How Do You Shut Your Brain Off At Night So You Can Sleep?

Canada
September 9, 2009 3:28am CST
This is something that's driving me absolutely nuts. I start to feel tired, I look at my clock, and i decide that if I actually want to get up in the morning, I'd better put the computer away, and go to sleep. Problem is, all the interesting things in my head end up keeping me awake. I'm thinking of things I want to do tomorrow, I'm thinking about work, how to get a few more bucks in the bank, interesting things I want to write (I'm always writing), and now an idea that my husband tossed around today, to expand our writing careers. I can't shut my thoughts off, but I know I need to. How do you shut your mind off, so that you can get some sleep at night?
15 people like this
63 responses
@lilaclady (28226)
• Australia
9 Sep 09
Oh I am exactly the same, I used to think I was just a night owl but I have been told by my doctor I must learn to have good quality sleep at the time we are supposed to be sleeping as this is what our bodies are conditioned to do....but how...maybe someone on here has a secret...
• Canada
9 Sep 09
If our bodies are conditioned to do this, then why don't they? Or why do they let our freaking BRAINS win? Don't our brains need sleep too? And isn't the body controlled by the brain? So why won't my brain let me sleeeeep?!!!
1 person likes this
@lilaclady (28226)
• Australia
9 Sep 09
My doctor says it is all routine ...like going to bed before 12midnight, same time every night, have your bedroom set for sleep only, meaning no TV or reading...routine the sleep patterns...
• Brazil
10 Sep 09
Doctors always say that. I wanted to know why I never was able to do that. When I was younger I had to pass 4 days awake to have one night of sleep. I am a night person, so deep sleep for me just during the day and this makes hell of my life cause it is not supposed for people to sleep during the day but at night. I canĀ“t find a night job and I get really sick with a normal day job. Nowadays I need more than 24 hours without sleep to be able to sleep at night, but still is never a deep sleep for me.
• Philippines
9 Sep 09
I guess it's another sleeping dilemma topic from you danishcanadian. Then i guess write something so that the thoughts on your mind will not be put to waste as well as your time.
1 person likes this
• Canada
9 Sep 09
As you can see that's what I ended up doing tonight. If I am going to be kept awake by my brain, I might as well put it to work, and earn some money. :)
1 person likes this
• Philippines
9 Sep 09
@o_utsider (371)
• China
9 Sep 09
Just quiet,more quiet,most quiet...then I fall sleep. It is very easy!
1 person likes this
• Canada
9 Sep 09
I can be really strange that way as I HATE silence. LOL Because of my sensitive hearing, someone honking a car horn 3 blocks away, can sound like it's right outside my window, so I always keep some kind of music (usually in a foreign language I don't understand) playing softly in the background, so I'm not constantly distracted by what is going on outside.
@sissi320 (328)
• China
10 Sep 09
I have the same feeling with you. Sometimes, I felt so asleep and tired, but I can not shut my mind off when I went to bed. Although I am sleeping, but my mind is active, which made me so tried when I get up. I don't know how to deal with. I once think about the sleeping bills, but I also know it is not so good for the health. So, I drink milk every night before sleep.
@deejean06 (1953)
• United States
9 Sep 09
Hi danish...There are many nights when I simply cannot shut down either...If you find an answer please let me know...Good luck!
