For some people, it takes seconds for them to fall asleep after hitting the pillow. However, for others, especially during these uncertain times,  it is not always that easy.

One of the worst things you can do when you’re tossing and turning and can’t seem to rest is to force yourself to sleep. Rubin Naiman, PhD, sleep and dream psychologist and clinical assistant professor of medicine say that a lot of people think that “good sleepers” fall asleep in a matter of minutes. That kind of thinking causes anxiety as falling asleep does not always happen quickly, which delays sleep even more. 

Some things that cause disruptive sleep or even insomnia are eating heavy meals too close to bedtime, exercising too late in the day, anxiety, drinking excessive amounts of coffee, and napping throughout the day. So, the next time you’re laying in bed and watching the minutes pass you should try these things. 

  • 1

    Try breathing exercises

    Diaphragmatic breathing can be used when your mind is racing and you can not seem to calm it down. Practicing it is easy; all you do is breathe in slowly as you count 1, 2, 3, 4. Then, exhale allowing counting 5, 6, 7, 8.

  • 2

    Get out of bed

    It may sound silly, but staying in bed for a while after not being able to fall asleep actually delays sleep even more. Getting out of bed and going to another room to maybe read a book or magazine can instigate sleep. Once you start to feel tired again, get right back into bed. 

  • 3

    Avoid checking your phone

    The blue light that your phone gives off is bad for your vision and your brain. This light suppresses melatonin making it difficult to actually relax and fall asleep. Not to mention,  “Checking your phone stimulates the brain so we are more active and awake,” says sleep disorders specialist, Harneet Walia, MD.

  • 4

    Think about positive things

    This is obviously easier said than done, but thinking about positive things makes it easier for your mind to relax. Rather than thinking about all the emails you need to answer or all the chores you still need to get done, try thinking about a vacation you may be taking or a place you really enjoy. Anything that relaxes you, think about it! 

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