We’ve all been there, tossing and turning for hours on end wondering if we’ll ever fall asleep, or just pass out into oblivion from exhaustion. Nothing is worse than not being able to fall asleep. In fact, I’d rather give up cookies and cheese for the rest of my life than struggle to fall asleep, and that’s saying something.
If you struggle too, I’m here to help. Try one (or all) of these 9 tactics next time your mind is racing and sleep just won’t come, and you’ll be looking like this soon enough…
- Reverse psychology. With sleep, the harder you try the further away it seems. Try this: Lie in bed with your eyes open and a determination to stay awake. A small European study found that participants who did this fell asleep faster than those who were told to try and snooze. Maybe it’ll work for you too.
- Turn off and tune out. Blue lights, found on our TV and phone screens, reduce the sleep suppress melatonin – making it more difficult to drift off to dreamland. Turn off your tech 30 minutes prior to bed and avoid other bright lights. This will signal to your brain that it’s time to sleep.
- Get up. Your brain associates different objects and places with different activities. The only things we want our beds associated with are sleep and sex – not lying wide-awake and churning with anxiety. Even though it’s difficult, next time you find yourself awake in the middle of the night for more than a few minutes, get out of bed and do something with your mind and body, like walking, coloring in a coloring book, or piecing together a puzzle.
- Cover up the clock. Don’t check the time, it’ll only increase your stress and push you further from Snoozetown. This includes your phone! Don’t check that clock either.
- Cool off. According to The National Sleep Foundation, the ideal sleep temperature is 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. Did you know our bodies naturally cool down while sleeping? Help the process along by turning down your bedroom temp or investing in a fan.
- 4-7-8. This method, coined by Dr. Weil, involves 6 steps and is said to help you fall asleep in less than a minute. 1) Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. 2) Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound. 3) Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four. 4) Hold your breath for a count of seven. 5) Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight. 6) Repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
- Use scent. Aromatherapy can be incredibly effective for reducing stress and inducing sleep. Try diffusing lavender into your room around bedtime or rubbing lavender oil onto your wrists and neck.
- Listen to music. Turn on tunes that are soothing and low, and preferably don’t have lyrics – or else they’ll potentially get stuck whirring around your head.
- Sound the alarm. Use an app that senses your sleep cycle and wakes you up slowly and at the correct time. Waking up too quickly and in the middle of your cycle could result in less quality of sleep and a sense of extreme tiredness.
So there you have it, 9 tactics for when sleep seems too far away. Try them next time and let me know how it goes.
Positive vibes and happy snoozing,