A few nights ago, I had another really terrible sleep.
Our dog woke me up at 2:30 am. When I got back to bed my mind was fully active and awake. I couldn't stop thinking about work, that new podcast I want to start, ways I could improve my recording setup, things we could do to improve Transistor.fm...
This is a recurring problem for me. I'll wake up sometime between 2 am-4 am, and I can't fall back asleep.
On Twitter, I asked:
"Folks who have substantially improved the quality of your sleep: what worked?"
Specifically, I was interested in people's:
So far, it has over 200 replies! Clearly, lots of folks have had to overcome their own sleep problems.
Here's a summary of the ideas people gave me:
Josh Pigford, Baremetrics, recommends:
“CBD oil. Previously I was a very "active" sleeper...talking, getting up, etc. It'd also take me upwards of 30 minutes to get to sleep and I'd regularly wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to get back to sleep. Haven't had any of those issues since using CBD oil.”
A few people mentioned that my "frequent waking between 2 am-4 am" is something they've suffered with too. Josh messaged me with this:
Scott Bolinger mentioned the following:
Steven Kovar says he uses an "A-Z gratitude" routine:
"Start by naming something you're grateful for that starts with the letter A. Move on to B. Etc. I've never gotten past K.”
Wailin Wong, Basecamp had some quick tips:
“One small thing that's really helped me is getting a sleep mask (Alaska Bear brand). Temperature of room (cool) and limiting blue light exposure.”
Many folks recommended Matt Walker, author of Why We Sleep. In this video, Matt recommends:
Tracy Osborn likes her weighted blanket:
"I am surprised to not see many replies mentioning weighted blankets. I’m using the Hush Iced and It’s crazy how deeper I sleep now."
Thomas, Blossom had a few good tips:
Jeff Clark, a Psychiatrist, says that therapy works best:
"If you haven't done it yet, get Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for insomnia. Everything else is second line – period. Not all CBT therapists know about insomnia. Try asking about sleep restriction and stimulus control for insomnia and see where it gets you."
Rob Walling, TinySeed, recommended three simple purchases:
Mikael Cho, Unsplash, had some counterintuitive advice:
"What helped me was I stopped caring about it so much. There's some interesting research on how the quest for 'perfect sleep' can lead to worse sleep."
This thread on Reddit surprised me because I'm someone who tries to "read to fall asleep:"
"While your brain is not as stimulated by reading as it is by internet surfing, reading before bed is still not the best way to wind down. Sleep scientists agree it's still better than being on your phone or computer, but if you're the type of person who can't put a book down, or experiences a lot of emotional swings while reading, reading before bed may not be right for you. Try not reading 30 minutes (Kindle or otherwise) before your planned bedtime."
Emily Mills gave me this advice:
Weirdly, more than a few folks recommended "mouth taping" which (Google Image Search) which feels like the stuff of nightmares.
And, yes, many folks wrote in to say:
"You're not going to like this, but you might need to stop drinking coffee." 😱☕
You'll find even more responses in the original Twitter thread.
How do you sleep at night? What techniques have worked best for you?