My top recommendation remains the visualisation method known as the “cognitive shuffle”: download the MySleepButton app, or just choose a letter of the alphabet and sequentially imagine objects beginning with that letter.
I am 71 and have been unable to easily fall sleep without lorazepam for years. When I started reading about the possible harm the drug might be doing, I went into action. I read about sleep and tried a number of apps. Then I came across an article in Forbes. Then I read more about your app and the cognitive shuffle. I was intrigued. It made perfect sense.
I tried the app a week ago and I fell asleep. The next night I put it on for an hour so I would not end up worrying that it would end before I fell asleep. I have fallen asleep every night, sometimes in minutes, but never more than around 20 minutes. No more drugs.
(Anonymous, June 15,2017)
I went into this technique with total disbelief, entirely skeptical. And it worked on me like a charm. It has been effective every night since. I love it because it’s drug-free and I can even do it with a cat sleeping on my hand. If you have trouble falling asleep I can’t guarantee it will work, but there is literally no harm in trying it.
All I can say is …. this is the answer to sleepless nights, when the hamster wheel is in overdrive. I feel like I haven’t slept for months, having a really tough time, waking up in the morning feeling exhausted. I heard a quick snip on CBC radio re: Serial Diverse Imaging, interest piqued for obvious reasons ! I down loaded the App last night, OMG – I was astonished. It worked, even though I woke up three times, each time putting mySleepButton back on, I fell right back to sleep. I want to say THANK you Dr.Beaudoin, and all the other scientists involved in coming up with this brilliant App.
(Testimonial from Marj on May 1, 2017.)
Thanks guys. It has really helped me get to sleep at night!
i first became aware of your technique from the guardian. i travel a lot and find it difficult some times to fall asleep. new city, new clients , old clients complaining etc etc. My biggest problem was getting to sleep early and then waking after a couple of hours of rest and not being able to get back to sleep.
so i tried a very uncomplicated version as explained in the Guardian article. i am amazed [at] its effectiveness. I have been using the technique (just choose a letter and think and visualise the object 3 to 4 seconds) repeat until asleep. now i barely get past the 3rd or 4th word. it as if the brain has said " ahhh he is doing that thing again put him to sleep.)
The act of changing completely what you’re thinking about every 15 seconds or so disrupts your brain from being able to get onto what you were thinking about, to get onto those racing thoughts that keep you awake at night…
You just start to drift off and fall asleep.
I’ve found [mySleepButton] very effective to get into that really drowsy state where no thoughts can penetrate anymore.
This works better than Pzizz for me.
"I've been trying out your app - It's a fantastic concept and it's definitely effective. "
Trouble sleeping? The free, http://mysleepbutton.com app from @CogSciApps will knock you out without drugs. I tried it, and it really works.
I've been using the cognitive shuffle for over a year now. Every time I can't get to sleep because I have had too much coffee or whatever, I just do the cognitive shuffle and it knocks me into sleep.
I'm a father of 5 kids and work full time. After a full day working I take the kids to baseball, volleyball and dance classes and usually don't get home until 9pm. On May 12th, I was reading about the mySleepButton app and I decided to give it a try instead of trying to fall asleep watching TV, which would normally take about an hour. I was fast asleep within 15 minutes. The next day I was asleep in 10 minutes. Make sure you tell your other half what you're doing. She walked into the room and couldn't figure out how to turn off the sleep app and woke me up!!
"Heard the interview, downloaded the app and slept like a baby last night. :). This is awesome!"
Marylke Nieuwenhuis (BC)
A testimonial about mySleepButton:
I downloaded the app onto my phone yesterday when I got home from work and started playing around with it. Hit the "Put Me to Sleep" button and started to listen. I was a bit unimpressed - seemed a bit dull - not as relaxing as guided meditation imagery - voice didn't grab me …….. Then I woke up 30 minutes later, sitting on the couch with a terrible crick in my neck!!!
So it definitely works for me!
Used it again at bedtime (lying down this time!) although I normally do go to sleep easily, but more impressively I used it again in the middle of the night and it worked like a charm. I'm not sure how I will save the world's problems without my habitual 3AM ruminating, but I am a total convert to this app!
[…] this is terrific.
I sometimes wake up at night and think of work and other issues and that can keep me awake for long periods. My brother's technique (the cognitive shuffle) helps me fall back to sleep quickly and it has been extremely effective for me -- in fact, almost as effective as speaking to him directly.
I used the technique about 15 times and found it to be effective every time.
Nearly every night I use this technique. When I am ready to go to sleep (I am in bed with the lights out) I think of a word and then start with the first letter of the word and see how many words I can make and imagine with that first letter. Then I go to the next letter and do the same thing. It is not very often that I have to go to a second word - this really does work to put me to sleep.
This technique has allowed me to stabilize my sleep cycle which is constantly disturbed by shift work in the ER. It really has helped me recuperate and function under high stress.
I have been falling asleep much faster since I started using the random word imaging method that Luc taught me. It words much better than counting backwards which I used to do. I also use it to "drop off" for an afternoon nap occasionally.
Finally a sleep aid that works and all without side effects. I use it often.