Can’t Sleep?

If you want to have lucid dreams but you can’t sleep, you’re definitely doing to have problems! There have been times in my life as a lucid dreamer when I was struggling with sleep. When I can’t sleep, I feel even more frustrated than your average person because I can’t get into my lucid dreams, which are sometimes even more refreshing to me than sleep itself.

While I can sometimes make WILD work when I can’t sleep, even that is tough. After all, performing WILD well depends on your brain being able to slow down. When I can’t sleep, the problem is almost always the fact that my mind is racing too much to let me calm down and settle into sleep.

When I can’t sleep, I try these tricks to help myself get back to a healthy sleeping pattern:

  1. Stop drinking coffee after noon. Normally when I’m sleeping well, I can have a small café au lait (with plenty of milk!) in the early afternoon as a pick-me-up at work. As soon as I can’t sleep, though, I quit drinking coffee – or anything caffeinated – after noon, since it can take a long time for it to get out of my system.
  2. Boost exercise. I don’t particularly enjoy exercising, but when I can’t sleep, I know it’s something I need to do to better my health and my chances of getting some rest – and a lucid dream or two. I sometimes will walk my dog or just go for a bike ride. When I’m going through a sleepless period, I’m more intentional about making sure I get my exercise.
  3. Make tomorrow’s to-do list before bed. This is a big one for me. I’m a bit of a type A personality, and I have trouble falling asleep if I’m just running through my to-do list for the next day. One thing I do – whether I’m having trouble sleeping at the time or not – is to write down my to-do list for the next day that evening. That way, I know it’s taken care of, and I don’t have to worry about it when I’m trying to fall asleep.
  4. Change my diet. Sometimes spicy foods don’t bother me much, but sometimes they do. If I can’t sleep, I think back to what I ate that night. If I find that food is probably the culprit, I’ll avoid foods that I know can upset my sleep cycle for the next week or so. Common foods that make people sleepless include fatty foods, spicy foods, MSG, and just big meals too close to bedtime.
  5. Use Sleeptracks. Sleeptracks work with my brain to actually lull it into deeper sleep at the right time. There are lots of options here. Normally, I just use the Fall Asleep tracks, which help me get to sleep. If I go through a rare phase of waking up constantly at night, I’ll use the All Night track, which mimics the motion of my brain in cycles through the night and keeps me in deeper, better sleep. I don’t always need Sleeptracks, but I know people who constantly struggle with insomnia and who swear by them.

These are my top five sleep tips. If you can’t sleep and induce lucid dreams, try these tricks. I also have friends who swear that yoga and meditation during the day makes falling asleep easier. Remember, before you can have lucid dreams regularly, you need to have a healthy sleep cycle, so it’s worth thinking about today as you start your lucid dreaming journey.

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"The result of the struggle between the thought and the ability to express it, between dream and reality, is seldom more than a compromise or an approximation." - M. C. Escher