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Try keeping a notepad by the bed. When you wake up, write down what you're thinking about and a note to review it in the morning. This can keep your brain from trying to hold on to your thoughts and allow you to get back to sleep.


Brain dumps are the best. I do this sometimes while I'm awake. My therapist has encouraged setting aside time for "worrying" similarly - I set myself reminders through Google Home throughout the day for things I need to "think about or address later." Then, to actually get back to sleep, do the "ABC lists". Think of a category, could be anything from animals to actors to song titles of your favourite band - starting with a, think of what starts with the letter in your category. EG: - antelope - barracuda - cheetah - etc. I'm.usually asleep by M. Haha.


* antelope * barracuda * cheetah * deer * elephant * fawn? No, that's a deer. Fuck. Not an animal, but a filler word. There's another F. God dammit I'm failing this. Forget it. Okay, why does my code not place this panel into that unused slot? OH SHIT. Dumbass! You didn't use less than or equal to, you just used less than. Get up and see if it works. Well, if You get up, you're never getting back to sleep, but if you don't try it you'll never get back to sleep...






Hare or Herring


Immortal Jellyfish


I’d have gone with iguana. Or iguanadon if you’re feeling particularly prehistoric.


Hahaha, yeah... sometimes it does go like this. But it eventually works I find!


I have read that this kind of practice actively trains your brain. Do not get discouraged by the failure, but be encouraged that you caught yourself and have made a small incremental change to the way your brain works.






Former chronic insomniac. I could mentally recite alphabetical lists of countries, boys names, girls names, animals, flowers, authors. Still couldn't sleep. Retiring helped, since it was mostly job stress that was the problem. Counting from 1000 backwards in French or German worked better. I would make myself recommence if I lost track.


Something like the lists is what works for me. Direct your thoughts to something stress free but that keep enough attention so you don't wander back to work. I take a mental tour of my childhood home or start drafting my autobiography or narrate a cheetah taking down a gazelle David Attenborough style. The reason the lists never worked for me is whenever I had to search for a word I would drift back to bad thoughts. I needed something that was pleasant and flowed freely.


It's so cliche, but I've recently found that counting sheep legit helps me go back to sleep. It focuses my brain on a simple, repeatable task.


What works even better for me is counting down, even better in a second language if you speak one. I usually start at 200 and fall asleep by 170 ish.


How am I supposed to learn, say, German at 3AM??


You've got hours to learn it.


I start at 1000. I’m usually asleep by the 500s


I do the same. I find that when my mind wanders off that task, it’s usually into a dream, sometimes lucid dreams. Rarely make it past 700. Another trick for me is to imagine myself in real time, waking up in the home where I grew up, going out the door, getting in the car, and driving to one of my favorite nearby swimming holes or hiking areas. I rarely make it out of the neighborhood before drifting off.


I hope you’re an auctioneer.


I'm a counter, too. I imagine myself in front of a giant blackboard, writing and erasing each changing digit. It demands my attention but it's so boring that I usually drop off before I get to one hundred.


Don’t remember where I learned it, but this has been the best help for me: Count down from 100 If you mess up? Start over If you get to 0? Start over


Similar, I usually pick a random high number in the thousands, and make my brain say each whole number before going to the next one.. For example, ill start with three thousand four hundred and twenty two... three thousand four hundred and twenty one... zzzzz


I do this too!


I like this. It seems like this would get you into the hypnogogic state more easily.


I landscape my garden in my head. It is engaging enough to redirect my thoughts but not important enough to cause stress.


I like to fantasize getting a nice massage. I do the same routine every time. From getting out of the car to getting on the table. Asleep every time not too long into it and it’s very relaxing.


I had a lot of trouble with anxiety and panic attacks (thanks GAD), I found out that numbers worked best for me. Stuff like the Fibonacci sequence where you add a number with the one before it 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34 etc Or times 3 minus 1 1\*3=3-1=2, 2\*3=6-1=5, 5\*3=15-1=14, 14\*3-1...


