Fall Asleep Easier with the Cognitive Shuffle

Who Me?

Well-Known Member
Does this work for you? I think there are various ways our minds don't shut off. Mine thoughts jump all over the place and for reasons I have yet to figure out it is somehow connect to my heart palps, which I have also yet to figure out. If I stop the palps I stop the thoughts.
 

Veet

Well-Known Member
My mind these days grabs onto whatever tv drama or novel I've been reading, wants to understand every nuance. I get focused on following the thoughts/story to the end, but mind then, of course, wants more. So I've started doing this trick. I've been starting alphabetically, just thinking of random words. (Shows me what a limited vocabulary I have.)

I've found that when I switch to these random thoughts, my heart slows and my breathing slows. If I let this become a pattern, ie. same list of alphabetical words, then it's again like a puzzle mind wants to solve, and becomes engaged. So I have to start somewhere else in the alphabet. It's helpful
 

Who Me?

Well-Known Member
. I've been starting alphabetically, just thinking of random words. (Shows me what a limited vocabulary I have.)
Just doing that would stress me out and really set my brain off. It's almost too much for my brain to comprehend.

My brain thoughts are different than that. They just jump all over, random stuff from what am I laying on to what will I have for dinner tomorrow. To start to think Apple, Banana, Cat... then I forget what letter is next and I can just tell my brain would freak out! Lol. They're random to begin with.

And of course I'd have to remember to do it. I'll see if I remember. Maybe if I think of different thinks that start with the same letter. Much easier for my feeble brain.
 

Veet

Well-Known Member
Maybe if I think of different thinks that start with the same letter.
That's what I've been doing. Lately starting in the middle of the alphabet, so I don't get into repeating the same string of words.
 

Who Me?

Well-Known Member
I tried it last night just laying in bed. It was so stressful I just started laughing because it made me so anxious. Lol. It just does not work for me and my seriously messed up ME brain.
 

zzz

Active Member
What to do when your mind won't stop, and you need to sleep?
Meditation. I do it every night before bed, and it helps a lot to quiet my mind and make it easier to go to sleep. On the rare occasions when I wake up in the middle of the night with my mind racing, I find that getting up and meditating in a chair until my mind slows down allows me to get back to sleep.
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Does this work for you? I think there are various ways our minds don't shut off. Mine thoughts jump all over the place and for reasons I have yet to figure out it is somehow connect to my heart palps, which I have also yet to figure out. If I stop the palps I stop the thoughts.
I think the sympathetic nervous system plays a role. I think for its partly hypervigilance by the SNS. TIme will tell but the SNS might fit in with your heart palps.
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
What to do when your mind won't stop, and you need to sleep? Although I no longer have insomnia, there are times when my mind will not quiet. After all the things I've tried over the years, I've found this simple tip really helpful. Derail your train of thoughts by introducing random words.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jul/15/shuffle-thoughts-sleep-oliver-burkeman
This is really interesting. Maybe our brains are stuck on trying to make sense of what the heck is going on.

In part, Beaudoin argues, this works because the brain has evolved to determine whether it’s safe to fall asleep by checking what one specific part of the brain, the cortex, is doing. If it’s engaged in “sense-making” activity, that’s a sign it may be weighing up dangers.

But if thoughts have degenerated into rambling nonsense, the coast is probably clear. By filling the mind with nonsense, you trigger the sleep switch. Yet the technique also works for a simpler reason: it’s hard to focus on multiple things at once. While you’re busy generating a mental image of a microphone, it’s tricky to fret about your mortgage.
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
I tried it last night just laying in bed. It was so stressful I just started laughing because it made me so anxious. Lol. It just does not work for me and my seriously messed up ME brain.
I can see how it could be stressful - it's about overloading a possibly already overloaded network.

Attention, as you’re doubtless aware by now, is a finite resource. This means it’s important to steward it carefully; if you let yours be seized by panicky headlines, there’ll be less left over for what matters. But it also suggests a clever way to silence negative thoughts: deliberately overload your attentional bandwidth.
It's certainly an interesting idea.

I have the most problem with rushing thoughts in the morning actually. Difficult to keep my mind from chattering away.
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
I really think that this rushing mind - whatever its origins - is probably very energy intensive and if we could slow it down that would be quite useful - give us a change to heal a bit.
 

Who Me?

Well-Known Member
@Cort. I don't know why but mine are some how linked to my heart palpitations. I can't get to sleep because I can't shut my brain off and my heart is beating hard, but not tachycardia.

I also wake up every morning around 3 am with it. The only thing that stops the thoughts is taking propranolol. No other beta blocker or it'd thing works. Not even 6000 mgs taurine.

I figured this link out by accident a few years ago, that the propranolol helps but what is up? Beats me.

And my brain is going all the time. I can almost feel the chatter in my brain. Very weird.
 

Who Me?

Well-Known Member
I've also been thinking about this. I think for people with "normal" insomnia maybe.

But for people like me, who probably have some kind of brain damage from virus or inflammation, the ideas to help insomnia just do not work.

What I have is not insomnia. It's more like the sleep center in my brain is damaged. I think @Strike me lucky talked about a damaged hypothalmus.
 

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