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What do you do when you want to sleep but you can't fall asleep?

asked Sep 05 '10 at 00:47

Windows7's gravatar image


(Sep 05 '10 at 01:28) r0bErT4u r0bErT4u's gravatar image

I step away from the computer and generally find that helps immensely. Seriously!

answered Sep 05 '10 at 01:35

ageekmom's gravatar image

ageekmom ♦

I will sometimes turn on nice and relaxing music at a lower level, because if it's too high, it may become a distraction.

answered Sep 05 '10 at 00:54

catchatyou's gravatar image


Sometimes, when you're wide awake and its like 3am, its a good idea to just get up and watch some tv or read a book.

Do something to get out of the dark room.

When you can't sleep, your stuck in bed and your thoughts, and they will begin to loop. 'Go to sleep, go to sleep, relax relax' and all that is doing is working against the cause.

Personally I find when i get up, and watch/read something after 15min or so I feel freshly-tired and bed is so welcoming.

... Then again, there are those nights where nothing works. insomnia-sigh

answered Sep 05 '10 at 01:25

Uelogy's gravatar image


Well a hot drink might help but that also might not be your thing. Music can keep you awake as well. Too high it will be noticeable and I suggest putting a low song on repeat. Because when I listen to music as I sleep I sub consciously count how many songs multiply by 3 for average song length and then realize how long I was awake. I don't know if that's just me but its not a pleasant feeling. So the best you can really do is just either lay there in the absolute dark with nothing on and just slowly fall asleep or play low repeating music. I am sorry I cant be more help.

answered Sep 05 '10 at 01:12

Yuma's gravatar image


I suffer from insomnia and have tried just about everything there is to sleep. Over the counter sleep aids don't work for me, and so it's very hard to sleep. I've found that you have to find what works best for you be it soft music, a light snack, warm milk, etc. The problem is not using these things on a regular basis so that you don't get use to them and then you're stuck trying to find something else a few months down the road when you aren't sleeping again.

answered Sep 05 '10 at 01:23

Sozo's gravatar image


A cup of warm milk is no magic sleep potion, yet it is probably the most common food associated with bedtime. Milk contains two substances that are known to be related to sleep and relaxation, the hormone melatonin and the amino acid tryptophan.

It contains tryptophan (same stuff in turkey---why you basically go into a food coma after Thanksgiving dinner) and the warmth of it raises the body temperature enough to trigger the slowdown response your body gets on a warm day (think: lazy days of summer).

The amount of melatonin in a glass of milk is minute, much less than what would be taken in a supplement. The amount of tryptophan in milk is also small. In addition, our digestive process is complex. Considering these factors, it is unlikely that a glass of warm — or cold — milk would shorten the length of time that it takes to fall asleep.

Though milk components and serving temperature are not likely to influence the onset of sleep through physiological means, warm milk might have psychological significance. I mean, it's all in the mind. You call it the "placebo effect."

The routine of consuming a glass of warm milk may elicit memories of mom, home, and comforts of childhood that help us to relax. This is part of the natural transition from wakefulness to sleep.

Many Sleep improvement tips are related to the shift from a hectic daily schedule to a state of relaxation. Recommendations include practicing stress reduction techniques, sticking to a regular sleep schedule and not taking morning naps, creating a relaxing bedroom environment, and avoiding caffeine or heavy meals close to bedtime.

For some individuals, particularly those with lactose intolerance or milk allergies, a glass of milk can be followed by uncomfortable digestive consequences. Lactose reduced, soy, almond, and rice milk are options that are more likely to be tolerated.

If you have no allergy or intolerance, and warm milk simply grosses you out, you could try flavoring it with a bit of honey, vanilla, or cinnamon, but there is no reason that you need to continue attempting to use it as a sleep aid. Keep drinking your cold milk, to meet your daily calcium needs, and try other sleep improvement techniques.

So, if I was asked if it cures insomnia. I'd say, "No." Some people, not all, respond favorably because of the amino acid tryptophan in it but it is not a cure for insomnia or anything.


answered Sep 05 '10 at 01:29

r0bErT4u's gravatar image


ahahaha can you imagine someone trying to shovel down a whole-Turkey meal before a trip, in the hope it will put them to sleep during a long-haul flight...!

(Sep 05 '10 at 01:33) Uelogy Uelogy's gravatar image

Reminds me of some show where some insomniacs were given sugar pills and told it was a new super pill for insomniacs. All the people that were having trouble sleeping took one and thus fell asleep.

Only after were they told they were just sugar pills.

(Sep 05 '10 at 05:45) SignOff SignOff's gravatar image

Instead of sourcing my information I'm just going to be honest with you and tell you how I overcome this problem.

I can fall asleep to noises in ambiance of my room, whether the TV or the DVD player. If you listen to music, music you know the words to, you're probably going to want to continue listening to it because you know how the song plays and the lyrics to it possibly.

If I can't have the TV or DVD player on, honestly, all I do is try to stay awake. I know it sounds funny but for me it works. I lay down with my comforter over me, maybe a warmer blanket sometimes and sit there with my eyes clothes and think about staying awake. Sooner or later you will find yourself in a much deeper sleep because it's kind of like you hypnotized yourself.

answered Sep 05 '10 at 01:35

recck's gravatar image


Reading because it engages your mind into something and can be relaxing.

Watch a film that does not require much thought or a TV show, remember to put it on quiet so you can only just hear it.

Don't think about trying to sleep if you can't sleep. When I was a kid i'd make up stories to send myself to sleep and I would get lost in my story and fall asleep.

answered Sep 05 '10 at 05:39

SignOff's gravatar image


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Asked: Sep 05 '10 at 00:47

Seen: 1,054 times

Last updated: Sep 05 '10 at 05:45