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What to Do When You Can't Fall Asleep

Take These Tips to Bed For Better Sleep

If you're been plagued by sleepless or restless nights, we feel your pain. Beyond lethargy and agitation the next morning, getting quality sleep is essential for your body's ability to ward off illness, burn fat, and keep your brain engaged at work. If you're tired of tossing and turning night after night, here are some tried-and-true tips to help you get to sleep sooner.

  1. Think in color: Stop your mind from racing, and start thinking in color. Pick a color, then start visualizing all the things you can think of that are that color. As you name various objects and scenes, watch the mental images gently float by.
  2. Keep it cold: Studies have found that the optimal temperature for sleep is on the colder side, specifically between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Turning down the temperature in your room helps cool down your body temperature, which results in a naturally sleepy feeling.
  3. Sip on water: If you're tossing and turning with discomfort, dehydration might be to blame. Have a tall glass of H2O close and sip on down generously. The added bonus is that this sleep-promoting habit will also improve your digestion for the next morning!
  4. Try some yoga: Calm down your body and mind with a before-bed yoga sequence. Even if your insomnia sets in and you hop out of bed, winding down with these poses can drastically improve your quality of sleep.

Keep reading for more tips to beat insomnia.

  1. Change clothes: Tight clothes or itchy fabric leaves your body feeling hot and uncomfortable under the covers. Opt for loose-fitting PJs or a cotton nightgown in order to feel cozy, free, and ready to snooze.
  2. Eat a snack: You might think that snacking before bed is a bad idea, but eating the right blend of carbs and protein can actually promote a more restful night's sleep. Anything too heavy will do just the opposite, so look to these late-night snack ideas for help.
  3. Write it down: Whether it's worries about your future, or a fight you had with a friend, if your mind is on overdrive once the lights go off, start writing things down. Once you express your emotions or the obligations you have coming up, you'll be able to let loose, settle down, and fall asleep without worrying that you'll forget something.
  4. Visualize a relaxing scene: We know that counting sheep just doesn't work, but one study found that participants fell asleep 20 minutes sooner when they visualized a relaxing scene like a quiet park or tropical beach once they laid down in bed. Try this visualization technique instead of those silly sheep!
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