Last night, I couldn’t sleep. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t slow my mind and close my eyes. It got me thinking about the many times this had happened to me before a big day. Insomnia can be killer when you’ve got something important to do in the morning! So, I decided to share with you some tips for beating insomnia.
• Create a routine. I know how hard it can be to function on a regular sleep schedule when you’ve got irregular hours, but try your best. Even on days when you can sleep in, try to go to bed and wake up at around the same time. Creating a routine helps your body learn when it’s time to rest.
• Ditch the coffee. Or at least plan your coffee consumption strategically. It’s best to consume your caffeinated indulgences early in the day, before 2 p.m. I can speak personally to this one — I recently slashed my coffee intake in half, and it’s had a huge effect on my sleep schedule.
• Get some exercise. Even just going for a walk later in the day can help relieve some of the stress and tension you’ve built up. Try to get in some exercise after work or classes, but before you eat dinner or start your homework. You’ll feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
• Relax before bed. This is a tough one for me. Try your best not to bring your laptop or phone into bed with you. Instead, read a book or listen to some relaxing music. As fun as they are to use, our electronics are distracting and create extra stress when we’re trying to decompress. Put them away.
• Release your worries. Insomnia is often caused by worry, especially when it comes before a big day. Let go of your worries by taking some time to work through them. Call someone and talk about your concerns, or get out a piece of paper and write about them. Once you’ve done this, you can relax a little bit more.
Short naps can help make up for lost time when you’ve battled insomnia, but it’s best to try and eliminate the problem altogether. Do you ever have trouble falling asleep? How do you find ways to relax and de-stress?
Written by Nicole Milano. Nicole is a writer and yoga instructor from Rochester, N.Y., as well as a freelance writer for NextStepU. Read more from her at The Everyday Yogi and tweet her @nicolemariemil.
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