my mind. This should occur more often as you get closer to falling asleep.

My theory is that the artificial randomness primes the “creative storytelling” part of my dreaming to activate, and the repetition part gets my consciousness to gradually hand over the reins to it.


There’s a handy app for this technique: mysleepbutton, both iOS and Android.

I write in my head. I spend about five minutes working on a part of a story or a novel I’m working on. Works a charm most nights, I doze right off and totally can’t remember what I’d wanted to write the next day. Which, wait, that sucks.

Oh well.


Personally, I find THC edibles, if legal in your state, are also effective sleep aids. Eat at least 1 hour before bedtime. 10mg is the dosage that works for me.


I solve all the problems in the universe, then I fall asleep, like around 5:45 AM.


Anything that distracts you, but isn’t too interesting, will work. Calm, Amazon, the BBC, all have great “sleep stories” that pull your attention outward, but aren’t going to grip it. When my situation is so dire I have to get out of bed, I would farm for materials in an MMO. Same effect, plus I can get some XP.


To intentionally fall asleep I read fiction. To unintentionally fall asleep I read non-fiction.

I had an idea for disrupting cancer last night, and it came with a catchy name. Can’t remember much of it now, but it was revolutionary. Dreams are weird.


I’ve tried that, but I tend to get caught up in the narrative :flushed:


I have a podcast which has a conversational tone and covers topics that don’t stress me out. I put on an old episode of that and let it play until I realize I’ve spaced out enough that I missed a big chunk of it, then take off the headphones and sleep.

I use one of those horseshoe-shaped neck pillows they sell for sleeping on plane flights - place it flat with the U facing the headboard, and it’ll support your head while leaving a gap for your ear to fit in, so you can lie on your side while wearing comfy headphones.


i go back to when i first got up in that morning, and try, in as detailed way as possible, to remember everything i did that day, in order. i rarely make it to lunch before i fall asleep.


I try this:

Sometimes this

But most often this:


These are all great ideas that I’ll try to incorporate into my sleep hygiene. Ultimately though, I take Ambien every night because otherwise it’s a total crapshoot and my brain fogs badly if I don’t get enough sleep.


I think a podcast about the “collapse of different societies through history” would do pretty much the opposite of help me sleep right now, but whatever works for you!


The host has a rather soothing drone.

Unfortunately I’ve developed a pavlovian response. When I try to listen, I fall asleep

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Don’t tell me. By the time you wake up, you’ve forgotten all your solutions and have to do it again the next night?


I sometimes imagine that I cook meals, experiment with recipes and plan menus. Works every time, so far.


I find that THC by itself is too active and trippy. I don’t really care much for that feeling. I’ve settled on 5mg each of THC and CBD. It makes me groggy enough for sleeping after the nightly bladder call. Others swear by CBD alone but it is too subtle for me.

I really liked some Indica edibles that were naturally a 50/50 blend, but they were from an unregulated producer. 1.25 mg was enough of those.

Reducing alcohol has helped quite a bit too, but ones mind can race from withdrawal for a few nights (scary!)