(Lying in bed awake)

Me: (to myself) I really need to sleep, I have to wake up early tomorrow morning. I don’t believe it’s already 2:21am. I am only going to get 3.6 hours of sleep…

(more time passes)

Me: (to myself) Why can’t I sleep? I am tired. I did all the right things. Lights were dim, didn’t have any caffeine, didn’t do anything active in the last 3 hours … oh wow, it’s already 3:11 am. How am I going to function tomorrow…

Usually I go to bed when I can barely keep my eyes open but when I have something important to wake up for the next day and want to go to sleep early, I always find it hard to fall asleep.

It is frustrating. The more I want to sleep, the more awake I become.

I used to get up from bed and try to do some work. I know it is not good to stimulate the mind when you are trying to sleep but it seemed like a waste of time to just lie in bed awake. I would work until my eyes became heavy and then go to bed. The next morning I would have a hard time waking up and be easily distracted all day. It was becoming a barrier in my life (click here to read The Three Reasons Why You Should Sleep More) and to my success (click here to read How to Sleep Your Way to Success).

Luckily for me (and you), I found a technique that has worked very well to help me sleep. It is easy and effective and you don’t need to buy anything special. The great thing is that this technique is still good even if you don’t fall asleep.

Still interested? Keep reading …

If you have no problems sleeping, feel free to scroll down to the comments section and share your own tips.

For the rest of you who are still reading so you can get to bed, here is what you can to do to fall asleep faster:

1. Goto bed and lie down on your back with your arms at your sides

2. Be fully aware of your breathing (in and out). Notice your abs moving up and down with your breath.

3. Once you are aware of your breath, pay attention to a part of your body when breathing in and relax that part when you breathe out. Start from the top of your body and repeat the process of awareness then relaxation for each body part all the way to the bottom (head -> eyes -> nose -> mouth -> shoulders -> chest -> stomach -> thighs -> calves -> feet -> toes).

I usually fall asleep fairly quickly. I don’t remember ever going past the shoulder.

This deep relaxation exercise helps to keep my mind from wandering and at the same time serves to relax my body. I use it all the time now and it works. The next time you can’t fall asleep, relax deeply by being mindful and then letting go of each part of your body.

This method is so effective that I almost fell asleep writing this article.

I’m not kidding.

(For those of you still having trouble sleeping, you may want to read this)

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Robert Chen

Robert Chen is the founder of Embrace Possibility and author of The Dreams to Reality Fieldbook. He helps people who feel stuck move forward by guiding them to see other possibilities for their lives. He specializes in working with high performers get to the next level. If you're going through a tough time right now, check out Robert's article on How to Feel Better Right Away and if you're having trouble getting what you want out of life, check out How to Always Achieve Your Goals.

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143 Responses to Tired but Cannot Sleep? – How to End Sleeplessness Once and for All

  1. We have to sleep minimum 8 hours,so we can doing our work better whole day.

    • Robert Chen says:

      You’re right. Without enough sleep you aren’t really productive even though you are awake.

      • Martzia says:

        Hey. Im a 12 year old female and I need help sleeping. I will try this method put, but I have tried many and they didnt work so well. My parents told me to go to bed at 8:30 and I said I would. I lied because I never sleep that early and usually fall asleep around 10 or 11:00pm. Its just my normal sleeping time and my body seems to have no problem with it. I make sure to get at least 7 hours of sleep and I dont watch television like average tweens do. I actually hate tv and only take a glimpse when I eat. Its 12:58am and I have to wake up at 5:15! Only about 4 hours of sleep urgggg. This occasionally happens and I guess imbused tonit but I heard lack of sleep gives you some death risks and heat attacks… whatnot. Anyways I really need a reply from you because I would like to start a conversation about this. I dont drink my coffee before bed and I usually dont. I try not to anyways since im constipated and it messes with my bowel system. Dont ask lol. Luckily I have not had any poopie attacks ( when I get real bad pain in my stomach and it end up being manure. Usually happens on long trips when im really excited or nervous) anyways enpugh blabber about my constipation and about my sleep. I hope you can help necause I know its not healthy to get few hours of sleep. Got school tomorrow ( uhg middle school) and I have to get up way early. Hope you can help

        – Shorty * My nick name *

        • Robert Chen says:

          Hi Shorty,

          I’m sorry to hear about your sleeping woes – sleep is important for your health. Outside of this method, I haven’t tried any others. You may want to read through the comments if you haven’t already to see if there are any tips from other readers that might help. Sometimes putting pressure on yourself to sleep may also cause you to stay awake. Hopefully this technique will help take your mind off of that.

  2. sara lee says:

    OMG, i have the hardest time sleeping but i have just come across a new thing called 5 stage sleep shot, its natural and work like crazy, i drink the lil shot bottle and within like 30 minutes im groggy and go to sleep and stay alseep until the damn alarm goes off…look it up it helped me i hope it helps u 2.


  3. Camila says:

    I am actually lying in bed right now. I’ve been trying to fall asleep for the last hour and a half and I was getting desperate so I googled tips to help me.
    It really surprised me to find this technique because I thought only a few people knew it! My grandma taught it to me several years when I was staying with her at her country house and couldn’t sleep because I missed my parents. I often use it though sometimes it’s hard to concentrate on it, but tonight I’ll have to try! Goodnight and thank you

    • Robert Chen says:

      Hi Camila,

      Your grandma must have been very wise. It’s an excellent technique that is easy to apply. I’m glad you found it helpful. I had a hard time concentrating at first but I’ve found it helpful to focus on my breathing and the sensation of each part of my body sinking into the bed each time I exhale. Let me know how it goes.

