Having trouble falling asleep? Here are some tips to get yourself to sleep more easily:
1. Ever heard that phrase, “Early to bed and early to rise”? It works the other way around too. Try to wake up no more than two hours after the sun rises. Eat a light but filling breakfast (full of fats and proteins) as soon as possible. One theory suggests that breakfast solidifies our sense of “the time to wake up”. The earlier you wake up, the earlier you will be tired enough to go to sleep.
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2. Get off of your computer half an hour before you go to bed. Stop the fast music (your heart instinctively matches the tempo of whatever music you listen to) to calm your heart rate. Have a tiny meal (perhaps a small sandwich with only one slice of bread). Look for fats. Avoid acids or sugars.
3. Don’t consume any caffeine for up to five hours before you go to bed. Some people metabolize caffeine faster than others; experiment with your own metabolism to know exactly what your window of time is.
4. Brush and floss your teeth right before sleeping every night. Sometimes a Pavlovian method works the best. Classically condition yourself to feel sleepy after conducting your nightly oral hygiene.
5. Take melatonin. Melatonin is a supplement that could be found over the counter. It is reported to help users sleep more deeply, so try to give yourself 7-9 hours of sleeping time before taking it. And of course, consult your doctor before regularly taking any supplements.
6. Right before you go to bed, try to write a list of things that you would you like to have done tomorrow. If you have trouble remembering to take your wallet to work, put it in your shoes. No one forgets to leave without their shoes. If you have to take the trash out in the morning, put the can in front of your door.
7. Experiment with noise. There are different types of noise machines that supply different “colors” of noise. White noise has a high frequency and helps you focus; pink noise has a lower frequency and helps you relax; brown noise has the lowest and helps you fall asleep. Trouble falling asleep? Put some brown noise in earphones and lay in bed.
This image via wikipedia
8. Lay in bed and relax all your muscles. All of them. Your legs, arms, torso–even your jaw. Close your eyes and review the events of your past day. Try to replay the entire day in your memory. Be relaxed while doing this. Don’t worry about the details.
9. Try to daydream in bed. Yes, like you used to in math class. Often times, the day dream turns into a real dream.
10. Make your bed a sanctuary. Don’t eat, watch TV, or do any work on your bed. This might keep you from being able to sleep; your mind might want to watch TV or work instead if that is what you normally do.
For more ideas on how to fall asleep, check out this Reddit page where users discuss their own sleeping tips.