Not being able to sleep is the absolute worst. When it’s happening almost every single night and starting to mess with your life, it’s time to try some insomnia hacks that will work quickly. Because when you’re exhausted and delirious, drawing a bath and meditating can seem like so much work. (Although those things are great to do before bedtime.)
When you’re exhausted, every minute counts.
You’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 50 to 70 million people suffer from insomnia. There are a bunch of different kinds of insomnia. Sometimes you’ll just not be able to turn off your brain for a few days, as a result of anxiety or some situational depression. Other times, insomnia is way more serious and could be caused by other sleep disorders or severe mental health issues. If you think you’re not sleeping enough and have tried everything, you might want to talk to your doctor about getting a sleep test done.
Otherwise, trying some of these simple hacks to fall asleep quickly might help.
Valerian root is an herb, so it’s not habit-forming like sleeping pills can be. You can make Valerian root tea before bedtime or buy it in capsule form to take before bed. Just so you know, it’s been known to give you crazy dreams, so if you’re already having vivid dreams, you might want to slowly introduce it and see how it works out for you.
2Turn the temperature down.
If you have the option to change the temperature in your room, do it! Studies show that sleeping in a room that’s around 60 degrees is the way to actually fall asleep. So if you feel like you sleep worse in the summer time, it’s not just you. No one can sleep well in a hot room.
Not in the middle of the night, but studies show that getting sunshine in the mid-morning will actually help you sleep better at night. So if you’ve been struggling to fall alseep, go get some sunshine during the day and see if it tires you out.
4Make a list.
If you’re up all night thinking about all of your problems, researchers recommend getting the heck up and putting them down on paper. Just write down everything you’re worrying about. You don’t have to solve the problems then and there, but make a little plan of action. So you might be worried about a job you applied for that you haven’t heard back from yet. Write it down. Then make a plan to send a follow up email in a few days. Boom. It’s quick and easy.
5Eat before bed.
Have a carb-filled dinner or snack before bed. Yes, you might not lose weight this way if that’s something you’re trying to do, but it will make you drowsy and let you sleep sooner. According to scientists, even as little as 200 calories can help. It doesn’t have to be a bowl of pasta — some cereal will do the trick.
If you’ve been watching the clock tick for more than 20 minutes, you should just get up. Get up from your bed and move to another location. Don’t turn on a screen or too much light, but try to read a book or something — like making that list! You will likely get tired and be able to sleep afterwards.
Breathing is the best way to calm your body and brain down. You can try a couple techniques, but make sure you’re counting your breaths. Try the 4-7-8 Technique — you totally exhale, then count to four, inhale for seven, and then exhale for eight. It sounds crazy, but it really does work for a lot of people.
Sometimes, the best way to fall asleep is to actually try to stay awake. You basically trick yourself into sleep. Whatever works, right? Sleep tight!