  4. The slower you breath, the less hours of quality sleep you need also. I went to sleep this morning at 4:40am, and woke up at 9:50 full of energy, and I’ve been doing this for the past 5 days since I discovered less inhales and exhales per minute greatly influences the quality of sleep. Only thing I can say about this though is that it’s a bit annoying since you might wake up earlier than expect and try to go back to sleep to get another hour in (just to make sure you’re well rested). It works though. Can’t remember what video on youtube taught me though, but it’s true and it has a lot to do with the sleep stages, meditation, and especially breathing itself.

    • Also another thing is you might want to power nap for 20 minutes in case you’re tired too. But NEVER sleep on your back, like in bed, on the table, etc. Just sit up and let yourself constantly doze off, and do this until your alarm goes off after 20 minutes.

    • Robert Chen says:

      Thanks for the tips Jarod. I think slowing your breath, decreasing your heart rate and eating less calories are all ways to conserve energy allowing for faster recovery in less time. I haven’t thought about slowing down my breath before sleeping although I usually slow it down during meditation.

  5. TexasCowgirl says:

    im a 12 almost 13 yearold girl i dont drink coffee (yuck!!) and i dont drink sodas before bed or during dinner i dont get on any electronics before bed(ok rarely) and i toss and turn to find the right position to fall asleep in….my room is dark the only light is my clock…..iv tried stretching before bed but that wont help…….and during the day i could probably go to sleep just fine…..i try sleeping without a pillow…….i could go on and on……but im probably just boring yall and should quit talking and just try this.XP Goodnight yall!

  6. Luke says:

    Thankyou for sharing your insight. My mind wonders very easily and stops me from falling asleep so I can see how it would work with the distraction and relaxation. Cheers.

    • Robert Chen says:

      Thanks Luke for your comment. I find that my mind is susceptible to thinking about things in the past and in the future especially when I am trying to go to bed and this technique has really helped me stay in the present. All the best to you.

      • Karla Knutie says:

        This technique used to help me but lately it hasn’t worked. Any suggestions?

        • Robert Chen says:

          Hi Karla,

          What happens when you use this technique now? Do you find your mind wandering more?

          • Karla Knutie says:


          • Robert Chen says:

            Hi Karla,

            Since it has worked before, perhaps you know the technique well enough that your mind is doing it automaticaly and you begin to think about other things while doing the technique. It is like being bored with something you know how to do well. You can try adding another dimension such as counting backwards from 100 in multiples of 3 in line with your breathing and muscle relaxation. For example, breathe in – 100, breathe out – 97

            Don’t give yourself too much pressure to get to bed. Trust that your body will regulate itself. Also stay away from any stimulants (coffee, energy drinks, etc.) before bed.

            Let me know how it goes.

  7. az says:

    im 13 female and i havent been getting enough sleep in weeks!! i always wake up in the middle of the night so i try and go to bed at 10 everynight and i wake up at 3am or 4-5am its soo anoying an i cant get back to sleep so im always soooo tired everyday and i also drink this sleepy tea and it does help but not that much cause i still wake up early no matter what even if i close my eyes i will still be lying in bed for hours not asleep

    • Robert Chen says:

      Hi AZ,

      What wakes you up at 3-4am? When you are sleepy during the day, do you nap or drink any coffee to stay awake?

      • az says:

        not sure it just happens :\ and yeah i drink energy drinks but not all the time and i try to take naps but i cant cos even tho im tired i still cant fall asleep

        • Robert Chen says:

          Hi AZ,

          I would try cutting out anything with caffeine and also any stimulating activities a few hours before bed such as web surfing or video games. Also, try the breathing technique in the article and let me know if it helps.

  8. Liam says:

    I’m an active 13 year old that just finds it so hard to sleep. Its3.30 in the morning right now and I havent had any proper sleep in days now, and i really want to grow. I just cant fall asleep. I try to sleep at around 10, but I do use electronic devices just before i go to bed, is this whats causing my problem? I find it so hard, even though i always tire myselfduring the day. Tried closing my eyes, without any lights on, but it just doesn’t seem to work.

  9. Thanks so much Robert. It’s 2:14 my time, and I need to be up by 6. Not a lot of time, but I’m going to give it a shot.

  10. Masheli says:

    Thanks so much! I’m really starting g to have issues with going to sleep. However when I do I sleep up until my normal wake up. It’s just getting there that is hard. I’m quite interested in seeing how this goes. I’ve been trying to go to sleep for 2 hours now and it’s just down right frustrating. Thanks again! Blessings.

    • Robert Chen says:

      Hi Masheli,

      Thanks for reading and I hope this technique helps you get to bed. Often we produce unneeded anxiety when we want to go to bed and get a good night’s sleep especially before a big day. It doesn’t help when we needlessly enlarge the consequences of not getting enough sleep.

      Godd luck!

  11. Restless says:

    When I can’t sleep I use a relaxation technique that a hypnotherapist taught me. What you do is you lay on your back with your arms at your sides, then starting at you toes you work your way up your body saying ‘relax your toes, relax, relax,relax’ and you would say what ever part of your body you’re on. As you’re doing this think of being on an elevator and as you go up your body the elevator is going down,down,down. Hope this helps!

