Can’t Sleep?

My nephew, Zack, is having trouble getting to sleep. I think part of the problem is himself. Before he even gets into bed he has already told himself he will not be able to get to sleep. With all the power our brains have over our body it makes sense to me that if the brain says it will not sleep the body is not likely to relax and let sleep happen. My sister says it is all the video games he plays, right up until bedtime and I’m sure that isn’t helping but it is not the only thing.

For Zack I have been looking for ideas that help people get to sleep.

From All Women’s Talk I thought the best tips were to clear your mind, have a clean environment and a cold bedroom. I always sleep better if it is at least cool versus warm. So much nicer to snuggle under a blanket than feel smothered by the air itself. WikiHow had the most unique ideas for falling asleep.

Other tips:

  • A warm bath or shower can help. Also, the evening is a better time to use the hot water than the more expensive daytime hours.
  • Practice good hygiene. Give your teeth a brush and swish some mouthwash. Clip your finger and toe nails. Brush your hair a hundred strokes.
  • A hot drink, like the standard warm milk.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Gather everything you will need for the next morning. Set your clothes out and all the accessories you will wear. If you need to take anything with you or have a plan for getting somewhere do it all before bed so it can be off your mind.
  • Have regular exercise. Giving your body a work out causes the need for sleep later.
  • Don’t exercise right at your bedtime.
  • Don’t eat a meal or snack right at bedtime. Better yet, don’t eat 3 hours before going to bed.
  • But, don’t go to bed hungry either. Have a very light snack rather than lying there feeling hungry.
  • Have a regular schedule for your bedtime. Condition yourself to know when your body will expect to be getting to bed and sleeping.
  • Silence, as quiet as you can manage. Try earplugs if there are still outside noises you can’t control.
  • Darkness, cover the windows if necessary. Close the door for more darkness, you can plug in a fan if you want air flow.
  • Change your mattress. Get a new one if it is old and giving you backaches. Try several types of mattress to find one which really suits you.
  • Try a new pillow. As with a new mattress you may need a firmer, softer or less fluffed pillow. Find which type suits you. There are even full body pillows which you can have at your back.
  • Get some sunlight during the day. Your body clock needs to be kept on track.
  • Sleep in another room if sharing your bed or someone snoring is keeping you awake. Of course, this is only a temporary solution. In the morning you need to talk about a better solution.
  • Sound therapy. Use ocean sounds, gentle rain and other simple recorded sounds to help you relax and fall asleep.
  • Relax your jaw, then go through all the other parts of your body, relaxing each one.
  • Count sheep or goats or something else that will be dull and monotonous. Don’t count anything that will make you want to get out of bed.
  • Massage. You can rub your own temples, up and down your arms and use a back scratcher to give yourself a backrub.
  • Plan your next vacation.
  • Read awhile to take your mind off your busy, frustrating or upsetting day. Don’t pick something that will be too stimulating.
  • Try a couple of different sleeping positions, even try sleeping with your head at the other end of the bed. But, don’t get into doing bed Olympics, just try a couple of positions and then settle on one.
  • Give meditation and/ or self hypnosis a try.
  • Talk to an imaginary friend, no heated arguments.
  • Plan your dream for the evening. Begin with the location, what you will be wearing, what kind of weather it will be…
  • Wear nightclothes/ pajamas which don’t bunch up and become uncomfortable or have tight elastics and such. You need to be comfortable.
  • Practice deep breathing. Lie on your back and take slow, deep breaths. You don’t want to feel like you are suffocating yourself, the idea is to slow your breathing until you are already breathing as if you are asleep.
  • Try aromatherapy.
  • Don’t use your bed for anything but sleeping. (Or sex, which tends to lead to sleeping too). If you are used to doing work, watching TV and etc. in your bed then it isn’t a place just to relax and sleep. Your mind isn’t conditioned to think of your bed as just the place you sleep.
  • Daydream in bed. Put yourself into a situation where feel relaxed and are with people you like having around you.
  • Be your own kid and tell yourself a bedtime story, not out loud, just think it to yourself. Don’t make the story too exciting and keep yourself awake.
  • Tell yourself you are tired. Yawn for extra effect.
  • Imagine a pendulum, steadily swinging back and forth.
  • If you’ve been lying there 15 minutes or longer and have not begun to relax get up and do something boring which you have been putting off: match your socks, clean out the medicine cabinet, or watch the shopping channel if you’re feeling anti-productive.

What is your best sleeping tip? Write something new and creative and send it to someone who could use help getting to sleep.

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