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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

270

A Guide to Natural Sleep Aids

You live in a world full of stress and stimulation: global warming, 24-hour access to fast food, reality TV shows about shooting hogs from helicopters, The Economy, Twitters and Facebooks and Tumblrs that update themselves every time you click reload, insurmountable student loan debt, and anime. Is it any wonder you can’t sleep?

Sure, there’s stuff like Ambien, and Ambien’s great, but it can be addictive, plus wouldn’t it be nice to be able to fall asleep without hearing music that isn’t playing or telling your boyfriend that his face looks like a plate of fruit? There are, it turns out, more natural ways to deal with insomnia. Here’s a guide to some of them.

Warm milk
If this helps you sleep, you don’t have anything that could properly be termed “insomnia.” Isn’t that nice for you.

Chamomile tea
See above.

Feng shui
What? No.

Total darkness
For a while, it seemed like all health-tip articles were about how even the glow from your alarm clock was too much light for you to get a good night’s sleep, but if that’s true, then why is an afternoon couch nap the most satisfying form of sleep achievable by human beings? Hmm? “Experts”?

Relaxation techniques
Well, yeah, obviously relaxing works, but if you could relax, you wouldn’t need sleep aids in the first place. I have tried this. I have tried that thing where you relax your toes, and then your feet, and then your ankles, and so on, but even if I can stop worrying about the heat death of the universe or what earrings I’m going to wear the next day, I start worrying about whether I’m doing the relaxation thing correctly. I mean, my yoga teacher makes us relax our hearts, I can’t relax my heart, and if I did, wouldn’t that cause problems, like, with my blood? Augh, just thinking about trying to relax is stressing me out.

Valerian
Studies are inconclusive. I bet if you believed real hard, you could get a placebo effect for a few days even if it doesn’t work for real.

Melatonin
Studies are inconclusive on this one too, but I really think I fall asleep easier when I take 6 milligrams instead of the recommended dosage of 3 milligrams. (Legal disclaimer: You are hereby not allowed to OD on melatonin and then sue me.)

Melatonin brownies
If you want to take melatonin in the most ridiculous form available, there’s always Lazy Cakes, the melatonin brownies that have been cited by the FDA (not because the FDA necessarily thinks melatonin is dangerous, but because they don’t allow unregulated supplements in conventional foods). The reason Lazy Cakes are so ridiculous is that they pretend to be pot brownies instead of studies-are-inconclusive-about-this-natural-sleep-supplement brownies. The box says, “Relaxation Baked In,” and the mascot is a stoned-looking brownie, and there’s a slogan on the website that says — oh my God, I just went to their terrible/perfect website to check the slogan, and they’ve been renamed “Lazy Larrys.” What does that mean? How could a brownie…be a Larry? In any case, one Larry has 8 milligrams of melatonin (as opposed to the 3 in a normal pill). You’re only supposed to eat half a Larry at a time, according to the box, but I ate whole ones. They seemed to make me sleepy. It was nice, if caloric.

Of course, there are more holistic steps you can take to help yourself sleep better, but you already know about those. You can exercise regularly; avoid caffeine, sugar, and alcohol; somehow rearrange the elements of your life into a less stressful pattern. And then every once in a while, when that all gets too hard, you can take a pill. Or eat a weirdo brownie that's been deemed unsafe by the US government, like nature intended.

Previously: Make Your Own Powerfully Fragrant Body Butter.

Lauren O'Neal grew up near Berkeley, California, but didn't become a dirty hippie until after moving to Texas.



270 Comments / Post A Comment

Kneetoe

Booze

Studies are ongoing, but this seems to work.

causedbycomma

@Kneetoe I am available to participate in this study.

Kneetoe

@causedbycomma I'll just assume you don't want to be in the control group.

whizz_dumb

@Kneetoe I read the title and thought, 'booze better be #1'. Then I realized this isn't a listicle and this isn't The Awl.

melis

@whizzard How To Fucking Fall Asleep

Jesus, just fucking do it already. You've spent all day being awake and you finally have the chance to escape. Fine. Bourbon. How about now? No? Then fucking - more bourbon, dipshit. Now you're asleep. Congratulations. Tomorrow you can repeat the whole empty cycle.

melis

+ steak + bears + Dave Bry

Kneetoe

@whizzard Ha!

pixieg

@Kneetoe Related to this! Hops is/are(?) supposed to make you sleepy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hops#Medicinal

EleanorRigby

Trader Joe's chewable peppermint melatonin and I are best buddies.

swxnw

@EleanorRigby Melatonin gives me heart palpitations, I had to quit that sh*t.....We are not best buddies, which makes me super sad :(

punkahontas

@swxnw Yeah! Melatonin made me really dizzy! But the brownie ones named Larry will NOT stop cracking me up.

EleanorRigby

@swxnw Yeah, the swallow-able ones made me feel like I was attempting to claw through a cloud the next day, but the TJ's chewable ones just give me a light drowsy feeling at bedtime and a clear head the next day.

Maureen Kelly

@EleanorRigby. We have no Trader Joe's in Austin, but Central Market makes a minty chewable melatonin that works OK, if anything is going to work that particular night.

cherrispryte

@EleanorRigby Oooh, this is good to know - the regular 3g Melatonin pills make me foggy as heck teh next morning, so I'll have to get my hands on the chewables.

aarij

Melatonin made me really dizzy! But the brownie ones named Larry will NOT stop cracking me up. consult-soft

Lorna Juett@facebook

On the Ambien trip... My boyfriend used to take the stuff, and literally only a QUARTER of a pill. He had to stop because he started having visual hallucinations followed by blacking out and falling over DURING THE DAY. Powerful, nasty stuff, I say. It also made for some seriously ridiculous hanky-panky (yeah, I said "hanky-panky") that we later dubbed "Bear Sex," due to the amount of clumsy pawing and flopping about like a salmon that ensued. Fun for everyone!

rootmarm

@Lorna Juett@facebook Goddammit I want Bear Sex!

Lorna Juett@facebook

@rootmarm I'll lease him to you, if you're in the Chicagoland area. It was actually great fun, but there is a lot of propping and supporting to be done, so you get a workout in the process.

It's sort of like banging Bernie from Weekend at Bernie's (dead Bernie, not live Bernie), but he's way younger than Bernie and there is no conga music playing.

ProfessorBen

@root -- ask Balk!

finguns

@Lorna Juett@facebook Oh yes, the bear sex! The worst part for me is that I couldn't remember any of the bear sex, I just had to take my husband's word for it that I greatly enjoyed it. As much as I love good drugs, I had to quit taking Ambien for similar reasons even though it let me get the best nights of sleep I have had since childhood. I once woke up and told my husband about this amazing dream I had had where I had been texting and conference calling my 4 best friends in high school and we'd had this awesome and funny hours long banter that was just like being in high school again. And then I checked my phone and evidentially I actually had been texting and calling them all, only the conversation was more like "whhhats up with ou, I totes msssssss and popsicles" on my end, and "holy shit, are you ok? what is wrong with you?" on their end.

