Things That Help Me Fall Asleep By Claire Borden

Goodnight Moon' by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd is 75 : NPR

Like many I know (shoutout Ms. Grey) I often find myself laying in bed and stairing at the ceiling, unable to sleep. While this can be frustrating, it is also relaxing, as so much of my day is planned down to the minute. Spending this time lying in the dark with my cat purring on my chest forces me to be alone with my thoughts and provides a sense of peace that I don’t usually experience at other hours. However, I often go to bed with my mind reeling, unable to power down and relax my body for sleep. In my 18 years (of which I have spent 6 asleep) I have come up with many techniques that I go to when I’m having trouble sleeping. Here are a few of them:

  1. Listing a Harry Potter character for every letter of the alphabet- this is my most longstanding personal tradition, and my claim to fame. I am able to list a character for every single letter (even x), although for difficult letters I allow myself to use the last name rather than the first. I also play this game with other things, such as song titles, people I know, or characters from other media, but I always return to Harry Potter. If I concentrate and go slowly, picturing each character in my mind as I conjure their name, I can be asleep before I get to “Z”.
  2. Doing a meditation- this technique comes from my mom, who uses these when she can’t sleep, and would always put them on for me when I would wake up upset or anxious in the night. My favorite is Christine Wushke’s Ocean of Light because it is the one my mom uses, and while I am not always asleep by the end of the meditation, it always calms me down, and is my favorite method for if I am feeling anxious or riled up.
  3. Pretending I am vlogging my day- As someone who watched a lot of vlogs when I was younger, I love living out my YouTuber fantasies before bed. I will start at the beginning of the previous day and go over in my mind everything I did and why I did it, who I saw, what I ate, what I wore, and how I felt about everything. This helps me reflect on my day, and is just a lot of fun for some reason.
  4. Thinking about my earliest memories- I love the feeling of something triggering a random memory that I haven’t thought about in years. I like to play a game with myself where I try to come up with the earliest memory that I can, and remember everything possible about it. Thinking about long lost memories feels very fitting for the space I exist in right before bed between wakefulness and sleep.
  5. Listening to an audiobook or reading- if I really just want to get out of my head I will turn on an audiobook, usually Little House on the Prairie because it is comforting and relaxing, and use Audible’s sleep timer for 10 minutes. Usually by the time the ten minutes is up I am almost ready to sleep, if not already there. If I don’t feel like listening to something, I also sometimes like to read. However, if the book I choose is too compelling, I will simply stay up longer. So recently I have been reading a few pages of a political theory book I got for Christmas called “Liberalism and It’s Discontents”. This book is like eating your vegetables- you know it’s good for you, but it’s not always fun. Usually one dry chapter will knock me right out.

9 thoughts on “Things That Help Me Fall Asleep By Claire Borden

  1. I found myself relating to all of these. My sister will listen to the Harry Potter audio books over and over, and whenever I sleep in the same room as her, I immediately fall asleep.

  2. Ms. Grey got me hooked on a meditation app, and I’ve been using it all year. I’ve never slept better then when I do a meditation before bed.

  3. I feel so exposed. Just kidding. My insomnia is the secret everyone knows. As Beckett mentioned, Headspace meditations are my go-to. Along with a strict bedtime routine, melatonin, a completely dark room, pillow forts, and a sound machine on white noise. And earplugs. And a weighted blanket.

    Yeah, I’m a high maintenance sleeper.

  4. As someone who has been up the last several nights because I couldn’t fall asleep…I will be trying ALL of these. Especially the Harry Potter one.

  5. pretending to be a vlogger is so real. i always wanted to be one of those “these are my monthly favorites!” youtubers.

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