Can’t fall asleep? Yes, even you who has tried every prescription drug out there. This may not be the answer to your problem but it may be the answer to your problem. You won’t know until you try and, unlike every sleeping-pill out there, there are no side-effects if you do try.
So, let’s get started.
All day long, our mind is overly-stimulated. Most of the time we don’t turn off our computers or the TV until right before we close our eyes and try to fall asleep. Now, I don’t know about you but after a run or after my heart rate gets nice and high, I don’t really feel like closing my eyes and falling asleep right away. Same thing with your brain. Your brain is running a million miles an hour each day. Brain cells are communicating with another to create thoughts and commands for your body.
How about trying a little “cool-down” before you hit the sac. Give yourself 30 minutes to an hour of de-stimulation. Remove your computer and your phone from your room. Do not just turn them off, remove them from your room. You can buy an old-school alarm clock, I promise it will do the trick. Turn off the TV.
Here are 7 activities to help you de-stress, wind-down and un-stimulate:
1. Drink some tea- chamomile or peppermint tea are both very soothing
2. Read a book or a magazine- nothing work-related
3. Take some deep breaths or meditate
4. Stretch- focus on the areas that are the most tense during your work-day or when you are studying. eg. shoulders, back, hips
5. Close your eyes and think about what you are grateful for
6. Listen to some relaxing music- I like the “calm meditation” playlist on Pandora. **
7. Write in a journal
** Listening to music might still be too stimulating for some people. Test it out to see what works for you.
If there is something else that helps you wind down then by all means, use your own tools!
Prioritizing this short amount of time for yourself will essentially save you the time, energy and frustration you feel when lying in bed trying to fall asleep. In reality, you are most likely going to get more stressed by “trying” to fall asleep. Rather, do something productive to help yourself get into a restful state.
One tool I use is setting a goal for what time I want to go to sleep. Then I work backwards from there to allow myself time to wind-down.