Judith Slutler

@finguns That story is both terrifying and hilarious.

Alixana

@finguns Such good friends to worry about you, though!

When I was briefly on Vicodin for a broken tailbone, I apparently had a long and complex conversation in my sleep with my husband (which I don't remember) about my need to purchase water but being unable to find my wallet. After he finally convinced me that he would get me water for FREE and put me back to bed, I then rolled over and demanded another hot dog. Apparently Vicodin makes me think I'm at a baseball game!

Hooplehead

@Lorna Juett@facebook: Ambien is so bad for you, but SO tempting. I have never slept better than when I was on it. Aside from the occasional weird dream or panic attack, it was perfect, I tell you! But the sleep sex stories are making me really glad I was single when I was on it.

Diana@twitter

@finguns llllllllllllooooooooooolllllllll

cosmia

I want to buy these brownies right now. I don't even care.

Sahar

@cosmia Don't waste your money! I bought them for a long plane trip once, and they just made me really drowsy, but paradoxically unable to fall asleep. I'm blaming the caffeine from the chocolate fighting with the melatonin. They ARE pretty tasty, though--like vegan brownies, all dense and extra-cocoa-y.

Eden

Valerian does work for me but it's not really magic. It doesn't knock me out. If my brain goes "No, you don't get to sleep until 5 a.m. because I hate you," and pitches a fit, valerian doesn't have the ability to fight that.

However, if my brain's just like "Hm, it may be fun to keep you awake ..." valerian can say "Yeah, no, it won't be."

But I've also found only certain ... er, formulations? I guess ... of valerian work where others don't do anything. I think we're all different.

I think I am greatly intrigued by EleanorRigby's talk of chewable peppermint melatonin from Trader Joe's. I may have to check that out.

snakeantlers

@Eden same story with me and melatonin. it works, but not if i'm completely twacked. melatonin also scares me because i've heard rumors of your brain stopping production of melatonin after prolonged supplementation, and i need that to sleep when i'm not taking pills.

laurel

@Eden: I have crazy-ass dreams on valerian, but it does work.

leylusha

@Eden Valerian tea for me does nothing, but tinctures make me extremely sleepy. I learned this the hard way at work, once. (We sold supplements and health food, and sometimes my boss would have me try some.)

Zach Borenstein@facebook

this has some great tips - i especially like the melatonin brownies (people seem to like adding drugs to brownies). but the advice is much appreciated. at fitango.com we are looking to provide people with similar info - just in the form of action plans that allow people to learn in all areas. just trying to keep info flow going, and thanks for the share. z

gimlet

@Zach Borenstein@facebook Action plans that allow people to learn in all areas! How intriguing! Here, let me give you all my money!

melis

Can I make millions working from home with FITANGO?

gimlet

@melis Will it give me one weird tip of a tiny belly?!?!

melis

@gimlet Or introduce me to hot fun singles in my are??

gimlet

@melis I hear it was discovered by a single mom! in MY city!

becky@twitter

@gimlet and it will make my teeth whiter by using common household items!

cuminafterall

@becky@twitter Dermatologists HATE Fitango!

Xanthophyllippa

@cuminafterall It was developed by a TEACHER!

VictorVictrola

@all you guys
Almost spit water at my computer from trying to swallow my laughter here.

rootmarm

I always used to just take Benadryl, but then realized it makes me into an idiot the whole next day.

barbara millicent roberts

@rootmarm Hahaha but I like that part. It's like the workday goes faster if I can't think at all?

antarcticastartshere

@rootmarm I took benedryl last night and woke up after four hours in physical pain because was sleeping so soundly I had not moved AT ALL.

Not It

@rootmarm Benedryl makes it impossible for me to find my keys the next day. Even when I tape them to the bathroom mirror.

kayjay

@rootmarm I've heard that Benadryl is an amazing hangover cure. I haven't tried it myself, but I'm curious if anyone else has had success.

like a rabid squirrel

@rootmarm Benadryl is a great hangover cure in the sense that if you wake up with a terrible hangover and take a Benadryl (or two...) you immediately pass back out and get dead-to-the-world, hangover-curing sleep. At least that was my experience in college. I didn't get a lot done on the weekends.

kayjay

@olliegrace That makes much more sense than the magical elixir that will turn your hangover vomit into fairy dust and rainbows that I heard it was. Thanks!

cosmia

@rootmarm I tried Benadryl but it always gives me massive migraines the next day :(

antarcticastartshere

@cosmia Once I took two benedryls instead of one and the next day I had to buy a bra and put it on in the bathroom at work.

Bebe

@kayjay Benadryl actually gives me hangovers. Blech - I can't imagine taking it when already hungover.

Ozzie, The Last Hairbender

@rootmarm I've been having the same effect, only without the Benadryl.

aarij

I've heard that Benadryl is an amazing hangover cure. I haven't tried it myself, but I'm curious if anyone else has had success. buy instagram followers

insouciantlover

Valerian is great! I also take it during the day sometimes when I feel like running through the streets stabbing people. It helps me chill the fuck out.

causedbycomma

@insouciantlover For a minute I thought the Valerian was what MADE you able to run through the streets stabbing people and I was like "they SELL that? Where can I get some?"

insouciantlover

@causedbycomma Girl that shit is called METH and it's DELICIOUS.

melis

Definitely read this as Valyrian at first after seeing "stabbing" in your comment and thought, well, yeah, I guess Valyrian steel would help you sleep. I gotta start reading something else.

barbara millicent roberts

@melis Me too, I was like "no way, a sleep aid forged of TRUE VALYRIAN STEEL?!"

heyladies

@bmc My GoT reading rampage is finally slowing down with book 5. also ready for new material but don't want to be a quitter.

cosmia

@melis Well, THE DEAD SLEEP IN THE RUINS OF OLD VALRYIA

melis

@cosmia SHHH YOU'LL WAKE THE DRAGON

YOU DON'T WANT TO WAKE THE DRAGON, DO YOU?

lovelettersinhell

@heyladies After you finish, may I recommend The Name of the Wind, as well as perhaps... oh, Sailing to Sarantium? The first should be available anywhere, the second you may need to order online. (note: Guy Gavriel Kay is a hugely underrated author and one of my faves, but do yourself a favor and don't start on him with Ysabel or The Fionovar Tapestry.)

Alixana

@lovelettersinhell Oh, you're my new best friend. I would say Lions of Al-Rasssan for one's first foray into GGK, though.

sophia_h

@lovelettersinhell Tigana was my first GGK! But I threw the first Fionavar book against the wall in a rage.

