10 awesome Tips to help you fall sleep
I have always been a rubbish sleeper. When I’m tried, I’m moody, irritable, hungry, unmotivated and extra annoyed when Susan in the office is chewing loud. A slight noise or any kind of light wakes me up and if something is on my mind I’ll toss and turn for hours!
Over the past few years, I’ve learned everything I can about getting a good nights sleep and this blog will be full of hot tips to help you sleep like a bear. I would say baby but they wake up, cry and shit themselves at night and I’ve never understood that saying.
1. Write shit down
If you have a lot on your mind due to work, relationships, your pet rock looking under the weather, write down your concerns. Write actionable steps you can do the next day to calm overactive brain down. This way the worries are out of your head and you won’t be staring at the ceiling trying to make mental lists, keeping you wired.
2. No technology 30 minutes before bed
Heard this before right? Well the light in electronics suppresses the release of melatonin, your sleep inducing hormone. It isn’t emphasised enough that doing this will also give you some down time from work, friends and social media to will help your brain relax. Give it an honest week. Just seven days of shutting off all electronics at least half an hour before bed. Trust me!
3. Create a regular, consistent bedtime routine
I got this from a book titled Wide Awake, Fast Asleep and it’s one of the main things has helped my terrible sleeping. It’s easy to create a quick routine and follow it and doing this helps your brain realize it’s time to get sleepy as bed is on the way. Mine goes: Wash face, brush teeth, put on x,y,z skin care, make notes in my phone of anything I need to do the next day (so they’re not circling in my head) and then I put my phone away and read my book. Whether I read my book for half an hour or two minutes, I always read before bed to keep the routine going and I always sleep better for it
4. Get out of bed if you can’t sleep
If you cannot sleep, get out of bed and do something else. The longer you stir in bed unable to sleep, the longer you’ll be annoyed and begin to overthink things, like why is toast not called cooked bread? I usually get up and clean, lay out my clothes for the next day, read or do something to take my mind off my inability to sleep. After a while try again.
5. Download F.lux Software for your PC and use the night mode setting on your Apple products
The blue in screens can prevent melatonin (sleep inducing hormone, remember?) from releasing in your body. If you use the night mode setting on your iPhone or Mac it will take this blue out and dull the brightness, helping you fall asleep at night. Set the apps to automatically turn on when the sun starts going down in your area. If you’re on a PC at night there is a software called F.lux Software that works the same way as night mode. If you use Android, I have nothing to tell you, conform and get an iPhone like everyone else (haha).
6. Try a sleep meditation app
I do not mediate. Exercise or yoga is better for me then sitting there trying to breathe BUT sleeping apps are my exception. If you are feeling stressed, anxious or your brain is going a mile a minute, download a mediation app to listen to in bed. I use the Smiling Mind app and I use the ‘Starry Night’ and ‘Sleep: Body Scan’ meditations. They help me fall asleep even in my worst anxiety days.
7. Focus on your breath when you’re worrying in bed
Most times, your head is probably the reason you’re struggling to sleep. Just listen to yourself breath (I know it sounds lame). Big breath in through the nose, into the belly, pause, then out through the mouth. Deep, slower breaths cause the heart rate to slow down and allows the parasympathetic system (responsible for your ability to relax) to override your sympathetic system (controls your automatic stress response) helping you to feel sleepy, hurrah!
8. Sleep in a dark room
If you have bad blinds, use a good eye mask. I like this style of eye mask, which I got on Amazon for $10 because it’s black, silk, large and adjustable. A must when you’re travelling too!
9. Stop stressing about how much sleep you’ll get
Figuring out that you will get exactly 5 hours, 43 minutes and 31 seconds sleep if you fall asleep RIGHT NOW does nothing except make you stress more. Remind yourself of the times you’ve had shitty sleep and still a managed to get though a difficult day. Being tired is not the worst thing in the world and you’ll sleep again.
10. No coffee after 3:30pm
I know, I know, you just absolutely loveeeeee coffee and like you need that afternoon pick me up!!!! I too, love an afternoon coffee but only when I’m training at the gym after work. If you’re having them in the afternoon with no exercise and you find it affects your sleep, try and have two in the morning instead because I’m not out here giving you unrealistic goals. I usually have one first thing in the morning and another around 11am if I’m tired. Try this if you’re an afternoon coffee drinker that cannot sleep.
I hope these help! Remember tomorrow will go on whether you’re tired or not. You’ll probably still get everything done that you need to, it will just be more of an effort. Have you gone to work in a worse state before? After a few too many wines? Did things get done, did the day go on? YES IT DID. Drink some coffee (not after 3pm though). You’ll be sweet. As soon as this point clicked in my head, I slept better because I no longer felt stressed about the fact I may be tired the next day.
This takes practice, it won’t happen in a week. Keep at it and a few months down the track your sleep will be improved! If it’s terrible and you think it’s due to anxiety, stress, depressive thoughts, no amount of tips on a blog will help you until you figure out, or change the stressful thing. Perhaps try reading my blog about How to address your anxiety and 9 useful tools that will help.
Yours in restful nights