We have all been there. Staring up at the ceiling wishing that sleep would finally take us away to dream land for the night. Some of us have it harder than others when trying to get our minds to shut off so that we can get some much needed rest. Apart from taking sleeping medication is there any way that we can help ourselves drift off into a natural REM cycle? Yes, in fact there are six scientifically-proven tricks you can use to get a good night's rest.
1. Turn off your phone.
This is a pretty simple one, and it reeks of common sense. So much our time each day is spent glued to our phones that it really does mess with our ability to sleep. That bright screen that you stare at for hours can actually trick your mind into thinking it is still daytime. It's okay to shut off once in a while.
2. Try to stay awake.
It's so frustrating when you are sitting there on the couch, or laying in bed while you're watching a movie and are genuinely trying to stay awake, yet the harder you try to keep your peepers open, the more difficulty you have in actually accomplishing this. If you are having a hard time falling asleep, just pull a little reverse psychology on your own mind, try and stay awake.
3. Get out of bed until you are ready for sleep.
Laying awake in bed and trying to will yourself to sleep can actually be detrimental to your sleeping habits. When you can't seem to sleep, laying there trying to force it can actually force you to have negative thoughts about sleep, on a subconscious level. Get out of bed and do something else until you feel that you are ready to try again. Might I suggest blowing the dust off of one of those old books you have had lying around?
The next three tips are so simple you will wonder why you haven't done them before.
4. Stick to a routine.
For all of you parents out there, you already know how effective this can be for your kids, so why haven't you incorporated into your own lives? You can actually train your body and your mind to conform to a set schedule, and the more you stick to it, the easier it will be for you to follow it in the long run. Going to bed at the same time makes getting up at the same time a hell of a lot easier.
5. Meditation or "practiced" relaxation.
Have you ever actually tried to meditate, or forced yourself to relax? Apparently it actually works. When you are anxious or stressed out, your body will produce hormones that will make falling asleep difficult. Try forcing your body to relax one part at a time, starting at your toes or fingers. By the time you get through most of your body parts you will already be drifting off to sleep. Going about this methodically makes the big picture problem of getting to sleep easier to conquer.
6. Do something completely mindless.
If I am bored, I am always easily capable of falling asleep. Think back to some of those riveting class lectures from high school science class, or watching some boring movie in class with the lights turned off. Raise you hand if you fell asleep trying to stay awake through those. Now if only you could duplicate that boredom. This is where "counting sheep" comes in to play. Try counting these sheep by 3s instead of individually, and eventually you will find yourself so bored that you pass out from the effort.
Share so that others who are having a hard time falling asleep can do so while reading this article LOL.