8 Activities to Stop Stress When Trying to Falling Asleep

Mental Health & Self Love

December 04, 2021

Just as you are about to close your eyes after an exhausting day, dozens of stressful thoughts bombard your mind. Suddenly, you find yourself thinking about an upcoming math test and a difficult history project. Many teenagers, including myself, sometimes experience difficulty falling asleep, as the noise of our stress is too loud to ignore. But, these few tips will make falling asleep easier, reducing stressful thoughts as soon as your cheek hits your pillow.

1. Take Some Time Off Screens

Looking at a screen, whether it is scrolling on social media or catching up on your favorite television show, will make falling asleep more challenging than it needs to be. Even though resisting the screen before bed is tough, it will make a huge difference to the quality of your sleep. But, this does not mean that you cannot be on your phone or computer for the entire night. I try my best to use no technology about thirty minutes before I plan on going to bed.

If you find yourself failing to stop getting on your phone or computer, put your devices in another room, away from your reach. But, if you find that this is unrealistic for your routine, just strive not to be staring at a screen in the dark.

2. Read Something You Enjoy

Reading is such a relaxing activity that is excellent to do before turning off the lights and going to bed. I sometimes love to read some sort of fiction book. If this idea is not compelling to you in any way, you are not alone.

Most teenagers do not prefer falling asleep with a book in their hands, but reading does not have to be limited to novels. Flipping through an engaging magazine might be more appealing to you; maybe comics are interesting to you. Or, maybe reading poetry before bed makes for a calming activity. Read things that you gravitate towards.

3. Write Down Your Worries

Often, the thoughts that consume us just as we are trying to fall asleep are worries of ours that we have ignored and pushed aside throughout the day. Though writing down your thoughts that are causing you to worry and stress may sound useless, taking the time to find out what is bothering you will tune out the overwhelming thoughts rushing through your mind.

This activity does not need to be time-consuming. Spending around five minutes jotting down some of your worries will have an immense impact on your sleep.

4. Have Some Alone Time

Time with family or friends at night can be a fun way to spend your time. But, before going to bed, having at least twenty minutes alone will give you a chance to reflect on your day and take a moment to relax. Sometimes, the act of being around others can cloud your mind and add to the plethora of stressful thoughts going through your head as you go to sleep.

Most importantly, time alone will provide you with the opportunity to do activities that truly relax you.

5. Take a Warm Shower Or Bath

Treating yourself to a warm shower or bath will serve as a comforting activity. Not only will taking a warm bath or shower help you relax at the end of a hectic day, but it will also lower your body temperature, which can help you fall asleep faster.

6. Write In A Journal

Spilling out your biggest worries and stresses onto paper makes your problems seem more manageable. Similar to writing down your worries, journaling forces you to think deeply about what in your life is triggering worry and stress. But, writing in a journal can also help you address your problems. By writing about a problem in your life and also elaborating on why the problem at hand is negatively impacting you, the issue at hand will feel smaller.

7. Ensure That Your Sleeping Environment Is Appropriate

Ensure that your sleeping environment has little noise and that your sleeping environment is dark. This environment will make for an appropriate place to sleep. While factors such as noise are not always completely in your hands, try to make the best out of your given circumstances.

8. Know That It Might Take Time To Establish A Night Routine

While coming up with a night routine can be fairly easy, enforcing your night routine can be challenging. Make sure that your night routine is right for you. If you find yourself constantly falling out of your routine, you might want to consider changing an aspect of your routine that is most challenging.

Remember that consistency is key. It is normal and healthy to fall out of your routine at times, but for the most part, you should stick to the routine you establish. When creating a night routine full of soothing activities that will make falling asleep easier, remain patient with yourself throughout your entire experience.

Sophene Avedissian
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Sophene Avedissian is a sophomore in high school. She writes for her school newspaper, Spyglass, the Los Angeles Times High School Insider, and the Youth Civics Initiative. During her free time, Sophene enjoys reading, playing soccer, and spending time with family and friends.