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What's Your Advice for Falling Asleep?

What's Your Advice for Falling Asleep?

I recently got a question from one of the readers that I thought you guys would have some great suggestions for. Here's her question:

"Hey Fit. I've been reading a lot about how important sleep is for not only my health, but also on my quest to lose ten pounds. Problem is that I have the hardest time falling asleep. Do you have any tips of tricks for falling asleep at night? I've counted a million sheep and nothing."
— Sleepless in San Francisco

One trick that works for me is to focus entirely on my breathing but I know you guys must have your own tips and tricks up your sleeve, so share them in the comments section below.


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Daisy6264 Daisy6264 9 years
I fall right to sleep..I get my 9 hours of sleep.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
Tylenol PM. I know that is terrible but i have such a hard time sleeping, its the only thing that works. I just make sure i get the full 8 hours
behemoth_the_cat behemoth_the_cat 9 years
here's what i do if i know i'll need to have a good night's sleep: 1. i don't drink coffee or tea after 3 p.m. 2. i drink a cup of warm milk with honey before going to bed 4. i make sure my room is warm enough 3. sometimes, if i can't fall asleep because i'm anxious or stressed (like before an exam) i take two nerve-calming pills.
sailing-chick sailing-chick 9 years
I know what its like to suffer not being able to fall asleep - I couldn't do it for years. Everyone tells you to focus on your breathing which is really good but the trick is you have to start breathing really deeply like you would if you were asleep and let your mind go blank. If your mind doesn't want to go blank keep a pad and pen next to your bed and write down everything you think of - this will help you relax as you know you're not going to forget anything and that way you can focus on your breathing. Another trick I found is having a shower at night (about 1-2 hours before bed) and just before going to bed sit on the floor with your back against the wall and your legs out straight and again do the breathing exercises concentrating on big deep breaths.
mallow mallow 9 years
Have an orgasm or two. :)
JessBear JessBear 9 years
And I know you're not ::supposed:: to watch TV, but it's so great for helping relax your brain sometimes, especially when you're stressed. I used to read a comfort book, one I'd read a thousand times before (I read the Harry Potter books, one after the other, for two months straight), but then my reading lamp broke and I never replaced it, and I switched to TV. Now I watch an episode of Futurama every night. It drives my bf up the wall, but as soon as I hear the theme song, I start to get sleepy, without fail.
JessBear JessBear 9 years
Have a routine. The point is to get your body and brain to associate certain activities with bedtime. Wash your face, rinse the dirty dishes, then progress to bedroom actions, like turning on the fan and closing all the doors (SO glad I'm not the only one!). Make your room as comforting as possible, and, as another poster said, use your bed only for sleeping and sex. When I lived at home, I lived in my bedroom, because it was my only "me" space. Since I got my own apt, I find I sleep SO much better because my bedroom is for bedtime only. Invest in some nice pillows and soft blankets. I know they say not to excercise before bed, but the best sleep of my entire life came after a two mile midnight run.
sblighm sblighm 9 years
Lot's of people here have great advice.. I agree that having an active lifestyle makes it easier to fall to sleep at night. I have always had trouble falling asleep, until I figured out how to relax my body and mind completely. What is the most important relaxation tool for me is my nightly yoga stretches. It totally relaxes me before bed. I recommend this to EVERYONE. We hold so much tension that needs to be released in order to fully relax. I do a few deep yin poses and I am off to slumberland. 25 minutes before bed in dim lighting- hold each pose for3-5 minutes : -standing forward fold (legs straight) -foot stretch (kneel down, bottom of toes on the ground and then sit back on your heels to stretch bottom of foot) -bow pose (on your stomach) -neck stretch -hip openers ( do these, last, on my bed and then fall to sleep from there) sweet dreams!
htiduj htiduj 9 years
oh, and one more thing. create a bedtime ritual. for me its cleaning my face, applying my moisturizer and stuff, and then sprtizing my duchess marden rose spray, getting into bed, reading, drinking my tea and meditating.
htiduj htiduj 9 years
oh, and i sleep better when i have a heavier blanket on me. i like the fake down non allergic ones. and i also shut all the doors in my room! i cannot sleep with the closet doors open. it also helps to make sure your room is neat and uncluttered. it keeps things peaceful.
htiduj htiduj 9 years
im a complete insomniac because i have a pain condition. to the point where i have to taken ambien every night. (you dont want to go there, sleeping pills are NOT the answer). however, the ambien alone doesnt work for me - so i have developed a few tricks: 1. read by soft lamp light (but not too dim so you wont hurt your eyes) 2. wear a nice heavy eye mask - i like the nap ones from brookstone. 3. MEDITATE! i do the john cabot zin full body scan meditation every night to relax my entire body and lull me into a sleep state. 4. dont miss your sleep window! when you get tired, go to bed. if you force yourself to stay up - you'll miss your optimal window and thats awful. 5. drink a cup of warm tea before bed. (i learned that from my mother - shes been doing it my whole life, and i started as a child as well) 5. on really antsy take a warm bath bath before getting into bed, preferably with a stress reducing calming salt or bubble aromatherapy. here are some tips ive read about or heard about that may be helpful: 6. make your bed and your bedroom a sleep haven, and only use your bed for sleeping or sex. 7. if you cant fall asleep after 10 minutes, get out of bed, and go back when you are tired enough. 8. go to bed and wake up the same time every morning/night 9. count backwards in quarters. so it would be like 10, 9 3/4, 9 1/2, 9 1/4 9. etc etc etc.
