8 Simple Tips to Make Yourself Fall Asleep
How Can I Make Myself Fall Asleep?
Have you ever met that person who could just fall asleep sitting up in a room full of people screaming? This is insanely annoying to people who try everything possible to get some rest but still end up staring at the ceiling all night.
If you've ever had trouble falling asleep for multiple nights, weeks or years in a row, you truly know what frustration means. Using these simple-yet-effective tips could help you get some precious shuteye.
Tip #1: Make Your Bed a Paradise
Imagine yourself falling into a fluffy sea of cotton and being wrapped in its softness.
Now, think of your bed. Does it resemble a jail cot? Do you feel as if you're sleeping on marbles? How about your pillows? Do you remember when you bought them?
Your bed is one of the most important things in your entire home. It's where all the stress of your day fades as you relinquish yourself unto sleep. In the morning, you're born anew, as if you're a completely new person.
Equip your bed with quality pillows. Make sure that they're as firm or as soft as you want them. Also, don't skimp on your sheets. While low thread count sheets are less expensive, they feel closer to sandpaper than cloth. High thread count sheets will wrap your body in a dreamy, lotion-like texture.
Mattresses are expensive, but they're very important to your comfort. You shouldn't feel springs or any discomfort whatsoever when you lie down. If your mattress is old but you can't afford a new one, buy a mattress pad to add a layer of softness on top of your bed. These can be anywhere between $15 and $150, depending on the quality and thickness.
Lastly, splurge a bit on your comforter and decorative pillows. It should say as much about you as your hair and clothes do! After you wake up, force yourself to make the bed so when you return at night it'll be a glorious haven--not a jumbled mess.
Tip #2: Stop Thinking
This is definitely easier said than done. However, if you're willing to practice every single night, you'll get better at shutting your brain down when it's time to sleep.
When you begin thinking about anything at all, no matter how small, either tell yourself mentally to stop, or visualize a stop sign. You can also picture a clear, bold "NO", or say the word to yourself as your thoughts begin to form. Putting the brakes on your train of thought right from the start will ensure that you're not obsessing over something for hours without realizing it.
Tip #3: Mundane, Simple Thoughts
A completely clear mind can be a playground for thoughts to creep in. If turning your brain off is too difficult, try to engage your mind in a boring-yet-calming activity. It must take the least amount of mental effort as possible. Repeat for as long as it takes you to fall asleep.
- You're walking down a sidewalk while staring at your feet, making sure that you don't step on any cracks.
- You're in your home washing dishes. You clean them with a sponge, rinse them and then place them in a rack.
- You're sitting with a mug of hot chocolate, slowly stirring it. You watch as the foam at the top spirals.
- You're walking along the top of a fence. You place one foot in front of the other, carefully keeping your balance.
Are you getting the most out of each breath?
Shrug your shoulders up to your ears and breathe. Next, flex your abs and breathe with your diaphragm.
Do you feel how labored and raspy these breaths were? Make sure to open your lungs and breathe with everything you've got!
Tip #4: Just Breathe
Take deep, slow breaths. Concentrate on each one as you exhale and softly inhale. Let yourself think of nothing but this simple, important process.
Relaxed breathing slows your heart rate, winding you down and separating anything you were doing before with what you're trying to do now: sleep!
Tip #5: Ambient Noise
Dead silence is comforting to some, terrifying to others. While this may cause some to turn on their TVs, this isn't exactly the best option (see tip #6).
Instead of turning on music that you can memorize and sing along to, try non-vocal ambient music without an obvious tune. Types of music that are unobtrusive include ambient, dark ambient, minimal, and atmospheric.
There are also genres such as experimental, glitch, abstract and electronic that are usually better for background music than other types of music. Try out a few of these to see if anything catches your ear!
Tip #6: No Blue Lights
Computer, phone and TV screens all trigger something in the brain that makes it think it's daytime out.
If you absolutely need to have the TV on to fall asleep, make sure that you're not facing it. Try to cover up your eyes and avoid that flickering blue light.
Also, don't play with your cell phone or computer before falling asleep (especially IN your bed). Your bedroom shouldn't be where you surf websites and text people. Associating the place you sleep with these activities will make it very difficult to switch gears and rest.
Examples of peaceful scenery:
- A ray of sun gently shining into a window, warming a square of light on the bed that you can curl up in
- By the seashore, listening to the sounds of the waves lapping against the sand
- Lying in a field of lush green grass looking up at puffy white clouds
- Viewing a beautiful rainbow sherbet sunset over a placid river
- Feeling a cool refreshing breeze blow during a hot summer day
Tip #7: Mimic Drowsiness
When you don't feel drowsy, fake it!
Slowly open and close your eyelids, mimicking sleepiness. While doing this, think of a time where you were so sleepy that you could barely hold your eyes open. Let your lids drift lazily without any sudden jerky movements. Roll your eyes up into your head as you would if you were struggling to stay awake.
If you can't remember a time where you were exhausted, imagine blissfully peaceful scenery.
Tip #8: Sleep How YOU Want
Maybe you secretly don't like sleeping curled up in a ball. Maybe you'd sleep better lying down like a plank of wood! Experiment with different conditions to see if they help that drowsiness set in.
Types of Sleeping Positions
Curled up like a baby, lying on one side
Lying on the back with arms tucked near the body
Lying on one side with arms at sides
Lying on one side with arms straight out
Lying on the stomach with arms near the head
Lying on back with arms near head
Also, don't worry too much about the season or time of year. Do you like to have your fan blasting in your face even during the winter? Maybe you'd enjoy having many pillows wedged under your back, legs and/or neck.
Sleeping upside-down or diagonally in your bed may give you a bit of a change to switch the gears in your brain. Perhaps many nights of lying wide-awake made you associate a particular position with insomnia. Change can be refreshing!