Forget counting sheep: this is the way to fall asleep!
I’ve had a lot of sleeping problems in the past. Falling asleep in the evening was usually not that hard, but when I woke up at about three o’clock in the morning, the tossing, turning and worrying began. As a result I had a hard time concentrating during the day, creating a lot of stress and making sleep even worse in the next night.
I have come up with a lot of tricks over the years to get out of that vicious circle. Trying to remember my latest dream, for example. Or counting my breath. Or running the marathon in my mind. Thanks to these tricks, my sleeping problems are largely a thing of the past.
And yet: the problem is never completely gone, especially in times of tension. At the time of writing, we are in the midst of the corona crisis. Or just at the beginning, or almost at the end, who knows. Many countries worldwide have proclaimed lockdowns of some sort to combat COVID-19.
Here in the Netherlands, we’re lucky to have a so-called intelligent lockdown that at least allows us to go outside for some exercise and relaxation. Nevertheless, the whole situation has a lot of uncertainty and that is bad for sleeping. Which is the last thing we need right now because stress and a poor night’s rest are a hazard for the immune system.
But in times of crisis, the best ideas are born. A few days ago when I couldn’t get to sleep and the usual tricks didn’t work, I came up with something new. That worked remarkably well. And although it is not really 3Develop’s core business, I’d like to share this sleeping aid with the world.
The magic word is gibberish. A term used to indicate a fantasy language with nonexistent words. Onarimoto. Sobellitan. Perrolsiad. If sleep doesn’t come, make up such a completely meaningless word. Speak it out in your mind a few times and then think of another one. And another one. Wealyrougle. Raliatou. Malquolitia. As if you read the place names from the map of an exotic country.
The reason it works is very simple: you give your mind something to do. A simple task, a diversion that keeps it from brooding and worrying. Tuabrancy. Jolaventus. Pewdaffer.
I’m not sure how many pronounceable words you can make with 26 letters, but there should be billions and billions. You’ve fallen asleep long before you have tapped even a tiny fraction of that vocabulary. Whether you’ve just gotten into bed in the evening or you’ve woken up in the middle of the night. Offlatrique. Foliatellus. Trubastianiscu.
I hope that this blog, no matter how modest, makes a contribution to public health. If I only make one blog reader sleep better, one can still say that helping one person helps the world. Groaltrensel. Weltrous. Kladiuntokan. On behalf of everyone at 3Develop: sleep well and stay safe!