If I had to guess, I’d say most of us are all too familiar with a sleepless night here and there. Maybe it’s stress about a big assignment at work, anxiety over moving to a new town, or simply endlessly racing thoughts that are keeping you up. Whatever the reason, when you crawl into bed and sleep just won’t come, it can be a very frustrating experience!
If insomnia is something that you regularly encounter, there are several habits that you can start to incorporate into your everyday life to start getting a more restful night of sleep. However, if you only experience sleeplessness once in a while, here are some quick tricks that will have you nodding off in no time!
Drink a glass of warm milk: The calcium in milk helps to calm your nerves and relax your brain.
Turn on a white noise machine: Or even just a fan! Any constant, distant sound that will lull you to sleep.
Wiggle your toes: A constant motion can help you relax and fall asleep—think of what happens to a baby when it’s rocked!
Focus on your breathing: Lay still and inhale, counting to 7, hold your breath for 7 more counts, and then exhale for 12 counts. Repeat this at least 10 times, or until you start to relax.
Drink "Sleepy Time" tea: Or any other calming, herbal tea, to relax your mind.
Ignore the clock: Picking up your alarm clock and panicking as the minutes tick away and you still can’t sleep will not help with your anxiety! Turn the clock around, or buy one that doesn’t have illuminated numbers.
Adjust your pillows: Sometimes a simple rearrangement could do the trick! Switch to just one pillow if you use two, or flip your pillow over so your head is on the cooler side.
Visualize a peaceful place: This could be a warm beach, a flowery field, or even your own backyard. Picture yourself relaxing in a place where you feel completely safe and at peace.
Pop in some earplugs: If it’s street noise or snoring that’s keeping you awake, make sure you have a comfortable pair of emergency earplugs on your nightstand.
Cuddle with a hot water bottle: Fill up a hot water bottle and wrap it in a soft blanket, then hold it close to your stomach. The warmth should relax your mind and encourage sleep.
Open a window: The body falls asleep more easily at cooler temperatures. Open your window slightly to circulate fresh air in the room.
Relax to the sweet smell of lavender: Keep some lavender essential oil near your bed so that you can rub a bit on your wrists, temples, or pillow if you’re having trouble sleeping. The scent is proven to relax the mind.
Take a hot shower: Tossing and turning isn’t getting you any closer to falling asleep, so try taking a hot shower to calm you down.
Don’t force it: If you really can’t sleep, don’t fight it. Get out of bed and move to the couch or a chair and read a book or do another relaxing activity. This will take your mind off whatever it is that is keeping you awake. Before you know it, you’ll be falling asleep into the pages in front of you!