If you’re having trouble going to sleep at night, there could be a number of reasons. The first step is to check with your doctor and make sure it’s not a medical condition. Once that’s sorted, the next step is to figure out why you’re not tired when you should be, and what to do about it. Learning how to sleep when you’re not tired can be tough, but the following tips will help.
Rule out Anxiety
One of the biggest reasons people have a hard time sleeping is that they can’t shut their mind off. They keep replaying interactions from their day over and over in their mind, or they’re worried about something that’s supposed to happen the next day. When we allow anxiety to rule our minds, we often don’t feel tired even though we actually are, so it’s important to rule out anxiety as a cause.
Sit down before bed and write out a to-do list for the next day. This will ease your mind so you don’t forget anything. Next, write down anything you’re worried about, whether it was an interaction at work, something with friends, or a spat with a loved one. Once you write it down, put it aside. Finally, meditate to help quiet your mind and relax.
Once you’ve completed those three steps, lay down and see if that made a difference at all. If you begin to feel tired, then anxiety was likely your challenge.
Tips to Help You Feel Tired
If anxiety was not your challenge, then let’s try a few other things to help you fall asleep.
Turn off the T.V.
This is a big one for most people. Too many Americans train themselves to fall asleep to the T.V., but it’s actually not allowing you to fall asleep in a good way. Turn off the T.V. and focus on getting a good night’s rest.
Darker is Better
In addition to turning off the T.V., make sure you turn off the lights. Some people are blessed with the ability to sleep anywhere at any time, but not everyone works that way. When it’s dark, your brain automatically sends the signal to your body to start winding down. That’s why the fall time change makes people sleepy earlier in the day.
Get Plenty of Exercise During the Day
Sometimes the fact that you’re not tired is simply because you didn’t burn off enough energy that day. Exercising is an important function in your life. Not only does it help you manage your weight, but it is good at regulating sleep cycles. If you did work out, consider making it more challenging.
Even if you’re not feeling anxious, meditation is a good way to help you relax. Once your body is in a state of relaxation, it tends to drift off to sleep on its own. Meditation is about quieting the mind and relaxing the body, so it should be able to help you fall asleep.
Although you should try to avoid sleep aids whenever possible, you can take melatonin. This is a natural hormone that is made by the pineal gland to help you fall asleep. If you’re having trouble with that part, taking melatonin supplements can help you send the message to your brain that it’s time to sleep.
If you don’t feel tired, you might be ingesting too much caffeine. Either cut back, or stop drinking caffeine after 3 pm. This will give your body enough time to work it out of your system so you can get a good night’s rest.
Don’t Worry So Much about Falling Asleep
Another reason people have a hard time sleeping is that they’re worried about sleeping. The body will fall asleep after 20 minutes of quiet inactivity, and it’s usually the mind holding that process up. Don’t train yourself not to sleep in your bed. If after 15-20 minutes you still can’t fall asleep, get out of bed and walk around.
Try to do something relaxing for you. Heat up a glass of warm milk to sip in your favorite chair, read a book, do a crossword puzzle, listen to music, or write in a journal. It can be anything so long as it keeps you relaxed. Studies also show that a bath might induce drowsiness, as well. Take a warm bath and use lavender oil to help promote relaxation. Don’t return to your bed until you feel drowsy.