Counting Sheep 2.0

Homer sleeping

Leo Babauta over at the Zen Habits blog has posted what he calls "The Simplest Cure for Insomnia" - an effective alternative to counting sheep when you're having a hard time falling asleep. I've tried it and it has worked great.

The simplest cure for insomnia: get comfortable and close your eyes, and then replay your day in your head, in every detail possible, from the moment you woke up.


Link (and for those Neatorama readers living is Sweden - as I do - here's a Swedish translation of that powerful insomnia cure: Den enklaste kuren mot sömnlöshet)

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This doesn't seem like very good advice. Reliving your day could very easily spiral into a worry/anxiety cycle that definitely isn't what you want to do to be sleeping! This seems like one of those "works for me" folk cures that doesn't necessarily have wide applicability. How about some empirically supported insomnia treatments like stimulus control or sleep restriction?
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What if things happened to you during your day that you'd rather not relive? That happens to me every day, I think.

I find that reading usually puts me to sleep. I'm an avid reader, and reading doesn't necessarily bore me, but it usually helps me sleep.
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I use the same trick to get to sleep as I do for everything else I need to overcome. I remember that life isn't about me. I am not my own. Then all the nonsense that circulates through my head disappears. All thought and concern disappears and I drift into sleep. I apply this to everything, if I am feeling physially drained I remind myself that the pain isn't about me. The pain is about growth. I suppose this wouldn't work for most, but it works for me because I realize that I can not be in possession of myself, in the same way an apple could not possess itself. It simply is what it is. It is there to interact with something else, hence not there for itself. When my focus is too much about me, the pain I feel, both physical and emotional increases. It becomes something I possess and not a momentary occurance. I think clinging to thoughts keeps us awake. To let go of yourself is a liberating experience. To be clear I don't stop doing chores, I just stop considering that I am doing them, and that it sucks to be me doing them. I don't think "Well it has to be done", "Someone has to do it", while doing them I think "Dishes", it's all about dishes. There are no games I *could* be playing, no parties to go to. Just dishes, and when I go to bed; sleep is happening.

I also sleep during the day on a fairly busy school-bus route with my head close to the street-side of the house. Meanwhile my girlfriend gets up and gets ready to work at 8AM. So it works pretty good. But I should stess this has come only after 5 years of intensive study into psychology, spirituality and contemplative meditation. If you don't know the value in what I'm talking about already, your mind is likely to throw out all kinds of disagreement which centers around what "I" (you) get out of it. The whole key is to subdue that "I".
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