Ever find yourself struggling to fall asleep? Maybe you toss and turn in your covers, perhaps the temperature doesn’t feel right or maybe your mind is racing and there’s just too much on your mind. Whatever the situation may be, you don’t need to suffer any longer.
The American Sleep Association says that around 60 million adults in the United States actually has some kind of sleep disorder. This includes conditions like restless leg syndrome, insomnia or even stress-related issues like anxiety and depression. There are many conditions that could to sleep disorders developing, but there are also times when it’s completely unrelated to an underlying condition.
Sometimes, we might just have trouble falling asleep due to something that happened during the day that’s on our mind, or perhaps due to the way we live our lives. There are plenty of different factors that could affect our sleep, so here are a couple of practical tips and tricks to follow if you can’t fall asleep.
Try a breathing exercise
There’s a very popular 4-7-8 exercise that has been proven to help people fall asleep. All you have to do is inhale for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds then exhale for eight seconds. Repeat this a couple of times to lower your heart rate and blood pressure, helping you fall asleep more easily.
Try a breathing app
There are a couple of fantastic breathing apps such as Headspace that could help you fall asleep. If you don’t want to download a specific app, then you could always try relaxing rain and nature sounds on YouTube.
Distracting yourself with thoughts
One of the reasons for restlessness could be because your mind is racing and there are too many thoughts occupying you. This could make it difficult to fall asleep, so try and distract yourself with other thoughts such as what you plan to do tomorrow, some thoughts you’ve had about a film you watched, or even get creative and think of some ideas for a story or piece of art you could create.
Get out of your bed
Sometimes, getting out of bed and using up a bit of energy or doing something a little entertaining can help you fall asleep. This can include a bit of light exercise, a walk around the house or even just to let your body cool down.
Try a snack
We’ve always been told not to snack at night, but having something light and healthy could actually help you fall asleep. Something like a piece of fruit, some vegetable sticks or even half a bowl of cereal could help.
It could be a novel you’re reading, a magazine, newspaper or even just the news. As long as it’s not social media or something that you can interact with, reading is a fantastic way to help you fall asleep. Just make sure you have some warm lights on and if you’re using a device like a tablet or a phone, make sure you tune down the brightness.
Try relaxing exercises
Some relaxing exercises include walking, meditation or even just sitting comfortably and closing your eyes while you focus on breathing. These types of exercises are like meditation and it’s an excellent way to help you soothe your body and thoughts before you fall asleep.
Do a bit of writing
Sometimes it’s nice to get thoughts out of our head before we go to bed. For instance, you could write about ideas that you have in your head, you could write what’s on your mind or even start a private blog. It’s a good idea to record those types of ideas so that you know what’s on your mind when you can’t sleep–it could lead to some clues which could solve your restlessness.
In addition to just writing, planning something could be a great way to help you fall asleep. For instance, you could write a list of things you want to see on your next trip, a list of stuff you need to buy on your next grocery shop or even a list of hobbies you want to try.
Choose something that makes you fall asleep
We all have something that has made us fall asleep in the past. Some people like to fall asleep to a movie or a podcast that they don’t find particularly stimulating and others like to get sleepy from playing video games or even working out.
If you find it difficult to fall asleep then it could be a problem with your bed. If your bed is extra comfortable and warm then you’ll find it much easier to fall asleep.
Stop with the caffeine
Stop drinking too much caffeine or tea before bed and limit it throughout the day so that it doesn’t’ affect your system when you’re about to fall asleep.
Get rid of distractions
Be it loud noises outside or family members shuffling around at night, find ways to drown out disturbing noises such as using a white noise machine or listening to something a lot more soothing.
Prepare your room
Most people find it easier to sleep when the room is dark and cool. This is because getting under the sheets will warm the body, and too much light can make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
Exercise during the day
Most people find that a little bit of physical activity during the day can help you relax at night, so try and do a bit of exercise to spend all that energy you have.
A warm drink to finish the day
You could try to drink something soothing and warming like a cup of warm milk to help you fall asleep.
Sleep on a regular routine
You can “train” your body to get used to sleeping at certain times if you stick to a sleep schedule.
Speak to your doctor
Your restlessness could be due to an underlying condition, so make sure you speak to your doctor to ensure it’s not something more serious causing it.
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