5 Proven Tips to Help you Fall Asleep

5 Proven Tips to Help you Fall Asleep

One of my secret super powers is my ability to fall asleep in 0.3 seconds. My man says that I will literally stop speaking and start snoring, mid-sentence. However, like most people, I occasionally have trouble falling asleep and it makes me really angry. It’s like being a straight A student, who suddenly and unreasonably gets a D. Which, incidentally, also makes me really angry.

Here are a few little remedies you can use to help you get to sleep when it just ain’t happening.

1. Drop Your Core Body Temperature.

I read Counting Sheep last year and one of the biggest causes of insomnia is over heating. Your core body temperature must drop in order for you to get to sleep. So throw off your heavy blanket and open the window. Even having a warm shower can help because it makes your body temperature momentarily peak and then slowly lower as you fall asleep.

2. Place a Few Drops of Lavender Oil on Your Pillow

Lavender oil has a calming effect and aids in the reduction of stress. Which is exactly what we do when we can’t fall asleep, we stress about it. A few drops on your pillow, coupled with slow, steady breathing will have you snoring in no time.

3. Assume The Sleeping Baby Position

I have no idea where this came from but whenever I can’t sleep my man places me in what he calls ‘The Sleeping Baby Position’. A face down sleeping position which looks like this. I drew a helpful diagram for you.

The reason why it’s so effective is because you can’t move or roll over. Sometimes your inability to fall asleep is simply a lack of stillness.

4. Clench and Release Your Body

This is an exercise that I used to use before theatre performances to relax my body, but I had to stop using it because it made me so sleepy, which makes it perfect for those nights that you are plagued by insomnia. Start with your toes, clench them for ten seconds, then release. Move on to your calves, clench them for ten seconds, then release. Move all the way up your body including knees, thighs, buttocks, hands, abdominals, chest, upper arms, shoulders, neck, face and finally your whole body. You should experience a short bout of muscle fatigue which might be enough to relax you and put you to sleep.

5. Play Mind Games

I find that a sure-fire way to fall asleep is by trying to not fall asleep. If you just repeat ‘Don’t fall asleep, don’t fall asleep, don’t fall asleep…’ in your head, chances are that the guilty napping part of your brain will jump into action and knock you out like a light.

What are your favourite getting to sleep tricks? Do share!

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Carly is the founding editor of Smaggle which launched in 2007 back when blogging was weird. She has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Cosmopolitan and Cleo magazines. Hoop earrings are totally her thing and she almost got run over by Myf Warhurst while out jogging one day.

76 Comments

  1. Alison 3 years ago

    Your sleeping baby position is the way I sleep all the time.  I love that position, my only modification is I try not to sleep full on my tummy, I usually lie on my side slightly turned to my tummy with my top leg bent up.  Wow, that is hard to explain…  

    Sometimes thinking about the things I’m thankful for helps me too.  That way, I’m not thinking about the things that worry me and keep me awake.

    • Author
      Smaggle 3 years ago

      I’m trying to be less of a tummy sleeping, it’s messing with my shoulders. I just can’t sleep on my back, I feel to vulnerable or something.

  2. Rebecca Brewin 3 years ago

    A friend once t0ld me to just lie there and not open my eyes. At all. Ever. Sounds simple but it works!

  3. Mr Smaggle 3 years ago

    Another tip: You can’t actually fall asleep if your feet are cold!  It’s like, biologically impossible or something.  So make sure you keep your feet warm!

    • I have special socks that are really loose on the ankles for sleeping on especially cold nights. My wife thinks I’m a lunatic.

    • justme 1 year ago

      I can’t sleep with socks on or even with my feet under the covers, so it’s not a biological thing… Unless I’m not.

  4. LaLa 3 years ago

    I am a chronically light sleeper and sometimes these two (peculiar) things help me…

    I imagine that I am on gymnastic bars, usually uneven bars but
    sometimes parallel. I then imagine a routine, sometimes I don’t like my
    routine so I stop and start again. I think the important thing is the
    rhythmic nature of what I am imagining helps put me to sleep. And it
    stops my mind thinking about other things.

