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JonnyCeltics's avatar

Any suggestions for a pre-sleep, winding down ritual?

Asked by JonnyCeltics (2716points) January 18th, 2013

I imagine, putting the laptop away is key #1. For me, turning in before midnight is very difficult and I believe it’s because it’s rote at this point, not physical. I’d like to change that. Any suggestions for shutting down the engines earlier, or at least prepping for sleep time?

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27 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

I get into bed, set my cat on my abdomen so I can stroke him absentlmindedly and do British cryptic crossword puzzles until my eyes cross.

I also listen to books on CDs in the dark (with my eyes closed) with an old-fashioned Sony Walkman.

A hot drink sounds nice, in the abstract, if it is your thing.

Pachy's avatar

This is not for everybody, I know, but for me, winding down before sleep is a long walk in the dead of night. I love it, even in very cold weather.

Shippy's avatar

I watch relaxing sleep hypnotic videos on You Tube. Put my fairy lights on, and sail away .

Coloma's avatar

Hot tub or hot bath/shower, in the dark, or by candlelight. Then, straight to bed followed by soothing music, instrumentals, ethnic, classical. Works like a charm for me.
Of course most guys are not into baths, but I’m telling you…hot water is a great relaxant.

hopeful5141's avatar

Warm shower, comfortable clothes, no bright overhead lights, a cool not cold glass of water on the bedside table, maybe a book or pleasant music. No taxing thoughts or calls. A deisre to wind down, and permitting it to happen.

Mariah's avatar

You’re right about the laptop. Having light shining into your eyes fools your brain into thinking it’s still day. You won’t get sleepy.

I pleasure read sitting in bed, it works for me.

marinelife's avatar

I get into bed and reach for my latest book. Then I read until I get sleepy.

bookish1's avatar

A hot shower or bath. Sleepy bedtime tea that contains chamomile, valerian, or passionflower. Reading an old book I’ve read a hundred times (I can’t read a new book at bedtime; it’s too stimulating!) Also, ya know, rubbing one out.

Sunny2's avatar

I shut my eyes and see what’s there. Sometimes it’s loose patterns of moving color; some times it leads me into a forest. If that doesn’t take me into sleep, I do controlled breathing, slowing it into sleep rhythms. After that, I forget what I do. I’m gone.

gambitking's avatar

Dude I gave you a GQ for this because I am the same exact way, I just never thought of posting the query here. I’m curious to see the answers.

But lately, I’ve been loving the miraculous properties of a little thing known as Melatonin. If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s a natural supplement you can get just about anywhere (i’ve even found it at the dollar store). It’s better than any other sleep aid I’ve ever tried.

Still doesn’t help with the habit though, and I think changing that routine is key.

tups's avatar

Search for The Ambient Zone – Weightless. It’s the most relaxing song ever and the beat matches your heart rhythm, so you really relax. Listen to it while lying in the bed in the dark. Before that, the key thing is to get rid of stress. If I’m stressed just before bedtime, there’s no way I can fall asleep. Maybe do some yoga or breathing exercises.

flutherother's avatar

I go to the bathroom and brush my teeth. I look out my clothes for tomorrow and put on my jim jams. I then get into bed and read a page or two of my book before switching off the light and getting under the duvet. I wonder where my dreams are going to take me and I think of some pleasant thought or other. I turn over once or twice and then I am gone.

gondwanalon's avatar

Melatonin has a very powerful effect on me. So about 20 minute before I plan to go to bed I take 1.5 mg of melatonin and it makes me very groggy and it forces me to bed. The first time that I tried melatonin I took 5 mg and I practically had to crawl to bed and was sleepy the next day.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@gailcalled Doesn’t a cat make the most wonderful Teddy Bear? Martin curls up against me and snuggles, and his purring comforts me and send me off into a restful sleep.

hearkat's avatar

I heat my cherry stone pillow and put it under the covers by my feet. I brush and braid my hair, and brush my teeth. I turn on the NatureSpace app on my device – at home it plays through the iHome clock – it soothes me and masks my tinnitus and most ambient noises. We read or surf our social sites – sometimes it’s the only time I get to check in. I find that word games help me get sleepy, too.

Penycat's avatar

I read from a good book till I’m sleepy. If that’s not enough I put my ambient music app on and I’m out in no time.

