Notes on interventions for falling asleep

[Epistemic status: not even a claim, really. This is still mostly stream of thought. Barely edited.]

One major result of my initial meditation experiment was driving home to me, on a more visceral level, the importance of sleep. Given that sleep is so critical, having a robust system for falling asleep, regardless of how I’m feeling seems high priority.

I can usually fall asleep pretty well, though I occasionally have bouts of restlessness, when I’m awake with my mind churning hours after I’ve gone to bed. I want to prevent that, permanently and robustly.

Today, I outlined some perspectives on what’s preventing me from falling asleep in that situation, and the interventions each might imply:

  1. My mind is holding on to some open loops that it thinks are important
    1. Jot down my thoughts in my metacognition notebook.
  2. My thoughts are racing, and I just need to stably direct my attention to something else for a bit.
    1. Meditation (though this might be hard to pull off in such a situation)
    2. Drawing
    3. Reading
    4. Masturbating
  3. I’m physiologically aroused, and I need to cool off
    1. Serenity ritual / protocol
    2. This breathing technique?
    3. Progressive relaxation
    4. Againstness-like activation modulation
    5. Clearing a space-like motions?
    6. [added 2019-03-016: EFT (which seems to work pretty well for reducing anxiety and the like. I don’t know why.)]
  4. My thoughts are racing and I’m physiologically activated, because there’s some important goal that a subsystem of mine is tracking.
    1. IDC with it

When I started listing these, I was think that I was noting different theories about what’s blocking falling asleep. But actually, these perspectives aren’t mutually exclusive. They’re more like different intervention points of a potentially contiguous model.

That is:

I’m awake because my body is physiologically aroused.

…Which is caused by attention being absorbed by something that’s in some way energizing or exciting.

…Which is probably because a goal directed process in me is trying to get something (by ruminating or planning or whatever).

And I can intervene on any of these levels.

3 thoughts on “Notes on interventions for falling asleep

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