    Changing your position in bed or even changing
    beds. A girl I worked with once told me about this and I use it when I
    am desperate for sleep. I think when I am lying there awake I start to
    get frustrated with the pillow, the mattress, seeing the same shadows…
    If I am sleeping alone I will turn UPSIDE DOWN in the bed but as it’s
    pretty rare that I have the bed to myself I now move to the spare bed.
    Usually works :)

  5. Kristie 3 years ago

    Haha, I drew a bed diagram a few months ago too.

    http://karlandkristie.blogspot.com/2011/07/things-they-dont-tell-you-before.html

    When I can’t sleep, I kind of roll my eyes back while they’re closed a bit. I also turn on the air conditioner. It’s like 30 degrees F during the night, but since there are no windows that open, it’s back to the air conditioner.

    • Author
      Smaggle 3 years ago

      Ha! Very cute. I love the sad faces.

  6. Kathryn OHalloran 3 years ago

    I was once told to focus on my breathing and try to slow it down.  I’ve found though that this helps me go to sleep but not to stay asleep.

    • Author
      Smaggle 1 year ago

      Yeah it’s staying asleep part that’s so difficult.

  7. I am a chronic insomniac and I’ve found one of the best things that helps me get to sleep is to drink more. I try to drink two glasses of water before I go to bed and I keep a litre jug next to me. I’ve found that if I wake up at night, it’s because i’m thirsty and chugging down a heap of water often allows me to just drink, roll over and fall back asleep.

    The try NOT to fall asleep thing is awesome as well, I use that all the time.

    • Author
      Smaggle 3 years ago

      I’m a chronic pee-er so drinking more only makes me get up more!

  8. Anonymous 3 years ago

    I sleep in that position, too (sometimes with a cat between my feet). I fall asleep really easily but if I wake up in the middle of the night I have a couple of gulps of fruit juice – I read somewhere that it balances out your blood sugar and lets you relax back into sleep; I don’t know if it’s true but it always works for me.

    • Author
      Smaggle 1 year ago

      Interesting thanks for sharing!

  9. Magatha May 3 years ago

    I used to do the sleeping upside down in my bed when I couldn’t sleep as a kid. It works like a charm every time. I always sleep in the sleeping baby position though. I find it very comforting.

    • Author
      Smaggle 3 years ago

      I love this upside down thing. I’m totally going to try it.

    • Higgleberry 1 year ago

      Sounds good! I’m going to try it

  10. Nina 3 years ago

    I totally agree with sleeping on your tummy, keeping your feet warm and concentration on breathing. I will breathe like I am doing yoga. I think about breathing in and then out, really slowly and deeply. It helps a lot. Great tips!

    • Author
      Smaggle 1 year ago

      Breathing concentration is a big one!

  11. Hair Romance 3 years ago

    I’m like you, I can sleep anywhere. On the rare occasion I can’t sleep I go crazy! I find it’s usually because I’m stressed so keeping a pad and paper by the bed to jot down notes helps me clear my head so I can relax.

    • Author
      Smaggle 3 years ago

      I feel like it’s almost worse for us. Like real insomniacs are used to it you know? :-)

  12. nova 3 years ago

    I sleep exactly like that diagram! And if I’m having trouble falling asleep I think really hard about relaxing each body part. I think “okay toes, relax” and then wait ’til I feel them relaxing. Then feet, ankles, calves…I never make it past my knees.

  13. Marsha_calhoun 3 years ago

    Deliberately relax your jaw and tongue.  You’ll be amazed at how often you are holding your tongue in readiness to speak – just let it go.

    • Author
      Smaggle 1 year ago

      Yes! Relaxing the jaw is a great one!

  14. Jo 3 years ago

    I make a rule in my mind that I’m not allowed to think about work. Once I obey it, it works like a champ. Since apparently the only thing keeping me up at night is my job.

  15. Nell 3 years ago

    Best picture ever!! & I always sleep like that it is so comfy :)

  16. Luinae McAnish 3 years ago

    The body temperature one is gold! If I’m slightly chilly before I get to sleep (which is NOT difficult in Canada) I’m out like a light.

  17. I know it’s probably a little oversimplified, and might not apply to everybody. But the most surefire way to help *a ton of people* fall asleep easier -

    Turn off the TV.

