The Centers for Disease Control considers sleep problems to be a public health issue. Lack of sleep can be contributed to stress, anxiety,depression, even car accidents, workplace accidents and medical errors. If you find it’s hard to fall asleep, you’re not alone. Between 50 and 70 million people in the United States alone report that they have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. In order to protect and preserve your physical and mental health, you need to find ways to fall asleep that work for you. While everyone is different, there are a few things that seem to work well. Remember to avoid potentially addictive sleeping pills and dangerous drugs if you can. That solution is short term and it could do more harm than good.
Fall Asleep with a Routine
Establishing a bedtime routine has been proven effective at helping people fall asleep and stay asleep. Try to go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time every morning. This will help you train your body to sleep. The National Sleep Foundation also recommends avoiding caffeine and large meals within a few hours of bedtime.
You might also find it helps to do the same things before you fall asleep every night. Take a bath or a warm shower. Read for 15 minutes. These things will act as signals to your mind that it’s time to shut down and fall asleep.
Fall Asleep with Relaxation Techniques
For many people, the inability to sleep well is due to stress and anxiety. If this is part of your problem, you need to do whatever you can to cut down on the stress you feel during the day. If you climb into bed with all of the thoughts, worries and fears from the day running around in your head, you can have a problem falling asleep. Try a breathing technique where you simply turn off all the lights, close your eyes and pay attention to the slow rise and fall of your chest as you breathe. This is not complicated and if you can clear your mind of everything except the inhaling and exhaling, you will relax your body, ease your mind and clear yourself a path to fall asleep.
If the fact that you cannot fall asleep only increases your stress and anxiety, consider turning the clocks around in your bedroom so you cannot see them. Unplug all electronic devices and keep them out of your reach. If you’re worried that it’s getting later and later and you aren’t sleeping, you’re just going to keep yourself awake longer.
Fall Asleep with Yoga
Simple yoga poses can also help you fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night. If you’ve never done yoga before – don’t worry. The poses designed to help with sleep are simple. The best yoga pose for inducing sleep is called Savasana – or the corpse pose. You lay on the floor with your legs stretched out and your arms at your sides, palms up. Focus all your attention on your ribcage, and direct your breathing into that area. This is called diaphragmatic breathing, and combined with the yoga, it will help you fall asleep. Some people are even able to sleep in this pose.
Fall Asleep with Natural Herbs
Herbal remedies can be extremely helpful when you are struggling to fall asleep and stay asleep. Valerian is a natural sedative that can help you slow a racing mind and fall asleep effectively. You can find this herb in a supplement, or look for it in a tea. Passion flower is especially good for people who can fall asleep, but then struggle to stay asleep throughout the night. Sip a cup of hot tea with passion fruit about an hour before bed, or use an essential oil that includes passion flower. It’s safe to use at high doses, so apply it to your pillows and your pajamas. Try chamomile as well. This herb is a natural relaxant and popular in many nighttime teas. You might also look for lotion that includes chamomile. Apply it to your skin before you fall asleep, and the aromatherapy will help you shut off your mind and get the rest you need. Lavender also is an effective aromatherapy solution. You can just place it on your pillow before you go to bed and it will help you relax.
Before turning to sleeping pills and unnatural medications, try to heal your insomnia or other sleep problems by natural means. This will be safer and more effective for your body and mind. Everyone responds to treatment methods differently. If you find you still cannot fall asleep with yoga and relaxation, try the herbal remedies. Remember to keep everything dark, quiet and cool in your sleeping space so you aren’t fighting with outside influences that can make sleep challenging. If you still can’t fall asleep after exhausting all natural remedies, speak to a doctor or a healthcare practitioner about the problem.