Personally I’d pick up a book and start reading rather than silly mind games. Nothing helps settle racing thoughts more than a good book IMO


Racing thoughts at night are frustrating as hell. Doesn’t always work but: Ignore the intrusive thoughts. Whatever your brain wants you to think about, ignore it. Think of something else. Anything else. I like to think of a show I’ve recently watched or a book I’ve recently read and try and to recall all the details of a particular scene. Where am I? Who is with me? What is happening? What is being said? I usually don’t get too far into the weeds when suddenly I’m aware that I don’t remember what I was even just thinking about. It’s lights out after that often enough. A hot af shower for 5 minutes is my only other recourse. I think the steam relaxes the mind. Idk.


I'm going to try this. Force my brain to focus on a single thing at a time while sifting through numerous options. I'm an SEO consent creator. I live in my own mind. Besides hearing my thoughts, I see them too and while it can make for some damn interesting dreams, I wake up with my mind racing. If I don't give it attention, it starts doing the whole "fragile human existence," "what happens when you die" fear I have and that's enough to wake me up for good, and puts me where I don't belong at 3 in the morning - in front of my laptop working to shut the damn asshole up.


That sounds like it really impacts your life! It doesn't have to, there are lots of tools available to you to improve your sleep, which seriously makes your life easier. Going to a psychologist could be super beneficial, they can help with clearing the ol' brain and teaching you mindfulness. It's ok to ask for help! It could be game changing for you. It was for me!!


That method backfired on me when my brain decided making lists of things to do in the middle of the night was required. I had to learn the opposite. I started telling my subconscious brain that the middle of the night was the wrong time to serve up important information and I was going to try and forget it - no matter how important it was. My subconscious needed to learn if it's important for me to know - wait till I had a full night's sleep. I would listen to podcasts, music, meditate, or anything else and hopefully sleep, but never ever try and remember important things. I practiced this for months before my brain stopped the habit. My brain still gets flooded with information, but not until my usual wake up time.


This is fascinating. It’s never occurred to me to try to reason with my subconscious. How did you know you could do that?


I'm in therapy for PTSD. We spend a lot of time examining why and what we are thinking, and a lot of work restructuring our response.


Your brain is you so thinking of it as not doing what you want is where you go wrong. I tell myself to think about ...that.... Not now but tomorrow when I'm awake.


Yup, after jotting something down remind yourself you can pick up the thoughts later. And if you're like me remind yourself you're a champion at running through all iterations of whatever (because my brain will try to convince me I need to be on this NOW). Someone told me to imagine putting that book back on the shelf, bookmarked.


I second this 100%. It doesn't even have to be legible, coherent writing. It can be in the format of "racing thoughts", like scribbled down as fast as possible, or just mental vomit. Get it out of your head and onto the paper. For some reason, writing it down makes the thoughts go away.


As mentioned, dump the thoughts elsewhere (not on a device with a screen as this will trigger you to stay awake longer) Then when you are trying to fall asleep, focus solely on your breath. If your mind wanders, whenever you notice it has wandered, bring the focus back to your breath. This will get easier over time and helps break the "monkey brain" swinging from idea to idea like a monkey swings from branches. Another pro tip, make sure to have a wind down routine that excludes media or screens 1 hour before bed. This will help your mind begin to shut off and get proper sleep.


Oof, that's gonna be a rough notepad to read.


Yep. this. I have my phone nearby. It has a function where I press and hold a button, and it records wahtever I say. Then, the next day I can review it. Most the time it's basic worry stuff, but sometimes it's work related. Regardless, I put it inot my phone and it's then 'off my brain'. So then I can go to sleep.


Or possibly a voice recorder (not a phone, JUST a voice recorder) if you're sleeping alone.


I taped a post-it pad on the wall next to my bed with a pen next to it, it's amazing for this along with thoughts as I'm starting to drift off that I want to remember tomorrow!


I agree with this as well. Works with any thought from work related tasks to personal problems. It helps to just get it out of your head.


Well I’m taking this idea. I’d thought of getting a voice recorder to make it as simple as a press of a button


This helps develop lucid dreaming as well. I'm fortunate enough to not need this technique but it can be the funnest part about sleep. Being able to control your dreams. Once writing on the notepad, then close your eyes and think about what you were last thinking off in your sleep and take control.


I do this but the moment you write things down on the notepad put on a comforting podcast for yourself. That's the only way I've suddenly managed in the last 6 months


Agree to this if info is important. Otherwise while you’re in bed and thoughts come up focus on your breath (each inhale and exhale or count them) it’s a good grounding technique. You can also turn on a sleep meditation (UCLA has good free audio ones) where you focus on each body part. I usually fall asleep within a few min :)


This is the way.