  18. a) That is EXACTLY how I sleep, though I’ve always referred to it as the Jack Knife!

    b) Add Ambien as your #6. It’s my only surefire cure to insomnia!

    • Author
      Smaggle 1 year ago

      What’s Ambien?

      • kmx 1 year ago

        It’s a sleeping pill.

  19. Toothboii 2 years ago

    this may sound crazy i used to hit my head against my pillow BANG! BANG! BANG! i don’t do it much now but I am 18 and haven’t grown out of it it shameing  and i have never met someone who does this so if anyoneout there knows or thinks they know what to do let me know asap thanx :)

    • joanna 2 years ago

      My brother does this too. And I tap my foot unti l fall asleep. I think we find the rhythm to be calming, not to mention a slight muscle fatigue to help push us into sleep!

      • Author
        Smaggle 1 year ago

        I’ve tried foot tapping! Totally works.

    • Sami 1 year ago

      I do this to! I thought me and my twin were the only ones. Never figured out why we do though

    • Author
      Smaggle 1 year ago

      Never tried it! Thanks for sharing though.

    • Herobrine 1 year ago

      I like it feels good on my face

  20. Oally19 2 years ago

    Okay some things I do to fall asleep. I slip one foot off the side of the bed and kick it. I also count backwards from 99 while kicking it. Yes it rocks the bed. I did this all my life when I was formally a top notch sleeper but no more. :(
    If I’m tired enough I don’t get past 80. If I hit 50 I’m kind of out of luck.  I blacked out my bedroom.  A ice pack on neck.  A hot pad on tummy.  I put lavender in the air. I use a lavendar bath a couple hours before bed. Stretch about a hour before bed.  I play my ISON CD’s by David Ison that I got on I-tunes. The Yoga Nidra cd-s didn’t work so hot for me.  I also do the heart sound breath found in a Qi-Gong book. Cover the alarm clock and any other lights in the room.

  21. Little Miss Snuggles 2 years ago

    Great tips! I’m not an insomniac but sometimes when the heater is broken and it’s REALLY hot, I can’t get to sleep AT ALL. At the moment, I’m 12, and when I can’t sleep, I have this urge to turn around so I’m lying on the bed upside down. It doesn’t get me to sleep, but it relaxes me. When I am relaxed enough, I turn around and go to sleep. It really helps.

    • Awesome ninja 2 years ago

      That is totally what I do!!!!!!! And I’m 13!! :D

      • Georgia S 1 year ago

        Same! (same age, same technique!)

  22. Minecrafter 2 years ago

    sometimes i’ll read

    • Author
      Smaggle 1 year ago

      Reading is great although I find I don’t get as sleepy reading on a kindle than a book or a mag.

  23. Ciera Kiara 2 years ago

    Falling asleep with a fully cold body is impossible. You have to have feet, Wrists, and ankles covered in the winter and fall at LEAST. Warmer temperatures help your body shut down. I personally can’t stand lavender. To each his own. Also, if you’re a kid it’s proven to help you fall asleep on a full stomache in darkness. It’s why kids fall asleep when their teachers use the Smart Boards. They turn off the lights.

  24. Ell 2 years ago

    A lot of people are saying the cold makes them fall asleep but for me it’s the opposite. If i’m in a warm place i’m out like a light. I can’t have my heaters on at night when i’m driving or anything because it has me tired in a matter of minutes. My man thinks it’s hillarious if he puts me in a warm place or cuddles me for 5-10 mins i’ll be asleep, even if i’m not tired.

    • Author
      Smaggle 1 year ago

      HA that’s so cute! love it.

    • Higgelberry 1 year ago

      That is the cutest thing I have ever heard

  25. CampbellSoup 2 years ago

    I will try this tonight! I have always had trouble sleeping.

  26. megatron 2 years ago

    none of these work, had like less then 2 hours of sleep of the past 2days

    • Author
      Smaggle 1 year ago

      Perhaps you might need to consult a GP. Good luck.

  27. hi 2 years ago

    I cant sleep at all cause i fall asleep and then
    Wake up a few minutes later and then i cant sleep

    • Farah 1 year ago

      The same thing happens to me all the time !!!!!

