Could you help me find a bit more rest?

Request for information: Rest catchup methods (not nap/sleep based). I am asking for ideas for intermediate calmings — ways and times for my brain to catch up with the masses of input that spin around me like a tornado.

Problem: I’m an energizer bunny with an arc reactor — my mind doesn’t stop, so if I slow down physically, I just spin up mentally. I can achieve a meditation state relatively easily but for limited periods. A particular problem is that moving from ‘working’ to ‘downtime’ takes so much “spoon” energy that I often do not manage it.

My sleep has become worse, and I’m looking for more ways to give my mind and body the opportunity to catch up. I’m throwing everything I can try at it, so feel free to suggest things that seem obscure, unlikely, and even high-practice-required.

Sleep details:
I’ve been working harder on my sleep quality/quantity this year, as aging makes me more dependent on consistent sleep for capacity to function. Unfortunately, my sleep is worsening more rapidly as well.

I have managed to achieve a higher rate of 7-8hour nights than historically likely for me (1 per week! Sometimes even three in a row!) without a clear sense of which efforts are helping (I’m just combining a lot of things when I can remember them).

Yet my bad nights are dropping as well: as bad as 2 hours [over 7 hours of lay-down] and an average of 3hours on bad days (all days are high or low sleep, maybe 1 in 30 is ‘medium’). The ratio of good nights to bad nights is very seasonal [spring I have the worse ratio, fall is bad, summer is ok, and winter is high].

Notable things I’ve tried (some work, some don’t, some I don’t know):

  • Cut caffeine (for the day or for the 6 hour lead-in)
  • Avoid foods leading to bedtime
  • Avoid news, games, stimulations leading to bedtime
  • Stretches, meditations, reading
  • Situational triggers (things I use to remind my system we’re at sleeping time — habits or specific sensory inputs)
  • Sensory reduction (ear plugs, face masks) help improve sleep quality, but not quantity — they don’t stop me from waking up.
  • THC or CBD avoidance or specific intake. There’s a balance point in what I take and how I take it, but I haven’t tuned it in yet. Inhalation of vapor stops early [definitely improvement] while tincture intake methods appear generally successful but limited primarily to aiding or hurting the initial hours of attempts.

Things that have not appeared to work:

  • Exercise — I have change my efforts on this after several years of efforts to establish an evening pre-sleep exercise effort. My ability to remember specific focus is generally non-existent by the end of the day.
  • Regular sleep time — I cannot maintain it for more than a week, especially with the 4pm to 9pm sunset variation in this region over the year.

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