  12. stef says:

    I’ve been trying this for an hour and a half now, my heart is racing and I can’t seem to fall asleep…I’m not stressed or anything of the sorry, been like this for months of and on…any help?

    • Robert Chen says:

      Hi stef,

      What do you do right before you go to sleep? What’s making your heart race? Are you excited about something?

      • James says:

        I can’t sleep either all wk up till 7-8am then I sleep for 30 mins wake fall back again and again till11:30am I I know I dream because I remember them what can I do I’m using valerian root,melatonin And calms forte. I’ve had chronic insomnia for a year gets better then worse

      • stef says:

        Every night before I go to sleep I watch my two hours of TV, then turn it off and go to sleep. I’m not excited, I’m not stressed, my mind is not racing but my body feels like running miles. My heart beats out of my chest rapidly. I do yoga every morning, sleep eight hours or more, east very healthy..it doesn’t make and sense to me. I have went to docs, and they have tried sleeping pills and nerve pills, none of which I like to take.

        • Robert Chen says:

          The heart beating is definitely something you may want to get checked medically. Have the doctors monitored you during your sleep? Does your heart beat rapidly only at night or also during the day? Since I’m not a medical doctor, I won’t be able to provide any guidance on that.

          Perhaps you can try reading an hour before you sleep since TV tends to stimulate us because of the light and the entertainment. I’m not a big fan of pills in general but I would try to see a specialist about your rapid heart beating.

  13. giantlowri says:

    i have had a lot of trouble sleeping and this method didnt work every time. i dont have a job at the moment and just look after my animals no ive been sleeping from 5am to 5pm but i have a a solution that when i dont have anything important the next day i stay awake all night and day and go to bed about 7pm and wake up about 6am but i dont do anything in the day cause im so tired i just stayawake!!

    • Robert Chen says:

      Hi giantlowri,

      Sometimes it is difficult to get back into a rhythm when your sleeping schedule changes so drastically. Maybe you can try waking up at the same time everyday and sleeping only when you’re tired. For example, you decide to wake up 8 am everyday and you may sleep at 3 am if you don’t feel tired at night but the next day you might sleep earlier since you only got 5 hours the next night. At least, your wake up time will be the same everyday. Also resist drinking coffee if you feel tired during the day. Since you’re not working, take a 15 minute nap to refresh yourself. Good luck!

  14. Charlotte says:

    Hi it’s 2 34 here I’m so tired went to bed at 11 and I’m almost 12 Ben looking for tips on the Internet for ages they all say the same kind of thing nothing works. I need to get up at 7

  15. Ruben says:

    It’s like… 2 minutes til 4am, I’ve been trying to sleep since like 10:30… Err…. Well I tried this, or something painfully akin to it. It didn’t wok. o.e; I haven’t been able to sleep properly for a good few weeks… Maybe months? Since like… January? I can’t remember. Whatever. Uh…. Any other tips? Please? ;~;”

    • Robert Chen says:

      Hi Ruben,

      Do you take naps during the day? Are there days where you do sleep early? How are those days different than the ones you’ve had recently?

      • Ruben says:

        Sometimes. If I didn’t I think I’d die of sleep deprivation! I’d always wake up after less then like 4 hours. Nothing at all different… bar the lack of sleep, of course. However… I find it oddly easy to fall asleep during geography, lmao.

        • Robert Chen says:

          Maybe you need to put up some maps in your room. I’m not sure how to help. What do you usually do 1-2 hours before you go to bed? Also, is there anything specific that wakes you up?

  16. Anna says:

    Hii :)
    i also kind of have the same problem ,I’im always very tired but I can’t sleep , I guess it’s beacuse of the overthinking and time pressure , it’s like every time I go to bed , I’m already falling asleep , then something strange happens , I wake up , always wake up at that one moment , I dont let myself sleep . thats crazy !! however ,My dad told me about this method once , but I didn’t pay much attention..So , i i’m going to do this , I’ll try and i really do hope it works .
    Thank you :)

    • Robert Chen says:

      Hi Anna,

      Let me know how it works for you. One part of this technique is to focus your mind on something else besides trying to sleep. Sometimes we just put too much pressure on ourselves.

      Good luck!

  17. Lorna Kurien says:

    I get up to go to the loo and then it all goes downhill, I literally have to fight to go back to sleep and that can take hours, i mean 3-4 hrs. my sister advised me to get a book and read it in bed till my eyes feeel droooopy.it works, but make sure you are reading something interesting like a gossip mag.

    • Robert Chen says:

      Hi Lorna,

      I know people who have had a very similar experience. What worked for them was to stop liquids at least 1-2 hours before they go to bed. Sometimes it’s that last cup of water that gets us. Let me know how it goes

  18. Lizzy says:

    Thank you for the tip. How ever it did not work for me and i have tried it the past 2 or so nights

  19. Avery says:

    Guys , I have a real problem I’ve been in bed for hours every night and it takes 3-4 hrs to get to sleep . I really have a problem and breathing dosent help me that much. But it feels like my body is asleep but my mind is racing and I feel very alert.

    • Robert Chen says:

      Hi Avery,

      Part of what works for me in this technique is the concentration on the breathing. Your mind can only focus on one thing at a time and if it’s on your breathing or counting backwards by 3 on each breath in and out, it can’t race around. I hope this helps.

