Can Not Fall Asleep




24 HoursSo for 2.5 hours I have been trying to fall asleep. Took gravol even to help me doze off and sleep for a solid 7 hours. Ironically, when I got back home from dinner I was feeling SO sleepy that I had trouble keeping my eyes open while I was reading some comments left here and some other emails.

To say I get frustrated is a huge understatement, to make it worse my mind starts racing about how much I need my sleep, what a long day I have tomorrow and how I need to be in good shape to do my best to not be a cranky SOB all day. Oh and there is a cherry on top of it all, I am starting to feel that dry burning feeling in my throat and sinuses which is always a precursor to a cold and a sinus infection. Just fucking perfect!

What do you do when you can’t sleep? I keep reading conflicting ideas on what one should do if they can’t sleep. While I was laying there I thought about all the “tips and tricks” I have heard over the years about how to fall asleep. So that of course only had my mind going even more.

I do have a sneaking suspicion that I am either getting a migraine or a sinus/head cold. So that could be part of the problem.

15 Tips to help you sleep?

  1. No reading or watching TV in bed. ((Have they seen the shit that is on TV at this time of night? give me a break – Iif I could get that in pill form, extra strength of course I would not be up right now writing this)) These are waking activities. If your insomnia is chronic, it is not a good thing to do, says Dr. Alex Clerk, head of Stanford Sleep Disorder Clinic in Palo Alto.
  2. Go to bed when you’re sleepy-tired, not when it’s time to go to bed by habit. ((I thought not being able to keep my eyes open to read email was being sleepy-tired))
  3. Wind down during the second half of the evening before bedtime. 90 minutes before bed, don’t get involved in any kind of anxiety provoking activities or thoughts. ((Ya ok right))
  4. Do some breathing exercises or try to relax major muscle groups, starting with the toes and ending with your forehead. ((I can’t breath – all stuffed up))
  5. Your bed is for sleeping, if you can’t sleep after 15-20 minutes, get up and do something relaxing. ((Blogging is relaxing so is fiddling on the computer))
  6. Have your room cool rather than warm. ((Fan is going, windows are open))
  7. Don’t count sheep, counting is stimulating. ((That is way too borin, 1….2….what should I do tomorrow….did I remember to pay the cable bill…..oh I can’t forget to call my sister tomorrow….what number was I on??))
  8. Exercise in the afternoon or early evening, but no later than 3 hours before bedtime. ((Pfft! OH wait that isn’t technically called exercise – ok phew I am okay))
  9. Don’t over-eat, and eat 2-3 hours before bedtime. ((Check))
  10. Don’t nap during the day. ((If I didn’t nap I would never get sleep))
  11. If you awake in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep within 30 minutes, get up and do something else. ((I think I need to fall asleep first for this one))
  12. Have no coffee, alcohol or cigarettes two to three hours before bedtime. ((No coffee – check, Wine with dinner fall under 2-3 hours ago, Cigarettes, um ya well having one now because I can’t sleep – maybe a little O2 deprivation might make me sleepy-tired))
  13. If you have disturbing dreams or nightmares add an ending that you want. ((Again, think I need to fall asleep first for this one))
  14. Schedule a half-hour writing about your concerns and hopes in a journal every night to free up your sleep from processing your dilemmas as much. ((OK will give that a try but think it is too late for that now))
  15. Listen to calming music or a self-hypnosis tape for sleep. ((That just drives me crazier and self-hypnosis – I have always wondered if the “messages” on those are REALLY what they are intended for. “You will give your money away to the homeless”))


Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition.

Trauma and Recovery by Judith Lewis Herman, M.D. Ted Rynearson, M.D., Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington.

OK so still not sleepy but at least right now I am not frustrated laying in bed thinking about stuff.

OH I did find one other one that I thought that was kind of interesting…

Imagine It’s Time to Get Up

This is a neat one too. Kind of a variation on the previous technique. Imagine that you’re not allowed to go to sleep. Imagine that your morning alarm has gone off and it’s time to get up and go to work. You know how delicious that feeling is in the morning when it’s time to get up but you’re so tired and your eyes are very heavy and you shouldn’t do it but you just want to fall right back to sleep for a few minutes more?

Well, we find you can often bring that about just by imagining as fully and realistically as possible that it’s morning, that you have to get up, put your feet on a cold floor, stagger around the house, take a cold shower, and do whatever unpleasant things you associate with getting up in the morning. The more unpleasantly you can imagine it, the more you won’t want to do it. And the more you’ll just want to stay in bed and sleep. Try it. You’ll be surprised how tired and sleepy your mind can make your body.

Maybe I should drop Alex a line and see what he did to fall asleep – seems he fell asleep and missed renewing his domain name.


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turnipHed is the Chief Editor at TURNIPSTYLE, Presenter & Producer of THE VOICE OF TURNIPSTYLE. The lifestyle magazine and podcast for [GBTQ+] Men.

  • Jim#1

    11 May 2007 (Friday)

    You’re right about television, at one time if you were wide awake, you could always find an old movie or a rerun to watch. Lately, it’s infomercial hell after midnight. Some nights I end up having a wander through my iTunes library for something to listen to. Or sometimes, grab a notebook and a pen and just write.

    Of course, I’m guilty on many counts, I’ve been known to have a coffee late, definitely have had a cigarette late, and the mind picks the damnedest times to kick into high gear.

    Ever get one of those times though that once you finally drop off into dreamland, you sleep non-stop for hours, and when you do get up, you get a headache from too much sleep?

    Of course, then there’s always… well… save that for an e-mail… 🙂


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