You’ve done everything right in a vain attempt to figure out how to fall asleep. You follow every sleep expert’s advice by limiting your caffeine intake during the day, shutting off your screens an hour before bed, and unwinding with a bubble bath. Still, when nighttime rolls around, you find yourself wide awake, wondering what to do when you can’t sleep.
Sleepless nights can happen for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’ve had one too many pumpkin spice lattes. Maybe it’s related to stress and mental health. Or maybe your mind just can’t seem to shut off even though your body’s tired, and you don’t understand why.
Either way, trying to force yourself to figure out how to sleep might just be the least effective way to get some shut-eye. Here are some of our top tips for killing time when you just can’t seem to fall asleep.
1. Get out of bed
This might sound counterintuitive, especially when you’re trying to understand how to fall asleep fast, but forcing yourself to stay in bed can only succeed in making you stay awake even longer. Just picture it: You’re lying awake in the middle of the night, staring at the clock, and watching the minutes go by. The longer you stare, the longer you end up staying awake.
So, the next time you can’t figure out how to fall asleep, just get out of bed instead of forcing yourself to fall asleep. Use this time to do something relaxing, such as reading a book, trying a guided sleep meditation, or journaling.
2. Identify what’s keeping you up
More often than not, if you find yourself counting sheep and lying wide awake at night, then something might be weighing on your mind. The best way to figure out how to fall asleep is to identify what’s keeping you up.
Then, instead of willing it away and hoping it’ll get resolved by itself, make a conscientious effort to address it. Tackling the problem head-on can be effective at helping you clear your mind and go to sleep faster.
3. Find the right mattress
Whether you routinely find yourself waking up in the middle of the night or just can’t seem to get in a comfortable position when you try to go to sleep, your mattress might be to blame. If you’re scratching your head and trying to figure out how to fall asleep, then it’s a good idea to ask yourself if your mattress is helping or hurting your chances of getting a good night’s rest. In case it’s the latter, then it might be time to invest in a new mattress.
The good news is with so many options available, finding a mattress won’t be difficult. A hybrid mattress, in particular, is a good choice if you’re looking for something that provides support and comfort. A hybrid mattress can be best described as a cross between a traditional innerspring mattress and a memory foam.
Once you upgrade and optimize your bedroom, you’ll find that it’s much easier to get a good night’s rest.
4. Try visualization
Try to learn how to fall asleep faster? When the day’s stresses are keeping you up, it can be helpful to unwind with a short meditation session. Visualization is a popular meditation technique that can be effective at helping you calm your mind and relax.
All you need to do is find a comfortable position, close your eyes, and imagine a scene that’s soothing to you. It can be anything — you can picture the lakeside, the mountains, a forest, or a beach. When you imagine the scenery, be sure to pay close attention to as many details as possible.
Following these tips can certainly help you if you’re trying to decide what to do when you can’t sleep, but it’s also important to establish a consistent sleep schedule, avoid eating too close to bedtime, and limit caffeine and alcohol intake. If you have trouble falling asleep on a regular basis, consider consulting a sleep specialist for professional help.