Have you ever toss and turn in bed, forcing yourself to shut your eyes and fall asleep, but still cannot seem to? Has it ever happened that you’re laying there with your eyes closed and then without realizing it, you hear birds chirping, and when you see outside, it’s not dark anymore. The time shows just an hour before your alarm starts ringing. The frustration! There was that one night that I couldn’t sleep until I realized it was already four in the morning. I heard birds and I had to go to work in the morning. “That was just a blink of an eye”, I thought. I regretted the ice crushed mocha I ordered from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf… and it was a large!! That is three shots of caffeine.

What keeps you up at night? Maybe you are suffering from insomnia, anxiety, overthinking, worrying and stress. Sometimes the mind just can’t seem to keep quiet and let you sleep at night. To get your full night’s sleep is as important as keeping yourself healthy. It is part of your health. Not having enough sleep is linked to a number of harmful effects

It’s Not Just Beauty Sleep

Enough and proper sleep is linked to your brain and physical function, that includes hormone regulation, mood, appetite, immune system and how alert you are, among other things.

Generally speaking, women have more difficulty sleeping. We can blame it on our hormones, our husband’s or sister’s snoring, our kids, and our busy minds that’s always floating elsewhere worrying about this and that.

Stop tossing and turning at night, try one of these:

1. Avoid using gadgets like laptops, smartphones and tablets for at least thirty minutes before bedtime. All of those screen time emit blue light which interrupts sleep. It tells your brain to stay alert. Yes, that includes being on Netflix. No binge-watching at night if you need to get up early!

2. Include exercises in daily activities whenever possible. Avoid exercising just before bedtime, as you’ll be most likely feeling energized. Yoga, however, is a good alternative in the early evenings.

3. Naps. I love naps, who doesn’t anyway? The advice is that to nap during the day, keep it short though, don’t go past 30 minutes. You don’t want it to be too long that it will disturb your night’s sleep. Just make sure the nap is enough to refresh you for the rest of the day.

4. Limit your caffeine intake. Protect your sleep by avoiding caffeinated drinks after 2 in the afternoon.

5. Drink Chamomile Tea as it is known to soothe and relax your body. Chamomile tea contains antioxidants that may promote sleepiness, and drinking it has been shown to improve overall sleep quality.

6. Dim the lights two hours before bed. Establish a regular bedtime routine and stick to it.

7. If all else fails, try visualizing yourself sleeping. Imagine yourself drifting in a blissful slumber while practicing deep breathing and muscle relaxation. This may be weird, but I do this! I even pretend to snore, does that sound ridiculous? I wonder what the psychological secret and explanation behind that is? Either way, it works for me!

8. Schedule a time of the day to worry. Spend 15 minutes reflecting and thinking through, and when necessary, write down all your problems in a journal so they don’t sneak up when your head hits touches the pillow. If you use a journal or a notebook, you can literally close the book on your worries – at least until the next morning. It’s always a great feeling when you get things off your chest.

9. Try yoga and some breathing exercises. This is what works for me. One night when I couldn’t sleep, I had to go on my phone and Google searched “Can’t sleep”. I tried the first thing I saw, this breathing method called 4-7-8. Miraculously, it worked. I was asleep within seconds! Here’s the technique:

The 4-7-8 Breathing method. Breathe in deeply through your nose for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds and then exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds.