Gretchen Rubin

Suffer from Insomnia? Try This Counter-Intuitive Trick.

Suffer from Insomnia? Try This Counter-Intuitive Trick.

I've been on a bender of reading Josephine Tey recently. I don't like mysteries, usually, but I just discovered her, and for some reason I've really been in the mood for her books.

In The Singing Sands, I came across a counter-intuitive trick for falling asleep. I've tried it now, myself, a few times, and it really works.

He put the light out, and resorted to his own cure for insomnia: pretending to himself that he had to stay awake. He had evolved this long ago from the simple premise that human nature wants to do the thing it is forbidden to do...He had only to begin pretending that he was not allowed to go to sleep for his eyelids to droop. The pretence eliminated in one move the greatest barrier to sleep: the fear that one is not going to, and so left the beach clear for the invading tide.

Some people don't get enough sleep because they don't turn off the light, but some people do turn off the light, but then lie awake -- which is horribly frustrating.  If that's your issue, look here for more, but fairly conventional, tips for falling asleep.

I'm a crazy sleep zealot. Sleep is so important. It's a key to happiness and energy, and is also one of the crucial Foundation Four for maintaining good habits generally. (The other three? Eat and drink right; move; unclutter.)

Have you figured out any other unconventional tricks for helping yourself drift off?

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