Right before you go to bed, try taking a hot bath or long shower—the rise and resulting sudden drop in your body temperature will help to make you feel more relaxed—and sleepy.
Wear warm socks to bed. When you sleep, your body redirects blood flow to your hands and feet to redistribute heat from your core to your extremities; cold feet can inhibit this blood flow and therefore make it harder for you to maintain a restful sleep. Socks are the fix.
If the temperature in your bedroom allows it, try sleeping under a heavy or weighted blanket. Long used by psychiatrists in occupational therapy as a tool for calming patients with sensory overstimulation, the all-over “deep touch pressure” of weighted blankets helps promote deeper relaxation.
Still having trouble sleeping? Here’s a breathing trick you can try. Touch your tongue to a spot directly behind your top front teeth, then breathe in through your nose for four seconds. Then hold your breath for seven seconds and exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. Repeat the whole process three times to fully decompress…if you don’t fall asleep before you reach the end.
If none of these techniques are helping you sleep (and you’ve tried cutting out before-bed caffeine and sugars), then you need to do a little more to set your mind at ease. Introductory mindfulness techniques, such as focusing in on your breathing or studying an imagined object (with your eyes closed) for five minutes, can allow you to finally slip away from the stresses of daily life and find a more restful sleep.