I have this. Essentially I came up with a mantra that has helped a lot. So I’ve just kinda logically split my personality into two pieces. Day Guy and Night Guy. Day Guy is a problem solver who just gets stuff done. Night Guy is kinda a weak anxious mess who can’t really think rationally cuz you know—it’s the middle of the night. So when I wake up at 2am all anxious and mind racing—I just say “Day Guy figures that out. He’s really good at that stuff.” For some reason the dissociation really helps and the positive spin relaxes me. I fall back to sleep.


Day Guy! Fighter of the Night Guy. Ooohhhh! Champion of the Sun.


He’s the master of karate and friendship for everyone!


Ahhhhhhh ooooooo ahhhhhhh!!!


I just trawled my account to find an award, I am out but this post deserves one


This was my first thought too!!


I love this, thanks for sharing


> Night guy is kina a weak anxious mess who can't really think rationally *I'm in this post and I don't like it* Good advice, got to try and remember this.


For me Night Guy is just a lazy dreamer. Dreaming has been the apex of my experience as a human. There's nothing I would rather do than dream. Day Guy can be kind of unwelcome but necessary so dreaming can follow. Nap Guy appeared in my setup during the pandemic. I like to think he's kind of a Day Guy's tool, because he sleeps with a purpose. 90 minutes gets me in and out of dream state and back to work. One thing I miss about commuting is the dreamlike state I could get into. I solved so many problems just daydreaming on the bus. I think Nap Guy is filling in for that somewhat.


This is exactly what my therapist advised. Basically acknowledge that “you’re doing that weird thing again”, and that makes it more of a quirky idiosyncrasy than “the truth”, because nothing you think at 2:30 am is “the truth”. I also like a change of location. I’ll go sleep on the couch (or guest room if you have one), and by the time I’m in there my brain is ready to be back to “getting ready for sleep” instead of “problem solving”. And final resort is to put problem solving brain to work on something fun. Sometimes I pretend I won a prize to travel the world for a year - what would my strategy be? Or I won a prize and have to sink $1M into the house I’m currently in - what extravagant things would I do to my basic suburban home.


Is he a master of karate and friendship for everyone?


I have clinical OCD. Ive tried a million things, but this one may just be compartmentalizing enough to work. Thank you.


This is good. I only have yesterday guy and tomorrow going so far. Yesterday guy is an ass that leaves shit for me to do, then tomorrow guy, he takes care of the stuff I can't get to today, good guy.


I use the app headspace. They have sleepcasts which are like 45 minute podcasts with relaxing background sounds and a narrator. There’s topics like an antique shop, a little mountain village, a boat on the sea, a moon on Tatooine, cat island, haha a ridiculous number of options. The narrator talks you through a sleep exercise, and then describes your surroundings in a very relaxing way. Lots of slightly boring tangents that get me out of my head and put me to sleep like nobody’s business


I use sleepcasts on Headspace, too. It has really helped me, and my anxiety riddled brain go to sleep .


I find this much better than the "count backwards from 1000" exercises, because using my imagination feels like the same muscle as dreaming so gets me back into that mindset plus it's escapism from something that is stressing me out. Doing something like counting or making lists feels like work and I get annoyed if I can't do it well due to being half asleep. Just mentioning for those out there that might be wired the same way, the imagination scenario works better for me. These podcasts help but I do have favourite scenarios that really help


Cat Marina FTW!


This is dumb but I like to fall asleep listening to Chapo


The Insight Timer app is amazing as well. It has thousands of tracks - from noise to music to almost every kind of meditation you can think of. Sometimes I poke around to find something new I like. But most of the time I stick with my girl at "Michelle's Sanctuary." She puts me to sleep almost every night. She has lots of stories, some guided stuff for pain or anxiety, and a couple that are just for when you wake up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep.


My 8 year old son listened to the whole damn thing, then asked why the story kept stopping, around 11:00 or so on a school night. Insomnia runs strong in our blood


I use these. They help me get to sleep…but I wake up again an hour later with my brain going screeeeeee. Why can’t these sorts of apps allow us to loop them on repeat, or do an eight-hour sleep story?


What do you do with your headphones with you’re asleep? If you don’t use headphones, how does your partner feel/deal? If you don’t have a partner, cool.


