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8 Simple Tips to Make Yourself Fall Asleep

Updated on July 28, 2013

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.

Does looking at this sleeping monkey make you feel envious? You're not alone.
Does looking at this sleeping monkey make you feel envious? You're not alone. | Source

Do you have trouble falling asleep?

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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.

This looks like an amazing place to curl up after a long day.
This looks like an amazing place to curl up after a long day. | Source
This....does not.
This....does not. | Source

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.

For example:

  • 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.

Heavy eyelids are a cause for celebration, especially for insomniacs!
Heavy eyelids are a cause for celebration, especially for insomniacs! | Source

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

Name
Description
Fetus
Curled up like a baby, lying on one side
Soldier
Lying on the back with arms tucked near the body
Log
Lying on one side with arms at sides
Yearner
Lying on one side with arms straight out
Freefall
Lying on the stomach with arms near the head
Starfish
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!

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  • Danext profile image

    Dan Lema 3 years ago from Tanzania

    I don't think if any insomniac will survive from a sweet warm slumber after reading this article, these tips are easy and applicable to anyone who has sleeping disorders... even depressed or people with mood disorders, because some of the methods you've mentioned in here are used in the meditation system........fantastic article....

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @dilshah - thank you!

  • dilshah profile image

    Dilawar Shah 3 years ago from Karachi

    wow Fantastic Tips.. I loved it.. Thanks For Sharing...

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @Winterfate -- not at all! It's nice to relate and know you're not alone with your quirks and feelings. :)

  • Winterfate profile image

    Darrin Perez 3 years ago from Puerto Rico

    @Norn: Well, now you know that you're not. ;)

    Is it bad that I'm happy that you know how I feel about that? :/

    I just feel like onlookers would think I was weird. :o

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @Winterfate -- thanks for stopping by! :D it's always a pleasure! I can see why you don't like losing consciousness... I'm actually the same exact way. Thought I was the only one! :)

  • Winterfate profile image

    Darrin Perez 3 years ago from Puerto Rico

    Congratulations on Hub of the Day Norn! :)

    Just dropping back to poke you as I usually do. Hope you're doing well. :D

    I personally suffer from insomnia, but it's partially also because I don't like to lose consciousness, as stupid as that sounds. :/

    Voted up and lots of good things. :D

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @Kevina Oyatedor -- Trust me... I know exactly how you feel (which is why I wrote this hub)! I was so excited to finally not be up until 7 am thinking and wanted to share with everyone. May you rest well tonight and on all nights to come. :)

  • Kevina Oyatedor profile image

    kevina oyatedor 3 years ago

    So going to try these things when I sleep. I have nights when my mind is just racing and can't sleep. Awesome hub.

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @Kathryn Stratford -- Thoughts at night are so tough to get rid of! I understand how you feel. #3 fills my brain with something so that random thoughts don't just pop in there! :) Can't fall asleep without it.

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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    Thief12 -- I'm glad to hear that! Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @ReuVera -- Awesome! Maybe I should add "read this hub and look at the sleeping monkey" to my tips? ;)

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @thehaplesshostess -- I don't blame you for not wanting to take the drugs. Dependency on anything is a scary, scary thing. I really hope this works for you! :)

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @rose-the planner -- Oh man, the mattress is the best part of falling asleep! I also feel bad when I sit on someone's bed and feel a spring poking me. I just want to buy everyone luxurious bed pads... :)

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @DzyMsLizzy -- Thanks for stopping by and commenting. We're all wired a bit differently, so it's great to read someone else's experiences with falling asleep. :)

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @ChristinS -- Thank you! :D

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @Better Yourself -- Thanks for stopping by! I hope you never have to deal with insomnia. :)

  • Kathryn Stratford profile image

    Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

    Congrats on HOTD! I decided to check your hub out, because I have been having trouble sleeping lately. My main problem is trying not to think, when I have so much going on in my mind!

    Thanks for sharing these helpful tips with us, and have a great night!

    ~ Kathryn

  • Thief12 profile image

    Thief12 3 years ago from Puerto Rico

    Nice hub and congrats on HOTD! My wife always has trouble sleeping, so I was about to tell my wife to check it out, but she already did.

  • ReuVera profile image

    ReuVera 3 years ago from USA

    Great hub. I almost fell asleep just reading the tips. It is a compliment, by the way! No way because it was boring. It is a great hub with really good tips.

  • thehaplesshostess profile image

    BG 3 years ago from PA

    Outstanding advice here. I've had sleep issues for nearly four years now; my doc keeps suggesting drugs, but I'm afraid of developing an addiction (a defining characteristic in 95% of my family members).

    I look forward to trying the "mundane, simple thoughts" part tonight - these are very clever and appropriate suggestions. Love the dozing monkey image too. :-)

    Thank you for posting!

  • IslandBites profile image

    IslandBites 3 years ago from Puerto Rico

    Nice hub!

