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itsallgoodman

itsallgoodman

Member
May 24, 2022
8
My first post, let me know if this isn't the kind of stuff that you guys are interested in having on this forum.

I'm posting here because I'm not sure if it fits under discussion or recovery.

This guide was written to help both those who would like a brief, blissful escape from everything during the night as well as to possibly suffer slightly less during the day. It is also for those who want something to help give the smallest push to take action by making their lives more miserable and impulsive.

Disclaimer:
I don't guarantee anything with any of this advice, except that if it works well you will have about 8 hours of escape from it all. I highly doubt fixing your sleep will solve all, or really any major problems in your lives as am I sceptical impairing it will cause a significant enough problem to catalyze any final action, furthermore, I'm not a doctor or anyone with credibility in this subject. I am simply passionate about the topic of sleep and have desired to share this knowledge in hopes that it may be of some use in any possible way. I will also be linking the resources that I have learned from for anyone who's curious or would like to learn in more detail. It is definitely possible it may help make your life slightly less horrible as well as it is possible it may catalyze final action by decreasing the threshold for it.

The majority of this guide will be written from the perspective toward helping someone improve their sleep, although I will discuss impairing sleep at the end of it. In general, if you want to impair sleep just do the opposite of what you should to help it. Also, when you impair sleep you may accidentally fall asleep from exhaustion depending on if you deprive yourself more than you can control. This is fine, in fact, only sleeping when you're absolutely exhausted is a great way to help make you miserable and impulsive enough to be more likely to commit suicide.

Brief description on sleep and dreams

To briefly explain what happens when we sleep so that I can better explain things later, I will begin with the two main mechanisms that cause sleep. The first is your circadian rhythm, or your own inner clock that keeps track of time and is set by light, primarily daylight. The second is the chemical adenosine that builds up in your brain as you go about daily activities and is only cleared in sleep. Your brain detects how much adenosine it has at any given moment and then uses that to gauge how much sleep is needed. Almost like a pressure that builds up, and the more it builds the more tired you feel. When you fall asleep, you will experience 5 staged sleep cycles that last about 90 minutes. Every time you finish a cycle you will wake up briefly to shift your sleep position, although you almost never remember this. The first four stages are non-rem(rapid eye movement) sleep and the fifth is rem sleep. Rem sleep is the kind in which you dream the most, and you have significantly more vivid dreams in this stage. Also, to claim that you don't dream is not true in slightest unless you have some extremely rare problem with your brain. You simply don't remember them. The first cycles of sleep are filled by mostly non rem sleep, with the balance shifting towards rem sleep as you progress towards later cycles. You still have rem sleep earlier in the night and non rem later to undergo a full cycle, non rem simply takes most of the time in the first 90 minute segments and rem takes more time in the later ones. It is also worth noting that body temperature can help play a role in sleepiness and a lower temperate is required for sleep. A room too cold is better than one too hot.

Dreams

To elaborate on dream sleep, it is more psychological than non-rem, and as such is crucial to your mental health. In fact, as far as I remember, there are no known mental health disorders with normal sleeping patterns that have been found whatsoever. So if you want to deteriorate your mind enough to bring yourself to suicide, I recommend you sleep at least one hour less than your required sleep amount each night. This will deprive you of primarily rem sleep and over the course of weeks, months, and even years will seriously deteriorate your mind as well as help make you miserable enough to possibly be the final nail in the coffin. Moody children are almost always chalked up to needing sleep, why should it be so different with moody adults? To deviate slightly from a purely scientific standpoint on sleep, many see dreams as being highly symbolic and informative if you can interpret them well. If you are interested in trying to interpret your dreams simply analyse every aspect of it and ask what it reminds of you of/what do you think it is trying to tell you. Analyse every detail you remember until you understand. For example, you may dream of a tsunami hitting you. You would ask yourself what the tsunami is symbolic of, what the ocean and water is symbolic of, what the sand or whatever it is you're standing on represents, and ask this of every other detail. You then ask yourself why there is a tsunami and what is it doing, now that you understand its symbolism. To give an example of a possible meaning, the ocean could represent someone's unaddressed emotions. They see it as powerful, vast, and uncontrollable. The tsunami is a culmination of it all and represents all the vast emotions that are gathering to crush that person. Seeing it coming before it actually arrives could represent that they also see the emotions it represents arriving before they crash. It's also important to remember how you reacted. If the person reacted in fear, that would be a completely different meaning than in calm or even happiness. This is simply an example, and your own dream interpretations are something best done by you. This may help provide insight for you. The last aspect of dreams that I will cover more of later is that of the lucid dream, in which you are aware you are dreaming as you dream. After realizing this, you can then do literally anything you want in your dream. And while this doesn't change your waking life much-unless you become lucid and use it to try and solve a problem, or gain knowledge to help you in your life-it can provide a nice escape. An escape that can occur every night, if you master it so.