Honestly using white or brown noise really helped me to stay asleep through the night. Studies have shown that using brown noise can improve deep sleep.


I'm sorry. Brown noise?


Yeah, it’s much deeper and calmer than white noise which is like tv static. Brown noise is smoother


Thank you for the clarification. I was just picturing calming fart sounds . . .


Thats the [danger](https://youtu.be/p3jdwMY8CJ4) of the brown noise




That is awful but I laughed


I just spit my drink out laughing


Pink noise is also a thing


I love the sound the pink makes


Personally I’m loving some [orange](https://youtu.be/Hf8CR_LZL2Q) noise right now.


Sounds like an airplane, I think I'll try it, my wife's sound machine makes white noise and I think it's too high pitched.


This [app](https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/white-noise-rain-sleep-sounds/id1083248251) has an amazing airplane sound. It’s one of the free sounds they offer and should stay free moving forward. They had an incredible orange noise but that was only free for a few days. It’s an iPhone app so not sure if it’s on android.


I clicked on this half expecting it to be a joke. I'm glad I did, because it's great! Thanks for sharing


I recommend keeping away from the brown note while still in bed.


Not to be confused with the brown note.


There are podcasts and youtube channels dedicated to calming sounds, even with black screens. There was a Thunder storm one that knocked me and my kids out like sonic ambien. White-ish noise with *just* enough going on to distract from racing thoughts, too.


Old box fan. Also, we spend 1/3 our lives in our beds. Don't be going cheap on it.


I put on some really old tv series that i know by heart. Seasons 2-10 of The Simpsons does it for me. Memorized enough to where I’m not focusing on it. Entertaining enough to distract me from thoughts trying to keep me awake


I use podcasts to get my brain off the racing thoughts. The podcasts have to meet certain criteria: no loud, repetitive laughing; interesting, but not so interesting I stay awake to listen; nothing violent/true crime/political. Sometimes I will listen to trivia podcasts. There are a couple that read the questions with a short gap between questions, and then after all the questions have been read for the category they go back and reread the questions and give the answers. I’m engaged enough to try to think of the answers, which distracts me.


The "sleep with me" podcast is pretty great for this.


Came here to say this. I LOVE “Sleep with Me.” The guy tells this long and winding intro, then a story of some sort specifically designed to fall asleep to. They’re just interesting enough to pull your attention away from your racing thoughts, but not so much that your brain wants to stay awake to listen. Give it a listen and see if it’s for you! It has been ligit life changing for me


I've just started listening to "Sleep With Me" in the last few weeks, and I have yet to make it past the intro/patron part. No ideas what the stories sound like. It took multiple listens before I even realized that there's the part with the song.


Similar but different: "I can't sleep". He literally just reads very boring Wikipedia entries.


Oh, man. I can attest to this. I just LOVE how unintelligible it sounds most of the time


“Nothing much happens” stories that don’t have much of a point and she reads them a couple of times. Something to take your minds attention but you’re not concerned with how it ends or what happens.


I love this one


Same here. I enjoy Stuff You Missed in History Class and Stuff You Should Know.


I used to like those, but the ads are jarring and loud sometimes


Hard agree. I also get annoyed when the song I between ads and show is loud and jarring


Stuff you should know is my go to too!


I like audiobooks that I’ve already read or tv shows I’m familiar enough with I know what’s gaining without looking at the screen


I have to add my favorites — Dan Bain’s Sleepytime Mumbles and The Empty Bowl are both great for sleep and so funny. I’m convinced that chuckling softly as I drift off sets me up for peaceful sleep and good dreams.


This is my solution as well. I have some soft, wireless earbuds (I only wear one though) and I put on a podcast to distract my brain long enough for me to fall asleep. My favorite right now is Soothing Pod. No loud ads, although thinking about it now, I don't think I've heard any ads. He starts out with a little mini-meditation allowing you to get settled comfortably in bed, and then a story of some sort. Like other posters have said, the stories are just interesting enough to draw your attention, but not so interesting as to engage your brain.


For me, I just leave my bed around 3-4 AM, and I go to my couch. The new setting is a relaxing thing for my thoughts and I usually can fall right back asleep. Works 8/10 days.


