Sleep is incredibly essential to your mental and physical wellbeing. It is especially necessary that you get enough sleep if you are attempting to lose weight. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, then try the tips below. Remember to be patient. Worrying about the fact that you can’t fall asleep will only make it harder to do so.

#1 Relax
  • Practice meditation throughout the day and especially before bed. See the section on meditation for more guidance.
  • Use lavender oil in a diffuser or spray it on your pillow.
  • Buy a weighted blanket to sleep with.
  • Give yourself a massage or acupressure described below.
    • With your fingertips, apply pressure between your eyebrows, right above the nose, the depression between your first and second toes, or on top of the foot, for a few minutes until you feel a dull ache.
    • Just inside your ear, press down. Don’t go inside the ear and puncture your eardrum.
    • Massage both of your ears for a minute.
#2 Make Yourself Tired
  • Try to force yourself to stay awake or keep your eyes open for as long as you can.
  • Do something or think about something boring. Try doing simple math problems in your head.
  • If you’re lying in bed for more than 30 minutes and you’re still not tired, get out of bed and do something boring, like a puzzle or a coloring book.
#3 Make Your Room Dark, Cold, And Quiet
  • Use earplugs or listen to relaxing music with headphones.
  • Use an eye mask or keep your room as dark as possible — the dark cues your brain to produce melatonin, which helps you sleep. Any light can interfere with this and keep you awake.
  • Keep your room cool. Low body temperature is important for sleep. You can take a warm shower before bed, and the cool air will reduce your body temperature when you get out.
  • Splash your face with cold water for 30 seconds.
  • Take a break from artificial light close to bedtime. Use candlelight or low light and avoid the light from your phone or other devices for at least an hour before bed. You can also put a night timer on your phone that dims the light at whatever time you choose.
#4 Avoid Alcohol, Caffeine, And Water Before Bed
  • Drink most of your fluids earlier in the day to avoid waking up during the night to use the bathroom.
  • Avoid alcohol as much as possible, as it can lead to insomnia. Check out Allen Carr’s book Quit Alcohol Without Willpower for more help on this.
  • Limit caffeine throughout the day. That includes coffee, supplements, energy drinks, and caffeinated tea. Some people are very sensitive to caffeine. If you’re having trouble sleeping, and have tried everything else, avoid caffeine altogether. If you need a natural energy boost, make sure you’re fully hydrated and try the energizing breathing exercise below.
            Energizing Breathing Exercise
  1. Inhale to the count of two
  2. Exhale to the count of two
  3. Inhale to the count of two
  4. Exhale to the count of three
  5. Inhale to the count of two
  6. Exhale to the count of four
  7. Inhale to the count of two
  8. Exhale to the count of five
  9. Repeat a few times, then return to your normal breathing.
#5 Make A Routine
  • Set a bedtime for yourself based on when you need to wake up for the next day.
  • Use a sleep tracker like Fitbit, Ora, or Apple Watch.
Check With Your Doctor

If you have trouble sleeping, wake up feeling unrested, or tend to snore, then check with your doctor to find out if you have sleep apnea. This is a condition that causes interrupted breathing while you sleep. Sleep apnea is difficult to treat because it is caused by being overweight, and it makes it harder for you to lose weight. The danger of sleep apnea is that it can increase the likelihood of stroke or a heart attack, however, it is treatable and reversible. There are devices you can wear while you sleep to help you breathe until you lose enough weight to reverse the condition.

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