The struggle is real when you’re lying awake at night unable to get back to sleep. Whether it’s due to jet lag, bad sleeping patterns, or too much caffeine. Lying awake at night unable to get to sleep is pretty much the worst feeling in the world. Especially when you know you’ve got an alarm set for the early morning.
The only thing you want to do is fall asleep, but the more you try, the more your brain resists, and the more awake you find yourself. With summer creeping up on us, hot nights threatening your blissful sleep, it’s time to get ahead of your body and mind and learn what to do when you just can’t seem to fall asleep.
1. BEAT THE HEAT
It’s getting hotter, and since heat rises your bedroom will probably be one of the hottest rooms in the house. To combat this, turn the lights off and open the windows as soon as you get home from work.
If you aren’t able to get a fan or air conditioning unit, let the air circulate around your house. You might be, like me, unable to open every window thanks to the fact that you have house cats or another animal/child that loves to jump out of the windows with no concern for hitting the ground, if that’s the case, I’ve found that putting all your windows on the latch will allow the air to circulate, or just sitting outside with said animal/child for an hour or two giving the house time to breathe before you go back inside and shut all the windows is a solid option.
If you’re still unbearably hot, my tried and tested trick is to have a hot shower or bath. You know how you feel when you get out of a hot bath (cold as hell!) well, this can help you get to bed and feel chilly even when it’s pretty sweltering. Lowering your body temperature sends signals to your brain to go to sleep.
2. GET YOUR BREATHING RIGHT
Use the “4-7-8” method to get yourself to sleep. This simple but powerful breathing method promotes calm and allows you to relax when you feel anxious or stressed.
There are a few steps to it, however. First, you need to place the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth. Close your mouth and inhale through your nose while mentally counting to four. Hold your breath and count to seven. Then exhale, making a whoosh sound and counting to eight. Repeat three times and you’ll be relaxed and ready to go to sleep.
It’s easy, as long as you commit the steps to memory you can use this whenever you feel tired.
3. STRUCTURE YOUR EVENING ROUTINE
It’s tempting to get home from work, flop down on the couch and do nothing. Instead, give yourself a schedule. Your body has a circadian rhythm which determines when you’re tired and when you need to go to sleep. Keeping your body to a schedule will allow you to adjust to its internal rhythm and make sleeping through the night a lot easier.
Decide first what you want to accomplish in the evening and structure your evening routine. Whether you workout in the evening every other day, spend some days meal prepping and organizing or work on your personal goals. Once you do that, you can start winding down, banishing technology and taking an hour to get ready for bed.
4. FLOWERS CAN HELP YOU FALL ASLEEP
The absolute best evening ritual for getting a nice night sleep involves lavender and a nice mug of chamomile tea. I’m lucky enough to have lavender growing in my garden, I love spending spring and summer nights in the garden cultivating everything we have growing there. Cutting a little bit of fresh lavender and bringing it inside is the perfect way to make you feel sleepy. Put it next to your pillow and brew yourself a strong cup of chamomile tea.
The Making It Happen mug is the perfect companion to your daily (or nightly) cup, you can brew something strong during the day and then get yourself a lovely hot mug of chamomile tea to help you fall asleep at night.
5. GET ENOUGH LIGHT
Light influences your body’s internal clock, which regulates sleep and wakefulness. Irregular light exposure disrupts those circadian rhythms, which makes it harder to fall asleep and wake up.
You might like to use a wake-up light like a Lumi. I personally use a black silk eye mask in the evening, which stops any light from getting to me in the morning, it isn’t so good for waking up. I’d suggest using a light eye mask which still allows light through so on a sunny morning you can wake up naturally.
However, you can use the light (or darkness) in your garden or around your place to get sleepy. Now the evenings are a bit warmer, step outside with a mug of tea in the evening and let your eyes adjust to the darkness. I love sitting outside on warm summer evenings with a drink and watching the stars. It always makes me super tired.
6. WORK THROUGH THE DAY
Journalling can help you work through and process your day, helping you fall asleep worry free. The 365 Days of Gratitude Journal can help you work through your day and think about things in a more positive way. Gratitude is proven to make you more productive and positive, and help you think like a go-getter. When you rewire your brain to look for positives, it’s easier for you to fall asleep with a well-rested, positive mind.
Reflect on the day you’ve had and try to think of positive things to focus on.
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