Sleep-Training Methods for Adults
By Danielle Kraese

The Pick-Up-Put-Down Method

Pick up your phone and scroll through news apps for one hour. Then slowly put
your phone down and leave it there for one minute. Repeat this over and over,
gradually increasing the amount of time in which you’re away from your phone.
Stop when you’ve consumed enough content that being awake feels
indistinguishable from a nightmare.

The Warm-Bottle Method

Shortly before bedtime, give yourself a warm bottle of eight-dollar Moscato. After a
little belching, you’ll go right down. Then you’ll go back up at 3 a.m., with violent
acid reflux. Spend the next four hours burping yourself to sleep, just in time for
your alarm to go off.

The New-Parent Method

Jolt awake at the sound of the baby’s piercing cries and tumble out of bed. After
smashing your toe on the doorframe, remember that you don’t have a baby—it’s
just your neighbor Jean’s spiteful cat. Spend the next several hours pleading with
Gizmo through the wall to go sleep-sleep.

The Graduated-Extinction Method

Toss and turn under the covers while thinking about how humans are destroying the
planet, focussing in particular on your own personal failures. Are you sure that you
know which plastics can be recycled? And what should you do when you can’t get
that last glob of honey out of the bottle—just throw the whole bear out? Google
“Recycling how it works,” and realize it’s possible that everything is ending up in a
landfill anyway. Pop the last of your melatonin gummies, which never work but
taste great, and chuck that empty jar right in the trash.

The Chair Method

Pass out in your favorite armchair while plowing through the new season of
“Unsolved Mysteries.” Scream yourself awake at 5 a.m., drenched in sweat and
with your head stuck at a forty-five-degree angle.

The Repressed-Mortification Method

Right when you’re about to drift off, think back to your most humiliating moments
from the eighth grade. Like that time you tripped and fell in the cafeteria while
carrying an open bag of Funyuns, and everyone laughed—even the principal.
Counting backward from a hundred, picture all the classmates and lunch aides, who
definitely still reminisce about it to this day. Eventually give in and take a ZzzQuil,
but only once it’s late enough to guarantee that you’ll sleep right through all four of
your alarms in the morning.

Bedtime-Hour Fading

Gradually put yourself to bed later and later each night, until time folds in on itself
and you’ve suddenly been awake for three weeks. Around this point, you’ll slip into
a rem cycle and remain there for three days. When you finally regain consciousness,
you will have been fired from your job, probably, but otherwise you’ll feel

Bedtime-Routine Fading

Not to be confused with Bedtime-Hour Fading, this method is one where you
simply stay up all night hate-reading the life-style blog of your childhood nemesis,
because you don’t feel like getting up to brush your teeth.

The Rock-and-Shush Method

Lie on your back and grind your teeth to the bass beat of your neighbor Troy’s
stereo. Intermittently, get up and scream, “SHUT THE HELL UP!,” while banging
on the ceiling with the handle of a Swiffer that has only ever been used for this
purpose. Repeat this until you tire yourself out or puncture the drywall.

The Cry-It-Out Method

Get into bed and allow yourself to wail uncontrollably. You should figure out how
to self-soothe eventually. And, if you don’t, at least all of your neighbors will be
equally miserable.

Danielle Kraese is an editor at Bustle.

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