Sleep suggestions for porn recoverers

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Watch Gabe Deem's video about insomnia on

Insomnia is a common withdrawal symptom. Here are some forum members' suggestions:

  • I fall asleep to music each night (with a sleep timer). The music clears my mind. If I wake up and can't fall asleep, I either turn on music or read a book. Reading works really well for me if I really can't sleep. I've also worked hard at telling myself that missing sleep for a night isn't the end of the world. That really helps.

Guys who reboot report that getting enough sleep is helpful in avoiding PMO. Another way to think of this is that fatigue is a trigger for relapse. See research below this page.

At the same time, insomnia is a common withdrawal symptom. Here are some forum members' suggestions on how to cope with this challenge:

  • I fall asleep to music each night (with a sleep timer). The music clears my mind. If I wake up and can't fall asleep, I either turn on music or read a book. Reading works really well for me if I really can't sleep. I've also worked hard at telling myself that missing sleep for a night isn't the end of the world. That really helps.
  • Install apps like "f.lux", "twighlight", "redshift" on your devices.. they put a red filter over your screens to simulate sunset. I thought I had insomnia for years until I got away from technology at night and it vanished after a week. Besides that, stretching, meditation and reading help me get to sleep.
  • Definitely get a reading lamp. Have it right next to the bed. Something about having just that one light on in the room shining on your book will make you vehehehry sleepy.
  • Do NOT replace porn with alcohol. Yes, it will help you fall asleep, BUT you may wake up too early and might not be fully rested. (It's also not a good idea to replace an addiction with something else that is addictive.)
  • I started running late at night. When I get back I take a shower and hit the sack. It puts me to sleep instantly.
  • For insomnia, drink red date soup and miso soup.(It allowed me to sleep)  Or try miso soup can be made easily with miso paste, it can be found in most of your Asian grocery stores. Dissolve the miso paste in hot water and mix in other ingredients as you please, wa la! All done!(My personal recipe is shrio miso, chia seeds, diced scallions, and tofu.)
  • I was pretty heavy into PMO, and when I stopped, the first week was pretty rough for me in terms of sleep quality. One thing I did to break out of it was not to use my laptop/read in bed. I set it up on the kitchen table and would only lie down in bed when I got tired.
  • Just wanted to tell you that I have had difficulty falling asleep all my life until last week. This is absolutely incredible. Now I actually want to go to bed because I know I wont be laying there atleast 2 hours before falling asleep. Having to wake up early is no problem anymore, used to suffer so much having to wake up early and feeling so tired throughout the day. The retarded clips and pictures no longer play in my head when I go to sleep, I just lay down there, clear my head off thoughts and then I just fall asleep almost instantly. Posted this 41 day report earlier and at this time I was still having some difficulties sleeping, although not as bad as before. Cant wait what the future brings more out of this, I have seen some incredible changes in my life so far and oh boy they havent come for free either, had to fight for every inch with this and developing other things aswell at the same time but hey life aint supposed to be all sunshines and rainbows.
  • If I wake up and my mind is full of thoughts, I grab a piece of paper and write them all down. My mind then relaxes because it trusts I put the thoughts somewhere.
  • The whole reason I struggled with quitting PMO and MO is because I always did it right before sleep. But, it getting more and more difficult to O... It was taking longer and longer and keeping me up late. I haven't slept well for years cycling between trying to quit and not quitting. I admit, the first week was rough, I had trouble sleeping. But now, I have had a couple nights here where I fell asleep without thinking about whether or not I was going to fall asleep.

    All this time I have been giving up on nofap because I thought fapping was the only way I could sleep, and only 10 days in I'm already sleeping great. I expect I'll probablly have trouble again but to be able to go 2-3 nights with falling asleep when my head hits the pillow is truly awesome.

  • Give St. Johns wort a go. It has a sedative/ drowsy effect. I drink it in a tea.
  • I tend to deliberately breathe slowly - in through the nose, out through the mouth, and find my balance again. If it gets super bad, I actually will deliberately do kegels - even in the middle of the night. For me at least, they tend to ease the longing/withdrawal, redistribute the energy, whatever you want to call it. The muscles get a little attention for a while with the kegeling, and tend to "go back to sleep".
  • Binaureal Beats: they helped me sleep during the initial sleep deprivation phase of the reboot
  • Ive put a block on my computer after midnight in the past. I need to start doing that again. Also,Exercise helpsMelatonincold/dark roombreathing/meditation techniques- Ive actually used the hemi-sync series to do this. Its supposed to be for OBE/Astral Travel, but I use it to travel on to dreamland
  • I find these things helpful:

    Not to work in the room in which you are sleeping.

    ----> That means work elsewhere.

    Not to do something very physically or mentally active before sleep.

    -----> Be calm before sleep.

    ---->To wake up and go to bed in regular time.

