You have probably heard this a million times, but sleep is super important. Sleep is almost like the body’s way of restarting and making sure it’s ready for the next day. If you don’t have enough, you are probably finding it harder to deal with the pressures of day-to-day life. If this is you, don’t worry, we are here to help.
There could be two possible reasons why you are struggling to fall asleep. The first is your phone and the second is stress. (These two reasons could also be connected).
If you are spending plenty of time on your phone or laptop, while lying in bed (I know, it’s hard to resist), this is not a good thing. The light from your phone or laptop essentially tells your brain to stay awake, making it hard for your brain to shut down. But it is not only about the light, it is about what you do on your phone. If you are endlessly scrolling through social media posts or binge watching your favourite shows, these are going to stimulate your brain. And you guessed it, your brain won’t want to fall asleep.
Okay, say you don’t use your phone. Instead, the problem is you can’t switch off your thoughts – you find yourself lying in bed stressing about ev-ery-thing. What you need to do in this situation – and this also applies to using your phone – is you need to tell your brain and body that you’re headed for bed, and it is time to switch off. The thing is, you need to give your brain a bit of warning.
The way you can prepare your brain is by having a bedtime ritual. The ritual will tell your brain “I am going to sleep soon, get ready to switch off the lights”. So do things like only have one lamp before you go to bed, brush your teeth, have a warm shower. You could also put on some soothing music on just before you climb under the covers.
Next, make sure that you have as little stimulation as possible. So, do not look at a screen at least 30 minutes before you climb into bed. Don’t look at a screen while you are in bed. Try to read a book you enjoy, or you have always wanted to read. Something to distract your mind, but that isn’t going keep you awake.
You can also buy a journal and write down any thoughts you have before get into bed. If your thoughts are still going wild when you are lying in bed, write those down too.
If none of that works, try this: breathe in through your mouth, until your stomach is filled with air, then breathe out through your nose. Repeat this cycle 10 times, then hold your breath for as long as possible. Then repeat the cycle of breathing in and out, hold your breath once you’ve done that 10 times. Keep repeating until you feel calmer. It works, trust me.
Goodluck and sleep tight.
Change your perspective and uncover a way forward for you!
The Insomnia Workbook for Teens by Michael Tompkins and Monique Thompson
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