How to Fall Asleep when You Have Things on Your Mind



Take time to unwind from the day before trying to get to sleep.It does you no good to go straight from working on last-minute details for your job to trying to get to sleep.,
Create a pre-sleep routine.,
Drink something soothing.,
Eat a small snack.,
Prepare your room for an optimal sleeping experience.,
Choose comfortable clothes to sleep in.,
Wear a sleep mask.,
Begin with relaxing breathing exercises.,
Practice mindfulness techniques while lying in bed.,
Try progressive muscle relaxation.,
Try visualizing a relaxing scene.,
Listen to ambient sounds.,
Don’t fight yourself.,
Develop a regular sleep schedule.,
Don’t lounge around in bed during the day.,
Write down your worries earlier in the day.,
Don’t take naps during the day.,
Invest in a high quality mattress and pillows.

You’ll just sit there thinking about your work.

Spend at least one hour before bedtime relaxing your mind in preparation. Do this outside of bed.
Dim the lights, and avoid television, computer, and phone screens. You’re trying to quiet your mind.;
, Just as a warm bath, a bottle, and a bed-time story lets a baby’s body know that it’s time to start winding down, a set, relaxing routine before bedtime will train your body to start relaxing.Take a relaxing bath.Add a few drops of one of the essential oils, such as rose or lavender, to help yourself relax.
Read a set amount of a good book. Only read one chapter a night — don’t let yourself get sucked into reading through the night.
Listen to calming music. The British Academy of Sound Therapy has put together a playlist of the most relaxing songs according to science. Their playlist includes artists such as Marconi Union, Coldplay, and Enya.

, Believe it or not, a glass of warm milk might really help you sleep better. Dairy products are high in tryptophan, an amino acid that helps make you feel sleepy.You may also enjoy the sedative effect of an herbal tea, such as chamomile, passion flower, or valerian root.Avoid beverages that have caffeine, including some teas. Green tea and black tea tend to have fairly high levels of caffeine, so choose an herbal tea that says “caffeine-free” instead.
Avoid alcohol before bed. While it may help you fall asleep faster, alcohol also reduces your REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which can make you feel unrested when you wake up the next morning. It may also cause sleep apnea, which further disturbs your rest.Cherries contain natural melatonin, a compound that helps your body fall asleep. Try drinking a small glass of tart cherry juice before bed., Some people may find eating a small snack before bedtime helps them sleep. Doctors recommend a small, carbohydrate-rich snack to increase your levels of tryptophan. Try a slice of toast or a small bowl of cereal.Don’t eat a huge meal before bed. Your digestive system slows down when you’re asleep, so having too much food in your system can cause heartburn or could even cause you to choke.
One study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating a small bowl of jasmine rice — a complex carbohydrate that digests slowly — four hours before bed helped participants fall asleep more quickly than a quickly-digestible carbohydrate.Avoid snacks that might have caffeine, such as chocolate. You should also stay away from foods that are very high in sugar, as these may make you feel more awake and jumpy.
Other snack foods that may help include bananas, eggs, peanuts, oats, and yogurt. They all contain tryptophan.Bananas also contain magnesium and potassium, which can help your body relax., Though different people will have different preferences, everyone should make sure the blinds are drawn to block out any light that may come through the windows. Light in your bedroom may keep you from falling asleep.Set the temperature to your ideal sleeping temperature. Some people like it warmer, some like it colder — figure out what you like.
Use aromatherapy if you find that relaxing, though some will find it cloying and distracting. Do not light a scented candle, as it could be very dangerous if you fell asleep before extinguishing the flame. Try a scented oil reed diffuser or something like a Glade plug-in.

, Change into designated sleep clothes that don’t restrict your comfort or movement. Some people hate the feeling of high collars when trying to sleep, while others can’t bear sleeves. Some people need socks to warm their feet, while others can’t stand it. Figure out what works for you.Consider the fabric choice for your sleeping attire. Cotton fabric is lightweight and breathes easily. Silk allows your body to regulate its temperature effectively. Bamboo naturally wicks away moisture.If you want to sleep nude, go for it. Especially if you’re prone to overheating while you sleep, going au naturel could help you sleep more comfortably.

, This will block out any unwanted light that might be drawing your attention away from sleeps. Cooling sleep masks are often especially relaxing.

, Concentrate on your breathing and how it feels in your body. If you find your mind wandering, acknowledge it and bring your attention back to your breathing.Close your eyes.
Inhale deeply through your nose for four to five seconds.
Hold your breath for a comfortable amount of time (try to count to “7”).
Exhale purposefully, controlling the rate of exhalation instead of letting all the air just rush out of your lungs. Try to exhale for a count of “8”.
Repeat this sequence three times.

