How to get to sleep: Thoughts and tips

how to get to sleep

A few weeks ago I was really struggling trying to get to sleep at night for a variety of reasons and I just thought I would share with you guys some of the ways I’ve managed to get over that trouble (for the most part). This will be a post about things you can do in the day so that you’re ready for bed at night time, but also a few tips for when you’re lying in bed wishing you were asleep. I’m sorry if some of them seem a little self explanatory but they have all really helped me getting my sleeping pattern back to normal.



1. Wake up early. Even if you don’t have anything planned for the day, waking up early is good habit to get into. It means that you’re expending your energy right from the beginning of the day and when it gets to the time when you should be going to sleep you’ll automatically be more tired.

2. Don’t nap. I realise this sounds pretty stupid but having just graduated from university it has to be noted that I love a good nap. It’s a standard part of a student day. This was causing me so much trouble when I wanted to get to sleep because I’d already slept too much in the day. Avoid at all costs.

3. Don’t eat or drink anything sugary too late. I would say try and avoid eating after 7pm and try and avoid any sugary or caffeinated drinks after 8pm. I think this just helps my body get a little more prepared for settling down to sleep.

4. Exercise. I sleep better, without fail, on days when I have been to the gym or if I have been out and about all day. Because I don’t live a naturally active lifestyle (typing all day doesn’t count as exercise) my body really needs a good outlet for all the energy it generates and going to the gym, going swimming or even going shopping definitely helps me with this.


5. Write down all the things you’re thinking about. I know that one of my biggest problems at bed time is trying to get all the thoughts out of my head and just relax. If I write everything down, no matter how stupid and mundane it is (I need to paint my nails tomorrow) then I go to sleep assured that I can deal with whatever it is in the morning. That is probably my most vital tip when it comes to getting to sleep if I’m honest.

6. Try listening to an audio book. I actually started listening to Alice in Wonderland on a free audiobook app called Librivox on my phone. It’s a really cool app that lets you listen to royalty free audio books and it was great for me because it had a sleep timer. I would just pop the timer on 40 minutes and drift off to sleep. The only downside is that I find a lot of the narrators voices are incredibly annoying, so I actually ended up listening to Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass about six times each because I couldn’t find any others that were quite as soothing. On the bright side I’m now an Alice  expert.

7. List things. This tip actually came from my dad. He says that when he can’t sleep he likes to list all the countries he can think of alphabetically and that he’s not yet reached the letter Z. I tried this a handful of times and I have to say it really worked for me. I don’t know how exactly it does, but it seems that really focusing on just one thing can send you off to sleep very easily. Good tip dad!

8. Turn your pillows and duvet over or put your head at the other end of the bed. I’m hoping this is not just a crazy thing that I do, but often times getting to sleep is made difficult by everything around you being too warm. Having a quick shift around and turning to sleep at the other end of the bed can feel like a fresh attempt at going to the land of nod.

9. Focus on your breathing. This is a tip that I will usually go to if I have been lying in bed trying to sleep for well over an hour. I’ll be frustrated and agitated and tired, especially if I have something I need to be awake for the next day. Somehow if I just lie completely still and concentrate on my breathing, perhaps counting 1, 2, 1, 2 repeatedly, it just seems to calm me down and settle me a little better for sleep.

That’s it for now guys! Let me know if you have any more tips for getting to  sleep on those awkward nights, I’d love to hear them.



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2 thoughts on “How to get to sleep: Thoughts and tips

  1. Rachel says:

    great tips! I have such trouble sleeping at the moment, it’s such a pain 😦

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