    ----> And, of course, be very active during the day - no laziness :D

  • I turn on music I enjoy that my mind can focus on. Puts me to sleep almost every time.
  • If all else fails, I start reading a book. For me, the key is putting the focus of my mind on something else.
  • Melatonin is a natural, non-addictive that helps me sleep. Be sure to get the 'sublingual' kind that dissolve under your tongue. Sometimes they're called 'lozenges'. Useful when changing time zones, too. Another guy, however, said:"I tried different supplements and sleep aids: melatonin and 5-HTP supplements. I would not recommend them. There isn't a whole lot of research on them and their long term side effects, furthermore melatonin is banned in Canada and Europe. The 5-HTP had worked for me before as a sleep aid. (I didn't notice any effects with mood and used it sparingly due to its theoretic effect on serotonin levels.) But during the reboot my experimentation with the melatonin and 5-htp actually corresponded to a dip in my mood levels. "

Another forum member added,

Melatonin helps when you need it, but only if you need it. If you haven't thrown your sleep schedule off or been in bright environments for most of the evening, the brain usually produces enough on its own. If you don't have low levels, and you take it, it doesn't help one bit to knock one out further... Like GABA or a sedative would. I take 3 mg on nights when I've been up late studying in front of a computer screen.

  • I've had good luck with a homeopathic remedy called "Insomnia."
  • I wake up and read for awhile. That's it. Then if I fall back asleep, fine. If I don't, fine. I love reading anyway. And I don't mind not getting much sleep. I can always nap during the day if I have to. There is never any stress about falling back asleep and the reading is a "replacement behavior" for the masturbation.

  • Don't use a laptop or phone before bed (the bright light increases the 'stay awake' chemicals in your brain). Read something before bed. And when you wake up don't stress about it just use the time. I started doing this and it sort of just balanced itself out in the end.
  • Someone recommended liquid melatonin to me and it works great! I use Sleep Soundly that I bought at GNC for about $10. It's a small bottle of 2oz. that has 30 servings and citrus flavored. Each serving has 3.5 MG (2 droppers). After taking it, I felt really sleepy about 15 minutes later and I normally could have stayed up several more hours. This will put you back on a good sleep cycle.
  • My approach was consistent exercise, as much sunlight as possible (natural melatonin), and abiding by the "Use your bed only for sleep and sex rule" - which for single me, translated to "use your bed only for sleep" haha. Somewhat unrelated, but helpful - this video really helped my perspective on everything: its a must watch for everyone. re: positive thinking. Definitely helped my mood and in turn, sleep quality.
  • The lights are out, you're in bed. Get in your sleep position. In your mind begin to make a list of all the things in your life that you are grateful for. Make it as detailed as possible. Think it out loud in your mind, slowly, like you mean it - imagine each point. For example:I am grateful for my healthy body, grateful to live in a comfortable home, grateful to have food to eat and clean water to drink. I am grateful to live in a safe part of the world free from war. I am grateful for my friends and family (picture them) who are near and far away and for all they have shared with me, helped me, guided me, made me laugh, cooked for me, taught me. I am grateful to have access to education and communication. I'm grateful for whatever hobbies I have that I can explore them and develop them, I am grateful I had a hot shower today and grateful to the plumbers who put the pipes in, I'm grateful to the dinosaurs who became natural gas that heats the water in our home....

    and on and on....

    Buddhism defines a virtuous mental object as anything that makes the mind more calm and peaceful. That's what you are doing, you are training yourself to focus on virtuous  mental objects. Keep with the grateful, thankful thoughts going as long as you can. Be creative. It will be unique and personal and all your own. There really is no wrong way to be grateful. I am thankful for the farmers who grew the food I now enjoy, and the engineers and labourers who built the roads, and my mother who made me breakfast for so many years.....etc.

  • Reddit thread on getting to sleep during rebooting
  • Especially during the first weeks of Nofap I almost couldn't fall asleep at night. I had used fapping as a way to exhaust myself to fall asleep. The problem with Nofap was that I couldn't rely on my old habits anymore...
    My solution? Taking a cold shower. I do it immediately before I go to bed. It cools down my body temperature and relaxes the muscles. The urges go away long enough to fall asleep. I don't use it every night, but only the nights I know I will have trouble falling asleep. Some nights I even have to do it twice!
    I remember the first weeks of this journey my girlfriend didn't know yet, and she would stare at me with wonder when I hit the cold shower at 4 in the morning ;) wondering if I had gone crazy!
    So, take that cold shower! Don't lie there looking at the ceiling, suffering from all those triggers, urges, and images fleeting across your mind! Having problems falling asleep at night? Take a cold shower!
  • Here are a few things you can do to regulate your circadian rhythm:

    1) Wear orange-tinted construction glasses an hour before you go to bed. These will stop blue-wavelength light from reaching your eyes, which will allow your body to produce melatonin and prepare you for bed. You can buy these for about $10.

    2) Practice light and dark therapy. When you sleep, eliminate, as much as possible, all sources of light. When you wake up, expose yourself to intense light. I can vouch for the efficiency of light therapy, though it is expensive initially -- you'll want to buy a light box; I found mine on sale on Amazon for about $80.

    3) Abstain from food and drink a couple hours before you sleep.

