If it takes you more than 15 minutes to fall asleep at night then you may need some fine tuning to help you get the shut eye you deserve.
Here are 8 totally do-able steps to getting to sleep faster. Try one, try 'em all!
1. Write down your worries.
Your brain loves dealing with pen and paper. It takes the whole brain to perform the act of writing which actually helps focus your attention and start the process of winding down. By writing down your worries or urgent to-dos, it also decreases your anxiety as you 'externalise' or 'cast off' these negative thoughts. Give it a try.
Take 5 deep breaths. Breathe in and out as slowly as you can oxygenating your whole body and expelling toxins. This in turn, slows your heart rate and stops the production of stress hormones which would leave you tossing and turning.
Tackle some simple yoga poses to calm your mind and body and decrease morning stiffness. Here is a great slideshow that takes you through a routine.
Praying makes you live longer. It also makes you fall asleep faster. Prayer is sleep-promoting as it helps you see the bigger picture, give and receive forgiveness and relinquish your plans. Prayers can be formal or informal, short or long. Just start the conversation.
5. Make love.
The final consequence of orgasm is drowsiness. What better way to end the day then with a rush of joy followed by some snuggly oxytocin and a deep slumber? Need I say more?
6. Banish bright light
Tap into your brains sleep system by turning off the power the hour before bed (or just bright lights and screens will do). If you live on a busy street you may want to consider some block out blinds/curtains. Although inconvenient, one thing loadshedding will help you do is get to bed earlier.
7. Eat something sweet.
That's right a little sugar before bedtime actually helps you fall asleep. Think banana, yogurt, honey, dark chocolate or a glass of warm milk. Just don't forget to brush your teeth afterwards!
8. Get ready for bed and then do it all in the same order every night.
Dinner, favourite show, wash dishes, take out trash, bath, brush teeth and read in bed. This sleep 'ritual' will become a sleep cue and help your brain anticipate sleep. You will be asleep before your head hits the pillow!
If falling asleep is becoming an every night battle please seek medical attention. Good sleep is essential for a good life.