Sometimes a lack of sleep just can't be helped. You've got to feed the baby. Your child wakes up in the middle of the night. You work graveyards.
But I personally think there are few things more aggravating than finally settling down to the sleep you're so craving--only to find you can't sleep.
It doesn't make any sense! You're sitting on the couch prying your eyes open with the popsicle sticks your kids left on the floor, and then when your head finally hits the pillow, your eyes fly open.
The bed isn't comfortable enough. You're too hot. You're too cold. You're itchy. You've got a million things to do tomorrow. And you need your sleep because you have to get up early. So of course you can't sleep.
Sometimes, to be honest, sleep is a mystery. But here are some tips that might make sleep more likely.
- Turn off the electronics before bed. Glowing screens can change your brain waves and interfere with sleep.
- Let your worries go. I know some people who keep paper by their beds so they can write things down that they're worried about forgetting. Meditation or yoga can help you calm your mind.
- Don't watch the clock. Worrying about not sleeping can make sleep even less likely. It might help to get out of bed or read for a while to get your mind out of must-sleep mode.
- Exercise during the day. But not right before bed.
- Naps are good, but don't overdo it.
- Create schedules and/or rituals. If you go to bed and get up at consistent times, your body will get more accustomed to it. Pre-bedtime rituals can also physically and mentally prepare you for sleep.
- As much as possible, create an environment that helps you sleep. Cool, dark, and quiet works for many. I like moving air and comfy pillows. If you need fans, an eye mask, or ambient noise, think of it as an investment in your health.