We have all been there: lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, willing your body to be tired and fall asleep. Nothing you try works and instead you find yourself chugging coffee in the morning to make it through that boring 9 am meeting. Nothing ever works and you continue to ask yourself what to do when you can’t go to sleep.
Your grandmother might tell you to count sheep or drink warm milk, but are those true solutions or just old wife’s tales? We don’t profess to have all the answers, but we can provide you with some tips to help you fall asleep that have worked for us.
Top Tips to Help you Fall Asleep
Have Positive Thoughts
It might sound silly, but it can be that simple. Science states ridding your mind of these negative thoughts (“I have five meetings tomorrow”,” I cannot stand working with Lisa,” “When is my car payment due,”) calms you down and makes you more likely to fall asleep.
Trick Your Mind
Trick your mind into thinking you’re tired by, well, pretending you are. Focus on the sorts of things you’d feel if you’re tired, such as jagged eyes, the room darkening, or the sensation of sinking into your mattress. In no time, your body will get the hint and fall asleep!
Set Your Thermostat to the Right Temperature
What’s your perfect sleeping environment? The perfect temperature for sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit . In the event that you can’t completely control the heating and cooling in your home, you may restrain your body. So, put the fan closer to your face when you’re too hot or bundle up when you are too cold.
Grab a Book
Read. And no, not with your phone, iPad or Kindle, but with a true-blue paper book. Turn down the light enough so that you can see, and read. Don’t worry about remembering the narrative or getting to a particular page, just take it in until you feel yourself getting sleepy. Before long, you will wake up in the morning with your book on the floor.
Put on some Tunes
Now, we’re not suggesting you go blasting out an intense heavy meatal album (unless this works for you), however some simple, acoustic minimal percussion music might be ideal for getting your eyes to close.
Listen to a Podcast or Audiobook
Choose your favorite podcast or a non-action-packed audiobook, rather one that’s dense, and allow the soothing voices calm your mind. It is not about keeping the data –it’s about giving yourself a reassuring background noise.
ASMR (One of Our Most Unique Tips to Help You Fall Asleep)
ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It is the calm and relaxing feeling of tingles down your back in response to stimuli of some sort. Imagine the feeling you get when someone plays with your hair or gives you an arm rub. There are tons of content creators on YouTube to find what relaxes you. This might seem like one of the stranger tips to help you fall asleep, but these relaxing stimuli can be just the thing to send you into a blissful night’s sleep.
Use a Sound or White Noise Machine
Sometimes the excruciating silence is what’s keeping you up. Try out a white sound program to fill the space with subtle sounds. You can also try a sound machine that will rock you to sleep with the sound of waves crashing or rain hitting your roof.
Yoga or Stretching
Yes, it is possible to try out this sleep hack without getting out of bed. Put your legs up against the wall to calm your central nervous system, or try happy infant pose or child’s pose to relax your entire body. Alternatively, do some light leg and arm movements and exercises on your back to discharge any excess tension.
You can also try doing some simple and gentle yoga poses before getting into bed. We recommend running through a basic sun salutation or some balance poses like Tree Pose.
Relax Your Entire Body
Concentrate on every muscle, starting from the toes, and tell yourself, “My toes are getting tired,””My right leg is getting very tired,””My belly is tired,” while you unwind each body part. More than likely, you won’t make it all the way to your head and neck, you will be too busy snoozing away.
Write in a Journal
If your mind’s racing, grab a notebook and write down each idea you have. Do not allow it to be pretty or linear, just get everything out until you’re out of ideas and start to tire.
Focus on the Thing That’s Keeping You Up
If you find that there’s something really nagging you and keeping you alert, don’t just pretend it will go away. Whether it’s reacting quickly to an email from your boss (or writing it and saving it for the morning when you’re able to correctly spellcheck it), jotting down some ideas for your upcoming work meeting, or even watering the plants before you forget, getting it over and done will create sleep a hell of a lot simpler. Just do not spend all night working on it!
Complete Your Least Favorite Task
If you are having trouble sleeping, go do something you hate to do. It could be cleaning the toilet, folding laundry, doing the dishes or organizing your junk drawer. When you go to do these tasks, sleeping will seem a whole lot more appealing.
Have a Hot Drink (One of Your Grandma’s Favorite Tips to Help You Fall Asleep)
Making yourself a glass of hot milk with cinnamon or decaffeinated coffee or tea could warm your body up for rest. It may seem like something simple, but these little things can really push your body into sleep mode faster.
Let Your Feet Hang Out
You might think we are crazy, but studies have shown that sticking your feet out from under the covers and keeping your feet cooler can make it easier to fall asleep. Give it a whirl and see if it helps you next time you are having trouble falling asleep.
Wear an Eye-Mask
This is one of the best tips to help you fall asleep. Even if your room’s fairly dark, there’s likely some light which makes its way in. It could be as simple as the red power button on your television. Get yourself an eye-mask to cover your eyes so all you can see is sleep.
As a Last Resort, Turn to the TV
Glaring screens are not always the best idea nor should they be your first option, but sometimes, it is the only thing that will work. Your favorite movie or binge-worthy television show could relax you enough to lull you right to sleep.
Final Thoughts on Tips to Help You Fall Asleep
If all of these tips to help you fall asleep fail, there might be a bigger issue at hand. When asking what to do when you can’t go to sleep, one of the first things to consider is the age of your mattress? If your answer is, “older than me,” that could be your problem. It is recommended that you replace your mattress ever 7-10 years. If yours is older and you are having trouble sleeping, it might be time for an upgrade. Check out our blog to help you make your next mattress buying decision.