You know what they say: If you can’t fall asleep, start counting those sheep. Realistically, though, this never seems to work. It’s more of a metaphor to do this; in other words, people suggest you count the sheep so that you’ll get tired of counting and automatically fall asleep.
What am I getting at? I’m trying to tell you to ditch the counting sheep metaphor. If you really can’t seem to fall asleep at night, you might need a little extra help.
Per usual, I’ve done the research and I’ve gathered the ways that I think will best help those of you out there that have trouble falling asleep. Let’s get started.
Force yourself to stay awake.
Oddly enough, forcing yourself to stay awake will help you fall asleep. I know it doesn’t make much sense, but it is the truth. There are even studies out there to prove it.
But if you don’t believe me, try to wrap your head around this thought: Sleep is quite literally the one thing where the harder you try the harder it is to achieve the end goal. Okay, let me rephrase that; sleep is the only thing where the harder you try, the more you’ll fail.
Ask yourself this question: When was the last time you physically tried to fall asleep? Did you succeed or fail? You probably lied there staring at the ceiling after an hour, wondering why you were even still trying, am I right?
Force yourself to stay awake guys.
Get up and do something.
If you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get yourself back to sleep within 15 minutes or less, get up from the bed. Do something that requires you to both physically move and use your brain. For instance, color something in a coloring book, that way you’re alert and moving around.
Now, this doesn’t mean to get up and turn the television on; stay away from the TV entirely. In addition, stay away from any other digital screen, including but not limited to, phones.
The key to this suggestion is to subconsciously associate your bed with sleep, and only sleep. This means that you should only sleep in, and have sex on, your bed.
Hide your clock.
Hiding your clock will have a greater effect than you think it will.
Remember back to that time where you couldn’t sleep, so you kept looking at the minutes on the clock pass you by. If you do remember this moment, you’ll also remember that you suddenly became stressed at how little sleep you were about to get.
This is not good. Checking the time will only stress you out and make you stay up longer. If your nervous system is all worked up, you’ll never fall back asleep.
Lower the temperature in your bedroom.
When you fall asleep, your body temperature naturally drops a little bit, making it easier for you to fall asleep. That means you can assist your body into falling asleep faster by adjusting the temperature in the room.
If you want to fall asleep faster, try changing the temperature in your room to somewhere between 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a fan or an air conditioner, either works. In the winter, this will be a little easier for you, as you’ll be able to avoid using so much heat to warm the house (and you’ll save a few extra bucks).
Take a warm shower before you get under those covers.
As I just mentioned, lowering the temperature in your bedroom can give you that extra shove you need to fall asleep. In addition, taking a warm shower approximately an hour before bed, and then getting into a cool room, will give you more of an extra shove into that deep sleep you’re trying to achieve. And, showers help relax the body and mind, too.
What’s more is that if you shower around the same time each night, you’ll get your body into a sort of shower/sleep routine, making it even easier to fall asleep even faster.
Wear socks to bed.
According to studies, keeping your feet and hands warm before bed is the easiest way to fall into a deep sleep faster. And, it does help that when you shift the heat to your extremities, you inadvertently cool down the rest of your body.
Immerse your face in cold water for approximately 30 seconds.
Though this may seem painful, it’s worth a shot, especially if you’re anxious to fall asleep.
All you have to do is put your face in a bowl of cold water for 30 seconds. This will involuntarily put your body into a state of shock, which will, in turn, cause your body to use its nervous system to calm you down. This can also be known as a ‘reset,’ and this reset can lower your heart rate and you’re blood pressure, in turn readying your body for bed.
Make your bedroom smell like lavender.
Lavender inherently relaxes your nerves. So, if you’re trying your best to fall asleep and you just can’t, find a safe way to make your bedroom smell like lavender (meaning, don’t use candles to get the smell in the room). The scent also naturally lowers your blood pressure, therefore relaxing you prior to falling asleep.
Believe it or not, this remedy works almost every time. If you have kids or grandkids roaming around the house, you probably already have this soapy substance in your house somewhere. If not, just run to the dollar store and buy a bottle.
Blowing bubbles requires you to use a lot of deep breathing. And, blowing bubbles is slightly hypnotizing to the brain, particularly when looking at them. It’s like a hypnotizing deep breathing exercise that gets both your body and mind to relax. Plus, if you’re anxious at all, this silly activity will be sure to get your mind off of your thoughts.
I wish you the best of luck trying out these techniques!
By Jenny Lyn