Mental Health

Can’t Sleep? 7 Things to Try

Can't Sleep Posted On
Posted By Alex Perez - Mental Health Writer, B.A.

Can’t sleep? Well, actually falling asleep shouldn’t be difficult. Unfortunately, many people experience insomnia or an inability to fall asleep and stay asleep. If you find yourself tossing and turning, you might feel tired the next day, even if you were able to fall asleep for a few hours. There could be many reasons you can’t fall asleep, including stress, an uncomfortable mattress, or even the temperature of your room.

Sleep hygiene is a way you can start to get yourself up for better sleep. Sleep hygiene involves many different aspects of preparing for sleep and ensuring you get a quality night’s rest, such as setting a nightly routine to promote a normal sleep schedule, setting the thermostat to your ideal sleep temperature, and even cultivating healthy habits during the day to promote better sleep at night. Find yourself unable to get quality sleep these days? Here are ways you can improve your sleep hygiene to fall asleep faster and stay asleep all night long.

What To Do When You Can’t Sleep

1.  Practice Healthy Habits During the Day

Can't Sleep

What you do during the day can affect what happens at night. Having a healthy routine throughout the day can promote better sleep by teaching your brain and body when it’s time to be awake and when it’s time to wind down. Additionally, the things you do throughout the day can impact your ability to fall asleep. For example, if you’re not getting enough activity in your day, you might not be using up enough energy, leaving you wide awake when it’s time to go to bed. Exercise and activity can also help reduce stress, which is one major contributing factor to insomnia.

By finding ways to live a healthy life and promote physical and mental health, along with learning proper stress management techniques, you can begin to start feeling more relaxed so you can start falling asleep faster.

2.  Have a Nighttime Routine

We just talked about the importance of a daytime routine, but a nighttime routine is just as important for achieving quality sleep. When you have a nighttime routine, you can help your mind and body start to wind down. Your routine can consist of anything from cleaning your teeth to doing light stretches or even getting your clothes ready for the next day.

Aim to start your nighttime routine at the same time every day, even on weekends, to teach your brain when it’s time to start getting ready for bed. Eventually, your routine will just become a part of your everyday life, and you won’t have to think about it too much to get it done. However, at first, building a new routine can be difficult. Sticking to it is the best way to build new healthy habits, so eventually, they’ll become easier, but it takes dedication. For example, if you’re someone who doesn’t stop working until you get tired, consider leaving work at work so you can spend at least a few minutes before bed going through a sustainable routine that you can do every single night.

3.  Check Your Mattress and Pillows

Can't Sleep

Uncomfortable people can’t fall asleep easily. If you’ve ever tried sleeping on an air mattress, you know what we’re talking about. If you want to get quality sleep, you may have to invest in a new mattress. If your mattress is a few years old, it’s probably time for a new one anyway. However, when shopping for a mattress, you may also choose to shop for a pillow. If you wake up with back, neck, or shoulder pain, you may be sleeping on the wrong pillow for your preferred sleeping position. For example, stomach sleepers should have a flat pillow that allows their head to rest in a more natural position, while side sleepers need a puffier pillow that aligns their shoulders and back.

4.  Turn off Devices

Many of us enjoy watching television or scrolling through social media feeds before bed, but looking at devices and screens can do more harm than good for your sleep cycle. Devices emit blue light that tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime even though the sun has gone down. If you’re someone who watches television before bed, you can try turning it off thirty minutes before your desired bedtime and try another activity, such as reading or light stretching, to help your mind wind down.

5.  Try Supplements

Can't Sleep

Many people take supplements when traveling to help them fall asleep, especially if they’re traveling through different time zones. Supplements such as melatonin can promote better sleep by supplementing your brain’s natural production of these essential hormones. Additionally, being exposed to light can prevent your brain from producing enough melatonin to help you fall asleep at night, so taking a supplement is beneficial if you’re someone who has to deal with the city lines shining into their bedroom.

6.  Dim the Lights

Having any light in your bedroom can make it difficult to sleep, so it’s best to turn off all lights before you try to hit the hay. Additionally, if you live in a city, you might need to invest in blackout shades to block the light from entering your home so you can finally get the quality sleep you deserve.

7.  Change the Temperature

Can't Sleep

Many people prefer to be comfortably warm throughout the day and cooler at night. Setting your thermostat to a cooler temperature can help you fall asleep faster while making you more comfortable and preventing night sweats. However, extreme cold can actually keep you awake. It’s best to experiment to find your ideal sleep temperature so you can set your thermostat correctly each night, no matter the weather outside.

Getting Quality Sleep

Everyone has different sleep needs, so some of these options might not work for you. For example, some people might prefer to fall asleep to the sound of the television, which would put them in front of blue light. It’s always best to experiment to find out what works best for you to help you stay comfortable and calm to settle down for bed.

What Should I Do If I Can’t Sleep

What To Do When You Can’t Sleep: 21 Science-Backed Tips 

Can’t Sleep? Here Are 11 Surprising Causes

Related Post