The Tricks I Use to Break The “Staying Up Late For No Reason” Cycle

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I have a complicated relationship with sleeping. I could probably take a nap anytime, anywhere, but when it’s time to actually go to bed at night, sometimes I just can’t make it happen. I want to keep writing, or I want to keep playing around on Instagram or looking up covers of my favorite songs. Before I know it it’s midnight, and then I start to get anxious about whether I’ll get enough rest to feel good the next day.

One of my main resolutions heading into 2016 was to get my sleep schedule back on track. I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to stop playing around on my phone and computer too late at night. That’s helped some, but I still found that I was wired when I should have been ready to start counting sheep. But recently I’ve adopted a few habits that have helped me to chill out and cue my brain that it’s time to go to bed. If you’ve got sleep issues too, I’d definitely suggest looking into them. They are:

  • Adult coloring books: Everyone is obsessed with them, and I totally get it. There’s something really therapeutic about turning your brain off and kicking it old school with a box of colored pencils and an intricate drawing that needs to be filled in. Plus, we all know that staring at screens before bed screws with your melatonin levels, making it hard to fall asleep. Avoid this issue entirely as you color your little heart out.
  • Reading young adult books: I absolutely love to read, but sometimes I find that reading right before bed kicks my brain into high gear, especially when the book deals with heavy issues. For instance, I just read The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. It was an amazing story, but it was about World War II and included graphic descriptions of concentration camps. Not exactly light, peaceful bedtime reading. To counteract this issue, I’ve started going back to some of my favorite books from when I was in middle and high school. Though some YA books do deal with serious issues, a lot of them tend to be on the lighter side of things, plus there’s a fun sense of nostalgia when you re-read a book you used to love but haven’t picked up in years. Anyone remember the Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor? I’m going through them now. They’re just as good as I remember them being in 6th grade.

I’ve also been journaling before bed, which is as important for mental health as it is relaxing. Even when I take just five minutes and write out what’s on my mind, I find that I feel so much better.

Do you have any tips for falling asleep easier? I’d love to hear them!

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