There is nothing worse than lying in bed after about five hours of trying to get to sleep and feeling wide awake. Checking the time every ten minutes and thinking ‘if I got to sleep now, I’ll get this many hours’ – I haven’t got any patience for that. I’m here to give you my tips on how to get to sleep quickly at night, and what to do when it seems impossible. I’m aware that this post will have been written in some way or another about 1 million different ways, so I’ll try to bring something new to the table if I can.
Put Your Phone On Airplane Mode!
Now, if you’re 14 and you’ve got a crush on a boy, you’re probably going to continue texting until 3am when he falls to sleep on you, so I’d just accept you’re not going to get any sleep for a while. Don’t worry, losing sleep will be worth it if he’s the one.
But if you’re like the rest of us, and sleep is more important to you than your love life, put your phone on Airplane mode. Our brains are programmed to associate darkness with sleep time, and brightness with being energised and awake, so staring at a blaring phone screen just before you try to sleep probably isn’t the best idea. And neither is your phone lighting up or going off every time a celebrity tweets (don’t try and tell me you don’t get the urge to check every time it does).
So put your phone on Airplane mode which will disable all messages, calls and anything that uses Wi-fi. While you’ll still be able to use your alarm, you’ll be unreachable and able to drift off to sleep without being disturbed. Now, if you want to go a step further and remove technology from your bedroom completely, go ahead. But I know a lot of us only bother to wake up in the morning to check Instagram, so I’ll be reasonable.
Aim to have your phone off or on Airplane mode about 30 minutes before you begin to try to sleep. Turn down the lights and let your mind get used to the idea that you’re getting ready to sleep soon.
Listen to Something!
This really depends on how you sleep best, so ask yourself do you often fall to sleep with the TV on? Listening to music? Or do you need utter silence?
Personally, I fall to sleep easier when I’ve got a slow voice or music in my ear. In fact, every time I spend the night with my boyfriend, I get him to tell me a story to get me to sleep (usually about the plot of various video games – it works really well!), and I’m off in minutes. If you’re like me, here are a couple of things you can listen to which will help you sleep:
- Guided meditations – There are thousands on Youtube, some even aimed at getting you to sleep
- Slow music – This will help your body begin to relax and slows down your mind. I often begin the ‘daydreaming’ everybody does before they go to sleep while I’m listening to a sad song about love
- Podcasts – I absolutely love Brett Larkin’s podcast but I often have to listen to it again because I fall to sleep halfway through! Sorry Brett, it’s not personal. Explore a bit and find someone with a soothing voice
- Talk it out – This might not be possible for everyone but I find that talking to someone just before I settle down really tires me out (introvert alert). If you’re lucky enough to spend the night next to someone, turn off the light and talk about anything you want to for a while before you go to sleep. It’ll calm your mind and most likely make your relationship stronger – you’re welcome. I’m a fan of hour long phone calls, though, and thankfully my boyfriend is too. By the end we’re both mumbling unintelligible dribble at each other.
I bet you’re thinking, what am I on about? Well, this is for that night where it’s about 2am and your 5 hour attempt has not helped you sleep. The human brain is all about association, and if we spend too long not being able to sleep somewhere, we get used to it and it becomes harder.
So take a break from staring at the walls and get up for half an hour or so. If you can leave the room, even better, but if not just do something productive. You might as well use the time and not waste it, eh? Taking a step back will let you come back to sleep with a fresh outlook and you’ll probably actually feel a little bit tireder.
It sounds counterproductive, but I promise it works. Try reading a book, writing or doing some revision or schoolwork (unless you get stressy about it – in that case, do NOT). Stay away from screens because they’ll trick your brain into thinking it’s wake up time, these activities will tire out your eyes and brain and help you sleep. When you start to feel tired, try going back to bed again.
And that’s it! There are thousands of blog posts telling you to keep a routine, to stay away from coffee and to make your bed comfy, so if you want to go back to basics, go ahead! These are just techniques that help me personally, good luck on getting to sleep quickly and easily tonight!
Thank you for reading,
Want a beginner 5 minute meditation that you can use every night to get you to sleep easily? Click here!