How Do I Fall Asleep?

In my last post, I couldn’t fall asleep. My mind was racing and I was starting to panic. After I put my phone down (which is what you shouldn’t really be doing about an hour before bed…even if you have night mode on!!), I lay on my back, closed my eyes, focused on my breathing, and I woke up the next day. However, this doesn’t work for me all the time. Here are top three tips that work for me:

1. Keep the room dark and light a candle if you can. I have bright living room lights, but I also have string lights to give it a warm, cozy feeling. When I come home from work, I love to turn on my string lights and light a candle with a relaxing scent. My favorite one at the moment is called “Calming Waters” which I got from TJ Maxx. I’ll turn on the bright lights only if I have to. If not, I’ll go straight to bed when I’m ready. And blow the candle out before you fall asleep!

2. Put some soft calming music in the background or listen to relaxing podcast. Recently, I’ve been listening to Majid Jordan’s albums. My other favorites are 90s love songs. I really try not to choose songs that I can sing to, or else I’ll be up jamming all night lol. I also have an audio book that I’ll play once in a while. It’s called Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns. I try to read books, but for me it’s activity that takes effort. Yes, it’ll get my eyes tired, but eyes seem to always be tired by the time I get home. Especially because I’m in front a computer at work almost 90% of the time. So, audio books are the perfect alternative.

3. Drink a glass of warm milk. I always have milk in my fridge. It always comes in handy if you want hot chocolate, do the spicy challenge, or just to dip cookies in it. Even though I’m not lactose intolerant, I drink Lactaid 2% (the blue one) in case I have someone over who is lactose intolerant. On the days I really can’t sleep, I warm it in the microwave for one minute and drink.

Here are some other tips that have been proven effective, but I don’t really do (but I really should lol):

1. Wake up and go to sleep around the same time everyday. BE CONSISTENT. This means no sleeping in…even on the weekends! I love sleeping in and I love staying in bed on the weekends. With a comfortable bed, who wouldn’t? But do not do it! Your bed should only be for sleep and sex. If you’re awake in bed, your brain will stop associating your bed with sleep. Also be mindful of nap times. Keep them short about 15-20 mins in the early afternoon if you can.

2. Eat a healthy diet & avoid large amounts of caffeine and alcohol.Yes ALCOHOL. Alcohol is a depressant, so yes it depresses your central nervous system and you’ll eventually fall asleep. However, it messes up with your REM sleep. So you might think that you’re sleeping, but you’re not getting that deep sleep state. I’m guilty of doing this, but let me tell you. It’s sooo bad for you!

3. Exercise!!! Physical activity during the day will help you fall asleep faster and better at night.

4. NO ELECTRONICS BEFORE BED! Put that cellphone/computer down and turn that TV off. It has been said many times that electronic devices emit blue light that will disrupt your sleep-wake cycle. It affects the production of melatonin, the chemical that regulates sleep and wakefulness. So basically, your brain thinks that your phone is sunlight and your body will think that it’s day time instead of night time. Which brings it back to keeping the room dark!

Just to add more to the no cellphone before bed… I don’t know about you, but when I use my phone before bed, I end up going on Instagram or any other social media. I’ll see something I like (or don’t like) and this adds to my racing thoughts. I might even end up doing some online shopping. So keep the phone away from you when you’re in bed!

Google has a lot of resources on how to fall asleep. Some may work for you, others may not. Check this out:

https://medlineplus.gov/magazine/issues/summer12/articles/summer12pg20.html

http://www.sleepeducation.org/essentials-in-sleep/healthy-sleep-habits

Hope this helps you! Do you have any advice on sleep or ideas that I should try? Let me know in the comments below!

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