  28. :( 1 year ago

    It did not work…

  29. KatieEllen Wroe-Beacon 1 year ago

    Lying in bed and going inhale 234 exhale 234 …. helps if I have my eyes shut.

  30. Brooke 1 year ago

    I’m almost 20 and for the past few years I’ve always had trouble sleeping. The trick that always used to work for me as a kid was I would lay in the said position in the diagram and imagine myself on a big island. I would imagine myself drawing from 150 downwards in the sand with a stick. I never made it to 1.
    I will try these points tonight. It’s Almost 1am and I’m still not sleepy. I hope my tip helps some people. (:

    Oh! And I find I have a better sleep when I have my eye mask on. I don’t know why though. Thanks for the tips!

  31. trueblue 1 year ago

    easy, i count backwards from 25 never make it to the end..

  32. Farah 1 year ago

    Try breathing exercises its really works just inhale really deep with your eyes closed then exhale

  33. Aimee 1 year ago

    Thanks
    but I’m not sure itl work!;-(

  34. Mary 1 year ago

    My high school Psychology teacher once said he would do this one thing to help get himself to meditate:
    Close your eyes and then imagine the feeling of closing them again and again, further and further. Like, imagine that feeling of how your face/eyes relax and your eyes roll back a little once you close the lids. And just keep visualizing closing your eyes, then closing another imaginary set of lids, and then closing another over those, and another over all of those, so each time you imagine closing a pair of eyelids it feels more satisfying and like you are drawing inward, sort of. I suppose just the symbolism; the reenactment of shutting your eyes, can get you in the sleepin mood…
    Idk, but ANYWAY, I hope that made a bit of sense. And like I said, my teacher used the technique to meditate but I have often used it to help me get to sleep/get sleepier at night and it seems to work pretty well if I am up for it!
    This turned out to be quite an essay!! Haha okay bye bye

  35. Sherry 1 year ago

    Sleepy time tea! It’s so good! Available at Coles and Woolies x

  36. IamRey 1 year ago

    Oh man is this perfect! Thanks a bunch. Of course I had to add my own modifications as well (that baby position works great on babies because they don’t have two, often bothersome, chest cushions).

    p.s. Loved the diagram! I chuckled when I saw it, now these tips reeaally need to work. Thanks again, good dreams!

  37. Devan 1 year ago

    I feel it helps me to sleep naked.

  38. Livvy 1 year ago

    I Am sleeping at a friends house and they sleep with a light on how can I sleep with a light on when I don’t at home?

  39. jessie 12 months ago

    im a kid and it helps me to think that other people are also awake trying to fall asleep too

  40. jessie 12 months ago

    it helps to have some dull lights on (Because im a kid) or to have a pet or family member in the same room with me. Also in the spring i count the chirps of the crickets. my mom also told me to picture the number 2, upside down, inside out, designed, etc.

  41. Justin 12 months ago

    I breath out slowly and wait until I have no breath, Then i begin to breath in very very slowly gradually letting more air in until my lungs are full and wait until i need to exhale at which point i repeat the process, my body falls asleep very fast letting me dose off in a minute or two

  42. Sarah Morris 11 months ago

    I line up all the colors of the rainbow in my mine, and then I try to rearrange them so that no two colors are next two each other again. Foolproof. I also read one from a sleep specialist, where you think of 5 things you can see, then 5 things you can feel (touch not emotion), then 5 things you can hear. Then you do 4, then 3, and so on.

    • Sarah Morris 11 months ago

      Sorry I meant to say mind in the first sentence.

      • rrrr 6 months ago

        It’s ok buddy, we all make mistakes, just like your mum.

  43. Kylie 8 months ago

    I think it helps to have a easy to move in bed that way you do not need to fully wake up to fix your blankets

    It also helps to count to the highest numbre you can count to

  44. Rabbit & Abix 6 months ago

    If you hav trubl sleeping get into any posistion
    Bend your toes for 30 seconds and then you will
    Find you become loose and sleepy every second night night sleep tight hope the bed bugs dont bite xxx ( sweet dreams )

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