    I have always had sleeping problems. Tip #2 does not work for me. lol

  • rose-the planner profile image

    rose-the planner 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

    Congratulations on HOTD, well deserved! I thought this was a very interesting and informative article. I think one of the most important key points is your #1, in particular, a good mattress. It amazes me how many people do not give their mattress any consideration. If you think about it, we spend a substantial part of our lives sleeping and a good mattress is essential for one's well being. A bad mattress can lead to sleepless nights, tossing and turning, sore backs, sore necks, sore legs, sore hips, headaches and so on. Inevitably, you may end up feeling like a zombie the next day. You should change your mattress every few years but unfortunately, a good mattress is so expensive and not affordable for many. Great job! Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

  • DzyMsLizzy profile image

    Liz Elias 3 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Congrats on HOTD!! Well done!!

    You've given some tips here that I will surely try--the 'making the brain stop thinking' ones, especially. I am under SO much stress with my husband's severe health issues, and my own ongoing recovery from knee surgery, that I find it extremely difficult to shut down....even when I am beyond exhausted; there are days I'm actually too tired to sleep, if that makes any sense. Very frustrating to be absolutely spent and still unable to rest.

    I suffer from tinnitus, so I usually have a white noise machine running all night, because I also wake up now and then; it is rare for me to sleep through the night without some interruption.

    My cats will come in and soothe me with their purr songs, as well, and that is often quite helpful.

    I do have the (bad) habit though, of trying to wind down by playing several games of solitaire on my Nook, until my eyes can no longer focus, and my brain has trouble seeing available moves.....in opposition to the "no blue light" or computer games instruction, this actually helps me wind down--then I just shut of the game, lie down and drift off soon enough. ;-) But then, I tend to be wired weirdly--drugs such as cocaine or percoset that caution against drowsiness actually keep me awake, and I cannot take them near bedtime.

    As for making the bed--I pull up the comforter, but that's about it. When I'm tired, I just want to fall in without having to fuss with turning back blankets and re-locating decorative pillows....that only wakes me up agin... ;-)

    Voted up, interesting and useful.

  • ChristinS profile image

    Christin Sander 3 years ago from Midwest

    Just stopping back in to say congrats on your HOTD :)

  • Better Yourself profile image

    Better Yourself 3 years ago from North Carolina

    Great hub and congrats on HOTD! Very useful info and even this isn't a constant struggle of mine I will certainly try out some of these tips when needed.

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @cheeluarv -- I appreciate it!

  • cheeluarv profile image

    cheeluarv 3 years ago from INDIA

    interesting hub with good tips.

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @condominium -- me, too! The examples I wrote are ones I use every night to fall asleep. :) Thanks so much for reading.

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @KenWu -- Thanks! I really appreciate it! :)

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @annart -- Isn't that the truth? I remember when I was kid and people would complain about insomnia...and I had zero problem falling asleep! Now I'm not so lucky. :) The boring stuff tip is the one I use every single night. I can't fall asleep without thinking of walking along the top of a fence!

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @starbright -- Wonderful! I really hope they help those who have trouble falling asleep. :) I know they help me!

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @SEEMA AQUA -- Thanks for reading. :)

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @Majidsiko -- I agree! It's so important yet people seem to skip over it sometimes... :)

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @Kamalesh050 -- Thanks for your kind words and for taking the time to check out my hub. :)

  • condominium profile image

    Jeffrey Dela Costa 3 years ago from Philippines

    I follow #3 especially when I have problems in my head. It usually gets me to a relaxed state by pondering over mundane things, Thanks for this hub!

  • KenWu profile image

    KenWu 3 years ago from Malaysia

    Love the tips and the way you present them is awesome!

  • annart profile image

    Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

    Up, useful, interesting and shared. A really useful and entertaining hub; I already know and practise some of these but the others are such welcome alternatives. Thanks for the ideas and I'll definitelly be trying some out - I like the 'thinking of boring things' one! Never used to have difficulty but getting older seems to bring on restlessness or shallower sleep. Ah well, it has its compensations too - like retirement!!

  • starbright profile image

    Lucy Jones 3 years ago from Scandinavia

    Thanks for sharing - although I don't have a problem getting to sleep myself I know plenty that do and your tips will be passed along to them. Voted up with congratulations on your well deserved HOTD.

  • SEEMA AQUA profile image

    SEEMA AQUA 3 years ago

    ahhhhh thanz.

  • Majidsiko profile image

    Majidsiko 3 years ago from Kenya

    Great hub, Good Sleep hygiene will make or break you.

  • Kamalesh050 profile image

    Kamalesh050 3 years ago from Sahaganj, Dist. Hooghly, West Bengal, India

    Excellent hub - Interesting, Useful and Nicely presented. Voted Up.

    Best Wishes, Kamalesh

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @April Dawn Meyer -- thank you! I really hope it helps! :)

  • April Dawn Meyer profile image

    April Dawn Meyer 3 years ago from Belle Fourche, South Dakota

    Thanks for posting such a informative hub. You are a really good writer! I am going to pass this information on to my son who has been complaining about having trouble sleeping at night. Thanks for the tips! Votes up :)

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @Meher Yar Khan -- That's a great one, too! I'd have to put on something boring though or else I'd be listening to the story being told instead of sleeping... Maybe someone reading a government document...? Lol....

