Sunday 31 January 2021

Nerd Church - A Simple Sleep Game To Help You Get A Good Night's Snooze

(Warning: this post references Coronavirus/Covid 19. It also talks about sleep problems a lot, but you probably guessed that.)

I go through periods of having trouble sleeping through one thing and another, and with Covid Lockdowns very much in place, it wouldn't surprise me if other people are also having trouble dropping off.

(Ironically my main sleep problem right now has four paws, a tail, and wants to play at 3 in the morning.)

So, while there may be a variety of factors that might stop you from getting to sleep, and any number of things to help you actually fall asleep, I thought I'd let you in on my simple trick for nodding off.

'A Simple Sleep Game To Help You Get A Good Night's Snooze' with a starry night's sky as the background

Disclaimer time!

I am not a medical, sleep, or mental health professional.

I am a random Welsh girl with a sleep hack that works for me, and that I hope can help other people too.

This isn't going to work for everyone - do what's right for you, and don't stop doing other things that help you drop off and get a good night's sleep. 

This is simply another tool for your toolbox.

My Sleep Game

Counting sheep doesn't always work, right?

That's mostly 'cos it's too boring.

I heard somewhere - I think it might've been an old episode of QI* but I'm not sure - that in order to fall asleep, you need something interesting enough that you won't stop doing it (hence the issue with counting sheep) but not so interesting that you actually wanna stay awake to keep doing it.

So I came up with this.

*For Non-Brits: QI is short for 'Quite Interesting' - it's a comedy panel show based around random facts, previously hosted by Stephen Fry, and now has Sandi Toksvig at the helm.

The kittens from The Aristocats (animated brown kitten, black kitten, and white kitten, with white mama cat) snuggling down into bed
Via Giphy

Step 1 - Pick a letter

You can start at A, or just pick some random-a** letter like P - whatever you want.

Step 2 - List as many names as you can starting with that letter

I find first names works best for me, but you can also use surnames, band names, song titles, whatever.

Don't let yourself speed through it - make sure you mentally verbalise (i.e. say clearly in your head,) each name. 

(Bonus tip: you can work on slowing your breathing to match the syllables of the name.)

The plan is to sleep - not to make a complete list.

Step 3 - When you start repeating names for a letter, move on to the next letter

You'd be surprised how quickly your brain starts repeating itself - it's actually a good thing, in my experience it means you're getting closer to sleep.

Still, when you notice yourself repeating names, you need to move on to the next letter so that you don't get bored and stop listing before you actually fall asleep.

Again, the point here isn't to make a complete list - it's to keep your brain occupied with something which isn't too mentally stimulating.

And that's it! Yes, it really is that simple.

Like I said, it's not going to work for everyone, and it may not work every time - but if it helps then go for it!

Sweet dreams, dearest nerdlets!

Any sleep hacks or tips?

Talk to me! 💤💬

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  1. This is the tip you gave me when I had dm'ed you a while back about not being able to sleep, and now I do it all the time! I call it the alphabet game :D Thank you for this, Cee!

    1. It is indeed! I'm so glad it helps Em! :) <3 <3 <3

  2. I'd never heard of this technique before, but I'll give it a try the next time I have trouble falling asleep. It sounds interesting!

    1. That's probably 'cos I came up with it! ;) I'm sure someone else somewhere has also come up with it - it's a big world and a simple game, but I'm not surprised you haven't heard about it before. I hope it helps! :)


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