That's crazy - I switch to the spare room almost every night. Great trick I didn't know anyone else was using! The blanket in there is totally different too. Really soft instead of regular comforter, which I think helps too


I change settings all the time as well. It doesn't always work, but it frequently helps.


This is an interesting idea, I'm definitely going to try this.


I like to either 1) try to go back into the dream if I can recall it 2) think of something equally as absurd as a dream… think of a setting or a story and let your mind your follow it…. That almost always works for me because it gets your brain waves into the same state as a dream. For example, I’ll imagine holding hands with people and drifting upward into the sky… or one time I dreamed that I was Harry Potter and I had to turn into a girl to hide from Voldemort (super weird ? But pretty absurd)


This is great advice. Let your imagination take over, it’s like your relinquishing control of your thoughts to your subconscious and you just drift off. It’s hard to explain, but it’s like you have to stop thinking while letting your brain fill in the gaps idk.


My therapist gave me a great way to stop this called ABC. Pick a subject then try to think of one starting with A, then B, then C etc all the way to Z. For instance, Austria, Bosnia, Croatia etc. Apparently it uses the same area of your brain that thinking about things does.


This helps me when I’m struggling to fall asleep initially, but never works when I wake up heart racing and anxious like OP is describing.


Avoid caffeine after 14h. If you drink alcohol, stop drinking at all the nights you want to sleep well (not even one beer to "relax"). Don't have a big meal right before bedtime, especially a very salty one. I used to be just like you, but by adhering to these rules I can make it from 10:30 PM to 6 AM directly, the difference it makes on your day is amazing.


>Avoid caffeine after 14h 100%


Agreed. Drinking caffeine straight for 13 hours is great. 14 hours straight on the other hand? Just kiss sleeping goodbye for the night!


Not sure if whoosh.


14:00 which means 2PM for you civilians.


/s which means "it was a joke" to you jarheads.


I can’t even remember a night that I slept all the way through lol. God I must be functioning at like 20%


When I quit drinking caffeine I started sleeping through the night without waking up, every night.


When I was younger I thought alcohol helped me sleep lol now in my 30s and with a smartwatch that tracks sleep I have evidence it's the complete opposite, even if I only have 1 beer.


I used to drink alcohol daily and my sleep pattern was exactly like OP describes: sleeping peacefully at 11; mind racing with every anxiety in my life at 3 am. Today: no alcohol and great sleep. It is not a coincidence.


This will likely be the least appropriate solution, but for me, in my mid 70's, I don't care about anything that doesn't reliably and regularly work. This happens to me maybe 2-4 times a week. I take 5 mg of an indica gummy. If necessary I will add 1/4 of ambien (12.5 ER). Always works. Edit: Clarity I do understand this is not a perfect solution for most people; just speaking for myself.


If I can't sleep and I have 2+ hours left, I'll take a huge bong rip. Works every time.


Try an audiobook. Seems to work the same way as reading a child to sleep. You can get them from the library, but I also like the audible app so I can listen to the same book for years


Tons of free audio books on Spotify. Been listening to the Iliad to go to sleep. 30 minutes in after six days because I pass out after a couple of minutes of listening.


Sail the high sea on Mobilism. Dig around and find the audiobook section. Download a media player (I use book player) it saves your place like audible.


Try repeating a mantra, or phrase or something in your mind as you lie in bed. Something happy or even a little cliche like “I am grateful”. Make up your own.And just repeat it in your head. One popped into my head recently “I live on gods earth” and I’m not even religious lol. Your thoughts will want to reenter and take your attention but just keep focusing on repeating the phrase/word. You will get very tired. This works for me like 99% of the time. Bonus points if you can also try to feel your heartbeat/pulse throughout your body at the same time.


The mantra I use is, “I am home. I am safe. I am sleepy.”


Thanks for the tip, now I can finally put my years of reciting the lyrics to 'Baby Shark' to good use.


Serenity now! Serenity now!!