  20. zoey says:

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz:….. wha? It worked!

      • Lorna Kurien says:

        Hellooo there Robert, i tried the yoga breathing technique, the smell the onion technique, magnesium calcium and iron tabs. (i had restless leg syndrome, which was the cause of my insomnia), aromatherapy, homeopathy, reading before bed, yoga poses, zilch! Finally I went to my GP, who gave me small white tabs. he said they were mild sedatives, don’t know the name, guess he wants me to come back for more, also told me to take b complex tabs, b1, b6, b12, but that did the trick. I now have interrupted sleep,rarely get up to go to the loo. i have to thank my dear husband for this if not for anything else, it was he who suggested i get to a doc.asap instead of self medicating.By the way, the magnesium-calcium combo with iron tabs cured my restless leg syndrome.

        • Robert Chen says:

          Hi Lorna,

          Thanks for sharing your experience. How did you decide whether it was time for you to seek help from a doc? What exactly is helping with the sleep? Is it the sedatives or the balance of vitamins?

  21. Julianna DeBruine says:

    I cant sleep no matter what I do! Its really annoying! All my friends say I look tired and restless. Which I sort of am. Any ideas on what to do? Id appreciate the help!

    • Robert Chen says:

      What do you usually do the 1-2 hours before you sleep? Do you drink any caffeinated drinks?

      • Julianna DeBruine says:

        I’m usually reading. I can never get some sleep. I don’t drink any caffinated drinks, ive tried everything! Do you think it’s a possibility that I have a sleeping disorder or something?

        • Robert Chen says:

          I’m not a sleep specialist so I can’t provide a diagnosis. When you say “never”, do you mean “never” or “most of the time”? If “most of the time”, what is the difference the two instances?

  22. Zara says:

    Thank you, I will try it today…..
    I used to fall asleep as soon as i put my head in the pillow but now that my life change suddenly I can’t sleep :(

  23. Yuri says:

    Jesus Christ. Thank God I found this… It’s 3:00 am here and I have school tomorrow. I’m going to try this and see how it works. I’ve had caffeine during dinner but that or any type of electronics has never kept me from sleeping. And today insomnia wanted to kick in really badly… And I’m really frustrated. Thanks for this though. I’ll give it a try.

  24. Mieda says:

    I’ve tried your tips…but unsuccessful…i felt tense at my neck and shoulders…i guess i have to just go through with it….

  25. Michele Gordon says:

    Laying on your back with your arms to your side and exhaling slowly etc. can sometimes cause you to lucid dream which is very scary. So just make sure your muscles and your mind relax at the same time. It happens when you do this:
    1. Lay down flat arms by your side.
    2. Close your eyes and DO NOT move for 20-30 minutes
    3. Stay fully aware the whole time
    4. You will feel your arms and legs tingling
    5. When you open your eyes you won’t be able to move or breather whenever you have to wait for the normal breath to come
    6, you are pretty much paralyzed
    To come out of it .. You can move fingers and work your way up the arm and then move your body . Or you can try to moan, once you hear yourself you instantly wake up. I have experienced it & it is not fun at all

    • Robert Chen says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience Michele. I haven’t experienced it myself but I can imagine that being scary. Does the paralyzation happen because you’re dreaming but being aware that you’re dreaming?

      • [email protected] says:

        iv actually had this happen to me a few times, the first time it freaked me the hell out, thank you very much for the tips for coming out of it. your instinct is to sit up but after realizing you cant do that, you might try and talk but then find that kinda difficult, it makes sense that trying to move/talk would bring you out of it.

  26. CA says:

    Alright, i plan to try your trick tonight and tomorrow with a little more prep time and less searching the internet at 4AM like i am tonight. Before i do however i want to know how serious my sleeping issues are in the eyes of someone who has a better understanding than myself. i will go to bed, and almost every night with few exceptions i lay there kinda tired for anywhere from a hour and a half to 3 on the worse of the nights 4+ hours before i get some sleep. for a while i also felt like it was a horrible waste of time and got up and got some work done. The sleeping issues could be stemming from what iv been calling the year of bull____; however i have found it somewhat difficult to fall asleep for years now, maybe recent events exacerbated it i dont know. When i try to sleep with no tricks or anything i end up thinking myself into insanity all the while feeling tired and not asleep(most annoying method)… the radio worked for a short while…..the television took 45mins or so to fall asleep but then that got increasingly worse and is now less effective than driving myself mad……. i counted sheep and when that didnt work i tried to counting backwards from 100 a few times (after reading through the comments i will also try county backwards by 3s)….. i tried white noise crap even. recently i got desperate enough to go to the doctor haha according to them i aint been in almost 2 years. i got some antidepressants in hopes that fixing the depression/rut iv been in would fix the sleeping…. the antidepressants caused the sleeping to worsen and i was receiving less than a hour of sleep at night or none at all because the pills made me wake up at the same time daly but i was still up at 6am…. needless to say i stoped those….. next he gave me ambian which didnt do anything for me i took 3 5mg pills im not sure how high the dosage can go before its a problem but i knew i could triple up on those because they where small doses for ambian. now i got “lorazepam” from the doctor and this was my first night taking that…. i got 2 hours of sleep then woke up. I dont want to have to drug myself every night to get a little rest but it seems necisarry now because im at my ropes end…….. i really do hope your technique works, and will be back to tell you how it went.

