What Should I Do If I Can’t Sleep?

Racing thoughts, pounding heart, tossing and turning… we all know the struggle of trying to fall asleep and finding rest far off. These are unpleasant symptoms, but they are also warning signs that it’s time to take initiative and find a way to beat insomnia.

Wallowing in bed will only make things worse, and counting sheep simply doesn’t cut it for everyone, so what can you do? Try these 5 effective methods proven to relieve insomnia instead, and enjoy a good night’s sleep. 

1. Pay Attention To Sleep Hygiene

If you’re struggling to fall asleep, don’t stay in bed. This will only associate your bed with feelings of restlessness, agitation, and anxiety. Instead, get up, move to another space, and do a relaxing activity like reading or journaling until you feel drowsy again. Your bed should be for sleeping and only sleeping. The same applies to the day; keep work, social media, and entertainment away from the sheets. Prime yourself to slide into sleep as soon as your head hits the pillow. 

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2. Practice Mindfulness 

Studies show that meditation significantly improves sleep patterns and quality. The practice is simple: sit or lay down quietly, breathe slow and steadily, and allow your thoughts to flow. Focus on the sensations in your body and the rhythms of your breathing. You can also try specific mindfulness exercises like imagining yourself in a tranquil place or reflecting on reasons for gratitude. Allow yourself to observe, unwind, and gradually drift off. 

3. Give Yourself A Massage 

Massage therapy is an effective way of enhancing sleep quality and combating anxiety, depression, and pain. You can ask a friend or partner to give you the massage, or simply administer a massage to yourself. Applying firm but not painful pressure, move in small circular motions to work away tension and knots. Focus on key areas like the temples, back of the neck, and shoulders. For an extra restorative effect, use lavender essential oil to smooth your way. 

4. Use A Melatonin Supplement 

Get fast relief from insomnia by taking melatonin, which is an important hormone that can treat delayed sleep and sleep disorders. Taking a supplement will support the natural production of melatonin in the body. Melatonin is available over the counter but talk to your medical provider before taking it to be safe. It is best taken two hours before sleep. 

5. Take Some Magnesium 

Relax muscles, release stress, and relieve insomnia by adding extra magnesium to your diet. This naturally occurring mineral promotes healthy and regular sleep patterns. You can take magnesium supplements, stir magnesium flakes into a hot bath, or fill up on magnesium-rich foods like legumes, nuts, avocado, and dark chocolate. Consult with your medical provider before taking magnesium and take only the recommended dose. You can take magnesium in the evening with dinner or just before heading to bed. 

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