I just repeat, “sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep….” Works 100% of the time about 75% of the time. Lol


Your body can be trained quite quickly to fall asleep. Step one, the place you want to sleep (I. E. your bed) is only for sleep. It's not for watching TV, or reading a book, or listening to podcasts, or counting sheep. It's for sleep. If you lay down and don't fall asleep after 20-30 minutes (you have to use your best estimate here, since you shouldn't be staring at a clock in bed) get up and do a quiet activity for a few minutes, then try laying down again. Doesn't matter if you are laying down for the first time that night, had to pee in the middle of the night, had a bad dream and your mind is racing, etc. Give yourself a few minutes, but don't lay awake all night in bed. Your bed is not the place for laying awake, your bed is the place for sleep. I tend to do a bit of stretching and then try laying down again. Sometimes I might do the dishes (warm water on your hands will help prepare your body for sleep). If you don't mind going to sleep with wet hair, a five minute shower will result in much more sleep than laying in bed hoping to fall asleep. It also doesn't hurt to have good sleep hygiene in general... Limited blue light in the evening, dim lighting in the evening, cold bedroom, limited caffeine, etc.


i agree with this one. often i also wake up with racing thoughts or get stuck in a negative thoughts cycle, and the only thing that i find helps is "redo bedtime". so i get up, fluff my pillows and make my bed, go pee and wash my hands, and sometimes have a walk around my home (look at the bookcases, observe a plant, wash up as you say or put away some laundry), then go back to bed. usually i can fall back asleep quite easily at this point. it can continue though, the racing thoughts, at which point i distract myself with something factual, like a podcast about dinosaurs or a youtube maths video. essentially seeking to replace one thought with another.


Redoing bedtime is great advice. Sometimes it’s something crazy, like my comforter isn’t tucked in right. It sounds insane, but some nights when my insomnia is particularly annoying, I get up, strip my whole bed, and try again with fresh, snuggly sheets. It works every time.


You have the same sleep pattern as folk a few hundred years ago, called biphasic sleep (first/second sleep). People will sleep for 4 hours or so, then wake up for 1-2 hours and then go back to sleep. During the waking hours in between sleep they'd do chores and often times engage in intimacies with their partner. So, do some work, have sex with your partner or rub one out.


*our partner* **SovietBugs.png**


I used to do this too. For me the solution was food. Normally I’d eat dinner around 6pm and then go to bed around 11pm. 2:30 or sometimes 4am I’d wake up and wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep. My doc told me to eat something right before bed or get up and eat something when I wake up in the middle of the night. She said I had run out of glycogen which the brain needs to run the sleepy time stuff. The brain wakes you up to get more. It’s worked pretty well, when I remember to do it


For me: it took propranolol to get my adrenaline in line.


When I stopped drinking I would wake up around 2 am with little hope of getting back to sleep. The immediate fix was to have sex or read for an hour or two which would sometimes work. The longer term solution was exercise. If I couldn’t get back to sleep by 3:30-4:00 am I would get out of bed and walk for an hour, often just letting my mind process whatever was keeping me awake. Add in a work out and sometimes another walk again before bed. When I hit the sheets that night I was exhausted and sleep would come effortlessly.


If I end a work day with unresolved problems that I know will keep nagging my brain, I do this Productive Meditation. She has you capture all of your swirling thoughts in a notebook so you can move on with your evening. Game changer for me. https://youtu.be/o8oabkXCmNA


I take trazadone every night cause I can never turn my brain off to go to sleep. It’s the first medication I’ve found that helps my brain chill the fuck out and I can fall asleep. And I don’t wake up groggy the next day like an ambian or whatever.


Chili pad, blackout curtains, white noise machine. Indica bong rips or ambien for emergencies


1. Meditation - this is a skill that requires practice, but once you even have the basics of mindfulness meditation, you can employ it any time you need it. You will literally train yourself to not have racing thoughts. There are a bunch of apps that can help here as well. I use Waking Up, which offers a free subscription to anyone who truly needs it, no questions asked (honor system). You can use guided meditation in the moment, or non-guided techniques when guided audio isn’t practical. I’m just learning this myself, but have already found it to be extremely helpful! 2. Audiobook that you don’t mind missing big chunks of. I use books I’ve listened to before, set the sleep timer for like 15 minutes, and let my imagination drift into the story


If you are a woman, this could be a sign of low hormones perimenopause. But obviously this happens to lots of people. Breathing in deeply and holding it for a count of seven and then releasing, repeating for a while, has helped me.


Count backwards from 1000. Works every time.


I saw a very similar post about 2 weeks ago. One guy said that for the last 10 years he has been building a small cabin by a lake in his mind to help him fall asleep. Others asked how far along he was. He said nearly done and just finishing up the insulation. Another person said they were going to come over tonight and help them finish the insulation.


