Behold: Leesa-endorsed strategies to help you get to sleep as quickly as possible. Try them all, then let us know which tips worked best for you. Happy sleeping!
1. Force yourself to worry. If you’re already a worrier, give yourself permission and a time period to get it all out – before bedtime.
2. Put on a pair of warm, fuzzy, soft socks. Think of them as your lucky sleep socks.
3. Get your vitamins and nutrients. More info here.
4. Take a walk every morning. Yes, the exercise is good for you, but the regular sunlight will help reinforce your circadian rhythm.
5. Wrap it up. Sketch out 60 minutes’ worth of wind-down activities and do them each night before bed: Listen to soft music, turn the lights down, read from a real-life paper book (pick things that you know are relaxing to you). Stick to the routine for at least a few days, but if it isn’t helping at that point, tweak it.
6. Cut the caffeine. Drink fewer Red Bulls and stop drinking coffee and tea within 4-6 hours of trying to sleep.
7. Stay active. Yes, you’ve heard this before, but regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body and sleep. Take a walk, do some pushups, play some pick-up basketball. Whatever form of exercise you choose, just get up and do it.
8. Make a list of concerns. Literally hand write a daily list of issues that cause you the least bit of apprehension. Sometimes getting them out in the universe is all it takes to let go.
9. Avoid alcohol, especially within four hours of bedtime. It might put you to sleep, but you’ll wind up awake again in the middle of the night staring at the ceiling (which, from your inebriated perspective, may be spinning).
10. Cool it down. We’ve written about this before, but there’s lots of science to back it up. Keep your bedroom between 66-70 degrees for your best chance to sleep well. Feeling too cold? Pile on the blankets.
11. Need to get quality rest on a plane? Here are your tools: A great travel pillow, eye mask to block light, and earplugs. Don’t fly without them.
12. Limit bedroom activities to sleep and… bedroom activities. Instead of triggering more insomnia anxiety when you think of your room, you’ll begin to associate the space with sleep.
13. Ban electronics from the bedroom. Better yet, put down your tablet or smartphone and unplug the TV and computer for at least 60 minutes before the time you’d like to fall asleep.
14. Mood lighting. Starting an hour before bed, turn the lights down to a flattering, romantic candlelight-ish level.
15. Try the “Relaxing Breath,” also known as the 4-7-8 exercise. Breathe in through your nose for four slow counts, hold your breath for seven, then slowwwly breathe out through your mouth for eight. Don’t worry about getting it exactly right; the ratio is more important than the actual time you spend on each phase. This breathing pattern has the power to lower stress hormones and blood pressure (it’s sometimes referred to as a “natural tranquilizer”).
16. Reverse psychology. Ever tried telling a child not to touch the priceless vase on the coffee table while you left the room? Suddenly little Timmy can’t control his hands for all the candy in the world. (My dad called this phenomenon the “Not Me Monster.”) Use this classic human weakness to your advantage by telling yourself, after you’re in bed with the lights off, that you have to stay awake.
18. Roll over. It sounds so simple, but if you can’t fall asleep in one position, try another.
19. Cover your clock. The light can stimulate your brain and keep you awake, but watching the time can also cause anxiety, reinforcing a nasty cycle: You can’t sleep, so you look at the time and realize it’s late and start calculating how little sleep you’ll get, then start worrying about falling asleep at work tomorrow, which only causes more anxiety. Stop the cycle by throwing a scarf over your alarm clock and refusing to check the time.
20. Position a pillow under your knees. It can decrease your tossing and turning during the night, which can disrupt your brain’s sleep cycle.
21. Hum to yourself. This habit may drive your partner to move on the couch, but at least you’ll be well-rested.
22. DIY acupressure. Importantly, acupressure doesn’t involve needles – that’s acupuncture.
23. Meditate. It’s the oldest sleep trick in the Buddhist book.
24. Get a better mattress. Our recommendation? Leesa®, of course.
25. Stop obsessing. Insomnia is just one more thing to worry about; learn how to let it go.