There is nothing more frustrating than laying in bed at night, desperate to fall asleep, but instead being more wide awake than you were all day. There are so many reasons that you might struggle to sleep, such as sleep apnea or the day’s caffeine intake. However, for some us, we are just hyper-vigilant at night and can’t seem to get our brains to shut down and let us sleep. If you fall into this last category, here is how you can fix it!
If you have a busy brain at night, it can be tempting to take a sleeping pill, but relying on medication is not a great idea. It is much better to deal with the source of the issue, rather than masking it with medication.
Write a to-do list
This sounds like such a simple thing to do, but it really works. Before you go to bed, write a list of everything you have to do the next day. Include all the little reminders of things that tend to keep you up at night, and you will be able to sleep, safe in the knowledge that you won’t forget anything – it’s already written out ready for you.
At Baylor University, they performed a study with 57 people between the ages of 18 – 30 in a sleep lab. They were split into two groups, one of which was tasked with writing a to-do list for the next day, and the others were asked to write about what they had done that day. The group that wrote the todo list fell asleep on average nine minutes quicker than those who didn’t!
The way you write your list is entirely up to you. The subjects in the study were told that they could do it in bullet point form, or paragraphs and it seemed that the most specific the list was, the easier they fell asleep. Getting into the habit of writing a list before you go to bed will hopefully allow you to sleep quicker and easier every night. Once you have done it a few times, you will hopefully learn what works best for you in terms of laying out your list, and you can incorporate it into your nightly bedtime routine.
Why does this work?
According to researchers, this work as you are effectively letting go of your obligations and convincing your brain that everything is under control. Getting your thoughts and tasks out onto paper means that you don’t have to keep them at the front of your mind, hoping that you don’t forget anything while you are sleeping.
So what have you got to lose? Try this method for a week to see if it works for you. It’s very non-invasive, so it is easy enough to recreate at home on your own. An added bonus is that you have a ready-made todo list ready to start on in the morning, which might save you a few precious minutes of your day in the morning!