How can I fall asleep easier?

It takes me hours to fall asleep. I start thinking about work and study and just about everything else under the sun. Sometimes I wake up in the night and the same thing happens when I try to fall asleep. As a result, I get out of bed feeling exhausted or sleep really late. How do I improve my sleep?

Thanks for writing in; getting a good night’s sleep is difficult for many people and falling asleep can be particularly difficult if you are stressed or worrying about something that is going on in your life.

From what you have written there may be at least two things to consider that may help you. The first is what is referred to as sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene simply means putting in place a few habits and environmental changes that help you get a good night’s sleep. These include things such as slowing down your mind and body before you go to bed with relaxing activities and getting enough physical activity and eating well through the day, as well as ensuring your sleep environment is optimal.

The second thing to consider is the disruptive thinking that you have experienced while trying to fall asleep. Thinking about everything that needs to be done or difficult situations that have occurred can trigger anxiety, or at the very least, result in physiological arousal. This can take our bodies out of the relaxed state necessary for sleep. Good stress management techniques can help, including worry scheduling and guided breathing exercises. It may also be helpful to book an appointment with a counsellor at Counselling and Psychological Services to talk through what is bothering you and address these concerns during the day.

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