We’ve all had those nights where no matter what we do, we just can’t fall asleep. Heck, that could be why you’re reading this article right now! We toss, we turn, our brain is still going a mile a minute, and now we’re afraid about waking up with such little sleep. Then we get anxiety from the idea of how tired we will be tomorrow. Luckily, there are tips and trips to help you get sleep at night that at least work sometimes! It’s not always a guarantee that doing the same thing twice will help you fall asleep, but these tips have reliably worked for me in the past!
Unwind an Hour or Two Before Bed- Stretch, Read, Relax
While some are graced with the blessing of being able to just roll over and immediately fall asleep, most of us are not. Sometimes, it takes winding down to really be able to nod off. The last thing you want to be doing before bed is getting yourself riled up on social media. So, set aside 1-2 hours before bed to put away your phone, truly relax, and get yourself in a tired state. Stretch, lay down, and put on a show (maybe a comedy that doesn’t make you think) or read a great book in bed! Laying down and getting yourself ready to sleep without the pressure of having to sleep right away really will help you fall asleep easier.
Perhaps try adding a bit of chamomile tea into this routine!
Take Melatonin an Hour Before Bed if You Regularly Have Trouble Sleeping
If you either regularly have trouble OR are having a seriously bad day and feel a restless night coming on, perhaps it’s time to take Melatonin gummies. I wouldn’t recommend doing this daily, as it can eventually become less effective (and potentially cause other issues), but if you’re having a particularly bad day, there’s nothing wrong with grabbing Melatonin once or twice a week. Taking it an hour before you have to sleep is ideal so it can kick in, and you can be asleep at bedtime.
Play with Your Environment
We all need different environmental factors to help us fall asleep. For instance, some people need complete darkness while others need a night light. Some need complete silence while others need the tv on softly. Know what works for you and stick with it! Perhaps add scents into the mix. If you have an oil diffuser that shuts off on its own after a time like this one, you can easily put on some soothing lavender and allow it to help relax you. Regardless, know what does and doesn’t work for you and make your environment as comfortable as possible.
Focus on Nothing
It’s hard, but a lot of us can’t sleep because our minds wander. Try to focus your mind on nothing. This is harder said than done. An easier way to get into this is to focus on your breathing. Feel your inhale and then your exhale completely- like in meditation. The more you’re focused on your breath, the less you are focused on unwanted thoughts that are keeping you up.
Listen to a Guided Sleep Meditation
If all else fails, a guided sleep meditation like this one from the Monroe Institute can work wonders. This has never failed me as my backup. Put on very comfortable ear phones (or just play it from your phone if you sleep alone), and allow the meditation to guide you to sleep. Feel your body get heavier and heavier in your bed until you’re snoring.
All in all, our bodies are different and require different techniques to get us to sleep. Find what works for you, notate it, and add to it in the future to help yourself get more regular sleep.
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