    • Robert Chen says:


      Thank you for sharing your situation. I’m not a sleep doctor so when it comes to medication, I won’t be able to comment. I believe all medication does alter your body’s natural ability to regulate itself and dependency usually develops with the need for ever increasing doses to achieve the same results.

      If you do go off the medication, expect to go through withdrawal symptoms as your body regulates itself.

      You mentioned that this started happening a few years ago. What was your pre-sleep routine before you started having trouble sleeping? How is it different from your current routine? Let me know how this method works for you. I hope others who read this will share their solutions with you as well.

  27. TJ says:

    Hi Im an 11 yr old student in South Carolina, I have not slept in over 3 months. i really don’t why this isn’t working at all it is now 2:22 AM. But its still the summer, i really want to get my schedule down for the school yr. Nothing is working for me, I NEED HELP!!!

    • Robert Chen says:

      TJ, your frustration is understandable and you’re diligent to want to correct your schedule before the school year. What were you doing differently 3 months ago when you were able to sleep?

  28. randy says:

    Mr. Chen, tonight I will be using your technique. Its extremely hard for me to go to bed at 10 pm like I did in the past, which was about 7 months ago. Even then I had trouble sleeping but it has gotten worse. I usually take over the counter sleeping pills for weeks at a time and other weeks I don’t take them due to for my body to get used to them. If I have an important thing to do in the morning I will just stay up til I have to go making sure I don’t over sleep even though I slept three hours. Last night was different I actually fell asleep on my own around 9 pm but woke up two hours later and could not go back to bed till 10 this morning and fell asleep til 3pm. I feel like I am more awake at night and sleepy during the day and bits driving me not overly insane just not feeling normal but like a zombie.now I am missing the whole day. I used to love waking up at six in the morning and taking my walks outside and going to bed at ten. Buy since I moved back to my hometown I don’t sleep. See I used to live in San Antonio tax and moved to Amarillo tx. My father asked me if I can move back to be and help my mother cause he will be retiring to another place. They are both deprecated. I am the younger son and have no family. I guess its like a tradition in our family no life come back to help parents which I would do anyways. I am happy that I am back bit just can’t sleep. I apologize to opening to much I feel better that I got it off my chest and hope who reads this fells asleep by boredom. If still awake thank you for reading Mr. Chen. I will be using your technique tonight and will let you know tomorrow or the next day about it.

    Thank you


    • Robert Chen says:


      Thank you for sharing. Many times, stress about life or just not being able to sleep can affect your sleep schedule. What were you doing differently 7 months ago when you didn’t have issues sleeping? Are you worrying more about your life now that you’re back in your hometown? I can’t take credit for this technique as it is just a form of meditation and relaxation but I hope it will help you. Good luck.

  29. Morina12 says:

    I’m a 11 year old girl. I like to drink fizzy drinks (such as soda, sparkling ice, ect) and use my kindle fire pretty often, but not usually before bed (I read before bed). School is starting in 8 days and I can’t seem to make myself start going to bed early. The more I try, the later I go to bed (and wake up). I started taking nightquil so I would go to bed before 4 am. But nightquil makes me sleep for 10 hours (that makes me sleep in really late). I’m going try your method but I`m pretty sure it won’t work (my mind wanders a lot). I’ll tell you how it works out!

    • Robert Chen says:

      Hi Morina12,

      Sometimes trying too hard to sleep can cause anxiety that prevents you from sleeping. I’ll be interested to hear how you find the technique because it should help with the mind wandering as well. We can only concentrate on one thing at a time so if you focus on your breathing and relaxing a muscle while breathing, it should keep your mind from thinking about other things. Good luck – let us know how it goes.

  30. Sleep or sleep loss is a serious issue that affect more than half of us at least once a week.

  31. Andrea says:

    Thank you for sharing this.

    I’ve had anxiety problems since I was a small girl (maybe seven) and one of my first therapists gave me a tape (cassette!) going through this method and for a long time it was the only thing that could get me to sleep. I had forgotten about it.

  32. Allison says:

    Now that its real, I have tried many sleep aids, techniques, counseling…etc. I use and,have been using alcohol as an easy way to sleep. Though I know this is not good for my health and well being however I do not over abuse this method as I have a 6-5 day job. I find my self n the night tossing and turning trying to find a comfy spot to rest and as though I assume I found one my body twitches so greatly I awaken. And thus reposition. Twitching continues…and repositioning does as well. I may as well get in a good 30 mins of uninteruption of awakefulness that finally I have to get up and get ready for work. I love my job I express my fatigue via vigorous yawning and laziness however I excell in it and haven’t been more proud of my efforts at work. I wish I can sleep more. Sleep from 8-5 and then get ready for bed. But that’s not the case. I lay n bed fully aware….not only of my breathing but that of my partners, the clock, the neighbors, the cat licking him self, the slightest hair movement ad I lay on my side…honestly if lm fully aware and I don’t know how to turn that off. I’m stuck

    • Robert Chen says:

      Thanks for sharing your situation Allison. It sounds like a frustrating situation. What is your routine a few hours before you head to bed? Also, do you take in any caffeine during the day?

