Having trouble sleeping? In addition to exercise, a good night’s sleep is one of the best ways to stay healthy, alert, and happy. So, as the working week unfolds and you find yourself struggling to hit the hay, make sure to try these 10 sleep triggers that will have you counting sheep in no time!
1. Ditch your phone before bed.
Believe it or not, but looking at your phone before bed is actually something that can keep you up at night. Research shows that the blue light emitted by your cellphone (while in the dark) affects your sleep-wake cycle. Also, reading and scrolling through text messages or emails before bed might trick your brain into thinking it needs to stay awake. So, fight the urge to check your phone and put it away at least 30 minutes before you turn in for the night!
2. Read one chapter of a book right before you sleep.
At this point, you might be wondering, so if I can’t look at my phone before bed, then what am I supposed to do? Cue sleep trigger number two: Read a book! Reading is a great way to tire your mind and it’s softer on your eyes, especially when compared to blue light.
If reading is more of a chore for you, then start with something that interests you! Not everyone has to read the classics (although they are amazing), so pull out “Harry Potter” or “Twilight,” or even magazines that caught your eye at the grocery store. The bottom line is, give reading a chance!
3. Listen to an ASMR video on youtube.
ASMR (auto sensory meridian response) videos are a great way to help you fall asleep! Simply browse for ASMR videos on YouTube that are geared towards sleep and find one that works for you. In a typical ASMR video, you will hear a host whisper softly and then make repetitive sounds, such as tapping their fingers or crunching an object. These sounds will trigger a tingling sensation that will definitely put your mind at ease. ASMR videos do not have to be watched, just listened to! So plug in your headphones, sit back, relax, and get ready to fall asleep!
4. Use lavender essential oil on your pillow.
5. Get a hair massage from your boo!
What’s more relaxing than a hair massage? Maybe some gentle loving is all you need to go sleep, so ask your SO if they wouldn’t mind playing with your hair right before bed. Ask them to trace your ears, jawline, and neck, as those are the most soothing spots that will help you drift off to sleep.
And hey, if your boo is extra generous, maybe they’ll throw in a back massage or foot massage, too! Just make sure to return the favor next time!
6. Keep a fan on.
For some people, they need absolute silence to fall alseep, and for others, they need a nice, comforting background sound to help them drift off. If this sounds like you, then consider plugging in a fan for the night and see if the gentle “whooshing” sound triggers drowsiness. Also, maybe you sleep better under the covers, and a fan on will guarantee a cool climate with blankets needed.
7. Down a warm beverage.
A hot beverage might be just what you need to relax your muscles and help you sleep. Consider making a cup of honey tea or a glass of warm milk. Your stomach will be full, happy, and less likely to grumble awake from hunger. So tonight, before you go to bed, pull out your favorite mug and put the kettle on!
8. Partake in a guided sleep meditation.
Catch some Zs with a Zen sleep meditation! Similar to the ASMR videos, use guided sleep mediations that are designed to help you sleep. Browse YouTube for a video that you like and then put those headphones on! Maybe tonight you will be walking through a field of yellow flowers at sunset, or crunching your toes in pebbled sand on a cool beach. As you listen to the speaker, release all tension and silence all thoughts, fully immersing yourself in the meditation process.
9. Take a walk after dinner.
Walking after a meal is always good for digestion, but in this case, it can also help tire your muscles out too, so you can fall asleep easier. Better yet, try and complete a workout sometime in the evening (this will tire you out even more). I do not recommend walking or working out right before bed, because often this will boost your energy level and you might find it even more difficult to fall asleep. So give yourself a couple hours into between a workout and sleep.
10. Place a hot towel or blindfold over your eyes.
Sometimes, you aren’t able to sleep because the room is too light. Maybe all you need to get that much-needed REM cycle is some darkness. Consider placing a warm towel over your eyes before bed (these aren’t just for when you’re sick), or purchase a silk blindfold. Sure, it might slide off of your face in the middle of the night, but all you need it for is right in the beginning when you’re trying to fall asleep!
Did any of these sleep triggers help you fall asleep easier? What do you do to help you fall asleep faster? Let us know in the comments below!
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