For thousands of people in the United States alone, falling asleep and staying asleep is a huge problem. You wouldn’t think that something natural could be so challenging, but the National Institutes of Health estimates that “roughly 30 percent of the general population complains of sleep disruption, and approximately 10 percent have associated symptoms of daytime functional impairment consistent with the diagnosis of insomnia.” That’s a lot of people who have trouble sleeping. However, it doesn’t have to be a chronic problem for many individuals. There are some simple, but genius, things you can do to help you fall asleep faster. I was skeptical at first, but just trying a few of these changed everything.
1.) Give yourself a bedtime routine: There’s a reason that parents do this with their children. When you go through the same routine every night before bed, you’ll tell your brain you are ready to sleep.
2.) Make your bedroom comfortable for sleeping: Make sure the temperature is low enough in your bedroom. Also, think of investing in blackout curtains so that you can block out artificial and natural light.
3.) Do NOT use your phone as an alarm clock: Many people use their smartphones as alarm clocks. This is a terrible habit to start, because having your phone next to you will tempt you to play with it… keeping you distracted and awake.
4.) Practice deep breathing: By using deep breathing, you can physically tell your body that it’s time to relax and settle down.
5.) Relax all of your muscles, starting with your toes. To release stress from the day, use the “progressive muscle relaxation” when you’re lying in bed. You tense and then release muscle groups throughout your body, starting with your toes.
6.) Occupy your mind: You can use mental exercises to occupy your mind (so it can’t drift or become anxious). Counting sheep may be too boring, but try counting backwards from 100 by 3.
7.) Get out of bed: Dr. Walia from the Cleveland Clinic’s Sleep Disorders Center says if you can’t fall asleep after 30 minutes of lying in bed, you should get up.
8.) Stop worrying: If you’re anxious, try writing down your worries so they are out of your head… and you can start sleeping.
9.) Move your alarm clock away from you: Watching the clock can just make you more anxious and prevent you from falling asleep.
10.) Visualize a beautiful experience: Try to picture a tranquil scene, or maybe your “happy place.” Relax your mind and your body will relax, too.
11.) Get enough exercise: If you’re sedentary, your body may not feel tired enough to fall asleep quickly. By exercising, you can ensure your body will WANT to fall asleep.
12.) Invest in a better pillow: Studies have shown that a medium-firm pillow brings the best improvement to people’s sleep. Your pillow needs to support your head and neck.
13. See a doctor: If you have chronic sleep issues, that’s a serious problem. There is no harm in seeing a doctor to address it. You may just find a permanent solution.
(H/T Business Insider) Sleeping shouldn’t be difficult. In fact, it should be a pleasant and restful activity we do every day. Try out some of these sleep tips and share them with your friends. Don’t let people you love have sleepless nights (unless you’re convincing them to binge-watch shows on Netflix).
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