1. Turn your room into an icebox. You are Lil Jon, your A/C is a rap video vixen, and you must see to it that it gets low. Way low. Have that thing pumping chilly air through the vents until you’re forced to wrap yourself tightly under the blankets. When I’m feeling extreme, I’ll turn on an additional fan to complement things with a little wind chill factor. I’m telling you guys, being snug and warm under the covers while it’s freezing outside of them will eventually lead to you passing out.
2. Duck tape your mind’s mouth shut. If you’re like me, the second your head hits the pillow, your brain decided to begin reflecting on every potential disaster, worst case scenario, upcoming bill, past humiliating moment and hypothetical future embarrassment while my eyes are wide opened, filled with fatigue and stress. Whenever I catch myself thinking in great detail about current life problems and playing the what-if game, I sit up, take a deep breath and say, “Hey, mind – you’re gonna have to pipe the f-ck down. Mmk, pumpkin?” Well, it’s more about telling yourself that you can’t solve anything at 3:42 AM and the chances of you tripping, falling and cracking your head open in front of everyone is highly unlikely. Cleanse your thoughts and try that whole falling asleep thing again.
3. Put on some socks. Normally I can’t wear socks to bed but if you’re wide awake anyway then it’s worth a shot. There’s a scientific explanation for this, which you can find here – but I wouldn’t recommend getting caught too deep in the Internet’s sticky web of knowledge, so maybe save the explanation for another day. (Sidenote: If you clicked on that link, you’re welcome for the free trip back to AOL for the first time in years.)
4. You time… Y’now… you time. Very hands on YOU time. Usually people feel exhausted afterward, and that is the objective here.
5. Read. This is fairly commonly known; a book is comparable to a warm glass of milk as far as relaxation goes. I try to avoid books I’ll enjoy, reading stuff I’m not actually interested in so that I fade away quicker. Another benefit of this method? I use it as my excuse whenever folks ask why I have something embarrassing (e.g. Twilight or a Nicholas Sparks’ novel) lying on my nightstand.
6. Catch The George Lopez Show on Nick-At-Nite. You’ll be out before the cold open ends. I see this show on at night fairly often and I’ve yet to make it to the opening credits.
7. Turn off your laptop. No, not standby, I mean shut that sucker all the way down. If you don’t, you’ll inevitably think about something random and feel the urge to Google it, but if it’s all the way shutdown you’re less likely to follow through and go to such great lengths for a random piece of info. Seriously, I left my laptop on standby the other night and found myself scrolling through Jodie Sweetin’s IMDB at 2 in the morning. It only took like two scrolls, but knowing Stephanie Tanner’s life isn’t worth starting up my computer, but when it’s just sitting there, waiting to be used I can’t resist.
8. Warm shower. Something about hot water and a freshly cleaned body results in a more comfortable time dozing off. If you want to maximize effectiveness, consider hitting your energized body with a little #4 while you’re in there. Not my cup of tea but the phrase different strokes for different folks most certainly applies.
9. Relaxing sounds. If you don’t own a CD or have them downloaded on your iPod, YouTube has lengthy sounds that can help put you out. White noise, the sound of crashing waves, rainfall, waterfalls, the forest – whatever you find serene and tranquil is there. Obviously if you use a YouTube version, tread carefully, otherwise you’ll get sucked into the abyss, then find yourself watching clips of Full House and whatnot.
10. Play along. If after several hours you just can’t sleep just say, “Fine, body – you want to act up? K.” Then get out of bed (or stay in bed) and do things. Turn on your TV and watch Insanity workout infomercials, Google ‘fire penguin disco panda,’ take a trip to WalMart and slyly snap pictures of the world’s classiest shoppers, listen to your voicemails, create a new MySpace profile, do it all! Then, when your body decides it’s finally tired, say “No.” and do more. Punish your despicable body until it realizes that while it may own the legs, YOU wear the pants in this relationship. Then, when you finally feel that it has learned its lesson, get off of the Internet and call it a night… Or call it 5 in the morning, whatever works.
image – Shutterstock