“I’m so tired, but I can’t sleep! What should I do?”

“I’m so tired, but I can’t sleep! What should I do?”

We’ve all been there. You had a very long and tiring day. Your body is ready to crash, your eyelids are heavy, and you’re yawning non-stop. It’s time to rest and sleep. You lay in bed and close your eyes, but you can’t fall asleep! Now, you’re frustrated which makes it worse.

Your mind is wide-awake, thinking about unfinished work, or maybe you’re worried about many things especially during these difficult times. Whatever you are worrying about, it’s clear that the stress is keeping you awake. To help you get a good rest, we’ve compiled these tips to help you clear your mind and de-stress before bed!

  • Take time to wind down: Before going to bed, set aside 30-60 min to wind down and relax. This means avoiding anything that is too stimulating: texting, working on your computer, browsing social media, etc. Incorporate this into your bedtime routine so your body gets used to it and recognizes when you are ready to sleep. 
  • Do some deep breathing: Take a seat and be still. Focus on your breathing as you inhale and exhale. Do this for about 10 minutes. If you find your mind wandering somewhere else, go back and focus on your breathing again. 
  • Meditate: Try meditation to clear your mind. This will help calm your mind and body and help you feel more relaxed. 
  • Take a hot bath to cool down: Yes, it sounds counterintuitive, but studies have shown that taking a hot bath 60-90 minutes before bed can help you fall asleep faster as it relaxes your muscle and changes your body’s core temperature so you go to bed with a lower temperature.  
  • Have some tea: Drinking tea, particularly ones with chamomile can be very relaxing. This herb can help lower anxiety, making it easier to fall asleep. Avoid drinking caffeinated tea. 
  • Smell the lavender: You may have heard that lavender has relaxing properties that can help you fall asleep. Lillehei et. al, have conducted a study which combined the use of lavender with good sleep hygiene and it resulted in better sleep quality for the test subjects (2015).
  • Count sheep: It sounds childish, but this process helps your mind focus on one thing which makes it easier to power down at night. 
  • Put on some tunes: For some, deafening silence at night can make them more anxious and prevents them from getting some sleep. To counter this, put on some relaxing music to help soothe your mood and calm you down. 

There are many things that can make us anxious and restless, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important that we get good quality sleep to help improve our overall health. Try these tips to help your mind wind down before bedtime and help you get a good night’s sleep. 

Do you have your own technique to wind down at night? Let us know! 

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