"Dear Carol, I always have trouble getting to sleep"
I can't sleep. No matter what I try or do, I just can't seem to fall asleep.
- I Can't Sleep
Dear I Can't Sleep,
Try not to laser-focus on getting sleep. It’s difficult, but it won’t help to crawl into bed anxiously thinking, “Please let me get some sleep for once!” I trust you’ve tried the usual tips (no caffeinated drinks, a hot bath, a relaxing book, no scary shows or pump-up music). I used to write in my diary at night. The good thing (besides that it helped me become a writer) is that it gave me someplace to put down my feelings and thoughts, which meant I didn’t keep thinking about them. You know Goodnight Moon? Try saying to yourself, “Good night toes. Good night legs. Good night arms. Good night neck. Good night head....” Give yourself permission to float away. Oh, and answer this honestly: Are you texting in bed? Scrolling social media? Endless stimulation before you close your eyes is not going to help you calm down and drift off. It’s wiser to put your phone in airplane mode or hide it in another room. Really.
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