When you have trouble falling asleep

Try these suggestions the next time you have trouble falling to sleep

Sometimes I have trouble falling asleep. I don't like to take more meds than I already do. So instead, I mentally check my bladder (to make sure I don't have to pee) and the room temperature (to make sure it is not too hot or too cold), then try these:

White noise
On my first night in this house, I realized that where I had placed my bed would never be conducive to sleep. The house was right at a "t", where one street feeds into another, in a near-to-the freeway, albeit quieter after dark, residential-ish neighborhood. The one bedroom was facing the "t".

Also the house was close to the local fire station, and a friendly neighborhood bar. That night I discovered how light of a sleeper I am!

The very next day, I moved my bed around so my eyes would not be in line with the headlights of oncoming traffic, bought black-out curtains and an industrial strength white-noise machine. I love it and have turned it on for most of the nights in the 15 years since. When traveling without it, I often turn on the radio and just tune it to static at bedtime.

Alphabet counting
Next, I get into bed and assume my favorite sleeping position. Then I pick a category (bands, tv shows, movies, high school classmates, etc.–right now I'm doing four-syllable words–A aforemention, B beautiful, C celestial) and begin to run through the alphabet in my head, trying to think of something related to each letter. I usually get no further than K.

Legs up the wall
Finally, if I still can't get sleepy, I push myself up, turn the opposite wat on the bed, with my head nearer the foot of the bed and laying flat on my back, slide my legs up the wall (over the headboard and perpendicular to the bed).

I fling my arms up over my head or fold them over my stomach. I usually stay that way for 5-10 minutes, but I have actually fallen asleep that way once or twice.

These ideas may help you fall asleep but if you have trouble staying asleep, you should talk to your doctor about it.

As the MS Society, for example, says "Getting a good night's sleep helps to alleviate many common symptoms of MS, including chronic fatigue, mood and memory problems. Daytime naps can also help, but only if napping does not interfere with night-time sleep." (Hughes, 2016)

For more information about MS and sleep disturbances, see the society's page on Sleep.

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