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I am currently reading Learn You a Haskell for Great Good and since it has nothing to do with what I'm doing at work (Node.js), it kinds of tells my brain I am now doing something different from work so you can engage the sleeping phase now. But basically I try to read books related to programming languages that I haven't the chance to play with at school and read them at night to help me sleep since reading has always helped me in that way. And I get to learn new things in the process.


The problem though is that before sleeping I am reading about stuff that have nothing to do with my job but are stimulating. For example I am very fond of investment vehicles. So reading about stocks or bonds is a bad choice for me even if it has nothing to do with work

I guess every people is different at some point. I can understand why. Thanks for sharing your point of view!


Valerian root tincture about 30 minutes before I want to be asleep. I grow and make my own, but it can also be found in health food stores or herbalists here in the States. It comes in pill form too but it's a lot easier to rip people off with pills.


Very interesting. Does it have any special requirements to grow?


It likes it damp and out of full sunlight and it's a perennial which dies back for the winter, so it's pretty forgiving as these things go. Our back yard is shaded and swampy -- i.e. perfect -- and the valerian had been making a bid for dominance this spring until I pulled dozens of small plants up before they could produce seed. The roots don't really get going until the second year but I still had enough for a decent-sized batch.

Growing valerian takes time more than anything else. Making tincture involves digging up and cleaning the (rather fine and fragile) roots, drying them to concentrate the active ingredients, and steeping them in grain alcohol to extract. If that doesn't sound like a fun project, absolutely buy it from the store instead!


No. Aside from keeping it away from cats. I think it will be much easier to buy ready made tincture in pharmacy.

Keep in mind that this affects mood and cognition for several+ hours.

In EU you won't be scammed if you go for legal sources, like your local pharmacy.


Since there are a lot of software developers who struggle with sleep, I wrote "Techniques to maximize sleep quality" to capture all the advice I had, which is based on what worked for me.


So I read your articles. Very nice collection of ideas and measures.

Do you have any tips for calming a chattery mind apart from reading of course?


I don't know if this works for everyone, but this is what I do:

  • I make notes of everything I'm thinking, no matter how random or stupid.
  • For things that are too complicated and interconnected to be represented in a note, I create an elaborate mind-map (I use SimpleMind) to organize my thoughts.
  • I create recordings of me talking out loud what I'm thinking, as yet another way to organize my thoughts.
  • I take long relaxing showers (like 40+ minutes) where I talk through what I'm thinking to myself. My wife tells me it sounds like I'm arguing with someone, but she's used to it. I've gotten some of my best ideas in the shower.

By the time I've got everything out of my head, I usually stop ruminating on whatever I'm thinking and can sleep soundly.


If i have code on my mind and thinking about a problem, I can't fall asleep immediately so I force my mind to switch things up by grabbing some fiction book and reading for a while. This usually engages my brain in the story and I can relax enough to fall asleep


I believe fiction books used to work for me. Maybe one mistake I make is that I read actual stimulating stuff before bed (I was reading about queue architectures for example last night). I should start again maybe


Sounds interesting. Is it pragmatic and to the point of focuses on theory a lot?


It's a very good book. Contains both theory and practical info.


Haven't cracked it open yet but Jason Fried, creator of basecamp recommended it on indie hackers


I usually fall asleep almost immediately, but if it's been a tough day I need to either write down a to do list for how I'm going to make sure tomorrow isn't a tough day too or get my brain into something else. Funny videos, reading, video games, anything else. If I have time, I will even do a really hard, sweaty workout.


I just start thinking about the hard problems I need to solve in a project. I usually start brainstorming and then eventually fall asleep. It is easier for me to sleep like this than actively try to sleep. That does not work for me for some reason.
I usually also listen to some podcast to sleep or read, but recently have been experimenting with falling asleep just using thoughts.


1- get in bed
2- Open Pocket cast
3- Search for 'Nothing much happens' podcast
4- Start playing and set to stop when the episode finishes
5- Open Sleep cycle app
6- Set proper wake up time
7- sleep :)

Always work


I have sleeping issues, so I prefer taking sleeping pills. It's only method that just works :D you can buy melatonine, it should be available OTC.


Indeed melatonin does a good job. I am concerned it is not based on herbal stuff though


Melatonine is quite safe. You already have it in your brain, and it's used to regulate sleep cycles.

On the other hand, heroine is plant based. Nothing to be concerned here ;p

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Periklis Gkolias profile image
In love with Python, but I admire all the stacks that offer solutions without testing my patience. Avid productivityist, great-food worshipper, always-smiling.