Learn how to make yourself sleep and stay asleep with these fifteen tips…
How to Make Yourself Sleep
1. How to Make Yourself Sleep: Wear socks to bed.
Studies have shown the best physiological predictor for the rapid onset of sleep is how warm and/or cold your extremities are. Who knew toasty feet mattered so much?! So, if you want to fall asleep faster and sleep sounder, pull on pair of warm socks!
2. How to Make Yourself Sleep: Try peaceful paint.
Many scientific studies show color can have a significant psychological and physiological effect on us humans. One study showed red to be the most arousing color, followed by green, yellow, and lastly blue as the most relatively calming. But each color might have a distinctive and unique physical, mental, and emotional effect on you. Observe the way different colors make you feel, and then paint your bedroom a color that inspires feelings of tranquility and peace for you.
3. How to Make Yourself Sleep: Keep your bedroom quiet … but not too quiet.
We don’t want to hear sounds that could stir us when we’re trying to fall asleep or while we’re sleeping. And yet, if our sleeping environment is too quiet at the baseline level, it makes disruptive noises — noises that could puncture our state of rest (think car horn or dog bark) — more disruptive because there’s a bigger difference between the background sound level and the sound level of the disturbing peak noise. Consider having only intentional sound in your bedroom environment — sound that’s proven to relax body and mind, and also help mask disturbing noises.
4. How to Make Yourself Sleep: Try sleeping with two separate blankets.
Cover wars between you and your partner can seriously inhibit sleep quality … especially since temperature matters when it comes to the comfiest, most restful sleep. Being too hot or too cold can disturb your ability to go to sleep and/or stay asleep. If you and your partner struggle with blanket hogging, try having two separate blankets on your bed so you’re both winning. In a Huffington Post article on sleep advice, Robert Oexman, D.O., director of the Sleep to Live Institute advised: “Use only one fitted sheet to start … then make the top-of-bed with twin-size flat sheets and blankets to meet each person’s needs. If you’re worried about how that will look — no problem — you can cover this up with a single comforter when dressing the bed each morning.”
5. How to Make Yourself Sleep: Rise and shine!
Our circadian rhythm — the natural sleep and wake cycle that tells our body when it’s time to rest and when it’s time to be active — largely runs on light exposure. Taking in more light makes our brain and body more alert, and darkness signifies it’s time to start winding down. Soaking in some good old fashioned sunshine early in the day can help let your body know that’s the time you want to be at your most vital. Then, as the day darkens, your body will naturally and gradually wind down for sleep. (Also remember to avoid blue light, especially, too close to bedtime!). Your circadian rhythm will thank you for rising and shining!
6. How to Make Yourself Sleep: Exercise often, but not too close to bedtime.
When it comes to how to sleep longer, some studies have demonstrated that consistent exercise can nearly halve the amount of time it takes to fall asleep at night (giving you more time to rest overall). But because exercise can be stimulating, raising your heart rate, it’s important to exercise earlier in the day rather than too close to when it’s time to sleep.
7. How to Make Yourself Sleep: Nix the big glass of water just before bed.
Try not to drink any fluids at least an hour or two before going to bed. Nocturia is the medical term for needing to urinate too often during the night. Having to get up to urinate is one sure way to negatively affect the longevity of your sleep, and it’s no surprise studies show nocturnia negatively affects sleep quality. It’s also wise to try to use the bathroom just before going to sleep.
8. How to Make Yourself Sleep: Cut out alcohol.
Even downing a couple of drinks a night can seriously — and negatively — affect your sleep quality. For one thing, studies show that alcohol greatly increases chances of snoring and sleep apnea. Studies also demonstrate another way alcohol significantly depreciates sleep quality is through altering nighttime melatonin production (which plays a crucial role in our body’s sleep/wake cycle). If you truly want to know how to sleep longer, consider trading that end-of-the-day alcoholic beverage for non-caffeinated tea or sparkling water.
9. How to Make Yourself Sleep: Eat dinner earlier.
Some studies show the high quantity consumption of carbohydrates too close to bedtime can result in more middle-of-the-night arousals. Notably, other studies show that consuming high-quality carbohydrates four hours before bedtime can actually help people fall asleep more quickly. Try to have a healthy dinner as early in the evening/far away from bedtime as possible to ensure the best possible quality of sleep.
10. How to Make Yourself Sleep: Clear your mind before bedtime.
As many of us know, one of the major issues that can keep us awake at night is stress. Clearing your mind through meditation, listening to relaxing sounds, practicing low intensity yoga, or journaling can help calm and clear your mind, making it easier to fall asleep and sleep more restfully.
11. How to Make Yourself Sleep: Practice breathing relaxation exercises.
Studies show that doing a relaxation exercise before bed can improve sleep quality. This calms and clears our mind and relaxes our body. Guided meditations induced through breath work can be particularly effective.
12. How to Make Yourself Sleep: Visualize positive things.
The National Sleep Foundation counts visualization as an effective tactic for what to do when you can’t sleep. Here’s what’s important: “The key is to find something that allows you to focus your attention and let go of other thoughts. Begin to create this scenario in your mind. Visualize all the details of the image or story, as slowly and carefully as you can.” It can also help lower our heart rate and blood pressure if what we’re visualizing is relaxing in a positive way. Try the guided positive visualization below to drift into dreamland with a positive, life-enhancing vision filling your mind for the sweetest dreams!
13. How to Make Yourself Sleep: Find the right pillow for how you sleep.
When it comes down to it, the best pillow for you is one that feels the most comfortable. The pillow you choose should support your head, neck, and shoulders. If the pillow you are using now is no longer providing the support you need, it may be time to ditch it and get a new pillow. In order to figure out the best pillow for you, let’s talk sleep positions. While we tend to move around while we catch some zzz’s, these loose rules will help you determine what to look for while shopping.
Side sleepers: This type of sleeper may need a firmer and thicker pillow. Look for a pillow that will support your head, neck, and work with your shoulder comfortably. Placing a small pillow between your knees or thighs can also help you maintain the proper spinal alignment.
Stomach sleepers: A soft, thin pillow would be a good choice or no pillow underneath the head at all. If you prefer this position but suffer from lower back pain, try placing a pillow under your stomach and pelvis for support. People who sleep on their back may benefit from thinner pillows which help to limit stress on the neck.
Back sleepers: To keep your head and neck in alignment, go with a soft and flatter pillow. If you have neck pain, look for a pillow that provides extra support.
14. How to Make Yourself Sleep: Say ‘goodnight’ your electronic devices.
To keep from overstimulating your brain, turn all electronic devices off one hour before going to bed— that includes your television. The blue light that some devices emit might negatively affect your body’s internal clock. Checking emails and scrolling through social media can also up your stress level, which can make falling asleep even more difficult.
15. How to Make Yourself Sleep: Rethink your go-to sleep position.
Favor sleeping on your back? You may want to switch that up. Research has shown that this might not be the best position to sleep in, as it could lead to blocked airways, sleep apnea, and snoring. Try adopting sleeping on your side for more high-quality sleep.
Be sure to share these how to make yourself sleep tips with others!