Sleep is a precious commodity, and it can be really difficult to get any these days. Sure there are simple factors like luxurious mattresses, sleepy tea, and counting sheep, but some of us require a bit more. Research suggests that the soft blue lights of screens—like those on computers, televisions, and mobile devices—can make regular, healthy sleep a difficult feat to accomplish. Since most of us use computers to work and unwind by staring at our phones or TVs, our sleep schedules are often all over the place, and totally unhealthy.If you have difficulty getting to sleep after a long day, we have seven tricks to help you fall asleep faster.
Try to stay awake
Sounds like a paradox, right? A study performed by the University of Glasgow suggested that forcing yourself to stay awake often made you feel sleepier. If you’re tired and just can’t get to sleep, the solution might be as simple as not trying to anymore. Unlike most things in life, sleep is a task where the harder and longer you try, the less likely you are to succeed. Ditch the burden of needing sleep and let it come to you on its own!
Reduce your anxiety
The art of falling asleep in a timely fashion is, first and foremost, a question of managing anxiety. The more relaxed and stress-free you are, the less difficulty you’ll experience when laying down to sleep. There are plenty of methods of reducing stress, and the next few tips will discuss some of them—but first and foremost, consider performing any activities that you regularly engage in to reduce anxiety if you’re trying to get to sleep. Take a page out of the book of Buddha.
Keep clocks out of sight
We’ve all been there: laying in bed, opening your eyes every now and then, thinking to yourself: if I fall asleep now, I’ll get eight hours of sleep… and now seven… and now six…
Unsurprisingly, this anxious activity is antithetical to getting to sleep. Watching the clock wind down and counting the hours ’til you’ve got to be awake and ready for the day is guaranteed to fry your nerves—and then you might find yourself in the dreaded position of getting no sleep at all before school or work!
Visualize a relaxing environment in your mind
Is there a place—real or imagined—that, when recalled in your mind’s eye, can instantly inspire a sense of calmness? Perfect! When you’re having difficulty sleeping, taking yourself to that peaceful place in your mind can help curb anxiety, increasing your odds of falling asleep.
Scent your bedroom with lavender
The scent of lavender—aside from being delightful—is proven to lower blood pressure and calm your nerves. Consider picking up a lavender-scented air freshening spray or air deodorizer, and you might find yourself wrestling with a good night’s sleep less often.
Enjoy a bit of classical music before bedtime
For those of you that exclusively enjoy hard rock, death metal, and other loud, angry genres of music, this might not be the solution you’re looking for. If you enjoy classical music, though, studies have shown that tunes with a slower beat—60 to 80 beats per minute—can help soothe your nerves. It’s recommended that you listen to 45 minutes of classical music prior to laying down for bed.
If you truly detest classical music, you might also consider similarly paced tunes with very little percussion or vocals to help soothe you to sleep.
Practice progressive relaxation
Never heard of progressive relaxation? No problem, we’ll explain it. Progressive relaxation is the process of slowly relaxing each individual component of your body, focusing first on your toes and then working your way up through every muscle group in your body, consciously willing them to relax. If you have a tendency to tense your body, progressive relaxation can help you loosen up a little. This might give you the extra push that you need to catch some shuteye.
There you have it! Seven tips to help lull you into a nice bedtime stupor! The next time you’re struggling to drift off to sleep, consider utilizing one of those bits of advice, and hopefully you’ll be stress-free and enjoying a good night’s sleep in a matter of minutes.