  33. Lynn says:

    I go to bed at around 12-1am. i lay there and can not fall asleep until 3-6am. I tried the breathing exercise and it didn’t help. I also tried counting, counting down and relaxing body parts, etc. it is 4 am right now and I have to wake up for breakfast at 8:30 am because of school at 9:40. Since I have been up all night, is it better to skip breakfast and sleep a little more or get up and eat breakfast? And is it okay if I take a nap after class? I am just laying still in bed trying to go to sleep, no electronics. Although that is usually the problem for me, staying up on the Internet. So my sleep schedule is messed up. How do I change it back so I can fall asleep at 11 instead of 3-5 am?

    • Robert Chen says:

      Lynn – it must be frustrating and too bad the breathing exercise didn’t work for you. I would try refraining from sleeping in the morning and just waking up at the time you need to wake up for school. For example, if you need to get up by 8:30am, wake up at 8:30am every day of the week despite being tired. Your body should begin regulating itself and you should end up going to bed earlier and earlier. I would also refrain being on the internet a few hours before you go to bed since it can be fairly engaging online and make you lose track of time. I hope this was helpful.

  34. Arnes says:

    Hi I was just looking for ways to fall asleep and started to read the comments and saw people had the paralyzing affect and thought I could help. it uses to happen to me before and my father had some kind of control over it. Ull realize tht u r are completley paralyzed and unable to speak or make sound which can be really scary but the best thing u can do is not freak out and try to relax out of it. There is a quick way out though someone just has to touch u and ull get out of rite away my mom used to do it for my dad when he would get like tht. She usually just sensed it. For explanation on what it is I can’t completly say but from doing some reaserch the best I could come up with even though it sounds weird is it would be an out of body experiance. I remember once when it happend to me I saw the whole layout of my room and out to the hallway and saw myself sleeping and could hear everything very well. It seemed like someone said a very lucid dream. But my problem with tht is I don’t dream or at least never remeber them ever never have.

  35. Lucy says:

    I’m 13 I go some nights with no sleep and still have to bare school the next morning :( I just struggle to sleep. And I’ve tried everything nothing seems to work. In the end I have to rely on coffee to get me through the day :( I usually get a good nights sleep the next night but then resume to the same routine the next night :( How can I help this?

    • Robert Chen says:

      Hi Lucy,

      Thanks for sharing – you may want to keep an hourly log of your activities for a week or two to see if you might be overstimulating your brain before you sleep. If you can, resist drinking coffee or anything with caffeine as that can keep you up at night. Look to wind down by relaxing the last few hours before sleep. How do you usually spend the last 3 hours before you go to bed?

  36. Kristina6517 says:

    Thanks for the information. I am a 19 year old. I recently went through a lot of stress, still actually going through it to be honest. I got kicked out of my fathers house(note: my girlfriend was living with me as well so I had someone to sleep with(its comforting.)) But anyways, she went to her fathers and I went to my grandparents. Even since this happened( been 18 nights of going on maybe 2 hours of sleep each night and some nights I don’t sleep at all.) But i have tried almost everything. I will try this tonight though and thank you for that. I believe my problem is the fact I was used to having my significant other will me while I sleep. Any suggestions on how to solve that issue?

    • Robert Chen says:


      Thank you for sharing. We’re all creatures of habit and we create anchors that trigger certain behaviors. It’s possible that your significant other is an anchor for you to help you relax and now without this person, you find it hard to relax. Also, sometimes when you want to go to sleep, it ends up keeping you awake since you become stressed that you’re not asleep yet. Let me know how this technique works for you. Without knowing much about your situation, I could only recommend reducing caffeine and stimulation before sleep and to find some way to help you deal with the stress in your life. I hope this is helpful.

  37. Kasia says:

    I know this is very late but I have insomnia and I can never get to sleep.. It’s 00:04 as I type right now. I go to bed at 10, all I drink before bed is water and I never watch horror movies. I always use my iPod at night because my mind plays tricks on me. I keep seeing figures in my room and I hear things. It’s very frustrating. I am going back to school soon and I need to concentrate on my grades. I tried this breathing method and found it unsuccessful in my case. Any suggestions?

    • Robert Chen says:

      Hi Kasia,

      This technique is supposed to focus your brain’s attention so it’s not distracted by the tricks your mind can play on you. What happens when you use this technique? How long do you use it for and when do you decide that it’s time to stop? Also, have you always had issues getting to sleep?

  38. Kimmie says:

    For the past 2 weeks I’ve had a lot of anxiety & a very hard time falling asleep I’ve tried teas, meditation, sleep sounds, a hot bath etc I feel like when I close my eyes my mind starts racing and even tho I am tired my mind won’t let me sleep and it’s causing more anxiety thinking about not ever being able to sleep normally again. Any suggestions?

  39. Rob says:

    If you can’t sleep, there’s some great sleep aid tools out there. Sleep light, Cooling pillows

  40. Brianna says:

    I am a 10 year old girl and I can not fall asleep at night I have tried making my room dark I don’t drink coffe or any caffeine and I have tried all the tricks and I can’t fall asleep and I don’t play on electronics before going to bed except for on ecasions I have tried this trick last night for the first time but I can’t fall asleep I keep thinking if other things any suggestions ?

    • Robert Chen says:


      I’m sorry to hear that you’re still unable to fall asleep. There are some great tips peppered through the comments section that’s worth trying.

