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What To Do When You Can’t Sleep

One of the first things that sleep specialist W. Christopher Winter, M.D., tells to professional sports organizations that are looking to build a nap room for players is to not call those rooms “nap rooms.”

“We try to get teams to call these rooms something that doesn’t have ‘sleep’ or ‘nap’ in the title — the ‘restoration room’ or the ‘regeneration room,’ for example,” explains Winter, who consults with the MLB, NHL, and NBA.

There are two reasons for this. One, it takes away the pressure that you have to sleep inside the room. The second reason is that it introduces the idea of “quiet wakefulness”, a powerful resting activity which is currently gaining traction among sleep doctors and health-conscious circles.

What is “quiet wakefulness?” It is defined simply as “resting with your eyes closed.”

 It’s compelling, in part, because it completely eliminates the stress surrounding sleep — particularly that I can’t fall asleep right now so my health is going to fall apart feeling that keeps you awake.
Stress and naps are a common yet unfortunate pairing, Dr. Winter explains. Many people can work themselves up so much about falling asleep that they struggle to actually do it.
Of course, that’s normal. “Most people don’t have complete control over their sleep,” Dr. Winter acknowledges. It would be strange, he says, to meet somebody who says, I have never had any trouble sleeping whatsoever. Having occasional sleep problems is to be expected.
But while you might not be able to fully control exactly when you fall asleep, you can control when you rest — and that’s one of quiet wakefulness’ biggest benefits.

More details about this one over at Medium.

(Image Credit: Pixabay)


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One activity that helps me sleep is doing puzzles. For some reason they soothe my mind and make me sleepy. Another is a word game in which I take one word and see how many phrases, titles, sayings, etc. include it. For example, if the word is "dog," I can get dog house, dog park, walk the dog, putting on the dog, every dog has his day, big dog, dog paddle, and so on.
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asmr videos, counting, youtube videos with visualizations and lullabies for kids, soma.fm, etc. all this stuff helps me when I cant sleep - also drinking a bunch of water I find helps. Sometimes you just gotta dilute your gut a bit and youll fall right to sleep.
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John, Those are the exact thoughts that keep me awake at night. I read that if you start at 300 and count backwards by threes, it forces your brain to concentrate on one topic and not wander all over the place. I'm usually asleep before I get into the 100s.
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When I can't sleep, I think about all the things that have gone wrong in my life and what I could have done to prevent them.
I mean, I shouldn't do that when I can't sleep. But I do.
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