30 Tips For Falling Asleep When You're Worried About Yesterday, Today, And Tomorrow 

30 Tips For Falling Asleep When You’re Worried About Yesterday, Today, And Tomorrow 

If you can’t stop worrying about what went wrong today or what might go wrong tomorrow, try these tips to fall asleep from Ask Reddit.

1. Cheesy as it is, watch Bob Ross painting videos on Youtube. He makes me feel safe and secure. I love falling asleep to the funny stories he tells about his paintings.

He calms me down a lot when I’m feeling anxious or upset (which is mainly the reason I stay up) and I can drift off dreaming about happy little clouds and trees, and a river that Bob fishes in.

2. It’s kinda weird but stick a block of ice in your mouth and just lie in bed. As it melts it’s kinda like your consciousness melts with it.

3. The Spotify “Sleep” playlist; I put it through the Google Home Mini, lay back, close my eyes, and within about 10 minutes I’m drifting off!

4. Take a quick, hot, shower. It really helps you relax and makes you tired.

5. I learned to fall asleep by daydreaming.

Simple enough, but I had to adopt certain rules around it.

Don’t daydream about realistic things. That camping trip I’m planning for the weekend? That’s off limits. Anything centered around my real life is off limits.

Why? because that opens to the door to anxiety and overthinking those events. I become invested in making sure they go a certain way and that keeps me awake at night.

The same rule applies to people. Nobody I know. Because if I build the habit around people I spend time with it becomes: “Wait, should I have said that thing I said last week? I don’t think they liked that, oh gawd they hate me now.” I don’t want to be overthinking my real world relationships. I don’t really do that when I’m awake and alert, but I certainly do when I’m exhausted and not thinking straight.

So blast off in a tardis, go explore the moon, be a superhero. Or super spy. Explore some alien worlds and then the matrix and then escape the zombie apocalypse to sip martinis on the beaches of jurassic park. If I’m really struggling to fall asleep it helps to imagine scenarios where you’re physically exhausted.

6. I just put my pillow on the other side of the bed and for some reason this has worked since I was a child just turning around.

7. Focusing on my breathing. Breath in is one, breath out is two and so on. Get to ten and start again. If my attention drifts bring it back to breathing.

8. The military sleep procedure.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Relax the muscles in your face, including tongue, jaw and the muscles around the eyes.

  2. Drop your shoulders as far down as they’ll go, followed by your upper and lower arm, one side at a time.

  3. Breathe out, relaxing your chest followed by your legs, starting from the thighs and working down.

  4. You should then spend 10 seconds trying to clear your mind before thinking about one of the three following images:

  • You’re lying in a canoe on a calm lake with nothing but a clear blue sky above you.

  • You’re lying in a black velvet hammock in a pitch-black room.

  • You say “don’t think, don’t think, don’t think” to yourself over and over for about 10 seconds.

The technique is said to work for 96 percent of people after six weeks of practice.

9. White noise, such as rain sounds.

10. I’m kinda shocked no one said Sleep With Me podcast. I used to have terrible nights not being able to sleep due to stress and anxiety, but Dearest Scooter’s dulcet tones and superfluous tangents (his words not mine) have definitely helped me to fall asleep. It’s the best podcast I never remember listening to, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

11. I have imaginary conversations with fictional characters. Sometimes I vent or ask for advice/guidance, sometimes I give it. Sometimes I antagonize them. Sometimes I’m a ‘character’ in their ‘universe’, part of their story. Sometimes I’m still me but I got stuck in their universe somehow. Sometimes I appear early in their story and have foreknowledge of their adventures and meticulously plan out how to minimize their tragedies. Eventually I’m dreaming.

12. Exercise. If you burned a reasonable amount of calories at any point today, your body is gonna sleep well.

13. I learned a trick recently that helps me a lot.

I count backwards from 99. SLOWLY.

The key is to do it slowly, and I cannot emphasize the importance of that enough. Think the number, then take a pause that feels a little bit too long before thinking the next number, then take another pause.

99… pause…
98… pause…
97… pause…
96… pause…

The lowest I’ve ever counted is into the 60s or maybe the 50s before I fall asleep. Often, I’m asleep before I’m through the 80s. Sometimes I’ll lose track of what the next number is because I catch myself falling asleep, so I’ll start over, and I always fall asleep quickly after that.

Again, the key is to count backward… s l o w l y

14. I just make up stories in my head. Sometimes I’m in the world of a TV show I like or in my own little dream universe I made where I have made up characters and such. And eventually I just fall asleep doing this.

15. Reading. It’s kinda sad but I’ve realized books put me to sleep now, even if it’s an exciting book.

16. Masturbate.

17. This is going to sound weird, but I slowly say good night to each of my body parts, starting with my toes and working up. Usually, I’m asleep by the time I hit my chest or so. If I’m not, I know it’s going to be a long night.

18. Listening to Rain and City Ambience on youtube, really relaxing.

19. I’ll usually listen to some music (on low volume) and just focus on that rather than focusing on trying to sleep.

20. Meditate. Some YouTube guided meditations really help for sleep.

21. Bedtime stories, they have plenty of them targeted toward adults for the specific purpose of getting you to fall asleep.

22. Eating a banana. It apparently helps you produce melatonin.

23. The alphabet game. I think of a category, like “types of plants” and go through the alphabet in my head and try to think of something in that category for each letter. I often fall asleep midway through the alphabet.

24. Camomile tea.

25. I tell myself not to think about sleeping. Just enjoy the nice crispy blankets and soft bed and I tell myself to try to relax and get really cozy instead and not to worry about falling asleep.

26. Weed.

27. I just look at the fan above me and follow its blade by revolving my eyes and I slowly get tired of it and fall asleep.

28. Probably not the healthiest method and not something to rely on but eating a large meal knocks me out.

29. Cuddling my plushies.

30. Basically I convince myself I’ve given up and go on my phone or play 3DS and make a plan to read something or play to a measurable point, so that there’s something that I WANT to stay awake for. Something that sleep would interrupt. Puts me right the fuck to sleep, and I’m never sure if I should be glad or annoyed. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University.