Name of the Wind was good, but the new sequel was cub-raaaaazy.

Mrs. Brown's Lovely Daughter

@sophia_h The best part of this thread is that it's 4:40am and I'm in the midst of being unable to sleep.. taking a break from reading Feast for Crows (which certainly isn't helping me sleep, what with torturing and such that was just going on).
As for Wise Man's Fear, I assume by "cub-raaaaazy" you mean it was good? I'm going to have to re-read Name of the Wind before I get to that one because waiting 3.5 years has kinda dulled my memory of the story. I might just wait another 4 years until the 3rd book comes out (think he can do it any faster?) so that I can just read them all in a row.
Meanwhile, I think I'm with heyladies on the slowing of the reading rampage. I might take a break from GoT when I get to the end of this one and read the latest Dresden Files before finishing up Dance With Dragons

sophia_h

@insouciantlover WMF is like, seventeen books in one. At least five. It's weird because the stories are all sequential, so you feel like you just read five totally different books, and yet it STILL hardly advanced the Big Epic Plotline. I can't imagine how it's going to be just a trilogy, honestly.

The new Dresden Files book is fucking GREAT. The new ASOIAF book is fucking TERRIBLE. Tragic, but true. I had an advanced copy and I wanted to throw it against the wall when I finished. But Ghost Story almost made up for it.

Mrs. Brown's Lovely Daughter

@sophia_h Good to know on all counts!

aarij

so you feel like you just read five totally different books, and yet it STILL hardly advanced the Big Epic Plotline. Free PDF Ebooks

wee_ramekin

Has anyone tried Rescue Remedy? We used to use it for the dogs at our kennel when they started to freak out during thunder storms, and it seemed to help a little. Does it help humans(I mean, it's made for people, so I assume so)? Could it be a sleep aid? I NEED ANSWERS, PEOPLE!!!!

insouciantlover

@wee_ramekin I've used it when I'm having a bit of a panic attack and it has helped... but this was years ago. I don't think it would be useful as a sleep aid, but maybe worth a shot?

Lorna Juett@facebook

@wee_ramekin They also make a Rescue Sleep... I've used it to great success, but then again, I rarely have any sleep problems.

Nicole Cliffe

I, um, like taking it in a glass of water and pretending to be Molly Parker at the beginning of Deadwood.

insouciantlover

@Nicole Cliffe I loved her character. Such an abrupt end to that awesome show.

punkahontas

@insouciantlover I KNOW! That show was the best, and it killed me ho they ended it. Now I'm hooked on Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire.

LauraRebecca

@wee_ramekin What was the dosage for the dogs? My dog *freaks out* during thunderstorms and it's nice to hear there's a remedy!

wee_ramekin

@LauraRebecca Hey girl! We would usually add a few drops to about...two cups of water? The website says that you can give your pet up to four drops directly in his or her mouth, which I would recommend doing if the storm is already well under way. We'd usually dose the dogs' water as a pre-emptive measure if we knew a storm was coming.

Katiesaurous

@wee_ramekin Id never heard of this 'Remedy' (although I will definitely be googling it), but I bought these Drs Foster & Smith calming treats for my dog for during storms. They work well for him. Obviously your experience may be different, but they've done well at keeping my chihuahua from getting so nervous during thunderstorms that he pukes

http://bit.ly/raKWLU

Stardust Petunia

@wee_ramekin Not if you have anything approaching legitimate sleep problems, unfortunately no.
I do like to have a few drops after coffee, convincing myself that now the coffee will make me alert not alarmed but umm, I don't think that works.
If you are tossing and turning and freaking out about how screwed and tired you're going to be the next day and how your brain never turns itself off when you need it to this is so not the stuff for you.
However, I do find the pastille version quite tasty, in an herby way.

insouciantlover

Oh also! Kava! Seriously I just wrote a post on tumblr about this shit the other day, so very timely. I know you can take too much and get a migraine the next day (ahh, hippie youth) but just a cup of it makes my tongue nice and numb and that spreads down my whole body and makes me sleepy.

I'm uptight as shit so you better believe I know my sedatives.

swxnw

@insouciantlover Tell me more. Can I get this at Whole Foods?

kayjay

@insouciantlover I just posted down there about the magic of kava. It's dangerous with alcohol, though. Dangerously fabulous! I suggested the liquid extract added to your favorite tea. The numbness in your mouth lets you know it's working!

insouciantlover

@swxnw good question... uhhhhh... probably? I got some when I was in Hawaii, but I know that it's online or in stores with a bunch of herbal supplements.

kayjay

@swxnw You can get it anywhere when an extensive supplement aisle. Spring for the expensive extract. The liquid caps didn't really do anything for me unless I opened up a bunch of them and dumped them into hot water....and the one time I did that, I woke up 14 hours later very late for work and unable to operate a motor vehicle. Or my shower faucet. It was a bad scene.

insouciantlover

@kayjay Shower faucets are, like, hard.

kayjay

@insouciantlover Especially when H and C are reversed.

out of order

Drank! http://www.drankbeverage.com/

It's the first "Extreme Relaxation" drink to hit the market.

The extreme part kind of worries me. If something is extreme I can't imagine it being relaxing, unless it's SO relaxing I actually die from being so relaxed.

I have a friend who drank the Drank, and apparently he had a great nap in a park... kinda a la a hobo I suppose.

Stu
Stu

@JaneDoe819 It's a pretty extreme form of relaxation. It didn't kill me, but it did give me a near-undeniable urge to take a nap.

kayjay

@JaneDoe819 I look forward to consuming some Drank at my next gang-bang!

out of order

@kayjay Way to find an appropriate application for it! I wonder if it looks and tastes like an energy drink. I can totally see girls asking "Why are these Redbulls and vodkas making me so sleepy?"

kayjay

@JaneDoe819 I loves me some Energy Drank.

cuminafterall

@JaneDoe819 Drank is for boys; girls drink Qrank!

theotherone

@JaneDoe819 Similarly: Bob Marley's Mellow Mood beverage. http://www.marleybeverages.com/beverages.php

Which, really, I don't even know where to begin to make fun of this, so I'm just going to leave it at that.

fondue with cheddar

@JaneDoe819 Exclamation points aren't relaxing.

amity

I swear by melatonin, not only because it's relatively inexpensive but because it makes me drowsy in a pleasant and not intoxicated way. Anyone else get restless legs from antihistamines? (e.g. Tylenol PM and the like) because it is annoying as all get out.

