why can’t we just decide to go to sleep? like turn our brains off manually

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probably a really dumb question but think it’s messed up that in order to fall asleep we have to pretend we are until we trick our brains or something, why can’t we just do it? like flipping a switch?

In: Biology
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You ever get bored and sleepy? That’s how it’s supposed to work. If you’re stressed or preoccupied, your brain knows it shouldn’t be sleeping. Clearly there’s a tiger nearby and laying down is a bad idea, right???

That’s what it thinks, anyways. If you’re not bored, you shouldn’t try and sleep.

Really as an adult we “forget” how to fall asleep. The trick really is to clear your mind and relax. This used to come naturally when you were younger, but now you have the stresses of being older which make it harder to relax and let go of.

If it helps I have some tricks on how to get to sleep easier. The big trick I’ve found is you need to “practice” going to sleep. When you go and lie down in bed, don’t do anything else. Don’t lie there and reflect on the day’s events, don’t read a book, and certainly don’t look at your phone or TV. Remove those from the room if possible. Get in the habit of bedtime is sleep only. If you lie down on your bed you only sleep. You have to be strict with yourself. Next is a sort of form of self hypnosis. When you lie down to go to bed, think of a trigger phrase. Something pleasant, but which you wouldn’t say normally. Good night sweetie to yourself or something. Whatever it is just make sure it is unique and pleasant. This becomes a sort of hypnotic trigger which will tell your mind know you are trying to sleep. Finally relax. Flex and release your body muscles starting at your head and going all the way down to your toes. This will help you relax and fall asleep. Most important though, clear your mind, if you start thinking of something catch yourself and clear your mind again. Eventually this will become habit and you should be able to just fall right asleep.

Its an evolutionary trick. The brain wont shut down until we are sure we are safe. Unfortunately real danger has been replaced with worry

I watched a video somewhere, the other day, of a guy explaining a trick to fall asleep. He said to close your eyes, and visualize a black chalkboard in front of you. Now imagine drawing the letter A, and the wipe it off the board. Do the same with the letter B, and work your way through the alphabet.

Have been doing this for the past week, and I end up falling asleep within 10 minutes or so. Most of the time I trail off, thinking about something else, and come back to it, but the “trailing off” is my mind shutting down.

Evolution made us weird! I’d 100% rather have an intelligently designed body. Normal backbone for standing, controllable heat, not addicted to fat and sugar, and maybe even a brain that doesn’t over react to literally everything

Wait, is it not normal to lay down and begin sleeping on command? It’s just like moving your arm or your foot, or willing an outburst down. Just lay down and blank out. I’ll admit it’s sometimes hard when its noisy but not impossible.

You can. or you can learn to.

While it isn’t as easy as a light switch. It actually takes about 5-7 minutes.

It took me years to get to this point. When I go to bed i fall asleep in less than 2 minutes (often less than 30 seconds).

I mean, it *is* possible to turn your brain off manually. You just might not be able to turn it back on.

keep the fan on 5th speed (variable resistor) and just jump from below facing backward from fan so it hits your head from back where there is memory lobe and it can take rest.

Completely possible to train yourself to fall asleep quickly and consistently. Meditation, visualizations, exercise, and some tricks all help

I turn my brain off manually on a regular basis. I usually use name brand alcohol, but sometimes I use off brand alcohol as well, which is often just as effective. Sometimes I just force myself to stay awake for days on end, knowing that my brain will eventually surrender and sink into the sweet embrace of oblivion out of sheer total exhaustion.

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Glad to have helped!