Here’s the situation… You’re exhausted. You get into your comfy PJ’s, get ready for bed, and finally crawl in under the covers. But you don’t sleep… Instead your mind decides to replay the events of the day in your head. What went well? What didn’t? What did you forget to do? Did you return that phone call? “Ok, stop,” you tell yourself, “I must get to sleep!” But do you? No! Because now your mind starts thinking about what you need to do tomorrow. What do you need to do before that meeting? You can’t forget to schedule that doctor’s appointment. Maybe you even pick-up that phone that is sitting on your nightstand and “quickly” check what’s on your social media feeds.
If so, here are a few tips that will encourage a visit from the Sandman:
1) Practice mindfulness to help relax your body and quiet that overactive mind. A good way to start a mindfulness practice is to simply focus on your breath. Start by telling yourself “I’m breathing in” as you take a deep breath, and “I’m breathing out” as you exhale. If you catch yourself thinking about something else, thank your mind for that thought and then let it go. If you have trouble doing this on your own, and find yourself getting distracted, there are several apps that can help. One of my favorites is Calm. There are a lot of them out there, look and find one that works for you.
2) Create a consistent sleep routine. Go to bed and get up the same time each day. Your body will get use to the routine. Need help with that? Set a reminder on your phone to let you know that it is time to start getting ready for bed each night.
3) Turn off the screens! Looking at your phone, watching TV, or fiddling with other gadgets are not helpful prior to sleep. Can you make your bedroom a technology-free zone? At minimum, remove that phone or remote from your nightstand.
4) Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and not too hot or cold.
5) Make sure you are getting some exercise each day.
Hopefully, with these five quick tips you will be sleeping easier in no time!