Briar Heart

@amity Yes! I get restless legs from benadryl/Tylenol PM too, sometimes before I even fall asleep. Twitching like I'm being zapped by electricity totally negates the purpose of taking it in the first place.

cosmia

@amity I get restless and then exhausted, and then the next day I get a hangover-y headache

joie

Melatonin IS amazing and it's my go-to when I really need to just pass out for 9 hours. However, if you take too much it can strip the pleasure receptors in your brain (not sure what those are called. Damn it, I'm a property manager not a scientist!) and prevents your body from producing melatonin naturally. Meaning: it eventually stops working and then you're fucked and wind up needing to take Ambien to sleep anyway. Moral of the story is that you're not supposed to take it too frequently or else it loses its effectiveness.

TheRisottoRacket

@heyits Yeah, if I take 6 milligrams I end up waking up two to four hours later and can't fall back asleep for a few more hours, so it ends up being pointless. Only take three milligrams!

I usually take it if I've just arrived somewhere for vacation, because even if I'm exhausted from travel I'm too jazzed up to sleep because I'm on vacation.

lovelettersinhell

@heyits innnnteresting. I'm a super depressive person with my lovely antidepressants, but sometimes I also have insomnia and for that, melatonin is my only cure (as of yet!). I have to make sure I have at least 8 hours to sleep, though. And now, since pleaure and all, I am wondering how it interacts with my meds, though my former psych lady said it was cool to take it.

Also, I take 6 mg. 3 just makes me too tired to focus without falling asleep.

joie

@lovelettersinhell I'm seeing elsewhere on this thread that people are saying kava is the shit. I'm thinking I'm going to check that out. I am not super depressive, just moderately, but I completely get insomnia, especially in the winter when I'm generally feeling bluer and more prone to severe depressive episodes.

Moll-E

I third or fourth or whatever valerian root. It smells like foot + garbage but it did seem to work for me. Dammit, now I'd really like a nap.

becky@twitter

i'm going to write a rom com called 'must love brownies.'

ejcsanfran

@becky@twitter: I think Cathy Guisewite beat you to it. ACK!

becky@twitter

@ejcsanfran she won an emmy!

swxnw

Does melatonin tweak anyone out like it does to me? I get heart palpitations for days...I mean I have anxiety already, but it makes it SO MUCH WORSE and I feel like a heart attack is imminent. Ugh.

kinbarichan

@swxnw: Yes. Heart palpitations and vivid, upsetting nightmares.

insouciantlover

@swxnw This explains a lot, actually. I just got some melatonin and had super stressful dreams all weekend long. Back to bong hits with me.

cherrispryte

@insouciantlover Oooh yes on the nightmares.

swxnw

@cherrispryte Yeah no nightmares for me, just the palpitations and generally feeling like shit until I figured out what it was and got off the stuff. Hooray for not sleeping through the night!!!

Sahar

@swxnw Me too! I had one of the most memorably weird nightmares of my life after taking melatonin for a few nights. And yes, heart palpitations, too, although my doctor told me that if you're taking birth control, a number of chemicals can cause heart palpitations when they interact with the hormones.

chevyvan

@swxnw Yes, melatonin gives me terrible nightmares. Like the one where I was in like a war zone or something and people were dying everywhere, and a horse had killed a dog and it had the dog's head in its mouth and it was swinging it around.

macaroni

@swxnw YES. Whenever I take Melatonin I feel like I'm in Aziz Ansari's bit about Coldstone Creamery - AKA "I'm tweakin'! I'm tweakin'!" It is the opposite of a sleep aid for me. I'd rather chug a liter of vodka. (And be crazy-super hungover for a physically-intensive day of work tomorrow.)

silly*goose

@chevyvan Seriously, you guys? I'm not the only one? The nightmares I had when I took melatonin were so horrific that I thought I might be having a psychotic break.

Which, by the way, was infuriating, because melatonin worked really fucking well to put me to sleep.

sox
sox

Passionflower extract is the be all end all knock out for me. I use HerbaPharm's plain Passionflower extract and the dosages work for me thus: 1 dropperful for a mild effect, 2 to put you right to sleep, 3 to lay down in a coma til your alarm goes off and then some.
Also, I've had mixed success with 5 HTP, which is essentially the amino acid in turkey that makes you sleepy. But be warned if you google it, like 1 out of ever how many people have had weird blood issues associated with it...

ellening

"Heat death of the universe." :(

Lauren_O'Neal

@ellening Don't worry, you and everyone you've ever loved will be dead by then!

E
E

After many years of bad sleeping and experiements with face masks and otehr BS, my remedy is to read a book I find interesting, but not suspenseful, in bed, at least an hour befor my target falling alseep time. If I need to sleep at 10:30, I usually can't fall asleep until 12-1 but if I get in bed at 9:30, and start reading a book about art history, or something all of a sudden the good sleey overwashes me. But it needs to be the right book. Find something where the words start to slip out of your brain, and no chapter ends with a mystery that might make you go, "WHAT! Will they escape!?"

Can we talk about the particular caliber of tiredness one feels as a bad sleeper? I often feel tired, but the falling asleep part feels horrible. Only sometimes do I get into bed and the tired washes over me and feels calm and soothing. I have always envied watching my sleep partners, and the way they can just sort of surrender to sleep, without an enternal struggle. They just stop moving and then they breathe deeply and suddenly, asleep. That so very rarely happens to me, even when my brain doesn't race.

heb
heb

@E I read old college textbooks from the classes I actually cared about.

rayray

@E I do this with podcasts. Added bonus of having the light off while you let sleep slowly win the battle with your interested-ness.

Xanthophyllippa

@E I feel your pain. The longest relationship I've ever had has been with insomnia.

bangs
bangs

@E I find Don Quixote is perfect for this.

BadWolf

@E @Xaxa I do this, too! With "One Hundred Years of Solitude." Nothing puts me to sleep like a vague parade of Aurelianos.

thebestjasmine

@E I do this with old childrens books. They're always my bedtime reading. I reread the Anne books like 3 times a year, all while falling asleep.

E
E

@thebestjasmine Nice! I often pick up a Mary Russell novel, which I pretty much know by heart now. Also good, Ursula K. LeGuin, because she writes in a slow tone- even her most violent scenes feel sort of muted and soft to me.

Xanthophyllippa

@E "But yes, with regularity the unwashed tramp his wife in the boarding house will telephone."

"Merci, monsieur."

bangs
bangs

@BadWolf Yes! That was a good one! War and Peace is next on the list.

so what?

@BadWolf i love one hundred years of solitude! if you don't read it consecutively, the characters are sorta hard to keep straight, which is probably why it makes you sleepy. it's a self-propagating cycle!

so what?

@so what? look at how many exclamation points i used; i'm so friendly.

cminor

@E I do this with audio books. That way I'm laying down with my eyes closed and the lights off, but still engaging the part of my brain that wants excitement and story.
This works especially well with a story you know (and love) well. I would suggest the Steven Fry narrated Harry Potters or any of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books.

