So I’ve been not sleeping for a few weeks now (maybe an hour or two around 5am, when it gets really really slow), and I’m wondering if there are any tricks to… um… sleeping more?

I’m in college, so I have a fairly eff’d up schedule (classes 12-3, work til 9, food, then gym til 11ish). I’m also currently long distance (Georgia to California) with a girlfriend of several years, whom I talk to during the wee hours.

However, I’d like to sleep every once in a while (call me old fashioned), and I’m not sure how to get that started again. I don’t like/can’t afford pills, so I was hoping for something more… human powered.

The alternative is that you people up the amount of interesting stuff you post, because I’m running low on stuff to read, and I watch tv never.

Well, Hemi-Sync™ CDs work for me. Catnapper or deep sleep style.
They might jog your brain into believing sleep is good.

You can get most of the old Twilight Zone on DVD…rent or buy every bad sci-fi
show you can while you’re at it. I’ve found watching it interesting if I’ve been
up for a day or two more than mere mortals manage :)

I generally fall asleep listening to a band called Mono.

Go figure.

A friend of mine with bad insomnia says getting daily exercise helps.

I usually put myself to sleep easily by visualizing freeform details. For example, I imagine myself opening a book, and reading the first chapter. I’m letting the details go, so the words are just jibberish that my imagination generates without my ego telling it what to do. So, I start reading them “aloud”. Just focusing on the imaginary strings of words and sentences and I can’t yawn get through more than a few paragraphs.

Rozerem ™. Because your dreams miss you. ™

Exercise in the early evening, a meal afterward, and a comfortable set of headphones and an ipod with really monotone audiobooks. Works like a champ.

I have phases where I go through exactly what you have. Stress can definitely affect it, but there are so many other causes that I just have gotten used to a routine to help me sleep.

Well, looking at your schedule, all I can say is “no shit you’re not sleeping.” You don’t have insomnia, you’re just up too late. Insomnia is getting to bed at 10 and lying awake until 4am.

Don’t go to the gym after work. Get up in the morning and do that. Don’t talk to the girlfriend every night.

Simply put, you just need to do less. You are not giving yourself any time to slow down mentally.

Also, knock off the caffeine after mid-afternoon.

I have the same problem. I can’t come home, no matter how late it is, and just go to bed. I need to unwind before going to bed.

Discussed in more detail here:

Insomnia Thread

I think Mark Crump nailed it – from your original post, you’re not slowing down enough to build sleep into your schedule, which is different than insomnia.

There’s a variety of reasons why you might be doing this. I agree with the suggestions to establish a schedule. If you try, and find yourself unable to establish a consistent sleep schedule, your college probably has a free or ridiculously cheap counseling center. You might want to meet with someone (likely a grad student in social work or clinical/counseling psychology) and discuss your situation. They’ll probably have a number of suggestions that don’t involve meds.

Fantasize about sexual encounters. This only works 100% of the time.

If I recall the training film correctly, the cure for insomnia is killing Robin Williams.

Benadryl works for me lately. 2 caps 15-20 minutes before bedtime. Its an OTC antihistamine. You can probably get a generic for a buck less.

Knob Creek and Chromehounds multiplayer main menu music.

Speaking of which, it’s friday! If I dont get a dslite this evening, I’m going to be in the chromehounds lobby drinking knob creek. Hopefully the new patch didnt change my sleepytunes.

If you’re truly only sleeping 1-2 hours a day, for an extended period, see a doctor. A lot of what you’ll hear has been said, but that’s horribly unhealthy.

Oh, you are exercising. I missed that. That’s good. But I’ve read that exercising late at night can make it harder to fall asleep.

What everybody else said +Masturbation + 30 minutes of winding down time before bed spent reading an undemanding book/meditating/scratching the cat…