GETTING TO SLEEP AND STAYING THERE

Difficulty sleeping is separated into two categories—-getting to sleep and staying asleep. If you have difficulty getting to sleep, start a ritual. A warm bath can start to relax your body, leading your mind to follow. Avoid “blue light” before bed—that means no phones, tablets, television. Next, try to make your sleeping quarters to be as cool and dark as possible. Now that you’ve set the physical stage, it’s time to lighten up your mind and body. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed and focus on a healthy, light dinner rich in wholesome food. Try journaling about your day in order to effectively put your day to rest, quieting your inner Leslie Knope. 

Now, if your problem is staying asleep, you still have several options. First, when you wake and finally have that moment of realization where you know you won’t fall back to Dreamland, it is important to get up and leave the room. It sounds counter-intuitive but don’t stay in bed. It trains your body that your bed is for other things than sleeping. When you do wake and leave your bed, choose a calming activity to tire your brain—reading, sudoku, anything to burn off that energy. It’ll be tempting to rewatch Sharp Objects, but those blue screens are going to keep your brain overstimulated. 

Lastly, don’t expect changes… overnight. This takes time, stay consistent and focused on bringing on the Sandman to see the true progress.