Tips for falling asleep naturally

Perhaps I'm no credible source for tips on falling asleep since I have never had a problem doing so, but then again, maybe that shows I know a lot about the topic! Either way, my husband sometimes suffers from insomnia, and I have some tips and tricks that seem to help.

1. Relaxation:

  • Take some deep breaths and try to clear your mind.
  • Take one deep breath in, hold it for five seconds, and then breathe out, making an "mmmmm" sound as the breath goes out. Imagine that your entire body is light, ready to float away from the bed.
  • Keep breathing in and out as you feel the tension leaving your body.
  • If you have stray thoughts, imagine them floating away from you.
Keep up the breathing and let your tension and thoughts float away. Eventually, your brain should turn off and let you sleep.

2. Relax your muscles. Starting with the muscles in your feet and move all they way up your body, tighten each muscle group and then release them one at a time. Feel your body relax.

3. Lower the room temperature. Lowering the temperature a bit helps lower your body temperature, which is important for sleep.

4. Stop thinking! Thinking gets your brain activated, and it can be hard to turn it off. Before bedtime you should avoid stressful activities and try a relaxing activity -- meditating, stretching, etc.

5. Exercise during the day (but not at night!) Regular exercise helps tire your muscles out which can help you sleep at night.

6. Avoid the caffeine. You know the drill. Caffeine keeps many people up at night, so avoid it.

7. Avoid nicotine. If used near bedtime, nicotine can inhibit sleep.

8. Take a bath or shower before bed. If you raise your body temperature right before bed, as it lowers back down it helps facilitate sleep.

9. Write it out. If you truly can't get to sleep, try getting up and writing about what's on your mind. Let it out, and then let it go.

10. Establish a routine. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. A schedule can help you fall asleep easier.

11. Don't eat or drink near bedtime. If you suffer from acid reflux or heartburn, make sure you eat a few hours before bedtime and avoid trigger foods. And drinking near bedtime can cause you to make trips to the bathroom during the night.

12. Get some sunlight during the day. This helps regulate your body's biological clock.

13. Create a comfortable environment. Make sure your bed and pillows are comfortable. Also, keep the room cool and dark at bedtime. Make your sleeping area a sanctuary.

14. Avoid naps. Naps can take away from nighttime sleep. If you must take a nap, nap for 30 minutes or less, and don't nap later than early afternoon.

15. Go to bed when you're tired. If you're not tired, going to bed can cause anxiety and stress if you can't get to sleep.

16. Don't oversleep. Oversleeping messes up your body's internal schedule. Most adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

Try one or more of these tips out and see if getting to sleep becomes easier for you.

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