@liquorice (3901)
10 Sep 09
I'm exactly the same, it's like my brain charges during the day and then by night-time it's fully charged and raring to go!! I have a great relaxation technique that works (some of the time at least) to shut off my thoughts. Although sometimes if my mind's really buzzing with something they still break through, and when that happens I can sometimes manage to quieten my thoughts by writing them down. That way my brain doesn't need to constantly think about them. Like you I'm often thinking of writing ideas, and they do tend to flow so much better at night.. The relaxation technique I use is that I concentrate on each part of my body in turn to make it relax. For example, you could start at the top, slowly telling yourself to "be conscious of your head and face", and then "be conscious of your neck", shoulders, arms etc.. Once you've done the technique a few times you'll start to feel tingling in the body part your working on, as you feel it relax itself. When it works properly, this progressive relaxation sends you off to sleep before you've reached your toes! The other thing I do is go through my tai chi form in my head. If you do yoga that works just as well, or meditation. You could also swim in your head if you like to swim, that works too. I've written about things like this in an article on HubPages, as it's a subject close to my heart! (As you can probably tell, lol!!) http://hubpages.com/_x8qozdkx59zj/hub/A-Few-Tips-on-How-to-Get-a-Good-Nights-Sleep
@liquorice (3901)
10 Sep 09
http://hubpages.com/_x8qozdkx59zj/hub/A-Few-Tips-on-How-to-Get-a-Good-Nights-Sleep
@Citychic (4071)
• United States
9 Sep 09
Hello friend, Something that seems to work for me is that I tell myself, God is still in control. If you simply meditate upon that thought for a while it becomes very calming and soothing to your brain. In other words, you don't have to try to control everything because God is the one that's capable and able to control it all. So do as much as you can do during the day time. But once nightime hit, you need to just let it all go. If you are still having trouble a few good tips are taking a nice warm bath right before bedtime. Drinking a warm glass of chocolate milk. Warm green tea. Keep all the lights out or maybe one very dim light on. Try to focus on something that bring you pleasure. Like an ocean scene or the mountains.........doing this usually works for me. Last but not least. Go out and either buy or make yourself an eye pad so that once you pull it over your head, no light can get in. Then just tell your brain to rest.......... Lights out, good nite! PS: Please feel free to share your writing tips with me. I'm also very much into writing and would love to know how to expand more in the writing areas...... Good luck!
@Citychic (4071)
• United States
9 Sep 09
One more Sleep tip. try exercising your body really hard, 30 mins. a day should be just fine. If that doesn't help you then try one hour per day. If you still have trouble sleeping after trying all of these tips. You might want to talk with a doctor and let them know everything that's going on. Usually a regular bedtime ritual will do the trick! If none of that helps, just imagine me over here making lots and lots of money. It's floating all around me. Into my hands, into my mail box, into my account, lols, that oughtta do it friend. Finally you must tell your brain,stop. I'm ready to go to sleep! Good nite!
@Sissygrl (10914)
• Canada
9 Sep 09
I used to be teh same way.. but i found if i cut out the coffee EARLY in the day, and excersize throughout the day, and chasing after the kids.. and eating more healthy, then i am exhausted enough at teh end of the day that i just pass out relatively quickly!
@Sissygrl (10914)
• Canada
9 Sep 09
when it was happening to me often though, I used to lay in the most comfortable position for me and just relax.. start off at the top of my head and say in my head. over and over, relax and visualize my body relaxing. From the top of my head to the base of my skull, relax. From the base of my skull down to my shoulders, Relax. from my left shoulder down to my left elbow, relax. From my left elbow down to my wrist relax. from my wrist to my finger tips, relax.. You get the idea i'm sure..
@Fadolf (545)
• Slovenia
9 Sep 09
Hi danishcanadian! Why don't you try thinking about getting the rest instead of what should you do tomorrow. If you can't sleep try doing some sport in the evening, because after doing some sport you'll surely get tired and soon fall asleep. You don't have to run if you don't want to, but you can always do some easy sport like badminton, table tennis, etc. Happy mylotting and take care!
• Canada
9 Sep 09
Hey!!! There's my other favourite Croat!!! Where have you been hiding? :) I wish I lived closer to a bowling alley. I have some physical problems so running is definitely out, and I'm also legally blind, so any sport where items are coming at me (table tennis etc.) are out because I'll get hit by something I won't be able to see but I do understand what you're saying. Bowling is always nice, because I can toss something, and it won't come flying back at me. LOL I have a hard time sleeping in silence, because any little noise that breaks that silence will wake me up so I tend to try and sleep with some kind of familliar music on. My Vice Vukov CDs are good to have, since I don't understand the Croatian language. That eliminates the problem of concentrating on lyrics when I'm trying to sleep. His voice is nice and relaxing. Hem speaking of Vice Vukov, you might be interested in knowing that my friend Ivan, on the Croatian program that is played on a nearby radio station ckwr.com on Sundays, dedicated one song by Vice Vukov, and two by Ivo Robic to my husband and I for our anniversary on Sunday!! Just thought you'd like to know. They were wonderful, and Ivan even read my e-mail on the air! :)
@simonelee (2716)
• China
6 Oct 09
Hi, danish. How are you? It's been so long since I participated in your discussion. I always have trouble when it comes to sleeping. My wind is still active even if my eyes are so tired. Every night I'm forcing my self to sleep early but it only resulted to head aches and my mind become more active and end up sleeping early dawn. I tried many techniques to relaxes my mind and body but isn't still working, the worst thing was my brother and my mom are snoring. I know someone like you who can't sleep without putting those words in a piece of papers. I think it's the nature of writers...