    4) Sleep 7.5 to 9 hours a night, at consistent intervals. 7.5 seems to be ideal, as more is not always better. Try to sleep in 90-minute increments so you don't interrupt your REM cycles.

  • I have found that I sleep best when I have 4 things taken care of:1) Make a list. At work I am constantly making lists and checking/crossing things off. That way I don't worry as much about forgetting something I am supposed to do.2) Work out. That doesn't mean the gym necessarily. Walk/run/pushups/situps, whatever. Just get your heart rate up sometime during the day(not too latre in the evening). Not only will that make you more tired when you do go to bed, but you'll be less stressed as well.3) Get up earlier (btw this is the best time to fit in your work out). You'll be tired by the time it is time to go to sleep in the evening.4) I usually put something over my eyes and ears like a rolled up tshirt. It helps me.
  • Breathing for relaxation: Inhale for 7 seconds, hold for 4 and release. Do this until you feel relaxed enough to go to sleep again.
  • For this guy, the key to getting to sleep easily was to get up at a regular hour, which had always been a problem. Here's how he solved it:

I’ve been noticing a difference in my self-discipline since I’ve started. For one, and this is rare and most noticeable, I’ve been managing to wake up consistently at 8AM every day. I owe a huge amount of credit to the Android application Alarm Clock Extreme, which has a function whereby you have to do maths in order to silence the alarm. I also have the alarm gradually come into full volume over 10 minutes, and have disabled snooze. These things combined have worked wonders for me. I don’t have to wake up in a panic and jump across my room to turn it off, only to jump back into bed. It comes in so gradually it takes a while to be blended out of my dreams, and when I realise it’s going off it’s still not loud enough to panic. I put it on the other side of my room so I must get up. I then have to do three fairly simple math sums to turn it off, and by that stage I’m not interested in going back to sleep. 8AM might sound like heaven to most of you, but for me I often fell into habits of waking up after 11AM, and I was never, ever consistent. I’m even doing it over weekends, and sometimes waking up before my alarm goes off. Over the coming weeks I’ll push it to 7AM.

Having trouble sleeping with a partner:

Have a hard-on all night while spooning a girl? I have had that experience. There is a simple solution to that. The erection indicates that you have sexual energy queued up. It wants to go to her. It naturally gathers in the sex organs, but you can move it in other ways. Simply tell yourself to relax and let the energy flow to her. Just keep repeating something like this in your head:

"Be calm, be comfortable, and be relaxed. Let the energy flow to her on every level. Let it go to her."

The actual words are not important. What is important is that you set the conscious intention for your masculine energy to flow into her. Then you relax and let it happen. If you do this, then the energy will move how it needs to move and your erection will go away. Then you will feel very relaxed and you will sleep well. You will probably also find that she decides that she really likes you after that :) .

A forum member shared this:

A few months ago I saw something on television (Dr. Oz) with Deepak Chopra and he gave a lesson in how to meditate for good sleep.

What you do is lie on your back with your hands on each side of your pelvis, breathe deeply and first start by saying a few self-affirmations (I am a good person, I am loved, I can do anything, etc.) and then start to list each and every thing you can think of that you are grateful for that day.

When I first started doing it, my gratitude list was long. It included everything from the coffee I drank to the bumblebee I saw!

Honestly, now I barely get through being thankful for my lover and my family and my horses and dog and I'm dead asleep!!!

You have to do it every night. It really does rewire your brain!! It's much better than any sleep drug and it works every time~~


"Made sure I was totally exhausted before lying and down, and then proceeded to list all the things I was grateful for during the day--which included the fine folks on this very forum. At any rate, I zonked out in about three minutes."

US researchers have reported that low levels of two neurotransmitters – dopamine and acetylcholine – may be implicated in sleep disorders.

 Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a rare and fatal degenerative neurological disease that is almost always accompanied by severe sleep disorders. There is clinical evidence that some of the sleep problems associated with this condition can be relieved by medications that replace depleted dopamine.

 To investigate this clinical finding, researchers from the University of Michigan studied the brain chemistry of 13 patients with MSA and 27 healthy control subjects.

 Radioactive tracers that attach specifically to proteins in dopamine and acetylcholine producing cells were administered to the participants. The brains were then scanned using positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT).

 The scans were performed during two successive nights of polysomnography, which involves continuous recording of specific physiologic variables during sleep. The results from PET and SPECT scans were correlated with the polysomnography recordings.

 The results revealed that MSA patients have a lower density of dopamine and acetylcholine-producing neurons than normal control subjects. The lower the density of these neurotransmitter-producing cells, the worse the subjects’ sleep problems.

 Depleted dopamine producing neurons in the striatum of the brain were associated with symptoms of thrashing, talking and violent flailing while asleep. In contrast, patients with the lowest levels of acetylcholine-producing neurons in the brainstem had more interruptions in breathing during sleep.

 The researchers also observed that brain areas that control the muscles of the upper airway and tongue were associated with the largest deficits in acetylcholine neurons.

 The authors conclude that chemical imbalances in the brain may be partly responsible for sleep disorders, but that further research is required to confirm these findings in otherwise healthy individuals and other neurological disorders.