Most people have trouble sleeping. Here are some tips you can use to improve your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Find out how many hours you are actually sleeping
As adults, we need 7 OR MORE hours per night. A lot of you probably have some sort of fitness tracker whether that is a whoop, fitbit, apple watch, garmin watch and others. These all track your sleep and you are able to see what you get from night to night.
- Is your day set up to actually get that amount of sleep?
We are BUSY. I get it. But if your daily life is set up to only be in bed for 6 hours a night, I promise you won’t actually sleep that entire time.
- Difficulty falling asleep
What stops you from falling asleep? Do you have a TV in your bedroom? Are you on your phone in bed? Are you running over the list of to-do’s for tomorrow or are you rethinking conversations from today? Are you just not tired?
After you find out the why, you can start making changes.
- Take the TV OUT OF YOUR ROOM. You may be saying “What?! I need noise to fall asleep!” and that is fine. There are options. Get a white noise machine, turn on your fan, or download a meditation app like Calm that has options for meditation as you fall asleep
- Put your phone down! Set your alarm for the next day and hit that “do not disturb” button. You can check instagram or your email tomorrow.
- If racing thoughts often keep you awake. Try getting a “worry journal” or a planner.
Before you go to bed, write down all the things you need to get done the next day, what you are worried about, or a conversation you had during the day you are playing over. Then, leave this journal or planner OUTSIDE of your bedroom. We are trying to break the association that your bedroom is a place to think and strategize for tomorrow.
- If you are just not tired, look at your daily routine. Are you doing tasks during the day that would help you be tired? Exercising, walking, standing up at work, eating a few hours before bedtime instead of right before, or using mental energy. If you are doing these things and still feel amped up trying to sleep, adding in a 10 minute nighttime routine will help.
- Go to bed at the same time every day, even weekends
- Brush your teeth
- Wash your face
- Put on comfy clothes
- Do 5 minutes of deep breathing/stretch/journal/draw
- Go to sleep
This helps with sending signals to your body that it is time to go to sleep. Once your body knows when to expect sleep, you will naturally begin to get tired around the same time every day.
3. Waking up multiple times or waking up early and not being able to fall back asleep
- Wake up around the same time daily
- Use deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation to fall back asleep
- Do not look at your phone, use the light outside to determine if its close to wake up time or not
This is a PROCESS. It will take you more than a week to get these things down to where they are beneficial to you. So don’t get discouraged if your body does not respond right away. Your circadian rhythm is out of whack and it takes a little time to nudge it back into place. However, your body wants you to sleep! Once you start sending it the correct signals, your sleep will improve!