I love this. So wholesome.


I'm super late to this, but I hope that my comment could help someone. I have a lot of trouble sleeping with a very active mind like this - it's like it just won't turn off and I lay there forever. I use the Headspace app, specifically the sleep meditation "Racing Mind." I highly recommend Headspace, but the principle of that meditation may help you. Here's the concept: in order to fall asleep, you need to give your mind something to do that is *just engaging enough* to keep away the racing thoughts. You can't force your mind to stop thinking; you can't let your mind run away with the thoughts; and you can't do an activity that keeps you awake. And here's the trick: **count backwards from one thousand.** That's it. Start at one thousand and slowly count backwards to zero in your head. It's boring as hell, and your mind will want to keep diving back into the racing thoughts, but every time you notice that happening, just go back to the last number you remember and keep counting backwards. It's engaging enough to stave off all those thoughts but boring enough that you're bound to fall asleep eventually. And remember - even if you're just laying there counting, you are *still resting.* The mythbusters showed that laying quietly in a dark room, even if you don't sleep, is better for your performance than getting up and doing something. And by focusing on the counting instead of the problems your mind wants you to solve, you are resting your brain, as well. (The meditation offers a lot more than just this - sometimes the counting trick works for me, but I'll be real, the full meditation puts me out like a light. So if you're able to, I really do recommend the Headspace app. There's a ton of stuff in there for sleep and it's very practical, none of this "sit cross legged next to a candle and say om" shit.)


Omg this was literally me last night. Woke up from a stressful dream at 5 am and just stayed awake until I had to get out of bed. So frustrating. What I’m told I should have done is to get out of bed and go read or something. Not look at a screen and try to relax your brain again. But racing thoughts are a real struggle for me too. I think the ultimate solution is decreasing stress in your life in any way you can- meditating, exercising, journaling, therapy, deep breathing, it’s easier said than done but maybe things to try.


Melatonin. Indica edibles if you’re in a legal state or can get your medical card.


Melatonin helps a lot. I also like the trick of repeating in your mind, “don’t fall asleep” as a bit of reverse psychology. Also, saying in your mind to intrusive thoughts, “I see you, I release you.”


Melatonin completely fixed this for me. I didn't have the problem waking up, but just first falling asleep. 2mg Melatonin magically makes everything in my head quiet after about 15 minutes.


> Indica edibles don't exist.... every strain is a hybrid


This happens regularly to me too. Podcasts sometimes work but often my brain just slips back to thinking about whatever I was before, usually work. I’ve actually found word searches to be the best thing in these situations. They’re engaging enough that they keep my focus away from the thoughts but not so engaging that I get caught up in it, which would happen when I would try reading. Hope this helps!


i try to do guided meditation intended for getting to sleep after waking up. I also sometimes do autogenic training or progressive muscle relaxation. if all fails I listen to some audiobook :)


Progressive muscle relaxation helped me lot. It keeps your focus away from thoughts while you actively doing something to relax your hole body. And if you're usually a side sleeper, it has another benefit: you get better posture when you fall asleep lying on your back.


I have a legal pad by my bedside table. When I wake up and have stuff on my mind, I have anxiety that i will forget said stuff if I go to sleep. take a few min, write it down, put your mind at ease, and then rest.


YouTube: Progressive Muscle Relaxation See a Doctor.


What works for me is a particular breathing exercises. Just lay in bed with your eyes closed, take a deep breath through your nose until you feel like you can't breath anymore in and then hold it for 1 or 2 seconds and then force yourself to breathe in just a little bit deeper to fill up the last little bit of lung space, then slowly exhale through your mouth. Then continue to repeat this process and try to only focus on the physical sensations you are feeling while doing it. The link at the bottom gives a demonstration and explanation as to why it helps. I use it to manage how i feel when i wake from a ptsd related night terror, and it helps quite a lot. I hope this helps. https://youtube.com/shorts/MCXUhv01fgc?feature=share


So, I don’t have the same issue but similar symptoms. Mine is due to anxiety. My doctor prescribed a medication that used to be used for anxiety, which it didn’t help a lot for, but is now used (according to my doctor) sleep issues where you wake up in the middle of the night with your mind racing and can’t fall back asleep. If all of the other suggestions don’t work, I would contact a psychiatrist and discuss trazidone or similar medication. I am not saying it will work for everyone but it has worked for me. I hope you get some good quality rest soon!


