What To Do When You Are Struggling To Sleep

What To Do When You Are Struggling To Sleep

Sleep is a key factor in being productive. If you are looking for how to get to sleep when you can't, these three practical methods can help you.

How many times have you gotten home, sleepy even before you got there, only to bath and tuck yourself in but not be able to fall aslpee?  You force your mind and body to fall asleep, but the more you try the more you toss and turn, your mind raged from trying to force things. So, frustrated, you just lie there waiting, wondering if there's a technique on how to get to sleep when you can't. 

How to get to sleep when you can't 

 

How to get to sleep when you can't 

Below are scientifically proven ways to get yourself to sleep when you can't. 

  • Military method

As the name suggests, this method was created for pilots in the U.S. Navy Pre-Flight School to help them fall asleep quickly. It worked, even with the noises in the background. So this will work for you even if you're trying to fall asleep sitting. The military method was first reported by Sharon Ackerman

       Directions 

  • Relax every single muscle on your face, including the ones in your mouth. 
  • Release the muscles in your shoulders so that the muscles relax, your hands dropping to your side. 
  • Breath out to relax your chest.
  • Relax the muscles in your calf, legs, and thighs. Make sure there is no tension anywhere. 
  • Imagine a relaxing scene in your mind. This will help you clear your mind for 10 seconds. 
  • But if this doesn't do the trick, try saying the words "Don't think" again and again for 10 seconds. 
  • You should fall asleep in that time. 

 

  • 4-7-8 breathing method

You will get the hang of this with some practice. It combines the power of breathing, visualization, and meditation to get you asleep in no time. 

       Directions 

  • First, stick the tip of your tongue onto the roof of your mouth, just behind your front teeth. Let your tongue remain there during the duration of this exercise. And purse your lips if you have to.
  • Open your lips slightly. Make a whooshing sound as you breathe out through your mouth. 
  • Then close you lips and silently breath in through your nose. Count to four in your head. 
  • Next, hold your breath for 7 seconds
  • Again, breath out for 8 seconds with a whooshing sound. 
  • These steps should be done mindlessly. Don't be too alert at the end of each cycle. 
  • Complete these cycles for four full breathes. And if you feel yourself relaxing earlier than you expected, let your body sleep.

 

  • Progressive muscle relaxation

How to get to sleep when you can't 

The trick here is to help you unwind, tensing your muscles first before making them relax to release the tension in them. This helps people who cannot sleep. You may have to try the 4-7-8 breathing method first before this. During the progressive muscle relaxation, focus your mind on how heavy and comfortable your body feels when relaxing. 

Directions

  • To tighten the muscles in your forehead, raise your eyebrows as high as you can for 5 seconds. 
  • Relax your muscles and you'll feel the tension drop. Wait for 10 seconds. 
  • To bring tension to your cheeks, smile widely and hold for 5 seconds before relaxing.
  • Wait 10 seconds
  • Close your eyes and squint for 5 seconds, before relaxing.
  • Wait 10 seconds.
  • Move your head back a bit so that you're looking at the ceiling comfortably for 5 seconds. Relax and let your neck return to the pillow. 
  • Wait 10 seconds. 
  • The trick is to continue down. From your triceps to the chest, thighs to feet, continue tensing and releasing down the rest of your body.
  • Even if you don't finish relaxing the rest of your body, let yourself fall asleep. 

Conclusion 

Each of these methods may require a bit of practice before you master them. 

Read more: Why Your Kids Have Nightmares And How They Can Sleep Better

Written by

Lydia Ume