(This post may contain affiliate links. To read my full disclosure, click here.)
I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t have trouble sleeping from time to time. Just the other day I was listening to the radio, and they were giving tips on what you can do to get a better night’s rest. And I’d been recking my brain trying to figure out what to do for a blog post this week, and then it clicked.
I’m going to give you the tricks that I use to fall asleep when sleep is the furthest thing from my mind. Or if I know that I need to sleep already, and then it just gets worse because I start to feel pressured into falling asleep, which doesn’t help matters.
I sound pretty uptight, huh? Well, I probably am, but my body needs sleep more than anything else, apparently. (I have epilepsy, so if I get too sleep deprived, I sometimes have seizures. Being uptight doesn’t sound completely crazy now…right?.)
Anyway, my tips may sound common to you or they may sound completely crazy, but I thought I’d share anyway. 🙂
1. Breathing into a Paper Bag
This is the only way I knew how to put this so that everyone got the idea. I actually just breathe into my hands, because who has a paper bag handy all the time?
Reason behind this? I’m not a scientist or anything, but I know that breathing in your own “air” can balance your pH levels, especially when you’re overworked or overthinking. This method brings your body back to normal, relaxing you.
Sometimes people overbreathe when they get anxiety attacks, and I think sometimes the best/worst time to worry and become anxious is when you’re in bed, just trying to fall asleep.
Related Read: 9 Things That Calm Down Anxiety
So, breathe into your hands for about 10 breaths (don’t overdo it!), and it should relax your mind from overworking (whether that’s from worrying or being excited about a project you’re doing.)
2. Use the 4, 7, 8 Method
I’ve done this so many times. And it helps. Usually. When it doesn’t I go back to the above method. That one’s never actually failed me!
But the idea behind this method is similar to the above method. It calms you down, slows your heart rate, and helps you focus on something other than overthinking.
Here’s how you do it. Breathe in for a count of 4, hold that breath for a count of 7, then release it for a count of 8. Keep doing it until you feel yourself drift off to sleep (or unconsciousness. I’m kidding!)
3. Chain of Thought
Let me explain. Think of something (an event, an experience, a movie, basically anything) that doesn’t make you feel any emotional connection. It doesn’t make you sad, or happy, or angry, or hungry. It’s just, there. Then continue this chain of thought into another thought that, yes again, doesn’t make you feel any emotions.
If you keep doing this, you’ll make your brain so mind numbingly bored that it will eventually beg you to just close your eyes and drift away. It’s kind of similar to counting sheep, except this actually works (for me anyway.)
4. Stop Working
I’m not talking about becoming a lazy couch potato, but try to stop working at least 2 hours prior to going to bed.
If you work right up until the point where you hit the hay, your mind could still be working overtime, disturbing your beauty sleep!
Bonus: Milk & Pickles
Yeah, yeah, yeah. You’re thinking “Okay, that’s gross,” but I don’t really care. It helps. Sometimes I skip the pickle and just heat up milk and add a little bit of honey. If you now think I’m crazy and too weird for you, you may stop reading. I won’t be hurt! 😉
And there you have my list of tricks to falling asleep before the sunrise.
Remember, sleep is important (yes, I sound like your mother now.) But it’s essential to having a productive day, and to treating the people you love the way they deserve to be treated.
Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move mountains. -Shakespeare