Falling asleep can become a challenge especially if we have a lot on our plate. Our mind doesn’t want to shut down and we’re left tossing and turning. Often times I just stop dealing with it and will get up and get some things done around the house or get ahead on work while the kids are sleeping. Then there are the nights where I’m super tired and can’t make myself get up and get anything done but I’m still struggling to fall asleep. Thankfully, there are ways to help with the issue of not being able to fall asleep at all or falling asleep slowly.
Essential Oils – There are a few essential oils that truly help relax you but not in a chemical way. It basically triggers your body to calm down which in turn helps your mind stop racing, allowing you to fall asleep. One of my favorite oils for this is cedarwood. Once you place a dab behind your ear, it takes 22 minutes for that oil to touch every cell in your body. How’s that for fast acting?
Exercising – Often times if your body still has plenty of energy to burn, it won’t be ready for bed, even if your mind is tired from thinking too much for the day. This happens a lot to me. I get stuck behind a desk and my brain is tired but my body isn’t. Get some exercise or some kind of movement in for the day and sleep time may be easier.
No caffeine or sugar – Cut yourself off after a certain point in the day. For example, after 5 PM, don’t ingest any sugar or caffeine because this can course through your body and make sleep difficult even if bedtime isn’t until 10 PM.
Don’t eat too late – Similar to the sugar and caffeine, food is meant as fuel for our bodies to burn in order to have energy. If you eat too late, your body will still be trying to work by the time you hit the sack. Set a normal time to have dinner and stay away from food after that so your body can begin its shutdown routine.
Keep a nightly routine – Oddly enough, our body gets used to a routine and if we have a set routine that we do every night, this often times will trigger our mind and body that it’s time for bed.
Set a time – Set a bedtime and a wake up time. Even if it’s your day off, try to stick to the same routine of when you go to bed and when you wake up. Your body will grow accustomed to this which will not only make going to sleep a lot easier but it will also make waking up a lot easier too.
Focus on nothing – One of my biggest issues is that I think about everything I have to do the next day, etc. and it causes me to lay awake for hours. Try making yourself stop thinking and focus on nothing. Close your eyes and think of an empty room or a big open field, something that will relax you and doesn’t have anything specific to focus on. This causes your mind to stop racing on all the other things and focuses it on one simple object which will allow it to let you fall asleep.
Medication – I hate to say it but sometimes we just need a little help and that’s what your doctor is for. Melatonin is an over the counter herb that helps but it should be taken carefully. There are plenty of other over the counter medications or even prescribed ones but I would use these as an absolute resort.