Just when you’re about to close your eyes after an exhausting day, dozens of stressful thoughts bombard your mind. Suddenly you find yourself thinking about an upcoming math test and a difficult history project. Many teenagers, myself included, sometimes have trouble falling asleep because the noise of our stress is too loud to ignore. But, these few tips will make it easier to fall asleep, reducing stressful thoughts as soon as your cheek touches your pillow.
1. Leave screens
Staring at a screen, whether it’s scrolling through social media or catching up on your favorite TV show, will make falling asleep more difficult than necessary. Even though it’s hard to resist the screen before bed, it will make a huge difference in the quality of your sleep. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be on your phone or computer during entire night. I do my best not to use any technology about thirty minutes before I go to bed.
If you can’t stop using your phone or computer, move your devices to another room, out of your reach. But, if you find this unrealistic for your routine, just try not to stare at a screen in the dark.
2. Read something you like
Reading is such a relaxing activity that it’s great to do it before you turn off the lights and go to bed. Sometimes I like to read some kind of fiction book. If this idea doesn’t appeal to you in any way, you’re not alone. Most teens don’t prefer to fall asleep with a book in hand, but reading shouldn’t be limited to novels. Flipping through an engaging magazine might be more appealing to you; maybe you are interested in comics. Or maybe reading poetry before bed is a calming activity. Read the things that appeal to you.
3. Write down your concerns
Often the thoughts that consume us as we try to fall asleep are our worries that we’ve ignored and pushed aside throughout the day. Although writing down your thoughts that worry and stress you out may seem unnecessary, taking the time to find out what’s bothering you will allow you to eliminate the overwhelming thoughts that cross your mind.
This activity makes not need to take time. Spending about five minutes writing down some of your worries will have a huge impact on your sleep.
4. Spend time alone
Spending time with family or friends at night can be a fun way to pass your time. But, before going to bed, spending at least twenty minutes alone will allow you to reflect on your day and take a moment to relax. Sometimes being around other people can cloud your mind and add to the plethora of stressful thoughts that go through your head when you fall asleep.
Most importantly, time alone will give you the opportunity to do activities that will truly relax you.
5. Take a hot shower or bath
Treating yourself to a warm shower or bath will be a comforting activity. Not only will taking a warm bath or shower help you relax at the end of a hectic day, it will also lower your body temperature, which can help you fall asleep faster.
6. Write in a journal
Putting your biggest worries and stresses down on paper makes your problems more manageable. Similar to writing down your worries, journaling forces you to think deeply about what in your life triggers worry and stress. But writing in a journal can also help you solve your problems. By writing about an issue in your life and explaining why the issue in question affects you negatively, the issue in question will seem smaller.
7. Make sure your sleep environment is appropriate
Make sure your sleep environment is low noise and your sleep environment is dark. This environment will make a suitable place to sleep. Although factors such as noise are not always entirely in your hands, try to make the best of your situation.
8. Know that establishing a nighttime routine can take time.
Although it can be quite easy to establish a nightly routine, to apply your nightly routine can be difficult. Make sure your nighttime routine works for you. If you constantly find yourself falling out of your routine, you might want to consider changing one aspect of your routine that is the most challenging. Remember that consistency is key. It’s normal and healthy to get out of your routine sometimes, but most of the time you should stick to the routine you establish. As you create a nighttime routine filled with soothing activities that will make it easier to fall asleep, be patient with yourself throughout your experience.