Lately I’ve been having to get up at six in the morning, for Zen practice. This is bad because I have insomnia and generally terrible sleep patterns. Here are some things I have found that help. Some of them are tips from my master; thanks, Haju!
1. Do not sleep at odd hours! Not under any circumstances!
2. Don’t do stimulating things in the evening. In my case these include: computer usage; eating sugar; intellectually demanding tasks. I try to reserve these activities for the morning or afternoon.
3. Chamomile tea.
4. Self-hypnosis works. I gather that a lot of people use elaborate techniques with visualizations, recitations, etc. to hypnotize themselves. In my case, for this task, I just invoke the feeling of comfortably dozing off, without the use of that sort of formal machinery.