How I Fall Asleep

can'tsleep3Obsessive-compulsive disorder.  If you can put two and two together, you probably realize that falling asleep is difficult for many of us with OCD.  Our minds won’t stop processing.  Sometimes I’d imagine that my roomie could hear my head from the next room over, churning like a coffee grinder as I rehashed the day, worried about tomorrow, and let my mind chase its own tail as I ruminated on unknowable concerns.

The same thing unfortunately happened on long car rides.

My solution for both was simple, though there’s no guarantee it will work for others.


Instead of trying to turn off my mind, I instead gave it something specific to think about, to dwell on, to follow: a story.

And not just any story, but a story I was already familiar with.  This was important because then I could fall asleep without worrying that I’d miss something.

I also take risperidone (can’t sleep without it!) and melatonin (to help me stay asleep through the night).

Anyone else have any clever ideas for falling asleep with OCD?

Related posts:
When Thinking Hurts
Amazing Audiobooks

13 thoughts on “How I Fall Asleep

  1. Replaying the same story in my head (one I wrote). The character is on the brink of unconsciousness after a big fight scene. Essentially, I’m acting out being the character. Don’t know why this works, but it does. In part I think it’s because I’ve done it so many times it bores my mind to sleep. My OCD is quite mild compared to some I should mention. My ADD is more of a problem, but also makes my mind want to wander off inventing some new thing when I ought to be sleeping. This works for both however.

    (Warning, OCD humor! You’ve probably heard this one…) Oh, by the way, it’s CDO – in the right alphabetic order, as G-d intended!

  2. Oh my goodness! Sorry for blasphemy but I always had trouble sleeping as well because of my racing thoughts. My would be closed but my mind wouldn’t just shut off despite what I needed to do. I would get restless too. I always thought there was something wrong with me that couldn’t be named. I thought I was making things up again.

  3. Melatonin works for me. Although some people told me that if you use it almost everyday it stops working at some point.
    Or I try to write myself a mini fiction in my head ( I love writing obviously. ) I remember when I was a kid and was anxious when I went to bed ; I imagined myself
    at school with friends and we were going on adventures
    around the school… it worked and it was pretty funny too!

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