Can’t fall asleep? It can be particularly difficult when under extra stress.
Everyone approaches their bedtime routine differently–the key is finding something that works for you and sticking with it as much as possible. This will not only help you in falling asleep, but staying asleep throughout the night.
Here are 7 ways to fall asleep fast (and get better sleep).
1. Sleep with a Body Pillow
If you are a side sleeper, there are so many benefits to sleeping with a body pillow.
Body pillows are great for pressure point relief for the hips and shoulders, along with promoting proper alignment for the spine. They also lessen tossing and turning, a common culprit for a bad night’s sleep.
Hugging a body pillow can also help reduce stress and calm the mind before falling asleep.
Hugging is a comforting act. Oxytocin (the hormone released when we hug) is known as the “cuddle hormone.” If you have issues with your mind racing at night, perhaps cozying up with a body pillow would be helpful. Give it a try!
We recommend using an organic body pillow. Here are a few options.
2. Listen to Calming Sounds
Typically we hear about white noise but did you know there are other options? The key is finding something that has a consistent sound that won’t trigger you to wake up. It shouldn’t change pitch abruptly or be stressful to the ears. Instead, it should be relaxing to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
Pink noise and brown noise are worth exploring.
According to Sound of Sleep, pink noise has more power behind lower frequencies and is softer at higher frequencies when compared to typical white noise. It is often associated with wind or light rainfall.
Brown noise is at a deeper lower frequency, such as a thunder or intense ocean waves.
You can use a sound machine or use one of many apps available to find which soothing sounds you prefer. Relax Melodies is particularly unique since you can not only choose which sounds you like best, but you can layer them to customize your own unique sleep sounds.
When in doubt, a simple fan is also great background noise.
3. Nighttime Tea Ritual
While morning tea rituals are popular, practicing a nighttime tea ritual can promote relaxation and mindfulness, both of which are important when winding down after a busy day.
Use your favorite tea set–perhaps it is handmade from a local artisan or maybe you discovered a beautiful vintage set.
Use loose leaf tea that is soothing, such as lavender or chamomile tea. Just make sure it has no caffeine.
You can enjoy your tea in silence or you can play light sounds in the background that will calm the mind rather than invigorate it, such as spa music, waterfalls, or a fireplace crackling.
4. Sleep Supplements, Tinctures, & Natural Herbs
There are a variety of supplements and tinctures that you may take before bedtime to help slow down your racing thoughts and fall asleep.
If after speaking to your doctor you wish to explore your options, there are natural herbs that offer soothing relief. Some of the best herbs for sleep are valerian root, skullcap, and passionflower.
To learn more about herbs that help you fall asleep, click here.
Please speak to a healthcare professional before taking any herbal supplements. Some herbs may counteract with prescription medications or may not be suitable for individuals with certain health risks. The information presented in this article is not medical advice and should not be treated as such.
5. Journal Before Bed
Have a lot of worries that seem to bounce around in your brain?
Try writing in a journal before going to bed. Sometimes putting whatever it is on paper allows you to let go of it, even if it’s just temporarily, so you can get some sleep.
If you have a long list of things you need to get done, write the list out so you know you can refer back to it and not forget anything. That may help take some of the pressure off.
Life will always have stressors that simply cannot be avoided, but there are small steps you can take to help mitigate the effects of stress and get a healthy night’s sleep.