1. Hug something
Did you know that hugging a pillow or blanket to sleep can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety? This is because cuddling suppresses the effects of cortisol, the stress hormone, making us feel calmer and more relaxed. Try snuggling up to your favourite pillow or blanket and see if you feel a little sleepier.
2. Listen to white noise When you’re in a completely silent room, the odd creak of a floorboard or the tick of a clock can be really distracting. Try turning on some white noise to drown out all of those little sounds – there are plenty of apps available to download.
3. Have a hot shower
This works in a similar way to the previous tip, and can be a faster way to lower your core body temperature. By stepping out of a hot shower and immediately into cooler surroundings, your body will transfer heat from its central core to areas such as your hands and feet, from which heat can be lost more easily. This in turn will lower your core temperature, readying your body for sleep.
4. Shut down your devices
If you can’t think of any good reason why you might need to keep your phone, tablet or laptop on overnight, turn it off! This’ll help curb the temptation to have that quick look through your social media feeds. It’ll also mean you aren’t disturbed by any lights or notification sounds as you sleep. If you really must keep your phone on, leave it on silent with the screen faced down.
Stretch out any parts of your body that are feeling particularly tight or tense at the end of the day. Start at the top of your body, slowly stretching each body part as you move down towards your feet.
6. Make use of lavender
There are plenty of room and pillow sprays available that contain soothing scents, such as lavender, that can help you feel more relaxed at night. Lavender has long been known to help calm and comfort, and may help you nod off that bit quicker.
7. Have a snack
It can be incredibly distracting if you feel hungry whilst you’re trying to fall asleep. If you find yourself needing a quick pre-sleep snack, avoid anything heavy that could take too long to digest. Instead, go for some sleep-inducing foods that are high in potassium, such as bananas, avocado and pumpkin seeds.
8. Don’t worry
It’s certainly easier said than done, but if you’ve been lying in bed wide awake for what feels like hours, try not to worry too much about it. You’ll only work yourself up which will probably make things worse. Why not use the time to plan some relaxing, sleep-inducing things to do tomorrow evening?
9. Don’t clock-watch
It’s never a good idea to look at the clock when you can’t sleep, as you’re only going to put more pressure on yourself. Turn around any clocks, and don’t be tempted to check the time on your phone; ignorance is bliss.
10. Fake it till you make it
Pretend to be really sleepy and you might just start to kid yourself into falling asleep. Imagine your eyelids feeling heavy and maybe even fake a yawn or two.