When our bodies are physically tired, it’s more likely to fall right into sleep when it comes to bedtime. For instance, sleep specialist Mohammad Hasin agrees that “to ensure good sleep, it’s important that you tire your body out.” He suggests to exercise shortly before going to sleep, whether that’s running, cycling, or going for a brisk walk. The energy spent during the physical exercise can facilitate feeling fatigued enough to sleep. Furthermore, gym instructor Meghna Raju commented, “I’ve advised my clients to go for a jog in the evening, just before their dinner. This way, they feel relaxed and are also too tired to sit up in the night or indulge in other activities.” Exercise is a great way to keep the active mind at bay, which can get in the way of trying to fall asleep. By spending your energy physically, you create enough fatigue to fall asleep.
Avoid Caffeine and Other Drugs
Sometimes, simply drinking too much caffeine during the day can lead to not being able to sleep. It is as though the caffeine’s effect stays in the body throughout the day and keeps the mind and central nervous system too awake to be able to fall asleep. Along those lines, alcohol for some people can also create a feeling of energy and aliveness which prevents being able to go to sleep, and the same is true for nicotine. Each of these drugs should be avoided before bedtime in order to facilitate getting a full night’s sleep. In fact, ideally, if you’re having trouble sleeping, these drugs should be avoided altogether. There are many factors that can contribute to an experience of insomnia, including health concerns. Ingesting these drugs can exacerbate health issues and make worse your experience of insomnia.
Listen to Soothing Music
Listening to soothing music is a relaxation technique. Practices that facilitate mental and physical relaxation can aide in being able to get a better night’s sleep. Listening to music that softens the active mind and relaxes the nervous system can have a significant effect the ability to sleep. And when used regularly, soft music not only brings relaxation in the moment, but they can have a general effect of relaxation over time, facilitating the experience of insomnia to slowly disappear. Musicologist Vishal Chandra commented that “good music blocks out other senses, thereby putting your mind in a state of rest. Listening to soothing tunes when you hit the sack is a good way to ensure long, undisturbed sleep.”
Remove the Anxiety
If you’re in that worry-no sleep-worry-no sleep cycle, then the best way to break the cycle is to make a strong connection between your bed and sleeping. If your anxiety is high around trying to get some good sleep and you keep thinking about sleeping but your thinking is only creating more anxiety, then do your best to neutralize the anxiety. One way to do this is to create an association between your bed and falling asleep. Don’t do anything else in your bed but sleep. And if you’re not sleeping, then get up until you’re tired again. Making that association can help remove the anxiety and facilitate falling asleep faster.
If you can’t sleep, focus on one point. This can have a variety of effects. First, it will help keep anxiety-ridden thoughts at bay as you learn to concentrate on one thing. Second, it is relaxing. Your point of focus could be imagining sheep jump over a fence or it might be focusing on being on a secluded beach. Of course, the more relaxing the imagery the better, for it will facilitate the mind and body falling into a state of sleep.
In summary, try the following techniques for a good night’s sleep:
- Stick to a routine, and if you can, go to bed at the same time every night.
- Get up early to facilitate falling asleep at night.
- Try sleeping in a dark, noise-free room with a comfortable temperature.
- Take a warm bath 30 minutes before bedtime.
- To fall asleep quickly, focus on a point/object in the room.