You know how it feels. You had a busy day, you brushed your teeth, and climbed into bed. You turned off the lights and got ready to fall asleep. But instead of drifting off, you’re wide awake.
You toss and turn, but sleep just won’t come. It feels like you’re wasting time, and you worry about being tired tomorrow.
Don’t worry, I’ve got some tips to help you out. Let’s start with some things to do before bedtime.
What to Do Before Bed
Here are seven steps to help you prepare for a good night’s sleep:
- Make your room cool. You fall asleep faster in a cooler room. Don’t make it too cold, but about 65°F or 18.3°C is perfect.
- Take a hot bath or shower. When you get out, your body cools down quickly, which makes you feel sleepy.
- Hide your clock. Looking at the time can stress you out and make it harder to fall asleep.
- Avoid caffeine and nicotine. Things like coffee, some teas, and chocolate can keep you awake. Try to avoid them later in the day.
- Don’t exercise or nap too close to bedtime. Exercising or napping too late can make it harder to fall asleep at night.
- Relax before bed. Do something calming, like reading a book, to help your brain wind down.
- Get sunlight during the day and avoid light at night. This helps your body know when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to be awake.
What to Do if You Can't Fall Asleep
So, what if you’ve done all these things, and you’re still lying awake? Here’s a special technique used by the U.S. Navy that can help you fall asleep in two minutes.
First, relax your body. Close your eyes and imagine all the muscles in your face relaxing.
Then do the same with your shoulders, arms, chest, legs, and feet. Take deep breaths as you do this.
Next, clear your mind. Try to let go of any thoughts that pop up. You can focus on your breathing, or imagine yourself in a peaceful place.
If thoughts keep coming, repeat “don’t think, don’t think, don’t think…” for ten seconds.
This technique might seem simple, but it takes practice. If you keep trying, it can help you fall asleep faster.
The Most Important Tip
The best thing you can do to fall asleep quickly is to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. We’re creatures of habit, and a regular sleep schedule will help you fall asleep faster.
What to Do if You Still Can't Sleep
Finally, if you’ve tried everything and you still can’t fall asleep, don’t stress. Get up and do something boring or relaxing until you feel sleepy.
Remember, getting a good night’s sleep is important, and these tips can help. Sweet dreams!