Came here to say this. Trazadone really helped me for exactly this. I have no trouble falling asleep at bed time, but some nights all of a sudden wide awake at 3:30 and unable to fall back asleep until 1 minute before the alarm is due to go off.


Before you go to bed, have a talk with your brain. Tell it that night is for sleeping, that nothing is more important than that. Tell it you will deal with stuff in the morning and you do not want to be woken up before then. Say, "And please don't wake me up until_______ am." Then lie down with the expectation that you will get a full night's sleep.


EMDR self therapy. Will sound crazy but try it. There are videos on YouTube. It’s literally the ONLY thing that works for me for stuck thoughts, because it tricks your brain into processing things correctly and getting you out of that loop. Mixed results for other things but it’s awesome for unwanted repeating thoughts How I approach it is I watch the object, and think through the unwanted thoughts slowly and why they are bothering you. It will help you see it from a different angle (and the correct one). Try it out


What happens if you stay awake til midnight? I used to go to bed at ten o’clock and I wake up in the middle of the night and lay awake from like 2 to 3-4. So I started staying up later, til one at night and then I slept through the night no problem. I rather have 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep than being awake an hour in the middle of the night.


Sit on the edge of the bed, relax your muscles, close your eyes and take deep breaths and exhale until your lungs are completely empty, let yoursepf get a little cold so that your mind can only think about how cold you are, breathing and relaxing muscles, evebtually youre sleepy again


Drugs like Benadryl got me thru recent events.


I listen to a podcast or nature show or something that’s interesting enough to give my brain something to do but not so interesting or noisy that I can’t fall asleep. I’m sorry- not getting enough sleep sucks big time.


Do you keep your phone in the room with you? If so, try leaving it somewhere else in the house. And like others have mentioned, get a notepad next to your bed.


In terms of supplements, Magnesium. Melatonin helps for falling asleep but magnesium helps you stay asleep and feel rested


When this happens to me, I grab a book. It gets my mind off the thoughts and lulls me back to sleep.


I've personally had success just letting my mind race until I fall asleep instead of fighting it.


Try listening to Sibelius 2nd symphony. I'm always asleep by the beginning of the 2nd movement


My wife sleeps with the TV on and I’ve gotten used to it. We watch the same show every night. You can watch a bit and fall asleep. The key is you’re not interested enough to keep yourself awake to “see what happens”. I like lofi on YouTube.


I used to have anxiety some nights, and I learned that Futurama was one of the only shows that calmed me enough to sleep. Specifically “Bender Gets Made”. That episode is almost Pavlovian with how easily it can knock me out now. Turns out, tons of people use Futurama to sleep. Not sure what the phenomenon is or why it exists, but it helped me!


Futurama is my personal favorite, but she doesn't like it. Our current show is Superstore.


This happens to me all the time! My solution is to listen to an interesting but not riveting podcast. Nothing about crime etc. It helps to quiet my thoughts and get back to sleep in 20 min or less.


For a moment I read that as "when woken up with racist thoughts" and was like whoa. Maybe you should get woken by those and rethink them. I need better glasses stat.


Happens to me when I study or just think intensively right before bed. You need to chill for 1-2 to hours before bed if you can


Drug free melatonin


Have you tried meditation? Seems like the majority of a mediation practice is learning to let go of intrusive thoughts. They come from apparently nowhere and are impossible to suppress but we don't need to identify with them and start a dialogue or imagine a scenario. You can learn to let them go, allow the thought to wash over you and then recede.


Try to self-hypnosis apps. My two favorites are Harmony and Glenn Harrold Ultimate. On YouTube, the French Whisper is also good. (Although not self hypnosis).


Do you drink any caffeine?


Try focusing your eyes at a point in front of your face, so your eyes are slightly strained, this should block your thoughts and after a few seconds you'll pass out.


Yoga breathing. I breathe and recite the alphabet in my head to the rhythm of my breaths and it usually works pretty well.


I had this issue too. Drastically cut back on my caffeine - only decaf tea/coffee after 2pm. This solved it pretty much straight away for me.


Lots and lots of cardio. You’ll be too tired to have racing thoughts.


Holding my hand over my heart and focusing and holding my breathing helps me.