  41. John says:

    Okay so here goes, I am a 16 yr old boy and yesterday I had suddenly begun to… Freak out about everything. Every little thing, I just kept worrying, it was really bad, I just could not get a hold of myself. Now, in case if it has any ties to it let me just say that about the past 5 days prior to this little… I’m not sure what to call it, but I did not get any more than about 2 hrs of sleep for the past 5 days prior to the event, ever since that night, I have been unable to sleep. When I close my eyes, I don’t feel the same as I usually do when going to sleep, I took some melatonin to help me go to sleep. Normally I would be out cold within 30 minutes, just from taking a half of one, however, I could feel absolutely no impact whatsoever, on how tired I felt. And one more thing, I do have ADHD and Bipolar depression, so if that has anything to do with why I can’t sleep or why I still tend to over worry about things, even as I am typing this, please let me know. ASAP, because I can’t calm down. Please answer this if possible.

    • Robert Chen says:


      Thank you for sharing. Since I’m not a doctor, I won’t be able to comment on the effects of ADHD and Bipolar depression on sleeplessness. I recommend reaching out to a licensed medical professional to get their opinion. Were you able to give this relaxation technique a try?

  42. Vanessa says:

    What really helps me too is milk thistle, it helps clean out the liver, which in turn helps you sleep. Ievn when I do wake up in the middle of thee night, I don’t freak out and calmly go back to sleep. I take 1/3 of a 175 mg capsule every couple days, since the side effects seem to be strong on me (unwillingness to do anything productive). But my mom takes a pill every day and she’s ok with it. Also taking probiotics really helps since a healthy gut leads to good sleep, which makes everything better.

  43. Dom says:

    Hey Robert Chen,
    Firstly I would like to thank you in providing this information to everyone and being such great support by even replying to the messages. Anyways I have had sleeping problems here and there but currently going through no sleep stage. I use to smoke (weed) which would put me right to sleep but I’m off it now and really finding it hard to sleep. The first night I didn’t sleep at all, the second night I eventually fell asleep at 4:00am and accidentally slept till 1:15pm and tonight (third night) I haven’t sleep at all again. In the last couple of days I haven’t been active at all (mentally and physically) really just been spending the day surfing the net and watching movies. Do you think this is the after effects of the thc involving the REM and after a few days should go back to my natural sleeping way? Or just a unhealthily lifestyle?
    P.s I don’t really feel that tired physically or mentality after a night of not sleeping

    • Robert Chen says:

      Hi Dom,

      Since I’m not a sleep specialist, I won’t be able to comment on the relationship of thc, REM sleep and your situation. I’ll be interested to hear how the last few days have been going for you and if the technique in this article have been helpful to help you get rest. I find that my body settles into a routine if I can keep to a certain schedule. I do find that if I work out, or do something engaging before I sleep, it makes it harder for me to fall asleep but usually the next day I’m tired and can sleep earlier. Sorry I wasn’t much help – hope your sleep is getting better.

      • Dom says:

        Hey Robert,
        Actually everything went back to normal now and I’m back to sleeping normal hours. The fourth night I slept likea baby it was more the fact I had to relearn how to sleep without being put in that sleepy zone from substances. I found a 8 min song which really chills me out and put me in the state of time to go to be. Your technique help me realize how to sleep again but didn’t quite do the job for me but I found if I just let my imagination run free in my hand I would find myself falling asleep in no time. The first three nights of sleeping dreams were very vivid and real which I like, this was due to the rem sleep coming back and not being clouded by thc. But yes keeping too a schedule also seem to help a lot. Thanks a lot for your help
        P.s. I’m back to smoking but only smoked once since I stopped being a daily smoker. Casual smoking seems to not effect my sleeping on sober nights unlike when I was smoking every night.

  44. Amy says:

    I’m 14 and can’t sleep at night times I’m up that like 5 in the morning and can’t get up for school or anything in the morning. I just lie there and I’m restless, I got so,e sleeping tablets from the doctores and they didn’t work so I doubld them up at night and it’s till done nothing. I’ve just started these new ones but I freaked out really late in the night it was like nightmares everytime I closed my eyes but I wasn’t even asleep, I don’t know If it was the pills that done that or not but it was horrible. I’ve turned day into night now and I’m just so tierd and grumpy when I should be awake. I tried this breathing method and it didn’t help. Is the any others ways?

    • Robert Chen says:

      Hi Amy, I’m sorry to hear about your situation. Since I’m not a sleep specialist, I only know of this technique. You might want to check out the link at the end of this article and to consult a licensed professional to discuss alternative option. Sorry couldn’t be more helpful. Good luck.

  45. mhtydv says:

    Hi Chen
    Thanks for sharing this in so lucid manner.
    By the way i tried this in some what same manner , its a audio called as “yoga nidra meditation technique by manuji”.. It’s amajing. Try it..

  46. Tammy says:

    I had a bad cold and slept for nearly four days! Waking to run my children here and there, make dinner, and some small stuff that needed done. Now that I’m feeling better..I CAN NOT SLEEP! While I was sick I discontinued some of my medications, Adarax and busbar. I have stopped these before and had no problems. I also take Xanax and propranolol. All of these Meds due to a very serious illness I had 17 months ago, bilateral aspirated pneumonia. I was on a respirator and spent nearly two months in the ICU. Since I’ve been home from the hospital I have had no problem sleeping, of course until now. Last night I took nearly double my prescribed dose of Xanax and slept from 11:00pm until almost 3:00am. I use Xanax nightly due to waking in the middle if the night with panic. Xanax knocks me out! I don’t understand what is going on. Can anyone help. I will not take presciption sleeping pills, I have an addictive personality and will become dependant on them. What can I do??