Explanation on what to do and what not to do to have better or worse sleep
To have a good nights rest you must establish a consistent sleep schedule and routine. This means to go to sleep at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. It is also helpful to have night and morning rituals for winding down and up. Some things you can do every night before bed are taking warm showers/baths, which actually decrease your body's temperature by helping your body dissipate heat quicker once you leave the shower, as opposed to cold showers which will cause your body to try to conserve heat (and would likely be better for a morning ritual). Additionally, stretching, meditation, reading, and writing(typically journaling) are also things that can help you prepare for sleep to add to your routine. When waking up you should prioritise sunlight to set your biological clock(specifically sunlight by being outside-not through a window, if it's cloudy still go out. It's still brighter than inside.) and exercise, you can also take a cold shower, stretch, and meditate. When establishing these routines you may be unable to sleep during the time you have allotted, in these situations it is recommended you get up for awhile and then go back to bed. If you don't get enough sleep by morning it is NOT recommended to try and compensate for your lost sleep or tiredness during the day. Simply push through and the next night you will hopefully have a much easier time falling asleep because of how tired you are. In other words, you may have to sacrifice a decent day for your routine. If you can, do so.

Electronics

It is recommended you keep your phone and electronics always from your bed at night and to stop using them as early before bed as possible, hours even, if you can. You can also get blue light blockers to help if you must use electronics close to bed. Be warned though, all light is bad before bed for sleep, blue light just significantly more so.

Sedatives, sleeping pills, alcohol

Don't use sleeping pills, alcohol, or other sedatives for sleep. They may make falling asleep easier, but disrupt the process. You will not rest as well. This does not apply to supplements such as melatonin, which cause sleepiness in different ways.

(Speculation) Nose breathing

This is not something I've heard any non anecdotal evidence for, but Some people people tape their mouths so they breathe only through their nose when they sleep. Supposedly, this helped them.

(Speculation) Binaural beats

Another interesting thing to look into that I'm not sure of the effectiveness of is binaural beats. These use the stereo of your headphones to play two tones of different wavelengths in each each ear, and the difference between them causes your brainwaves to operate at the desired wavelength. Because your sleep cycles operate at specific wavelengths, it may be possible to use these binaural beats to help/hinder it. This is pure speculation though.

Bimodal sleep schedule

It is often the case that because of your circumstances you may be unable to get a full nights rest. In this case I recommend looking into "bimodal" sleeping patterns in which you sleep as much as you can at night and then compensate whatever remaining time during the day. I'm unsure of how effective this is, and it seems that doing this with more time at night and less during day may even be better than one long continuous sleep. I'm not sure what the split is but I'd guess the best would be 1 sleep cycle in the afternoon and definitely no more than 2 sleep cycles. This still requires you to go to bed and wake up at about the same times every day though. An interesting side note is that of the siesta, a phenomenon in many South American countries in which a break is placed midday for a few hours followed by later working hours.

Falling asleep quickly

If you wake up and have trouble falling asleep, or are trying to fall asleep quickly, it is recommended that you leave bed for awhile then return. When gone you should do activities that are mentally exhausting, such as sudoku puzzles. If you are laying in bed trying to sleep, you may want to try the 4-7-8 breathing method(breathe in 4 seconds, hold for 7, out for 8, then repeat. All through your nose). I personally haven't had so much success with this, but what has helped me was following this "out of body" meditation(I'll link below) in which you simply focus on each individual part of your body from your toes to your head and try and relax each one individually. Ultimately, don't worry too much about getting missing sleep if you're lying in bed unable to(an extra tip-you may want to face your alarm clock away from you if you have one so you aren't constantly checking) because if you don't fall asleep then you'll simply have a better nights rest tomorrow.

Caffeine

As mentioned earlier, sleepiness is also controlled by the buildup of Adenosine. Caffeine blocks the receptors that detect the adenosine, effectively making you numb to your tiredness. I personally wouldn't recommend it unless necessary for you, but if you do use it, try and keep it limited to the morning. Some people can clear caffeine fast enough to have no effect on sleep, even if they take it in the evening. This is likely not you though, and due to the half life of caffeine being around 5-7 hours, with the quarter life extended longer, it can disrupt sleep much later than when the alertness is gone.

Lucid dreaming for an escape, if interested.

