Falling asleep quickly may be the one race that people with narcolepsy could all excel in, but sometimes when napping it can be difficult to switch off your brain — especially when there may be all sorts of lights, sounds and movement going on around you. Here I’ll detail a couple of methods that I often use for getting to sleep quick and napping efficiently!
Trick 1: relaxation flow
My first trick is based on a method of meditation, the mere mention of which may leave many narcoleptic eyelids drooping… You may have heard of this kind of thing before, but please give it a try before you dismiss it as some yoga-fancying drivel!
Start by focusing your attention entirely on your toes, and try to relax them as much as possible. This may mean wriggling them a bit to expel any excess energy, or simply holding them very still (without letting them become tense).
Once your toes are relaxed, move your awareness up to your feet. Again try to relax them as much as humanly possible. Continue moving up the body, slowly taking time to become aware of and relax each small section.
As I get higher up my legs, I typically start to feel either tingling or a total numbness creeping up through my feet, which tends to mean I’m about to tip over into sleep. I’ve never made it past my thighs!
One variation I sometimes use is to picture the relaxation flowing up and down my body in waves, in time with my breathing and getting higher up the body each time.
Trick 2: Image projection
To start this method, simply shut your eyes and begin to focus on the blackness behind your eyelids. You should be able to make out some differences in light between different areas. Try to notice patterns, shapes or images in the dark.
For me, the things that I see are usually fluid and will morph between different things. Even if you are just noticing that it looks like one part of the darkness is moving in a certain direction, try to take note of that and see what happens next.
This method can be variable, in that I sometimes find it a little difficult while other times it will come extremely easily. I find that it helps to even pretend that you saw a shape or a movement even if you didn’t, as this can sometimes start off a chain reaction.
I do have a word of warning though, this trick does seem to put me into lucid dreaming more often than any other way of falling asleep, so be careful if that is of concern to you!
Of course these methods probably won’t work for everyone, but I thought I would share the details just in case anyone else out there wanted to try! I find them very helpful for situations where I might be trying to sleep in a bright room or in uncomfortable situations, which happen every so often when I am out and about.
Apart from napping, these tips can also help in those instances when you are awake for no reason in the middle of the night, which is also very common for PWN.
If you have any other tips or tricks for getting to sleep in a pinch, please leave a comment below! We can all help each other by sharing our knowledge 🙂