Earthgirl's avatar

Lots of good suggestions. I use melatonin also but as a last resort or only on weekends because it makes it hard to get up in the morning I get very vivid dreams with melatonin too! I like that.

Only things I can add to what has been suggested is that I have little security type comforts when the trouble sleeping has to do with anxiety. I’ve used a heating pad, pillows, etc to lull myself to sleep when nothing else works. I also have a sort of worry stone that I sometimes hold in my hand and rub. Also, although I hesitate to say this on Fluther, the land of atheism, saying the rosary puts me out. I usually fall asleep before the second decade.

hopeful5141's avatar

My daughter has a worry stone as well. She has used it so much the thing literally split in two. I replaced the stone, of course, but it did make me smile to read Earthgirl’s post!

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Earthgirl's avatar

@hopeful5141 My worry stone is small and smooth and has the word power engraved into it. It is made of hematite.

The other thing I have that I use as a sort of worry stone isn’t the right shape to rub. Instead it nestles in the crook of my fingers clasped close to my palm. I sometimes fall asleep and then wake up to find it in my bed, sometimes under my pillow.I bought it in some sort of nature store and I lost the little card that came with it explaining what it is. It is some sort of mineral substance with metals in it. It has a sort of bicone shape, smooth but a sort of pebbled surface to it. The color is like aged pewter.As I hold it, it warms up and then the heat radiates and soothes me. I don’t really know why that should soothe me, but it does and I’ve grown very attached to my little worry stone that isn’t really a worry stone!

It is a mystery stone. I vaguely remember the card which came with it explaining how it was formed. As I remember it is some sort of volcanic rock formed by rolling down a mountain gathering up deposits as it goes. When it gets to the bottom of the mountain it has taken on this unusual smoothed out bicone shape which is one of it’s distinctive qualities. I don’t know if there is more than one place in which these stones occur. I would love to know what it is made of. I’m not sure if they claim it has any medicinal or magical properties.

hearkat's avatar

@Earthgirl – Saying the rosary is akin to other forms of mantra meditation, all of which are proven to have soothing properties. If it works for you, why worry about what others might think or say?

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Earthgirl's avatar

@hearkat I’ve been trying to think of how to answer that without sounding overly defensive or making too much out of it. I guess it boils down to this, I don’t want to lose the respect of those I respect. I don’t care about those people who disagree with me whose opinions I do not respect but I would be lying if I said that I didn’t care about what the people I like and admire think of me.

hearkat's avatar

@EarthgirlIt makes me sad that you seek the approval of people who might not respect your religious opinions. I do not believe in a deity and I don’t like the dogmatism of most religions (especially Catholicism with its patriarchal system), but I respect your right to practice a religion of your choosing. I will add that I dislike zealous proselytizing by atheists as well as by religious people. It upsets me that in this community, some would feel that they can’t speak freely about what works for them because it might result in their beliefs being challenged.

Earthgirl's avatar

@hearkat It’s really not about my beliefs being challenged. I am not a very religious person but it is a comfort to me in hard times all the same. I was brought up in it and it still has a hold on my emotions. I don’t reject it totally much as I have my doubts about it. I question some dogma and outright reject other dogma. I’m open to other views and have studied comparitive religion. I know spiritual disciplines and philosophies can be perceived as magical thinking, irrationality, or at the very least, a crutch. So be it, it’s a crutch I need sometimes. I don’t really care if people understand or approve of that but neither do I feel a need to advertise it.

XYZZYtja's avatar

What I do is the following: an hour before going to bed, don’t use any electronic device, (this means staring at a screen) if you do this, your brain will automaticly become more calm and relaxed, staring at a screen makes your brain do all kind of stuff and keeps it active…
In this hour, read a book, or what I tend to do is listening to meditation music / hypnotic music (for example binaural beats, I do like binaural beats, but they should include someone who’s giving instructions for your brain to follow, otherwise I find binaural beats very boring… Binaural Beats basicly are two different tones played in different ears, your brain can’t listen to both tones at the same time, so your brain creates a third sound, it’s wobbling and really good for mind synchronisation, making your mind a whole instead of two seperate parts)
Also, tea can be very good (or hot chocolate) before going to bed, (I find it to be very relaxing, lol)

Of course you can also do something different in that hour… Got something you wanted to do for a very long time but didn’t have the time to do it? Then do it in that hour!

You seriously wont regret it…


Shippy's avatar

avoid Fluther lol

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