You (don’t) snooze, you lose.
Suddenly your eyes open. It’s dark. You groggily fumble for the clock next to your bed (because you are using a real alarm and not your phone, right?!). It’s 2:30 am. Sh*t! While you hope you’re going to shut your eyes and immediately drift off, in all likelihood, it’s not going to be so easy. 3:00 rolls around then 3:45. If you don’t fall asleep soon, tomorrow is going to be hell.
And you know the worst part, don’t you? The more you worry about falling asleep, the more difficult it will be to hit that REM cycle again. So, what to do? Don’t reach for those sleeping pills. Instead, we’ve got some ideas of how to fall asleep again naturally, fast.
#1. Breathe in, breathe out.
If you practice some deep breathing exercises, you will help to both relax your body and distract your mind. Using this sort of meditative breathing will encourage your body to let go and unwind. Once this happens, your mind will take a cue and release you into a restful sleep.
#2. Put your thing down, flip it and reverse it.
Ok, ok. You don’t have to go to quite that much trouble, but the simple act of turning your pillow over can actually make an enormous difference. Forget the dark side of the moon, the cool side of the pillow is where it’s at. The chillier temperature of the other side of the pillow will send signals to your brain that it’s sleepy time.
#3. Turn your body upside down too.
Flipping your pillow not doing the trick? Inverting your body can also be helpful, as it promotes everything from circulation to relaxation. Lie on your back and rest your legs against your headboard, forming an L with your body. You’ll drift off in no time.
#4. Consider the numbers game.
Engaging in Rain Man-like equations will probably give you a jolt of energy, but a simple mindless task like counting sheep (or candy bars or Rocycle instructors) will make it easier for you to zone out. This mundane, repetitive task relaxes your arousal drive, which will aid you in falling asleep.
#5. Warm up to cool down.
So it turns out that body temperature has an immense effect on sleep and sleep quality. Even though you want to cool down your pillow, taking a warm bath or sipping on a mug of warm golden milk can also help to get the body temperature dropping. This process imitates the natural cooling process that occurs before sleep so will likely have you catching some Zzzs before you polish off the last drops.