lizliz lizliz 9 years
i turn the lights a little low, make it realllly quiet, and read a book. reading makes your eyes heavy and sleepy. i've seen studies that show lcd screens and tv lights stimulate your brain and make it difficult to sleep., so don't read online at night. also, it seems like exercising will make you tired and want to sleep, but it actually releases adrenaline for a few hours after the workout, which will keep you awake.
Chaoticfury Chaoticfury 9 years
I exercise, drink some tea or milk and do my tai chi routine. I will fall asleep anywhere after that :) Hope you let us know what finally works for you. Good luck.
moonlite moonlite 9 years
make a to-do list before you go to bed. write down everything you have to do the next day. i've struggled with insomnia for most of my life and that really helps because i find i worry less when i know i have my list all written down and ready to go. otherwise i'm up running through the list of things to do in my mind, worried i'll forget something. another thing i like to do sometimes is pretend that it's morning and your alarm went off and you've just hit the snooze button. you know that feeling you get in the morning when you're so tired you just don't want to wake up? try to recreate it by pretending it's happening. sometimes it helps because you're making yourself feel tired and WANT to sleep. but on some nights, absolutely nothing seems to work. on those nights, if i know i'm going to be able to get at least 8 hours of sleep in, i'll take a double-dose of nyquil. probably not the healthiest thing but when i need my sleep, i'll do anything.
krq krq 9 years
I fall asleep to the TV. I set the TV to turn off an hour or so after I hit the pillow. If I'm not near a TV, I count from 1-500 -- but in alternating languages: 1 - un 2 - zwei 3 - tres 4 - quattro 5 - deux 6 - sieben 7 - siete 8 - otto, etc. If not, I *spell* each English number: O-N-E, T-W-O, etc. Anything to keep my mind racing so much that it wants to shut down on its own.
jaxx4899 jaxx4899 9 years
Every night I have to have my fan running to block out any outside noises, and I use the Eucalyptus Mint Lotion from Bath & Body Works. If I can't sleep, I switch positions in the bed so that my head is at the other end. It works every time!
OliviaAnn OliviaAnn 9 years
I'm the same way with having the TV on! I live in an apartment and every noise startles me sometimes....I just put the TV on the sleep timer and the neighbor noise fades into the background. I used to have a glass of wine when I was having a stressful week and needed a little help in the sleep department when I was younger and it worked great...but as I'm getting older I'm finding that it will work at first, but then I end up waking up a few hours later wide awake. Anyone else have this happen to them?
emalove emalove 9 years
I used to have such problems sleeping, but I seem to have grown out of that. Concentrating on anything never worked for me...I think it only made it worse. What worked for me sometimes was putting on a CD of soothing sounds, such as ocean waves.
Allytta Allytta 9 years
read some people's advice - counting does not work for me, it just makes me more active, with thinking and all... the shower also refreshes me and i can go without sleep till 2 am. but working out is the best cure :) works every single time. also i sleep like a baby when visitors come, and i have to take them on the town :) by the end of the day i'm so exhausted, i do not even want to eat, just get to my bed.
Allytta Allytta 9 years
when i have trouble falling asleep, but can keep the thought away - i imagine falling into a dark abyss made of dreams and the darm surounds me, swallows me... as if the dream was covering me. and i can actually feel the falling asleep process while i do that. does not always work, but if it does - immidiate result.
juju4 juju4 9 years
SoniaBonya -- I have to have all the doors closed in my room too! I thought I was the only one. My husband sometimes thinks I am crazy, but I cannot sleep if one of them is open. We have two closets, a bathroom door, and a bedroom door in my room so there are a lot to think about.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I focus on relaxing my muscles...I start at my toes and work my way up. I try to get my muscles as floppy as possible, lol. If I STILL can't sleep, I focus on my breathing and my heartbeat. Then I usually go right to sleep.
Hope5 Hope5 9 years
I sleep good with My Husband's arms around Me :) It helps to be active all day, and You'll sleep like a baby!At least this works for Me!
Dublin62505 Dublin62505 9 years
Drawing a bath w/ Johnson & Johnson baby lavendar (or comparable product) bath helps start the process for me when I'm having a difficult time falling asleep. Other tricks which might assist are: avoiding your caffeine intake after 12 pm; Eating 5-6 small healthy meals a day, getting exercise early enough in the day (sometimes exercise at night can cause you to stay awake and be more alert). Definitely avoiding computer and tv usage at least an hour or two prior to bed will help.
anned anned 9 years
I play sudoko every night. Yeah, I look like a granny to my boyfriend, but it works. It gets my mind off the day's activities.
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