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15 Things to Try When You Can’t Seem to Sleep

sleep tips can't sleep

Try these 15 tips if you can’t sleep. (photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com)

Everyone has a sleepless night now and then, but if you seem to be struggling with sleep more nights than not, talk to your doctor to make sure you don’t have an underlying problem.  Then, use these 15 tips to help improve your sleep.


  1. Exercise – Working out gets your blood flowing and can help you wake up, but it is also important if you are struggling with sleep.  Research indicates that moderate aerobic activity earlier in the day can improve sleep quality.
  2. But Exercise Early – Working out in the hours right before bed, however, will have the opposite effect by raising your body temperature and making sleep difficult.  Allow at least three hours between exercise and bedtime.
  3. Do Yoga – Yoga combines exercise and relaxation for a one-two punch that will help you sleep better and longer.
  4. Take a Nap – Taking a quick 20 or 30 minute nap early in the day have be beneficial for those struggling with sleep and as long as you do it before 3:00 PM, it won’t impact your sleep.
  5. Go Outside – Simply spending time outdoors where you are exposed to natural light can help you fall sleep later in the day by promoting the production of melatonin, which helps us fall asleep.
  6. Eat Right – Eating a healthy diet is also important to sleep, especially when that diet includes foods that are full of magnesium and vitamin B.
  7. Cut the Caffeine – It can be a challenge to skip the caffeine, especially when you are overtired and the afternoon energy slump is looming, but your caffeine intake can keep you from getting the sleep you need.  You can see the vicious cycle here….
  8. Ohm – Studies have shown that people who take up meditation improve both the amount of sleep they get and the quality of that sleep.
  9. Relax – Relaxation techniques like deep breathing and guided meditation can also help improve you’re the quality of your sleep.
  10. Skip Late Night Meals – Eating a lot right before bed can make it difficult to fall asleep and difficult to stay asleep.
  11. Go E-Free – Electronic lights, especially those emitted by the various screens in our lives, wreak havoc on our ability to sleep by sending confusing signals that our body may misinterpret.  Safeguard your sleep by setting aside the two hours before bed as “e-free” hours and avoid any electronic screens.
  12. No Nightcaps – Although alcohol makes you drowsy, it doesn’t actually help you sleep.  Even if it makes you fall asleep faster, it will disrupt your sleep later in the night.
  13. Give Your Brain a Break – Avoid anything that stimulates your brain as you get ready for bed.  If your brain is actively working on some difficult or interesting problem, it won’t be sending the signals your body needs to know it’s time to sleep.
  14. Know Your Noise Tolerance – Some people can’t sleep if it is noisy and others can’t sleep if it is quiet.  Know which one you are and how much noise you need so that you can create a sleep inducing environment.
  15. Go Dark – You need darkness to get quality sleep as light is one of the things your body uses to determine whether you should be awake or asleep.  Use black-out curtains and analog clocks to cut down on the light pollution in your room.
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