Can’t Sleep? 14 People Reveal How They Mastered The Art Of Sleeping Like A Baby


1. Get Away From The Computer

“I used to stay up watching YouTube videos for an hour, two hours, whatever before bed and before I knew it I’d stayed up until 2am and was tired the next day. I told people and myself that I had trouble sleeping but let’s be real, I didn’t have a sleeping problem, I had a YouTube/stay up doing stuff until 2am problem. I had to plan an hour ahead to start getting to sleep on time and shut down my laptop so I could get my head off the internet, off Facebook and Twitter, and just settled down for bed. You can’t go to sleep if you aren’t really trying to.”

—Abigail, 26


2. Don’t Stay In Bed

“This makes a world of difference to me. After tossing and turning for an hour my bed used to feel like a prison and after a few nights like that (during a particularly stressful time at work) I dreaded going to bed. If you can’t sleep after 15 minutes of going to bed then get up and go read or something. Don’t keep lying in bed getting frustrated because that only wakes you up more and being frustrated is just a second problem to deal with.”

—Darren, 25


3. Get Something Done

“I actually get up and do something useful but sort of mindless and meditative when I can’t sleep like fold laundry or doing dishes by hand. It’s better than just lying in bed and it occupies your mind if it’s racing which is usually the reason I can’t sleep. This way, when I wake up the next morning I’ve got one or two less things to do.”

—Talia, 24


4. Plan Ahead

“Getting to sleep in under a half hour used to be pretty hard for me so I have my Pocket app populated with dozens of long-form articles I’ve collected over time for this specific eventuality. After about ten minutes I fall dead asleep and then I just pick up where I left off the next time I can’t sleep. Seriously, Pocket should be marketed as All-Natural Ambien instead because for me it’s basically the same thing. I also like catching up on reading knowing that it’s helping me go to sleep. I get both things done this way and it’s super chill.”

—Marcus, 22


5. Kill The Lights And The Electricity

“I have blackout blinds and I apply duct tape around the edges of the blind so light doesn’t sneak through. I’ve also applied duct tape over all the LED lights on my air conditioner and don’t let any electronics ever enter the bedroom. For sure these are extreme measures but if you can isolate your bedroom as only a bedroom, a dark and cool place to sleep, free of technology and light, you are going sleep better. My wife and I are are in the process of building our dream home too, and there we have told the builders to have no electrical plugs in the bedroom. What about the alarm clock question? Our bodies wake us up, and if we have a flight in the morning we will cheat and put an iPhone under the bed.”

—Chris, 29


6. Get Snuggly

“I used to approach going to sleep like I would being on time for a date or for work and I think a lot of other people do too. Sleep doesn’t work like that. You can’t keep yourself stimulated right up until 11pm and then robotically ‘shut down’ and go straight to sleep. You have to ease into it and create a warm and inviting atmosphere. A half hour before I go to sleep I change into sleep clothes, put on some gentle music that doesn’t require much attention and read anything nonfiction on my Kindle. Within a half hour I feel more soothed and when I’m ready I go to bed.”

—Michelle, 28


7. Make Your Bed In The Morning

“There’s just something inviting about a made bed and I’m a big believer in this. Before, when I didn’t make my bed I’d go to my bedroom at night and be confronted with this messy bed that looked like a battle had been fought in it. It just oozed chaos and I’d have to over and straighten everything out so that I could get under the covers. I think it’s subconsciously discouraging whereas now when I get ready to go to sleep I have a nice and smooth made bed that’s very inviting and calming. It 100% puts me in a good mental space to relax.”

—Cynthia, 21


8. Pick Your Reading Carefully

“Don’t ever read anything exciting when you’re trying to go to sleep. I used to read a lot of Thrillers in general and all these kinds of books are designed to keep the plot moving and keep it exciting. If you stay excited, always wondering what happens next then you’re never going to stop reading and it’s going to actually keep you awake. Read something dense.”

—Jill, 23


9. Filter Out The Blue Light

“I basically do all my reading on my Samsung tablet and you’re absolutely not supposed to do that if you’re having trouble sleeping because of the blue light that LCD screens shine into your eyeballs. To get around this I use Twilight from the Google Play store and that will change the light on your screen to cut out the blue light that will keep you awake. There’s also F.lux for your computer if you’re a bedtime laptop user. It does the same thing and I really recommend them both. They work!”

—Valerie, 23


10. Cut The Mid-Afternoon Coffee

“I used to have trouble sleeping and discovered it was because drinking coffee at 4pm as an end of the day pick me up was keeping me awake. Caffeine stays in your body around eight hours and your reaction to it can change over the years. When I was in college I could drink a cup of coffee at 7pm and still be asleep by eleven but not so much now. That ‘one simple trick’ just meant that I quit drinking coffee late in the day. If you know you’re going to need coffee in the afternoon then drink a cup after lunch so it will have worn off by bed time.”

—Jake, 27


11. Have Story Time

“I’m a worrier and so I use my imagination to clear my head and help me go to sleep. You can’t imagine how relaxing this can be. I think of a setting that’s comforting, usually it’s the same one now, and sort of imagine myself going through the day or doing something I enjoy and haven’t ever done. I’ve even imagined myself on other planets and making up features and animals. I’m usually asleep really quickly and the next day I can pick up where I left off. I’ve actually written a few short stories out of what I came up with at bed time which is a fun bonus.”

—Aaron, 23


12. Use A Healthy Chemical Solution

“Don’t drink because all that will do is make you an alcoholic who gets bad sleep every night and feels terrible in the morning. When I used to work a rotating shift I’d take Melatonin for the first three days of the shift switch and it would train my body to know when it was time to sleep. If you’re one of those people who’s really messed their sleep schedule up with staying up too late or you just have trouble sleeping then take a Melatonin tab an hour before going to bed then go to bed. The stuff will set you right but don’t take it every night, just for two or three days.”

—Gabriel, 26


13. The Lost Art

“I take a hot bath and lay in there for about 10 minutes. By the time I get out I’m usually so ready to go to sleep that I barely make it to the bed. No one I know seems to take baths at night but it really works for getting you relaxed and ready to sleep.”

—Irena, 28


14. Sleep Is An Inactivity

“Trying to go to sleep doesn’t make any sense. Going to sleep shouldn’t feel like work. If you’re in a position where you’re mentally trying to go to sleep then you’re not relaxed and you’re probably wide awake. As soon as I quit thinking of sleep as a problem to be solved it was easier for me to relax and just let it happen.”

—Sabina, 25 Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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