If you’ve ever had sleepless nights or bouts of insomnia, then you know the misery that is lying awake at night. It always feels like the harder you try to fall asleep, the more elusive your sleep becomes. And there you remain until morning, checking the clock, counting down how many hours are left till the morning — feeling tired, cranky, and bleary-eyed. If only there were a miracle cure to help you pass off into a gentle, dreamy slumber.
However, in your half-asleep state, you’ll never come up with an idea which will help you fall asleep, and it’s much more common to toss and turn, stare angrily at the clock, or zero in on every annoying faucet drip and distant car alarm. (Hell, I’m feeling cranky just writing about this.)
The next time you find yourself lying awake and fruitlessly counting sheep, try these sleep tricks. They may be just what you need to catch up on some Zzzs finally.
1. Establish A Strict Bedtime Routine
If you have a routine and go to sleep every day at a particular time, then whenever that hour approaches, your body will know that its time to hit the hay now. It’s time to unwind from the day’s trials and worries and finally pass off into the sweet nothingness of sleep.
Also, ensure you wake up every day at the same time. This will let your body know when it’s time to wake up and you won’t end up oversleeping or waking up prematurely. Figure out a schedule which works for you and stick to it, even on the weekends. Start doing this and you won’t have to hate your alarm anymore!
No More Of This!
2. Make Yourself A Bedtime Ritual.
Having a bedtime ritual enables you to set aside some time every day to unwind and do things in a practiced way, a way that does not involve any uncertainty or unpredictability. When you do a certain thing every day, you evoke certain emotions and you feel a certain way. Thus, having a relaxing bedtime ritual will help you unwind, setting yourself up to sleep like a baby!
Just Like This!
3. Keep A Daily Journal
If you’re losing sleep, it’s because you don’t have an outlet for all the stresses you face in your daily life. Put down all your stressful thoughts on paper so that you get some closure on and you don’t keep thinking about it when you want to go to sleep. Make sure you focus on the positives of the day instead of the negatives.
Let it all out!
4. Have A Cup Of Tea
When it comes to beverages which will help you snooze faster and which won’t, you need to avoid all sorts of stimulants.
Try Chamomile tea which has been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety. Other well-known beverages which are beneficial for sleep include warm milk or hot chocolate. Also, make sure, you avoid caffeine anytime after daybreak. That includes coffee, energy drinks, green tea, sodas and soft drinks as well.
All you need is a cup of tea!
5. Work Out Frequently And Early In The Day
Apart from the whole host of physical benefits which frequent exercise brings, it does wonders for your mental health too – it decreases cortisol (the stress hormone) and boosts serotonin, which promotes peaceful sleep.
Exercise and sleep go hand in hand!
Also, make sure you avoid working out in the late hours of the night because the post-workout adrenaline rush is liable to keep you awake. Workout early in the day, so that by the time you go to sleep, your body will be sufficiently tired and you’ll be able to catch those much needed Zzzzs.
6. Establish An Electronics Curfew
I know the last thing most of us do before going off to sleep is check our phone for messages, wish our friends goodnight or just browse aimlessly through Facebook and Instagram. However, that is simply way too much information to process before going to sleep, which is bound to keep your mind awake and alert.
That is to say nothing of the artificial (blue) light from mobile devices which mimics natural light and keeps you awake. Put your phones and laptops away at least an hour before bed.
No electronics before bed!
7. Get Cozy And Comfortable
This one is a no-brainer. The more comfortable you are, the faster you’ll snooze off into dreamland. So make sure you invest in a comfortable mattress, pillows and a nice, warm blanket which you can wrap yourself up into a little igloo.
Also, a comfortable medium-firm mattress is essential for your back health. Consider putting a pillow under your knees. This will mimic the natural curvature of the spine and allow you to relax into the mattress.
Ain’t this the life!
8. Listen To Soothing Music Or Meditate
There’s no dearth of relaxation techniques you can adopt to relax and drift off to sleep.
The easiest to adopt among these techniques is listening to calming, soothing music like classical, folk or any of the hundreds of youtube sleep playlists.
Something else you can try is guided meditation or progressive muscle relaxation. There’s plenty of free mobile applications available for just this purpose and meditation is the ultimate tool to decluttering your mind.
Turn on, tune in, drop out!
9. Establish A Circadian Rhythm
We all have a natural clock in our bodies. When it’s daytime, this clock signals our body to stay awake, and at night, it helps us fall asleep. Irregular exposure to light messes with your circadian rhythm making it harder to fall asleep or stay awake.
Thus, during the day, expose yourself to plenty of bright light. This keeps your body alert and also provides your body with Vitamin D.
Soak up the sun!
10. Tell Yourself A Story
The goal is to take your mind to a friendly, calm place free from your daily stresses which will allow you to slip off into blissful oblivion.
Visualize a happy, calm place where you felt completely at ease and then watch all your worries melt away into the distance.
Or think of a story, a childhood story your mother used to read to you. If you can’t think of anything, pick up a storybook and read. Reading a book before bed is one of the fastest and surefire ways you can make yourself fall asleep.
Hush little baby, don’t you cry!
Well, that’s it from us! Let us know in the comments below if you’ve got any special techniques which work for you.