If you've have trouble falling or staying asleep, you've probably looked to yourself for the problem. Perhaps you've thought the trouble may be hormones, your boss, your diet- or just genetics. But the cause hardly matters when you're up late thinking "how can I get to sleep?"
Next time you ask "how can I get to sleep?" try looking around you- literally. In order to sleep well, you must prepare your bedroom for sleep. Here are three answers to the question "how can I get to sleep?" and several tips to help you pursue that 8-hour goal.
1. Turn it Off: Dark and Quiet
Remember that two things are key to restful sleep: dark and quiet. The answer to the question "how can I get to sleep?" may be as simple as that: make your bedroom dark, and make it quiet.
You'll make it dark simply by using a sleep mask. As for quiet, turn off any sleep timers on the radio. Ask yourself: have you ever wondered "how can I get to sleep?" while the radio's on? Falling asleep to music eventually trains your mind to fall asleep only when the radio's on. If you wake up during the night, you'll have to get up and turn the radio back on- the same way you've trained yourself to wake up. No wonder your body's confused!
2. Tone it Down: Cool and Soothing
68 degrees is the optimal room temperature for sleeping. So before you ask yourself "how can I get to sleep?" try resetting the thermostat. And to keep your mind from spinning, keep your school or work-related clutter far out of sight. Decorate your bedroom in soothing colors rather than vibrant ones.
3. Cut it Out: No Napping
To sleep well, it's crucial to get into a healthy sleep cycle. This means going to sleep at the same time every night, and never between nights. Naps during the daytime interrupt your body's natural rhythm. Try to let your body answer "how do I get to sleep?" with a simple, "at bedtime!"
Finally, the most effective way of answering "how do I get to sleep?" is by teaching yourself that your bed is only for sleep and sex. Your body needs to associate the bed with sleeping, not reading or eating. Not watching tv. So don't send mixed messages- and sweet dreams.