Bram Dingelstad
Developer, Creator & Activist
Apr 12, 2020 5 min read

Some Helpful Sleeping Tips

Or how I keep waking up at 3AM and I'm looking for a solution
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I have troubling sleeping from time to time, and I haven’t exactly pinned down what solved it for me. This post shares some things I picked up on the internet or people around me. Maybe they’ll help you out!

Everyone has this sometimes, right? You have either a restless sleep or you can’t seem to sleep at all. I can’t remember if I had this problem for a long time. Just like dreams, I tend to forget most things about my sleep shortly after having some. But a thing that will always stick with me, no matter what, is the inability to sleep. The countless nights I either stared at the ceiling and ending up grabbing my laptop out of frustration, hoping to cure my bored insomnia with some work (or writing articles like these). During the current COVID-19 lockdown, my sleeping has gone back to not being good at all.

But not to worry, I started looking and most importantly asking around for possible solutions to this problem. Here’s a short list of what I found or heard.

Try to go to bed early, and get up early as well

I don’t remember quite who gave me this advice, but they reminded me that most things related to not being able to sleep are just the effect of a poorly scheduled sleeping pattern. I tried waking up in a more structured manner and going to bed as well. I have to say, if there’s one thing you can do easily that works quickly and effectively, it’s this method. But it also ended up for me being related to another issue…

Turn off your computer screen atleast an hour before going to bed

I think most developers can relate to this to some degree. You want to finish the last thing or task. Or, if you’re not working, finish that one last game of your favorite online shooter. My mother was always very determined to remind me to not do this, warning me for the thing I’m dealing with now.

I ended up combining this with the above mentioned method to make sure my head is at ease before going to bed. I found that reading a few articles on my tablet didn’t contribute to a lot of head noise before going to sleep, but your milage may differ.

Open a window before or during your sleep

When I mentioned this issue to a friend of mine who’s a biologist, she was very quick to point out that it might also be related to a lack of oxygen in my room during the night. This was mostly related to the “waking up in the middle of the night” part of this problem. I tried this solution, and it worked out great to some extent.

However, for some people (including my girlfriend), this can cause some sore throats or unwanted sickly symptoms. As an alternative to this, you can open your window for 15 to 30 minutes before going to bed.

Get some earplugs

Another thing I was quick to find out was how noisy my place sometimes is. Could be the fridge that spins up its pump in the middle of the night, the many cars or delivery scooters outside my window or people yelling before going out partying (have fun, don’t wanna ruin your good time, but I am trying to sleep).

As one of the few good side-effects of the COVID-19 lockdown here in Groningen, there isn’t much of that going on. My street is closed down for renovations, so the noise from cars and pizza scooters are gone (for now).

Whatever your particular noise problem is, this might be a suitable solution. When I talked to a friend of mine at a party he said that he had very noisy neighbours. When I asked him how he dealt with that he simply looked at me and said “Earplugs”. Never crossed my mind, getting some soon!

Stay hydrated

Shortly before writing this, I actually awoke from bed. After getting out of my sleep drunken-ness I was trying to see what I did wrong this time. I quickly went over this list I wrote for you today to see if I did something wrong. It’s only nearing the end of this article that I realize I’m dehydrated! It’s smart to make sure you drink enough throughout the day, but during the night seems to be important for me as well. Follow /r/hydrohomies advice and drink your healthy amount of water throughout the day and some in the evening.

Go to or contact a doctor

Thankfully, I haven’t reached this step yet, but if for whatever reason you read this article and you haven’t found a proper solution, don’t forget this one.

Whenever I run into a problem like this, it usually arrives to me pretty late that sleep problems are health problems. When not properly looked after, it can negatively influence your cognative abilities during the day.

Remember: going to a doctor is not the end of the world, as they are guaranteed to know much more then a random article on the internet.

I hope you’re doing fine though

If there’s something to take away from this article, it’s to take a little better care of yourself. I hope these small pieces of advice gathered from my family and friends can provide a (possible) solution for you. Stay healthy and sleep tight!

Thank for reading!

Bram Dingelstad

Hey there! My name is Bram Dingelstad and I'm an entrepeneur, developer, game designer and activist. I write articles sometimes.

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Cover photo by David Clode