Poodle

This is really timely, because I've just realized how awful melatonin is. When I take it, I constantly wake up in the middle of the night locking or unlocking my doors, screaming, or convinced I'm hearing the sharpening of a thousand knives. Baaaad. Baaaaaad. Tylenol PM works like a charm and is both the joint and the jam, so I'm willing to tolerate some mild stomach bleeding if it means I can sleep through the night without fear of attack.

kayjay

@Poods Melatonin isn't really terribly good for anyone. I had horribly, violent dreams while taking it, and it makes it almost impossible for the naturally-occuring melatonin present in your brain to work the way it's supposed to. 5 HTP works much better.

Hooplehead

@Poods I hated melatonin. Took hours to get me to sleep, and I felt like a zombie the next day. No, thank you.

Lily Rowan

@Poods Isn't the PM of Tylenol PM literally benadryl? You can skip the stomach-bleeding, I'm pretty sure.

TheFang

@Lily Rowan Yep! Just benadryl.

aarij

For me it's not just not being in my own bed. I went to Mexico once for a week with my friends (but not my husband) and I was pretty much awake the ENTIRE TIME. crucialsuperstar.com

punkahontas

I suck at sleeping worse than anything else. Prescription stuff and over the counter sleep aids make me profoundly sad the next day, for some reason, melatonin makes me dizzy, and my brain scoffs at "relaxation techniques."

However, I just spent some time in Switzerland and slept like A CHAAAMPIONNNN! So yeah, that's my best solution for getting good sleep, and it's pretty much the most inconvenient and impossible solution there is. Awesome!

Xanthophyllippa

@punkahontas Nah, I've got one even MORE inconvenient and impossible: spend a month in China. I slept through the night the entire time I was there - and came back to the U.S. and haven't slept through the night since.

janbrady

@punkahontas I pretty much sleep like a champ whenever I'm NOT in my own home. I slept like a rock recently in a tent out in the woods by a rushing river. On my lovely new mattress in my comfy dark bedroom? Never.

crawdad

@janbrady when I'm trying to fall asleep I pretend that I am camping.

bangs
bangs

@punkahontas I had the best sleeps of my life sailing on a tall ship in the Caribbean. Also incovenient, though plausible?

punkahontas

@Xanthophyllippa Okay, you win. And Xaxa, you also win, because I don't even understand how you get to do that.

For me it's not just not being in my own bed. I went to Mexico once for a week with my friends (but not my husband) and I was pretty much awake the ENTIRE TIME. Except for one night when I took two Tylenol PM and drank red wine. Not the healthiest option, but it was an emergency at that point.

punkahontas

@crawdad I have actually been pretending I'm in Switzerland to help me fall asleep and it's kind of working. I've only been home a few days though, so the jetlag is helping me fall asleep at a reasonable time.

bangs
bangs

@punkahontas Part of a 2 week university course studying volcanoes and coral reefs. The rocking of the ship and the rum were very soothing. But for a week or so after I came home I was completely screwed up for sleep. I would wake up and it would feel like I was being rocked back and forth by the waves, and sometimes I would half sleepwander around my room looking for the door, thinking I was still on the boat.

punkahontas

@Xaxa Better than sleep-wandering while on the actual boat, I guess.

That course sounds awesome!

E
E

@punkahontas I use the living room couch as switzerland. You know when you are awake in the middle of the night, and crazy tired, but your room feels both too big and too small? I get up and move to the couch. As a child I would build myself a nest of stuffed animals and sleep pointed in the opposite direction, or build a tiny bed pile out of blankets at the bottom of the closet. Anything to feel like I was tucked up better.

AngerMonkey@twitter

@punkahontas Maybe because it's cooler there? Seriously, there was a research paper recently that said placing cold packs on people's heads helped just as much with insomnia as anything else. Here's one of many articles that mentions it: http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/health/528735/a-cool-head-helps-insomnia.html. I've found it DOES work pretty well.

Alexmen

nest of stuffed animals and sleep pointed in the opposite direction, or build a tiny bed pile out of blankets at the bottom of the closet. ...symptoms of cataracts

Alexmen

I've found it DOES work pretty well....gold coins ira

Alexmen

I've found it DOES work pretty well....gold coins ira

Michelle Masha Shannon@facebook

This reminds me of that episode of Home Movies where Coach McGuirk has insomnia and Melissa suggests that he try turning off the lights and getting in bed... so try going to sleep if you have insomnia :)

theharpoon

@Michelle Masha Shannon@facebook "You think you're so tough. You think you're so tough and good-looking."

becky@twitter

watching this video helps: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHrRxQVUFN4 though, i wish i had liquid medicine that tasted like lime cordial or rummm punch.

kayjay

Drink some kava tea and kiss your loved ones goodbye for about 72 hours. That shit is magic.

Slutface

I tried the brownies and nothing happened. They didn't taste good either :(

theharpoon

Somebody link the sleeptalking man blog! I can't I'm on my phone!

kayjay

@theharpoon http://sleeptalkinman.blogspot.com/

I'm a big fan myself.

theharpoon

@kayjay Yay, thanks kayjay!

j-furr

@kayjay i think i lost an hour of my life to this just now.

Caitlin Podiak

Pot brownies work better, sillies. Or just pot.

kayjay

@Caitlin Podiak Agreed. Pot and Netflix. It works 60% of the time every time.

Really, though. It works everytime even when I don't want it to.

fondue with cheddar

@Caitlin Podiak Pot makes me relaxed, but not sleepy. This is both good and bad.

jstar

AND ANIME.

Xanthophyllippa

@jstar If by "fall asleep" you mean "have a seizure," then right on!

wakeshakecake

Are there any drugs or brownies or doughnuts that will cure my irrational quiet rage at people who don't have these problems? I have suppressed myself from saying "BUT HOW CAN YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT!" in a dramatic fashion on more than one embarrassing occasion. Insomnia is so a part of who I am that the concept of falling asleep (and staying that way) is so foreign I can barely wrap my head around it. Like, you can just get tired at normal times, fall asleep, and then wake up? You don't obsess about things or thrash around? Extreme jealousy.

kayjay

@wakeshakecake I don't know anyone who can do that thing you said at the end there. In fact, I don't really even know what those words mean all strung together like that.

punkahontas

@wakeshakecake I hear you. Sometimes, when I'm super exhausted, I can feel myself starting to fall asleep, and I get so excited that I wake myself back up. I'm like "It's happening! IT'S HAPPENING!!! Oh. Fuck."

Xanthophyllippa

@wakeshakecake Are you me?

cosmia

@punkahontas I DO THIS TOO, and then my heart starts beating all fast from the excitement and I can't relax enough to actually fall asleep.

cherrispryte

@wakeshakecake I don't thrash, and once I'm asleep, I rarely wake up, but falling asleep is damn near impossible for me. I do not understand the "get tired at normal times" people either.