  47. Arianna Culps says:

    I could not sleep before im a 11 year old and now I sleep With the tv on with the voulme all away down or try to read a little bit at bedtime

  48. Sabrina Pina says:

    Yeah I hope this really helps because when I have to go to bed, I’m tired. Sleepy. Yet, when I turn off the lights and breathe slowly, I. Can’t. Go. To. Sleep. Then I try to do something that will make me really tired but again, when I turn the lights off, that sleepy feeling fades away. Like, seriously, what’s up with that? It’s bed time and my body won’t cooperate!!!!!

  49. TheJoker says:

    Hi robert, i’m a 12 year old girl and ever since i was 10 i would wake up with terrible hunger pangs even though i eat balanced meals during the day. Im also very hungry in the day, but not as much. I still get them except i don’t fall asleep until 3 or 4 because my mind wont calm down. Ive tried countless things and my mom just says im a hypochondriac. I don’t have caffeine within 2 hours of my bedtime and i always drink tea. I also cant sleep because my roomfeels so hot even if i turn on both of my fans and open my window. My skin feels like its dry and burning almost.

  50. Joseph says:

    I am a 12 year old male not getting much sleep every night. Right now it is 12:23 A.M my time, and I need to be up by 4:00 A.M because we are going on a road trip. I have been on a terrible sleeping schedule the past few months, going to sleep at about 2:00 A.M and waking up at about 12:00 P.M I will try out this method and tell you how it goes (I hope it goes well)!

  51. Anna says:

    I’m 13 and I can’t fall a sleep until 4:00 am every night, I got to my room at 10:00 and I lay down but never fall asleep until 4:00 am I don’t know what to do it really stinks I just woke up and it’s 5:00 PM I hate this because I haven’t been outside in three months because of ya sleeping habits and my parents well I don’t know if they care

    • Robert Chen says:

      Hi Anna,

      Have you tried getting up early despite sleeping at 4am and staying up for most of the day? If you nap or sleep all morning, it may be difficult to get back on track.

  52. rave says:

    I have a sleeping problem I can stay up for 2-3 days straight with no sleep & it doesnt bother me. I have went to the doctor’s and they have giving me 2 different kind of sleeping medication and none of it works. I dont know what I can do. And when I do sleep I can sleep for 16 hours straight or I can sleep for 30 minutes and be ready to go for another 2 days. Can you please help me with this. Thanks

    • Robert Chen says:

      Hi Rave,

      Sorry to hear about your sleep schedule – outside of the technique in this article, I’m not sure how else to help especially since you’ve gone to see a doctor. Perhaps he or she can guide you to a sleep specialist. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.

  53. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Robert. Thank you again for being so helpful to readers and your posts. I’m a 23 year old. I have been struggling to sleep well for the past month due to a lot of stress within the family. I end up sleeping 4-6am and waking up at around 9am. I do not consume caffeine or use electronics before bed. I just read. If anything, I do stress out about not sleeping. I have tried your breathing exercise and it had calmed me down, but I still can’t fall asleep. Any other tips? Should I try waking up earlier to reboot my sleep schedule? I don’t want to take any pills as I feel that finding a natural method may be safer. I appreciate your help. Thanks again, Robert.

    • Robert Chen says:

      Hi Elizabeth, I’m in your camp of using natural methods to regulate sleep. What are you usually reading before you go to bed? Stay away from reading or doing anything that gets your mind thinking and planning right before you go to bed. It can certainly be stressful when you want to sleep but you can’t. Perhaps you can try to continue focusing on your breath so your mind is not focus on the stress and need to sleep. I hope this helps.

  54. hailey says:

    Hey Robert this didnt work for me im stilll not sleeping well… do you hopefully have any other techniques??

    • Robert Chen says:

      Hi Hailey,

      I’m sorry this technique didn’t work for you. It’s definitely frustrating when you can’t sleep when you want to. I don’t have any additional techniques but the link at the end of the article might be able to help. You might also want to see if any of the suggestions in the comments section would be helpful.

  55. MAHESH KUMAR says:

    iam not getting sleep at night so wt to do

  56. Parker says:



    • Robert Chen says:

      Hi Parker – Since I’m not a sleep expert, I don’t have any other remedies besides the one in this article and suggestions you see in the comments. It might be helpful to speak with your doctor if this continues. Sorry I wasn’t much help.

  57. hbhcoaching says:

    There are also several homeopathic remedies that work quite well and you may want to consider. Once you match up your characteristics with what works best, you can identify which remedy is best for you! I have seen many people benefit from homeopathic remedies for sleep. For example, someone who is prone to anxiety, often craves salty & sweet foods, becomes consumed by sleep-inhibiting thoughts at night, and experiences back pain would be a great contender for argentum nitricum. You do not have to possess all of the characteristics–just select the one that characterizes you the best. It is important to pay attention to the characteristics for the most effective results!

    Feel free to check out the entire list of homeopathic remedies. There is a table that will help you identify which homeopathic remedy best fits you: http://www.hbhcoaching.com/remedies-for-better-sleep-tonight/

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