coyness said: If a person can't sleep, is it better to lie awake hoping for sleep to come, or to get up and do something in an attempt to make him/herself more tired?
In my darkest days I had some very serious sleep issues, so I know how easy it is to spin out of control— and while it’s still not something I’m great at, there are a few things that helped me get out of the danger-zone.
First, if you can’t sleep, don’t worry about it. Try to find some pleasure in the fact that you now have some extra awake time to do something you like. Go for a night walk, work on that hobby you otherwise don’t do, watch a movie you’ve never gotten around to seeing… just don’t spend your time not-sleeping worry about the fact that you’re not sleeping.
Beyond not letting it create anxiety, the other important thing for dealing with lopsided nights is having a rounded day. I have a series of rules I have to follow each day and they are the only thing that can right the ship once it’s become stuck in the waves of sleeplessness. These are rules I follow pretty strictly and when I don’t follow them I can feel myself get out of whack:
I have to eat two full meals a day and ideally three
I have to spend time outside just being outside
I have to have full conversations with at least two people
No working after 8pm
No eating after 10pm
No setting unrealistic alarms for the morning
I’m sure these rules don’t apply to everyone since they are pretty focused on the things that keep me from having a normal sleep cycle. But, the point is that having weird nights is usually associated with having weird days. Create reasonable guidelines for yourself and you’ll find it’s much easier to manage your nights.
I know you didn’t ask for all of this, but sleep is a ghost that haunts my every step and so I’ve spent a lot of time trying to be friends with it so it’s more like the Maitlands and less like Reverend Henry Kane.