Kate Kane

@punkahontas Oh god, I do that too. Falling asleep should not be stressful, dammit!

sox
sox

@cherrispryte My favorite is when you can't fall asleep, then when you finally do, you DREAM THAT YOU'RE LAYING THERE AWAKE.

cherrispryte

@sox I've been going through a thing where, as i'm falling asleep, i've convinced myself that I"m falling asleep at my desk at work, or in some meeting. I try and wake myself up because falling asleep is bad, and then I suceed and realize no, it's 2:45AM, now is the time for sleeping, and my subconscious is an idiot.

melis

@cherrispryte Oh, that's a thing! What's that thing called? Your brain does period...sweeps, I guess? Monitoring your body, or what have you, when you're trying to achieve a goal. Which is normally good! But when you're trying to fall asleep, your brain is monitoring itself, and in this very act you wake yourself up. "I must fall asleep!" "Very well. I will dedicate myself to this act and inform you when a status of ensleepment is attained."

Five minutes later. "Time to check if we're asleep! OH SHIT, we almost were, but now we're awake, wondering if we're asleep yet." Who polices the police, etc.

lovelettersinhell

@wakeshakecake Ha, my husband and I have fun telling people we don't keep the same schedules, because he is not an insomniac. Eventually, enough days of falling asleep later and later will reset me when I get SUPER TIRED at a normal time, but for the most part... I'm often up till anywhere between 2-4, sometimes even 8!

melis

@melis "PERIODIC" YOU STUPID DUMBASS

propermake

@wakeshakecake i've had this with dudes to the point where i hate them. however my current boyfriend is even worse at sleeping than me so we're happily enabling--and tired.

Alexmen

TIRED at a normal time, but for the most part... I'm often up till anywhere between 2-4, sometimes even 8!...Flat Fee MLS

Fifi

Chelated Magnesium is my new favorite sleep aid. I like it because it is just a mineral supplement & something your body needs anyway. Make sure the active ingredient ends in an "ate" & not "ite" because the "ite" softens your stool quite a bit (pudding poo!)

punkahontas

@Fifi I am going to try this. And also the Kava, I think. Those are the only two I haven't tried yet. Does it have side effects (assuming I get the "ate"?)

lucystrawberry

Melatonin works. It does it does it does!!!!!

sandyaygogirl

liquid. nyquil. it's amazing. i take a swig about 20 minutes before i want to go to sleep and it's almost an anesthesia-like sleep. and the dreams, the dreams are the best part!

fondue with cheddar

@sandyaygogirl NyQuil keeps me awake and restless all night. :(

Pound of Salt

I don't even remember what it's like to go to sleep without marriage iguanas.

leonstj

JOAC

becky@twitter

@leon.saintjean jersey overseas aid commission? ;) kidding! kidding!

Lisa Ring

Paired with the picture, I first read the headline as being about Sheep Aids. Those sheep should wear condoms.

Stevie

I use generic "Rite Aid Sleep Aid" (or the Walgreens equivalent), which is the Tylenol PM without the Tylenol. It's probably bad for me in some way, but damn, it quiets my crazy before bed and I drop off very peacefully. I need around 8-9 hours of sleep, though, or I'm super groggy in the morning.

j-furr

Re: total darkness. I made myself a satin eye cover ( think Audrey in Breakfast at Tiffany's) which actually does help me sleep and also makes me feel like a princess; pair that with some earplugs ( where did Audrey get those cute ones with tassels that look like earrings?) and you are ready to catnap anywhere in style.

fondue with cheddar

@j-furr That sounds like a great idea, but I'm pretty sure having an eye cover strapped to my head would annoy me and keep me awake. Everything annoys me and keeps me awake; I'm like the princess and the fucking pea at bedtime.

pixieg

For years I have had trouble getting to sleep at night. I was even prescribed diazepam (aka valium) for it, but obviously that's super addictive so you can only take it for a week and anyway it started to make me a bit loopy. The cure I have found sounds shit and not true, but honestly: Ear plugs. It's not even the case that I usually can't get to sleep because there are noises everywhere. Ear plugs just seem to have some kind of power over my brain... I don't know why it works but it does for me, so I suggest people give it a try.

cosmia

@pixieg Ear plugs usually work for me too! Except sometimes I randomly wake up at 4 AM and my brain decides that earplugs are uncomfortable and I fling them off in a daze and then can't find them the next day.

Lauren_O'Neal

@pixieg I don't know why I didn't think to mention this in the post, as I have used earplugs every night for something like ten years now. I guess I just forgot that people don't naturally sprout foam in their ears when they get in bed? For me, they're a bare minimum, though. I can't sleep without them, but they definitely don't prevent my insomnia.

punkahontas

@pixieg I tried earplugs but I (I'm not even kidding) feel like my ears can't breathe.

More battenburg, vicar?

@pixieg I use earplugs a lot too, especially when Mr. Battenburg is having a post-beer snore. The problem is that they fall out of my ears in the night, end up on the floor, and the dog treats them as earwax flavoured chewing gum.

Lauren_O'Neal

@More battenburg, vicar? For dogs, used earplugs are a delicacy rated somewhere above used Kleenexes but below used tampons.

More battenburg, vicar?

@Lauren_O'Neal Exactly! We could do a whole 'the best time my dog ate something disgusting' thing. The time she ate christmas tree decorations and had sparkly shit for days was a high spot for me.

Lauren_O'Neal

@More battenburg, vicar? Crayons have a similarly delightful effect!

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@punkahontas Try Flents Quiet Time (the "Time" is important, also, they're purple). They have the highest noise reduction rating and they don't give me "swimmer's" ear.

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

It's purely coincidence that I'm posting this early on a weekend.

Hooplehead

"Warm milk
If this helps you sleep, you don’t have anything that could properly be termed “insomnia.” Isn’t that nice for you.

Chamomile tea
See above."

It's funny because it's so very true!

Tulletilsynet

Writing all night for a deadline helps me. I get this really "sleepy" sleepy feeling, hard to describe.

thefrogget

Drinking chamomile tea before bed makes me paranoid that I'll have to pee every five seconds while trying to fall asleep, and inevitably that paranoia will become reality. So yeah, chamomile is kind of a fail for sleeping.

janbrady

This is so lame, but I got a sound machine that plays rain noise. That coupled with totally dark bedroom and zzzzzz. There's also an iPod app with outdoor noises that I use sometimes. Also a great relaxation app by this New Zealander dude who talks you into sleep with his sexy, sexy accent. (He also does a sleep app, but that one weirdly doesn't work as well.)

Meanwhile, my Ambien totally didn't work last night. WTF.

fondue with cheddar

@janbrady That stuff doesn't put me to sleep, but it does drown out the tinnitus.

vickelchen

@janbrady What are the names of the iPod apps? Especially the sexy accent one! My guided relaxation CD unfortunately features an annoying accent.

