It’s 11 p.m.
You’re staring at the ceiling, rolling over, tossing and turning, then staring at the ceiling again. Your mind is going a million miles a minute and you just can’t settle down to a peaceful enough state so you can fall asleep.
Is there anything more frustrating?
Sometimes our bodies are in overdrive and our adrenaline is pumping, whether it’s from physical activity, a stressful conversation, or too many worries on our minds.
The good news is that there are certain things you can do to help your mind relax, so you can drift off into blissful sleep.
1. Turn off your devices.
Sometimes it’s not about knowing what to do, it’s doing what we already know. We’ve been told time and time again to put our screens away at least an hour or two before bedtime. If you’re not already doing this, you’ll be surprised at the difference it can make when you start.
2. Exercise - in the morning.
We know that exercise can help us to sleep better, but exercising in the afternoon or later can get our bodies energized to the point of being unable to settle down for sleep. If you normally exercise after work, try exercising on your lunch break instead. If at all possible, get up earlier and work out first thing in the morning. BONUS: your body burns body fat more efficiently on an empty stomach!
3. Warm skin, cool room.
One of the best feelings ever is rolling over to feel the coolness of the unused side of the pillow against your cheek. It’s so comforting to snuggle down into warm sheets when the air is chilly. A great way to do this is to set your room to cool down by lowering the AC temperature or opening a window in the winter, and then take a warm bath or shower while the room cools. When you get out, your warm skin will feel the comfort of the cool air, and getting under the blanket will only amplify that comfort to further relax you.
4. Empty your brain.
Put a worry box next to your bed, where you can write down your worries and concerns then lock them away. Keep a notepad on your nightstand so you can write down any pressing to-dos or reminders for the next day, so you can release any anxiety of forgetting them. Gratitude is also hugely important for peace of mind when falling asleep. Consider journaling things for which you’re grateful before turning off the lights. BONUS TIP: Lavender essential oil is fantastic for helping your brain to slow down and turn off.
5. Settle your stomach.
The harder your body is working to process what you’ve eaten, the more unsettled it will be and make it more difficult to fall asleep. Avoid spicy foods, anything with caffeine, cheese, alcohol, fatty foods, and chocolate. The best foods and drinks to consume closer to bedtime are warm milk, lemon tea, bananas, kiwi, nuts, and honey.
It’s easy to feel frustrated and as though sleep is just beyond our grasp, but there are so many things we can do to prepare our bodies to fall asleep easily and peacefully.
Click here to grab your free Sleep Checklist with more tips to make sure you’re getting a great night’s sleep!