You're lying in bed, eyes closed. But how long has it been? No matter how quietly you lay, how deeply you breathe or what position you lie in, you just can't sleep at night.
You've tried counting imaginary sheep, looking at cat pictures on your phone and simply holding still until sleep overtakes you. But it just doesn't work.
If this experience is even remotely familiar to you, we feel your pain. We've all had moments where it seems completely impossible to sleep. Maybe you're familiar with insomnia or maybe there's something keeping you up tonight. Often, we find ourselves kept up for the exact reason we should be getting deep and restful sleep like a Calculus test or a big presentation in the morning.
Whatever the reason, here you are staring at the ceiling (or reading this article on your phone) wondering how the heck you're supposed to fall asleep when your brain isn't cooperating.
If you've tried everything else from melatonin to soft music and it's all no good and you just can’t sleep at night, we have one sure-fire technique that is guaranteed to get you snoring soundly for at least a few hours before morning. Let’s walk through these 7 steps together.
Step 1: Accept That You're Awake
The first step to solving your sleep problem is admitting that you have one. You're not asleep. You haven't been asleep for an hour and wishing you were asleep for another hour isn't going to help. While you may want to be asleep, you're not. Open your eyes, rub them clear if necessary, and take a big stretch in the bed. You won't be seeing it for a while.
Take note of how your sheets and pillows feel and if the bed is comfortable. If there are any subtle things that have been interrupting your normal sleep, you're more likely to have noticed them during this insomnia phase. If the mattress or sheets are too old, these issues aren't helping your sleep troubles.
Step 2: Get Up and Get Dressed (Enough)
Now, with all your might, fling yourself from the bed. Your body and brain are basically saying that they're not done with the day and still have plenty of energy to spend. You're about to spend all that energy really quickly so you can get back to your desired sleep schedule. Put on comfortable clothes that will hold on while you adventure for the key to peaceful slumber.
Step 3: Clean the House
For many people, insomnia comes from unsettled thoughts and feeling like your life is not properly squared away. Cleaning is a fantastic way to put your actions and your thoughts heading in the same direction. It lets your mind work over any concerns while your body actively puts real-life objects in order.
Go out in your pajamas seeking dirt, dust, and untidy piles of stuff like the Terminator seeking Sarah Connor. We suggest getting really into some cleaning, annihilating dust bunnies and disintegrating grime. If your sheets aren't completely fresh, throw them in the washer as you get started or snag a clean set from the linen closet. Do a basic wipe-down, then look for areas that you don't normally clean like the inside of the microwave, the front of the oven, or the space between the cabinet and refrigerator.
Digging out unusual messes can also line up with sorting out unusual concerns or seeking creative solutions in your mind. You might be surprised how well your thoughts order themselves during this bizarre late-night cleaning blitz. If you're alone in the house, put on some music and rock out while you clean. Even aside from the sleep-aide, this will at the very least be a fun time and leave you with a very clean house.
Step 4: Work Out To Exhaustion
Once you've cleaned everything you can find, or have cleaned for about an hour, it's time to exercise like crazy. It doesn't matter what you do as long as you hit a cardio heart rate and push yourself hard. Jumping jacks work muscles throughout your whole body and push-ups burn a lot of energy with every push. You can run hard in place or on a treadmill or even just Jazzercise until you collapse. Get sweaty and workout until your limbs literally feel weak. This is your indication that you have finally used up your body's extra energy that was keeping you awake. Reaching the point of exhaustion should take less than an hour for most of us non-athletes so you should still have plenty of time for a few extra hours of sleep.
Step 5: Turn Down the Thermostat and Make the Bed
Now it's time to prepare your sleep environment to be perfect. Don't worry about being sweaty, we'll deal with that in a moment. Start by turning down the thermostat. Our bodies associate cold with night time and sleep so a cold room is easier to fall asleep in while a warm room can keep you up. Depending on where you live, the right temperature for sleep is usually between 55°F and 70°F.
Next, be sure your bed is made with fresh clean sheets. Turn down one corner to make it inviting and if you have a hot water bottle, heat it and put it under the covers where you plan to lie down.
Step 6: Take a Very Hot Bath
The next step is to wash off the sweat and alter your own body temperature to prepare for sleep. You should be nearly dead on your feet by now so this will feel really good. Draw yourself a steaming hot bath or, if you just don't do baths, sit down directly in the stream of a toasty hot shower. Rinse off the sweat, wash your hair, and let your body temperature rise until you feel your cheeks flush with internal heat and every part of you feels warm.
Now step out of the hot bath into a towel and the house you've just made more chilly than usual. It's okay to shiver as you scurry toward your bed. In fact, it's ideal.
Step 7: Collapse Into Bed
Now that you've sorted out your mind, exhausted your body, and raised then quickly lowered your body temperature, you're ready to sleep. From your towel, dive into bed and cuddle into your hot water bottle. You'll be deeply and quite happily asleep before you even finish saying "Aaaaahhhhhhh."For more great tips on how to get to sleep and love every minute of it, contact us today!