7 Good Habits for People Who Can't Sleep

It’s really difficult to put the phone, the studying, or the bag of Doritos to rest when the evening approaches. Activities like these stimulate your brain and pretty soon, in the blink of an eye, it’s 3:00 am. The time you could’ve used to catch up on sleep is now gone and you’re now running on two and a half hours of sleep for the six to eight hour work day ahead of you, only to repeat this routine the next night. Well, number one: I’ve been there myself several times before, as have many others. Number two: as a seasoned “all-nighter” who’s regretted all the times I’ve chosen to stay up, I’ve brainstormed some simple tips that helped me and I believe will help other night owls get the sleep they need (and deserve).

  1. Try not to eat at night. Food gives you energy, therefore, you will be awake if you choose to eat at night. Although late-night-snacking has come in clutch when you need a little grub, it’ll prevent you from resting and throw off your sleep schedule.

  2. Drink herbal tea at night. Tea has always been proven to soothe and relax us whenever we drink it. Avoid drinking caffeinated teas like black or green teas or you will be bouncing off the walls at night. Try drinking herbal teas like chamomile or mint- maybe omit the sugar...or maybe just a spoonful of honey.

  3. Turn on a boring TV show or listen to instrumental music. This is how I normally fall asleep the quickest. Whenever a show like House Hunters or Rachael Ray is on (I love both of those shows by the way), I always want to close my eyes. There’s not much of a plot in those kinds of shows and so I tend to pay less attention because the next episode will be the exact same- I won’t be missing out on any important storyline details unlike drama TV shows or movies. It becomes background noise. Background noise makes you sleepier because the conversations don’t concern you at the moment, making you tune it out and fall asleep. Same goes for instrumental music. Spotify has great nighttime playlists for sleeping, which I have used occasionally. Since there’s no lyrics and more calming tunes are being played, your brain doesn’t get distracted by someone singing or abrupt sounds- the music itself is enough to relax your brain.

  4. Charge your phone where you can’t see it. It’s a stretch, I know. But let’s be honest, not that many people are on their phones at 2:00 am on a weekday - other people have work to get done too! You won’t be missing out on anything going on that late at night. No one is on their phone all the time and sacrificing your sleep to refresh Instagram is costing you some good sleep. Putting your phone out of your sight will make you less likely to check it when you could be sleeping. It even makes your morning alarm 10x better! You now have to actually get up to turn it off which sounds awful, but hey, you’re up at least.

  5. Go for a late night run or workout. It sounds like something you shouldn’t do, but bear with me. After all the effort you put into not falling off the treadmill, you’re feeling pretty wiped. Wearing yourself out towards the end of the day makes it easier for you to realize that you do need to rest. Lots of gyms have late hours and going for late night walks or jogs are some other options as well, and you’ll be getting physically fit at the same time. And of course, bringing someone to join you always motivates you.

  6. Take your showers at night. So now, you’ve come home from the gym, or your jog, and now you’re all worn out, gross, and sweaty. Great excuse to shower! Even if you decide not to workout at night, late night showers always ease your mind. Standing underneath mildly-scalding water releases the tension built up in your muscles, giving you a moment to relax. You finally have space to be by yourself and just mull over the things on your mind - it makes you tired, right? And if you have a tub, even better! Treat yourself to a nice bubble bath, it’s a good excuse to use those Lush bath bombs.

  7. Get your work done early during the day. Simple. Once your work is done, you won’t have to think about it anymore. So why stay up late when you have time during the day to get it done? I found that by accomplishing my tasks during the day, mapping out my time, spreading out my workload, and not staying up too late to finish up my work, I had no excuse for going to bed late. If you don’t have one already, I’d suggest getting a planner- that way, you can plan out when to get your work done by and space out your work schedule.

Now you have at least some ways to break terrible sleeping habits. It’s just sticking to them that’s the challenging part. In the end, there are going to be nights where you have to stay up later than you expected, but just remember, your sleep affects you and we all know how nice it feels when you wake up and feel well-rested. Be good to yourself and your body - it’s worth it and you won’t regret it.