Kate Kane

I had good luck with Lunesta a couple years ago, but my insurance company decided they weren't going to pay for it anymore and my doc tried to put me on the one that starts with an R that I've confused with rohypnol due to its tendency to make me try to leave the house not fully dressed. That didn't go over too well with me. (My neighbors don't get a vote.) Now it's all melatonin and rain noises and sometimes John Hodgman's audiobooks. He's very soothing when he talks about hobos!

melis

Rohypnol would help you sleep, though, I bet.

laurel

@Kate Kane: "Spasmodic Hilary, Doc Aquatic, Molly Bewigged...stand by..."

More battenburg, vicar?

I've learned mindfulness meditation as a general looking after myself thingy, and to get to sleep I tell myself a really boring story (same story every night for weeks on end 'til I can't stand it any longer, then have to make up a new one), and use mindfulness attention-focusing skills to keep bringing myself back to the story every time my mind wanders to worries/work/cake etc. I basically bore myself to sleep every night.

Alixana

@More battenburg, vicar? In a similar vein, I often bore myself to sleep by factoring numbers in my head. 1 = 1! 2=2! 3=3! 4= 2 x 2! I am almost dozing off at my desk just thinking about it.

Also, love your username very much.

More battenburg, vicar?

@Alixana The hardest part is being disciplined enough to stay focused on something so boring, when there are lots of lovely, interesting things to think about . . . cake . . . Alan Rickman . . . etc.

Xanthophyllippa

@More battenburg, vicar? You HAD to go and mention Alan Rickman, didn't you? Now I'm going to be up all night *again*.

More battenburg, vicar?

@Xanthophyllippa Oops! Sorry about that. He is a major cause of my *insomnia*. You've probably seen this, but if not:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mmzziK8pJw&feature=related
Sweet dreams.

emloy

Drink a Drank! I'm not kidding...http://www.drankbeverage.com. I only experience minor embarrassment every time I walk up to the counter with multiple cans.

Megasus

I definitely read this as "A Guide to Natural Sheep Aids"

Xanthophyllippa

@Megan Patterson@facebook OMG ewe too??

Wrecking Ball Gown

@Xanthophyllippa What a baaaaaaaad pun.

Xanthophyllippa

@MaScherzi I dunno; I thought it was shear brilliance.

fondue with cheddar

@Xanthophyllippa Wool done!

area@twitter

Podcasts. I don't even know why, just the sound of people talking in low voices always make me drift off. Maybe C-SPAN or NPR? (This is also my sovereign remedy for migraine headaches- Excedrin Migraine that bitch, then dark bedroom with podcasts on. The pain either recedes and I fall asleep, or it peaks, I throw up, and THEN I fall asleep.)

Xanthophyllippa

@area@twitter This explains why everyone in the world falls asleep while watching golf.

area@twitter

@Xanthophyllippa I- this needs to be studied. IMMEDIATELY. (Seriously, Golf Channel on 24/7. Or DVR the US Open or something and settle down in your recliner with a scotch. Worked for my grandpa!)

Xanthophyllippa

@area@twitter YES. I have golfer parents, so we always had some tournament on the TV year-round, and I remember taking naps during broadcasts. Even now, the sound of the old PGA Tour theme sends me back to my old living room.

area@twitter

@Xanthophyllippa When we visited my grandparents, Granddad was always in his chair watching the golf. (Didn't matter which golf, there was always SOME golf on.) To this day I can't look at a green on TV without expecting to smell a whiff of cigar smoke.

Xanthophyllippa

@area@twitter Golf: innocuously planting memories in American children since the late nineteenth century.

Kitten Mittens

The worst part of my insomnia: you know how everyone advises you to "read before bed"? I have to reread something I've already read a million times (and even then, it usually doesn't work). But any new information - even if it's a "fun" book, not for work or anything - makes my brain stand at attention. Ugh.

Also, just because I'm hoping a Hairpinner might have a similar experience - for the past year or so, I have been exhausted ALL. THE. TIME. Even when I've gotten "enough" sleep. I have all the symptoms of an underactive thyroid, but it's not that. Not anemia, not depression, not hormones (?) Anyone have any encouraging words/similar stories?

area@twitter

@Betty Stinson Because my doctor just grilled me about it this morning: Mmmmmaybe sleep apnea? That would give you a similar spectrum of symptoms. (Possibly snoring? Morning headache? Insomnia?)

The Lou 83

@Betty Stinson I have the EXACT same problem. I am tired ALL THE TIME but all of my blood tests and what not come back fine. I have found that I feel much better when I take vitamin B12 everyday.

Glee

@Betty Stinson What about sleep apnea? So common and totes make you feel tired all the time no matter how much sleep you get. I was waking like 125 times per hour when I finally did fall asleep.

If you haven't been tested maybe talk to your doc about this.

(Do not make the mistake I did, which is figure that you're not really getting any sleep at all so it's okay to take a week of night work on a movie as well as your regular day job. Apparently even two hours of shitty sleep makes a big difference.)

fondue with cheddar

@Betty Stinson @The Lou 83 ME TOO! I do snore sometimes, but I don't think it's the sleep apnea kind of snoring. It doesn't wake me up, and I never sleep on my back. My problem is falling asleep more than staying asleep. WTF is wrong with us?

Bebe

@Betty Stinson You've probably already tried this, but if not - add more protein to your diet. I've been feeling lethargic for no reason for a while, and there is nothing wrong with me that anyone can find. But, when I do what the nice doctor told me to do (30-40 minutes of aerobic exercise 4 times a week, and least 7 hours of sleep, and more protein), I feel much better - more energetic and focused.

Kitten Mittens

@Bebe @jen325 @Georgiana Lee @The Lou 83 @area

YOU GUYS! This thread has warmed the cockles of my heart (my so, so sleep-deprived heart). I really think I've got "the ap," so I'm trying to set up a sleep study. Although, with all that new-setting stimulation, I'm not sure how I'll be able to sleep. I foresee several unsuccessful reschedules in my future!
Thanks for all the advice. Boo for sleeplessness.

fondue with cheddar

@Betty Stinson Good luck with it (friendly exclamation point)!

area@twitter

@Betty Stinson Good luck dahling! I hope you're able to get some solid help. And some solid sleep. (Also if you have trouble getting to sleep in a strange place, maybe they can set you up with an oximetry study, which can be done at home and is less invasive. Might be worth asking.)

Feminist Killjoy

But don't the brownies have chocolate in them??? And doesn't chocolate have caffeine?

