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How to tune your mind to fall asleep

Readers Lounge By Audrey Masitsa
Getting sufficient sleep is good for your overall wellbeing (Photo: Shutterstock)

If you are anything like me, falling asleep, and actually staying asleep, for those seven to nine hours, can be a chore. I always make sure to tire myself so that my body is badly in need of rest. However, my mind often plays tricks on me. When I’m meant to be asleep is when my brain gets on high alert.

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This means that more times than I would like, the following day I end up sleep deprived, cranky and unable to function properly.

According to doctors, getting sufficient sleep is good for your overall wellbeing. However, how do you tune your overactive mind to calm down enough for you to actually fall asleep on time? Take a look at the tips below.

1. Listen to calming music or consider guided bedtime meditation

The whole point of this exercise is to help you relax just before bedtime. There are tonnes of guided bedtime meditations and calming music options on YouTube. Listen to these just before you sleep to set the mood.

2. Keep gadgets away

The blue light produced by your phone, laptop and TV hinders the formation of melatonin hormone which tells your body that it is time to sleep. An hour before bedtime, keep your gadgets away. Turn off your laptop, step away from the TV and put your phone on silent and far away from your bed. Read a book or do one of the following to help you fall asleep.

Listen to a bedtime motivation to help calm you down (Photo: Shutterstock)

3. Yoga

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Some yoga exercises actually help you fall asleep faster, and you can do them from the comfort of your bed! Lie flat on your back and place your legs against the wall such that they are higher than the rest of your body. The rush of blood to your heart will reduce your blood pressure relaxing you for bedtime.

4. Breathing exercises

Take deep breaths to calm yourself down. As you do this, focus on the good things that have happened that day. This will help alleviate any tension you might have.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

5. Avoid caffeine

I realised that if I avoid caffeine after lunchtime, I am better able to sleep. If you are naturally a tense person, drinking caffeine later in the day is bound to prevent you from sleeping. If you must drink it, restrict your caffeine intake to the morning hours and if you crave a hot drink before bedtime, opt for chamomile tea or hot chocolate.

6. Write in your journal

Sometimes I struggle to fall asleep even after doing the above. This mostly happens when there’s something bothering me. Writing in my journal helps me decompress and allows my brain to relax long enough for me to fall asleep.

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In the same vein, writing down my to-do list for the next day also helps me stop thinking too much just before bedtime.

When all else fails, I simply get up and do small chores around the house until I feel tired enough to sleep.

What tips do you have that help you fall asleep faster and more easily?

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