So I don’t know about the rest of teenagers out there, but I imagine they have the same difficulties I do when it comes to falling asleep at night. Even if I set a casual bedtime the whole plan falls apart when I realize it’s 1am and I’m still editing that “one more post” on Instagram. As a teen who sleeps on a different floor than her parents, I can get away with pretty much anything I want after 11pm or so. That means movies, binge watching TV, and every form of social networking known to man is available to me at any time of the night – provided I use headphones.
In order to keep myself from becoming a complete zombie I force myself to turn off electronics at one-thirty-am. Granted, I exceed that curfew at least once a week, but it keeps the zombie-ness to a minimum, at least during the weekdays. On weekends the curfew goes out the window and my parents comment innocently that I look like I need more sleep, and that maybe I should go to bed at 10pm tonight instead of 11pm. If only they knew.
But what I think most people want to read when skimming these articles is actually HOW to fall asleep once the activities for the day are done and the electronics are turned off. I personally have a general anxiety disorder making sleep even harder to come by. But thankfully, I have a few tips that might make dozing off just a little easier.
1. Set a curfew. I know I already touched on this, but it’s the most important rule in my opinion. If you have a changing bedtime it can mess up your sleep cycle and make falling asleep even more difficult. Plus on the practical side, most people need at least 8 hours of sleep. I personally need closer to 10. If you don’t get to bed until 3am, that 8-10 hours is gonna be virtually impossible, unless of course you have nothing to do that day (weekends!). So set a strict schedule for the weekdays, and stick to it. No excuses, when the curfew hits, the devices go off. (Note: This tip is gold even if you’re occupied by other non-electronic things)
2. Have some kind of ritual. This could be anything, from turning off lights/locking doors in your house, making yourself herbal tea, or even just making your bed. Just have something that gets your body in the bedtime “zone”. I personally check the locks on the doors (anxiety lol), get a drink of water, and microwave my stuffed cow. (I will talk more about this later.) Whatever it is, don’t ever lag on it. Even if you’re really, really, tired you can do at least some small part of your nightly ritual. Eventually it will become second nature, and will help your body calm down for bed every night.
3. Use natural sleep helpers. I do not mean drugs of any kind, as you should ALWAYS consult your doctor about such things, and in my opinion such medicines are rarely the answer. I’m referring to natural sleep aids such as aromatherapy, heat, and complete darkness.
a. Again, using myself as an example, I use a sleep aid pillow mist from Bath and Body Works every night a few minutes before bed. I find it makes a huge difference in my relaxation levels, and again, it becomes part of the afore mentioned ritual.
b. My biggest tip involves the stuffed cow mentioned before. I personally have a stuffed cow (specifically made for heating), but it could be any kind of heatable plush/water bottle. I microwave it before bed every night until its quite warm, and put it in my bed. I find it to be incredibly helpful, and I haven’t seen many articles on sleep help that mention it. Again I’ll repeat that it doesn’t have to be a cow, and they have many things for this purpose that are not gender specific or childish.
– So there you go! My tips and experience on falling asleep. I hope I helped/enlightened someone, and I hope everyone sleeps wonderfully tonight!
This idea for a post was taken from The Daily Post article for 6/23/14