What Should I Do If I Can't Sleep?
Let’s talk about sleep! Sleep is your body’s reset process and it plays a part in everything from your immunity, your moods, and your focus and concentration, to your memory building, decision making and creativity.
Sleep is a critical, yet oftentimes neglected, factor of our overall well-being. Your sleep hygiene is essential to enable your body to repair and reset itself to be ready for another day, so it’s important to make sure you are doing everything you can to get a good night’s rest each night.
Sometimes that is easier said than done, however. It can be difficult to turn off our minds in order to get to sleep. If sleep seems to elude you, here are some things to do when you just can’t sleep.
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What to think about when you can’t sleep
Getting enough quality sleep each night allows our body’s to reset themselves both physically and emotionally so that we can be ready for a new day ahead. There are plenty of things we can do to promote better quality sleep, like eating a wide variety of healthful foods, getting in some daily movement, and managing stress.
If you’re still having trouble falling asleep, refer back to the list below when you need something to do or think of to help you fall asleep. What are you doing to promote better sleep tonight?
Try a Guided Sleep Meditation
Guided Meditations help us to let go of the stresses and anxieties of our day by listening to recordings that smoothly guide us through a meditation journey.
They allow us to relax our bodies, calm our minds, and drift off into sleep. Sleep meditations help create the conditions necessary for quality, restful, deep sleep.
Think Positive Thoughts
Focusing on positive thoughts helps clear your mind of the negative ones and try to stop overthinking. You know the ones I mean: those thoughts that tell you, ‘at this rate, I’ll never get to sleep,’ or, ‘I’m going to be so unproductive tomorrow.’
Plus, research has demonstrated a link between the habitual practice of gratitude and a person’s overall sleep quality. Not only does positivity help to clear your mind before bed, but the act of practicing gratitude was actually shown to activate the hypothalamus, the region in the brain that regulates and controls sleep patterns. This activation helped participants in the study reach deeper and healthier sleep cycles.
Put on Some Music
Both music and meditation have restorative qualities for body and mind. The two art forms work together to rejuvenate and clear your mind, relax your muscles, and soothe away the stresses and anxieties of your day.
Music can actually help your body to relax by physically syncing your heart rate to the music and preparing your body for sleep.
Reading is a great way to quiet your mind and distract yourself from any thoughts keeping you awake. It’s got to be a book though, as the blue light that is emitted from your phone or tablet actually sends signals to your brain that it is still daytime, making it even harder to get to sleep.
Some people find it helpful to keep a notebook next to their bed so they can quickly jot down anything that’s keeping them up.
Whether it’s scribbling out a few things from tomorrow’s to-do list, or simply getting some nagging thoughts onto paper, the act of releasing them from your mind can help in letting your brain quiet down enough to get some sleep.
Listen to an Audiobook or Podcast
If it’s the silence that’s bothering you, try putting on something to listen to that will help you tune out and fall asleep. Be sure to choose something soothing, not particularly action-packed, that is read by a person whose voice has a calming effect on you.