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13 Simple Little Things To Try If You're Having Trouble Sleeping

Zzzzzzip right into sleep.

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1. Clean your room.

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This is the suckiest and most annoying tip, but an important one. Clutter can lead to stress, so make sure that your bedroom is organized and welcoming. (Sure, shoving everything in the closet is probs fine.)

2. Pinpoint your ideal temperature and darkness, and adjust accordingly.

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If you need total silence and darkness in order to sleep, do what you can to make that happen. Need cold to sleep? Put money away for an AC unit, if that's what it takes. Your sleep is important, so make sure your bedroom is the ideal place for it.

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3. Choose a pleasant, sleep-optimizing scent.

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A pleasant scent, like lavender, vanilla, or even the smell of fresh laundry, can help ease you into a relaxed, restful state. Try 'em out in the form of a spray, a few drops of essential oil, or a reed diffuser.

4. Invest in a white noise machine.

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If you routinely find yourself lying in bed at 3:47 a.m., listening to every creak, drip, and bang of your neighbors' headboard, it's worth getting a white noise machine to block out that ambient aural junk. Some are hella expensive, but you can get one for around 20 bucks if you shop around.

5. Be the one who let the dogs out.

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(Couldn't help it. Won't apologize.) Cuddling with a pet is cozy AF, but less so when they impede your movement during sleep, or when they get up 500 times during the night to tippy-tap around the room. Give 'em their space, away from your bed.

6. Write a to-do list.

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Writing out your goals and tasks for the next day will help you feel more in control. Once you place everything you have to do on paper, you can feel good taking them off your mind, knowing you'll get to 'em the next day.

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7. Lay out your clothes for the next morning.

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Make this part of your nightly routine. It's a simple way of feeling organized and in control and it gives you one less worry to subconsciously grapple with as you prepare for sleep. (Plus a few more minutes of sleep the next morning!)

8. In fact, go ahead get your whole mise en place situation squared away before bed.

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Make sure everything you need for the next morning—purse, laptop, makeup, coffee mug, etc.—is all set up and ready to go. It'll help you get into sleep mode as part of your nightly routine, plus you can go to sleep knowing you won't have to rush tomorrow.

9. Exercise.

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Exercising is difficult for some of the more couchly-inclined among us (e.g. ME), but it truly makes a difference in how well you sleep. One recent national study suggests that 150 minutes of "moderate to vigorous" activity a week provided a whopping 65% improvement in sleep quality among those tested.

10. Put electronics away.

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Not only does putting laptops and phones away help you relax with fewer distractions, studies have indicated that the light from electronic devices might deliver cues that tell our brains to wake up rather than power down for sleep.

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11. Start a nighttime ritual.

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Once you've set up everything for the next day, perform a nighttime ritual that gets you mentally and physically prepared for rest. Take a warm bath with the lights dimmed, spend time applying moisturizer and night creams—anything that can become a daily exercise that signals it's time to wind down.

12. Tense and untense.

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This technique, called progressive muscle relaxation is an easy way to prepare your body and mind for rest. Starting with your toes, tense up each portion of your body, hold for five seconds, and then release. Work your way up your calves, knees, thighs, belly, hands, arms, shoulders, jaw, and head. You'll feel so much less wound up after. Trust.

13. Finally, relax your eyes.

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This is another super simple technique to relax: With your lids shut, visualize your eyes "dropping back" into your head, relaxing the muscles around your eyes, brows, and temples. You won't even have realized how tense your eye area gets until you learn to let go of it.

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