Avee's Place

Simple thoughts in a complex life

Tag Archives: sleep

What to Do When You Can’t Sleep

lionnes sleeping

I learned these tricks from an e-book about sleeping a few years ago. I don’t remember the title, but it’s one of those books that you can only get on the internet. The book was good and I learned many things about sleep that actually helped me understand about sleeping better.

In the book there are tips on what to do when you can’t sleep, and you need to. I present them here from my memory, so this list may not be complete.

1. Don’t think

One thought would usually lead to another. This would lead to a train of thought, making it harder to sleep.

For example, one day because you find it hard to get some sleep, you start to think about a beautiful day in the beach. The train of thought goeslike this:

What a lovely beach! The white sand, the beautiful clear water, the girls.. Hmm that girl reminds me of someone I know.. yes this girl looks like a colleague of mine i have a crush on in the office.. Hmm by the way, did I finish the assignment that assignment earlier today? Oh no the boss would be angry. Yeah, the boss, he’s such a jerk.. Grrr I can’t sleep now that I have thought about that guy!

The book presents 2 tips on this:

If you’re a visual person, when a thought appear in your mind, try to visualize a blackboard, and you write that thought slowly, word per word. And after a sentence is complete, visualize that you are erasing the blackboard clean. Repeat with every thought that comes to your head. Remember to visualize the words and sentences very slowly.

If you’re an audio person, do the same thing, but the difference here is that you don’t visualize words being written slowly. Instead you would imagine every thought being whispered very slowly, word by word, very slowly.

The idea here is to slow down your brain so you would be able to sleep easily. I am a visual person myself, I used the visual method several times and I can confirm that it does work as advertised.

2. Do not change sleep positions

When you can’t sleep you will feel the need to change positions frequently. Usually because the current position doesn’t feel good. Don’t do this. Doing this you would increase blood flow and the result is an endless cycle of changing positions.

So basically what you need to do is stay still and stop thinking. You will eventually go to sleep.

Extra tips for muslims

For you muslims there are one other way that usually makes me sleep easily.

There’s a sunnah that I read few years ago (I did not remember the chain) from the Prophet that you should read these before you sleep:

  • al-Fatihah
  • Ayat Kursi
  • al-Ikhlas 3x
  • al-Falaq 3x
  • an-Naas 3x
  • The sleep prayer

Doing this would usually make me feel sleepy enough that I sleep easily afterwards. Sometimes I would even sleep before the ritual is completed.

So there you have it. I hope these tips are useful to you as theyare to me.

Fixing Snow Leopard Auto-Sleep Problem

Does your Mac suffer from the auto-sleep problem? My MacBook Pro did. It is a problem where the Mac does not want to go to sleep by itself when it is left idle, even though the Energy Saver preferences has been set correctly. The commanded sleep mode (clicking   > Sleep or closing the lid) works fine. I did not remember exactly when did this problem started, but it started when I upgraded to Snow Leopard.

As usual I consulted our best friend Google and found out that the problem is actually quite common. The best explanation that I got from searching around the web is from the website of one of the sleep helper software which I am having trouble remembering the name of, and I can’t seem to find the website again (here’s one example of sleep helper program, but that’s not where I get this information from).

The programmer wrote in his website that the problem could be caused by software or hardware problems. Usually when the cause is from software, some running programs or processes prevented the machine from going to sleep. If the problem is caused by hardware, then the machine should be brought to an Apple Service Provider for a repair.

The sleep helper software works by forcing the OS to sleep when the conditions set in the Energy Saver preference pane has been fulfilled, even though some program tries to prevent from going to sleep. Since I had installed lots and lots of stuff in my machine, I figured that this must be the cause of my problem. Unfortunately, I tried some of these software, and none of them worked. I closed all running program, left the machine idle, waited and waited for some time, but the machine did not go to sleep by itself.

So, since I am also planning to test my MBP’s battery performance on a clean install, I backed up my data, formatted the hard drive and install Snow Leopard from scratch. To my surprise, the auto-sleep problem works well for a week and then it started to have insomnia again! Then I tried uninstalling the few programs I have installed one by one to see if some of the programs are blocking the sleep function. But even after I uninstalled all of the programs, the sleep problem persisted.

Then I tried to remember every changes that I had made to the machine, and after a while I found out what the cause is. The problem is caused by a well-known workaround to enable native NTFS write support in Snow Leopard, the one that requires you to add the UUID or the label of your volume to the /etc/fstab file. My BootCamp partition is mounted this way and since the volume is always mounted it prevented OSX from going to sleep.

So the moral of the story is, editing /etc/fstab for NTFS read write support is fine for flash drives and other USB devices but I would not recommend it for volumes on the internal drive.