    Anyway thanks for reading! I really appreciate it. :)

  • Meher Yar Khan profile image

    Meher Yar Khan 3 years ago from Pakistan

    Appreciate it :P

    Sometimes you just don't know how to sleep, you know? But most of the time, listening to audiobooks helps too :P hahaha

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @wabash annie -- Thanks for stopping by! I hope that these ideas work for you! :)

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @stanmurphy -- Thanks so much for reading! I'm a big fan of reading to wind down and escape thoughts, too. :)

  • wabash annie profile image

    wabash annie 3 years ago from Colorado Front Range

    Appreciated your sharing your ideas. I am 78 and have always had problems sleeping and have tried pretty much everything (do not sleep walk anymore, I hope). Will try some of the things you suggested. Thanks much!

  • stanmurphy profile image

    Stan Murphy 3 years ago from Kansas

    Very interesting hub. It is often so difficult to shut our minds off at the end of the day. I find reading a great escape obviously, but it also directs our minds away from stresses we may be dealing with. I appreciated reading your thoughts on this!

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @DATALOAD - it's so hard to quiet thoughts sometimes. Concentrating on breathing does help! :)

  • DATALOAD profile image

    DATALOAD 3 years ago from Michigan

    To help stop myself from thinking I like to focus on my breathing. This helps, but sometimes it seems impossible to turn down the internal dialogue.

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @michael5299 - I'm happy to hear your bed is your paradise. It's so important to rest and enjoy it! :)

  • michael5299 profile image

    Bernard Michael 3 years ago from Swindon UK

    I absolutely loved reading your hub on sleeping and bedding comforts, Since my wife was diagnosed with breast Cancer over 7 years ago, well we had no choice but to spoil our selves and got a new bed with a foam mattress, then the day after we got 2 new pillows they were also made of a harder type of memory foam. My wife and I made our dream bed so as we would get to appreciate a good nights sleep without any back pain. Our bed will always be our paradise.

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    Hlwar - sleep is so important! May you rest well like the monkey in the picture. ^___^

  • profile image

    hlwar 3 years ago

    Thank you for this! I can be such an insomniac a lot of nights (too many nights!) so I will definitely take these tips to heart. (∪。∪)。。。zzz

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @erorantes - thanks so much for reading and leaving a comment. I appreciate it! :)

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @light20 - I'm sorry to hear you're having trouble sleeping! :( good luck and I hope these tips work!

  • erorantes profile image

    Ana Maria Orantes 3 years ago from Miami Florida

    Ms. Norm; I like your article on how to sleep. Thanks; you are good and kind. I wish you Many blesings for you.

  • light20 profile image

    Lanao G 3 years ago from Ozamiz City, Philippines

    Found this one interesting...I really am envious to those people who fall asleep so easily...I realized that I have a lot of things crawling in my head almost every night...(and i can't stop it)

    I am always like this since high school, now I'm turning 20 and nothing has change...

    I'll try your tips here...Thank you for sharing...

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @The Dirt Farmer - I don't know why my reply to you didn't go through... I just wanted to say thank you for reading! Also, the mundane thoughts thing is actually the thing that helps me the very most. I couldn't fall asleep without it. :)

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @Dinesh200666 - agreed! My dream is to have a huge king-sized bed :)

  • Dinesh200666 profile image

    Dinesh Sharma 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

    I like when you mention Bed a Paradise, i like living life king size and work like anything. For that Bed has to be a paradise.

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @Michelle Widmann - thanks for reading! I hope it helps you rest better :)

  • profile image

    Michelle Widmann 3 years ago

    Very interesting and helpful hub! I have a lot of troubles sleeping through the night for a variety of reasons, so it's nice to have some ideas on how to work past those issues and try to get a good night's sleep for once.

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @sjkhan -- thank you!

  • sjkhan profile image

    Sara 3 years ago from Pakistan

    Interesting hub.Very useful tips! voted up.

  • The Dirt Farmer profile image

    Jill Spencer 3 years ago from United States

    I'm going to try you mundane thoughts tip. I've always had trouble sleeping. It's hard to stop thinking! Thanks. Voted up & shared. --Jill

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @epbooks -- I also sleep with a fan... Year-round! I hope this hub helps you sleep better! :)

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    Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    Good tips and I like the part about makig the bed in the morning and making it look inviting- new sheets, pillows. All good tips. I have a noise machine for ambient noise, but a loud fan always works well. I always have trouble falling asleep so welcome the advice! Shared and voted up!

  • NornsMercy profile image
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    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @ChristinS -- I hear that! Those beds are amazing! I've never owned one but have cleaned houses with them in it... Soooo soft. :)

  • ChristinS profile image

    Christin Sander 3 years ago from Midwest

    Great hub! I know I am in desperate need of a new mattress - ours has seen better days and I am thinking of one of those "sleep number" beds perhaps to make it super customizable.

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