If you are interested in having lucid dreams, you must first learn to remember your dreams in general. Write down every dream when you wake up. This way you will remember your lucid dream if you had one. As you go about your daily life, perform "reality checks" to see if you're dreaming or not. One such reality check that I think is the best is to plug your nose and try to breathe through it. It is impossible for this one to fail, because you are paralysed when dreaming and can still breathe even when you are plugging your nose in the dream. As you write your dreams you will come to recognise patterns that reoccur. For example, you may always dream of a childhood friend or place that you haven't seen or been in for years. If you are ever in this place or see this person you will know you're dreaming and should check. After you check and verify that you're dreaming, you may or may not wake up quickly. You can stabilise dreams by focusing on each sense individually and doing actions such as rubbing your hands together to "ground" yourself. The last thing I'd like to add in this brief summary on how to lucid dream is that if you want something to happen, but don't expect it, it won't happen. The placebo effect is the law of lucid dreams. You can get around this though. Say, for example, you were trying to summon a car in front of you. This likely wouldn't happen unless you were experienced enough to know that it will happen simply because you willed it. Rather, simply think "Hey, I remember now. The car I'm thinking of is in that garage behind me." Turn around and the car will be there. As will the garage. If you are interested in this, there is a book on lucid dreaming as well as a YouTube channel that I have linked below that both go much more in depth and will teach you more than these basics.
Sleep disruptions
Trauma often significantly impairs sleep. I'm not sure about how to go about making sleep better if you relive traumatic events during it, but I'd guess you either somehow process and deal with the trauma in waking life, or possibly try to deal with it in sleep if it takes the form of recurring nightmares or similar by being lucid of it as I will discuss next. Again, I'm not an expert and I really don't have a good answer for a problem of such intensity.

Nightmares and recurring nightmares

Recurring nightmares, or nightmares in general can be stopped by making them into a lucid dream. When you are in the nightmare, you will know it is a dream. Although it may feel very frightful and real in the moment, remember it is simply a dream and nothing is actually going to happen. Remember that your belief in your lack of control is the reason for it. It is not advised to try and wake up if you're in a nightmare, because it may happen again and/or you may experience a "false awakening" into an even more frightful dream. Simply take control, and make the dream not so fearful. Alternatively, you could even try to run "head on" into whatever it is you fear, knowing it to be a dream. Whatever the case, I've heard numerous stories(although only stories) of people who have successfully stopped recurring nightmares using the control from lucid dreams. After making it no longer so bad once, it doesn't happen again. It is not advised to try and escape though, as that will make the fear feel more real as opposed to simply eliminating it in some way.

Sleep paralysis

The last thing I will touch on that disrupts sleep is that of sleep paralysis. This is essentially when you wake up during rem and are still paralysed(to stop you from acting out dreams). There are often hallucinations as you haven't woken up yet and it is almost this odd limbo between being awake and dreaming. Again, even if you see/hear something scary, it is your fear that is creating it usually. In my personal experiences of sleep paralysis I have heard and seen creepy things, but because I knew what was happening I didn't really care and wasn't scared. To get out of sleep paralysis, I have heard that you should either try to move focusing on moving your fingers and toes first(I forgot why) or try to breathe irregularly. Alternatively, you can just wait and you will either fall back to sleep or wake up fully.

Using sleep deprivation to decrease resistance to suicide

This last section will be dedicated to trying to do the opposite of what we have been trying before. Rather than trying to use sleep as temporary bliss from problems, with some possible alleviation even when awake, we will instead use deprivation and impairment of it to try and help push us over the edge in taking action. Most of this will simply be ideas, as I haven't found and I doubt I could find anything regarding actively trying to harm sleep and cause as many problems as possible. First, you should make sure you sleep less than you need to. If you naturally sleep for 8 hours, sleep for 7. If you naturally sleep for 9, sleep for 8. Over time this can help to seriously deteriorate your mental health and make such a decision, rational or not, much easier. Next, I would recommend you go to sleep late and at irregular times. Use your phone or computer to help stop sleepiness and you may even want to use your phone in your bed until you physically can't stay awake longer. Although, going to bed at irregular times can make waking up exactly one hour before difficult. You should also keep your phone nearby, hopefully with notifications on. I was thinking about how you may want to use an alarm clock in the middle of the night set at random times periodically so that your sleep gets constantly disrupted, but it's much easier to just have your phone go off because it usually does so on its own. Although you may or may not be woken up by these notifications. Every time you get notified, check it. This will help mess up your circadian rhythm further because not only are you waking up randomly in the middle of the night, never consistently sleeping at the same time, and not sleeping as long as you should, but you are also looking at the blue light from your phone which helps your brain not know if it's morning. Do whatever you can in your waking life to make you stressed/anxious so that it can hopefully carry over into a restless sleep. Keep the temperature in your room warm, and/or just use more or warmer blankets/sheets. Whenever you go to sleep make sure to take a sedative, whether it be alcohol or a sleeping pill. These will help diminish the quality of the poor sleep you are having. When it comes to caffeine I'm unsure of whether to recommend it or not. On one hand, abusing it later in the day can definitely disrupt sleep. On the other hand, it may make you less miserable by preventing your mind from recognising how tired it is. I'm not too sure on this one, I'd personally go with not using caffeine if you're doing everything else, but if you decide to use caffeine then make sure it's within about 8 hours of bed. You can also simply take it as late as possible.

Good night.

Additional resources/links
Why we sleep-Matthew Walker
Exploring the world of lucid dreaming-Stephen Laberge

Gizedwards, very good lucid dream YouTube channel https://youtube.com/user/GizEdwards
"Out of body" meditation that helps to fall asleep
Podcast on sleep by Andrew Huberman
Podcast on sleep by Andrew Huberman w/ Matthew walker
An 8 hour binaural beat that matches sleep brainwaves, for those curious
 

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