, Studies have shown that learning mindfulness meditation can significantly improve the quality of your sleep.Mindfulness focuses on accepting your experiences in the moment without judgment. These techniques can be especially helpful when you find your mind wandering.Lie in bed. Prepare with your breathing exercises. Continue breathing deeply as you proceed.
Check in with your thoughts. Just see what’s going on in your mind. Don’t try to “stop” thinking or resist your thoughts in any way. Accept their flow.
Check in with your body. Focus your attention on where your body makes contact with the bed. Is your weight distributed evenly? Are there any places where you feel discomfort?
Check in with your senses. What do you hear? What do you smell? What do you feel? Determine whether these sensory experiences are things you can change or things that are out of your control. If you can’t control the noise, acknowledge this.
Return your attention to your body. Do a “scan” from head to toe. Observe any areas where you feel discomfort, tension, or tightness. When you notice tension, remind yourself that you will soon be asleep, and that rest will relax you. Also notice any areas where you feel pleasant or comfortable.
Go through your thoughts, starting at the beginning of your day. Take about three minutes to review your day in a focused way. Allow yourself to “replay” the events, thoughts, and feelings of the day, but don’t get wrapped up in them. Acknowledge that each happened and then move to the next thought or event.
Finally, “switch off” your body. Go through your body from toes to head. Focus your attention on one part of your body, such as your feet, and tell yourself “time for sleep” or “switch off.” Proceed up through your body until you reach your face. Once you have told your whole body to rest, relax and drift off.
Dr. Deepak Chopra has a video tutorial for a mindful sleep meditation.The UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center has a downloadable MP3 “sleep scan” meditation., Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) helps you relax your body by intentionally tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups throughout your body.It can be very helpful in teaching your body to completely relax before sleep.

Lie down and close your eyes. Begin with your feet. Tense the muscles in your feet by curling your toes downward and clenching as hard as you can for about 5 seconds. Then, exhale as you release the tension. Allow yourself to feel the difference for about 15 seconds, then move to the next muscle group.
Move up to your calves. Tighten your calf muscle by sticking out your heels and pulling your toes up towards your face. Hold this position as tight as you can for about 5 seconds. Exhale as you release the tension. Enjoy the relaxation for 15 seconds, then move on again.
Repeat the tensing and releasing process through the rest of the muscle groups: leg, hand, arm, buttocks, stomach, chest, neck and shoulders, mouth, eyes, and forehead.
Dartmouth and Brigham Young University offer downloadable PMR audio exercises on their websites.You can also find helpful videos on YouTube.

, Counting sheep is an old standby, by it’s generally too “active” and requires too much concentration to put you to sleep.Instead, try picturing a relaxing scene that you find pleasant and soothing. Studies have shown that this type of “imagery distraction” helps you fall asleep faster and sleep better.Begin by closing your eyes and imagining yourself in a restful, calming place. This can be anywhere: a waterfall, a beach, the woods, anywhere where you have felt peaceful and relaxed.“Color in” as many sensory details as you can. What does the place look like? What are the various sounds and smells? What can you hear? What are the textures and touch senses you feel?
Imagine yourself in your restful place. You don’t have to “do” anything there, but if you do choose an activity, go for something steady and rhythmic that mimics your breathing, such as rocking in a hammock, rowing a boat, or walking on a path., Your brain processes sounds even when you’re asleep. Playing ambient sounds or “white noise,” such as a waterfall or raindrops, can help your brain “tune out” other background noises.Some people do better with “pink noise,” a combination of sounds that increase and decrease frequency.Avoid sounds with words or other information that your brain may try to process. Don’t listen to music with words or have the TV on when you’re trying to sleep.
Experiment with what works for you. You may find that jungle noises or the sound of waves on a beach is more soothing. Others may prefer soft mechanical noises.
You can purchase a white-noise machine or download one of the many apps for your phone or tablet. Commonly recommended apps include Lightning Bug, Sleep Fan, White Noise, Sleep Bug, and Chroma Doze., If you have done all these activities and you still don’t feel sleepy, don’t stay in bed fighting the frustration. This may actually key you up and make it more difficult for you to get to sleep later. Instead, get up, go to another room, and do something relaxing for a little while.Don’t do anything too stimulating, like watching TV or doing physical activities.
Keep the lights dim. Bright light will keep you awake.
Try reading or listening to soft, soothing music for a few minutes.
When you start to feel drowsy, go back to bed.

, Just as your body will start keying down if you have a regular bed-time routine, it will also start keying down if you have a regular sleep-schedule from day to day.Don’t stay up till 2 a.m. one night, then wonder why you can’t fall asleep at 10 p.m. the next. Choose a reasonable bedtime that will allow you to get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep you should be getting each night.
Experiment with when you need to go to bed and wake up to feel most rested. This can vary from person to person. Try to go to bed at the best time for you every night.

, If you use your bed all the time — when you’re reading, when you’re working from home, when you’re watching TV — then your body won’t think of it as a place to shut down and sleep. Use the other rooms in your house during the day, and return to your bed only when you’re ready to sleep in it., It’s good to work through the problems that might keep you up at night be writing them down in a journal. This will help you vent frustrations, and maybe even help you work out solutions to how to fix these problems.

Don’t do this right before bed, as that will keep your worries fresh in your mind.
Do this before the hour of relaxation that should precede bedtime.

, If you’re letting your body rest during the day, it won’t feel the need to wind down at the end of the day. Even if you’re tired during the day, push through until bedtime.If you must nap, set a timer for 15 minutes.That’s all you need to restore your alertness and energy — anything beyond that is overkill.
Try to avoid napping after 5 PM., If your mattress is making your back hurt, or your pillow is making your neck hurt, you’ll never get to sleep. If you can spare the cash, it’s worth it to buy a mattress that will help you get the rest you need.Go to a mattress store and try out several different beds. You must be able to test the mattress, preferably for at least 5 minutes.
Figure out if you need a firm or soft mattress, and buy the mattress that works best for you. You should feel comfortable on the mattress.

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