@chrislotz (8200)
• Canada
26 Sep 09
I am the worst sleeper in the world, my friend. But I have found something that helps me sometimes, not always. I lay in bed and concentrate on relaxing my body so I can fall asleep. I start at my toes and say in my mind, relax my toes, and really concentrate on relaxing them. I work my way up my body and usually don't make it past my hips, I think. I must fall asleep because I don't remember ever getting higher than that. My problem is staying asleep more than falling asleep. I can't seem to stay asleep longer than an hour before I wake up. And then I have to do the relaxing thing again just to fall back to sleep. It doesn't always work too well and sometimes it takes me 15 minutes to fall back to sleep. This goes on for me, all night long. I never feel rested in the mornings because I can't sleep for a long period of time.
@Eisenherz (2909)
• Portugal
14 Sep 09
I am exactly like you when it comes to this. And as I've said to someone, you need to shut those thoughts either through a natural or a medicated way. Naturally, the only thing that seems to work for me is reading...I fall asleep after a couple of hours, I actually am considering going back to reading which I haven't done in long since I've convinced myself that I'm a writer myself, somehow. The medicated way is getting pills that actually work to get you sleeping right away. And in this case I recommend Stillnox (also known as Stillnoct) because it's really effective. I've even created a group about it around here and feel free to join if you want so.
@GardenGerty (128795)
• United States
13 Sep 09
I am so exhausted that my brain just shuts off automatically. Other advice is to get off the computer an hour or so before you want to sleep. Write a list of what you want to do tomorrow, then you can leave it out of your brain. Hope those things help. Other than the pain in my leg, nothing keeps me awake at night very often.
• United States
12 Sep 09
I hate when that happens to me, especially when I have a test/quiz the next day! What I typically do though, is count backwards from 99. However, a few times it hasn't worked, like a few weeks ago (I got to 28, and stopped counting because I didn't want to realize that it wasn't working).
• United States
12 Sep 09
This is one of those issues that I occasionally struggle with and I've found that whenever I get into bed, if I breathe slowly and deeply and count the number of breaths I take in, soon enough, I start focusing on the counting and numbers rather than whatever is going on in my head. And, if I keep counting long enough, I eventually get tired enough to drift off to sleep and I don't even realize it. It probably takes a lot of patience in the beginning though to get started but I've found it's the best thing that works for me.
@quita88 (3716)
• United States
11 Sep 09
I suffer insomnia and one of the first rules of healthy sleep it to get off the computer about 2 hours before bedtime. Read, a warm bath, lite exercise before bed but nothing strenous. Write down your thoughts and try a mental shut down a while before bed. I do all these and still the brain works ! And, do take a sleeping now-----disgusting, but have to have sleep to live. Try these ideas before trying pills. Thanks, quita88
@thedaddym (1736)
• United States
11 Sep 09
Honestly I have to watch TV.. If I just went to bed and tried o sleep in the quiety I would never sleep. I tend to think to much about things that are stressing me out and I get myself all worked up and I can't sleep. The TV distracts me from my own life so I am able to relax a bit and fall asleep. My wife will usually turn off the TV after I go to sleep, so it is not on all night.
• United States
11 Sep 09
im bipolar and have add so i have that a lot and even during waking hours and the only thing that helps me is medication to slow my brain down.. but of course i have mental probs lol.. so i guess im not a good example lol
• Philippines
11 Sep 09
I guess that is the primary problem of a writer like us. Our brain don't stop to feed us with all the words and thoughts we needed to write. As our brain began to work, the brain is the boss if it wants to shut down and relax. That is my problem too. I can't stop thinking and words are still downloading on my brain, in return we can't have a good night sleep. Maybe we should stop the pattern or the cycle of our regular life. If we still doing some writing late at night and after that we will about to sleep , it will bring us problems because our mind is stil fresh from our writing. My experiment will be this, I will stop writing at 10 pm and after that I will watch tv or read a book or just take a shower, wind on the bed, play with my pet,have a nice talk with my family and then go to bead. Atleast the writing is not fresh on my head, so I can easily go to sleep.
@olepmis (842)
• Philippines
11 Sep 09
Well to shut my mind off I switch on the tv, lay on my bed and watch. Then, I make sure that I set the timer into 30-60 mins. so that when I fall asleep the tv will switch off automatically. This is very effective to me especially when I am very tired and would like to sleep at once. http://followe.rs/pSL