Diana@twitter

"I mean, my yoga teacher makes us relax our hearts, I can’t relax my heart, and if I did, wouldn’t that cause problems, like, with my blood?"
YES.

laurel

OK, but if you can't sleep, get up and bake something. That way, sure, you'll still be exhausted in the morning, but at least there'll be pie to go with your coffee.

selasphorus

I stopped sleeping a year ago. They gave me Ativan, which worked great, but only 15 of them, which made me angry when they ran out. Doc won't prescribe ambien- she wanted to put me on antidepressants. I'll keep my sex drive thanks-- and I;m not depressed. I tried every herb and OTC sleeping remedy on the market. I went to the Kaiser-prescribed "sleeping class" which is utter b***. Nothing. Nothing can shut my brain up even when all I want is to fall asleep.
So now I smoke weed and take Benadryl. Me, who was a goody two shoes until I turned 30.

indigo_stars

i've been dealing with super bad anxiety for the past few months and tried several holistic type sleep thingies to deal.
trader joes makes a sleepytime on steriods tea (i forget the name) that has actual warnings on it not to operate machinery. its very calming (when you smell it) and when you drink it you're out in about ten minutes. i've seen it work on others and its pretty funny.
magnesium is awesome for daily general stress relief. i take it in balance with calcium- you want to find a 2:1 mag:cal ratio. you can take just magnesium but it binds with calcium in the body, so i figure two birds, one stone.
ive used kava extract for some of the heavy lifting. the stuff is amazing. at my old job at a health/juice bar we used to make kava/chocolate/banana smoothies and just zone out alll day. they did some study years and years ago that's probably not at all true about kava causing liver damage, so thats why there are some warnings, and i generally wouldn't take it days and days in a row.
and finally, when all else fails, i take klonopin. thank you doctors who do not listen to your problems, instead just give you 100s of klonopin. the only side effect there is that i walk into door frames a lot.

this was either really helpful or total overshare

duojiangas

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Annie Murphy@facebook

Hey all! I'm a baby herbalist and have some plant based suggestions. Kava root-I like to put a handful of it in square of cheesecloth, and tie the edges together as to make a kava sack. then I put it in some sort of milk in a mason jar or something else with a big mouth ( I feel like there could be a joke here?). Usually 2 1/2 cups of milk per handful of root. Don't heat it! heat destroys active kava compounds. you can use either dairy, coconut, almond, or rice. whatever milk works though, kava dissolves better in fats than in water is the thang. I let it sit in the milk for 20 minutes and then squeeze the kava sack. You'll see it start to turn the milk brown. That makes some good sleep drank.
I also strongly recommend passionflower, skullcap, lemon balm, and california poppy. all of those are available in tincture (plant extract preserved in alcohol/glycerin/or vinegar), and dried for teas. Yogi teas makes a great sleepytime blend! Also-don't do anything in your bed other than sleeping and sexing. It sounds simple-and I didn't used to give it any attention, but since I've started abiding those rules, the change has been hugely significant. I spend A LOT less time lying awake in bed with a million anxieties running my brain. f'realz. Happy sleep and pleasent REM time!

antarcticastartshere

So...has anyone else gotten the LifeWave Silent Nights Patch ad on the Hairpin home page?

http://lifewavepartners.com/silent_nights.html

katherine

I just take (insert brand here) PM if things are getting to a problem hour. Yeah, potentially addictive, etc. but I'd rather be potentially addicted than oversleep and be fired thanks to not sleeping early enough.

Mrs. Brown's Lovely Daughter

Am I the only one who doesn't feel ANY effect from melatonin? It doesn't make me sleepy, and it certainly doesn't give me headaches or heart palpitations like so many other people have said. Yikes!

The only way I get to sleep each night is audiobooks. The problem is that it has to be something I've read before, otherwise I find myself trying to pay attention to the story too much to fall asleep. The best one I've found is Harry Potter read by Stephen Fry. He's got such a soothing voice, and since I know the story backwards and forwards it's enough to keep my brain from going OMG REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED EARLIER?!? HEY HEY HEY DON'T FORGET TO DO THIS TOMORROW (etc.) while still allowing me to not really care about what he's saying if I'm falling asleep.
I used to try leaving the tv on, but that didn't work even if it was something I'd seen a million times because I still wanted to SEE what was going on. I'd say it's been at least 2 years now since I went to bed for the night without a chapter of Harry Potter playing.

Stardust Petunia

@Leah YOU ARE MY (NON) SLEEP TWIN. This is me, EXACTLY. So, so awkward at my boyfriend's house and part of the reason I don't particularly like sleeping with other people. Post sexy time, I reach for the ipod and turn over 800 times trying to find a position that doesn't mash my ear uncomfortably against the bud. Then I get tangled up in it during the night or drop it (loudly) off the side of the bed. I'm pretty fun.

wee_ramekin

@Stardust Petunia Maybe you could listen to the book on low-volume on a little radio, and your boyfriend could wear earplugs on the nights you sleep over? Would that work?

Mrs. Brown's Lovely Daughter

@Stardust Petunia Haha yes!! I'm not seeing anyone now, but for a while I would actually leave the guy's house rather than spend the night if I forgot my iPod! Awkward is an understatement. Part of the problem too was that he couldn't sleep without the tv on. So I'd be awake until he'd get to sleep, then have to turn off the tv and get my iPod going.

Not stylish in the least, but I think we both need a pair of these: http://www.sleepphones.com/

Stardust Petunia

@wee_ramekin that is such a thoughtful suggestion I just wanted to thank you (two days late). You are an ideas woman and I like it! We will see how this goes.

wee_ramekin

@Stardust Petunia Oooo! Keep us posted!

MKE
MKE

Tranquilizers! They also make conscious reality better, as an added bonus.

fondue with cheddar

On a completely unrelated note, the Lazy Larry section reminded me of a funny story. My brother and sister-in-law went to visit my mom and stepdad while they were living in Shangai. One night they went to a restaurant with some Chinese friends, and she ordered lobster sashimi, not realizing what she was getting herself into.

I don't recall if the naming happened when she picked the lobster out or when they served it, but at some point one of the Americans nicknamed it Larry the Lobster. So anyway, they served her this moving lobster on her plate, and she had a hard time eating it. She said to my brother, "I can't eat Larry!" to which one of the local Chinese at the table replied, "Do you eat Larry at home?"

propermake

also, audiobooks read by british dudes. benedict cumberbatch reading casanova or stephen fry for the harry potter books. worth it for the hermione voice alone!

Dalas Verdugo@facebook

Valerian works the best for me. Melatonin gives me weird dreams and the following day feels like it's also a dream.

carolita

The thing that works like a charm for me every time is relaxing into my pillow after checking the weather on my iPhone, and trying to decide what I'll wear the next morning. I never ever stay awake long enough to decide. But if in dire trouble, say, having woken up in the middle of the night completely alert for no obvious reason, a capful of orange blossom water (available at indian food stores cheap for a big glass bottle with a pretty label), in warm milk or even just tepid water, can help.

elizabethburns

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micheljhon

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