Sleep has always been a challenge of mine. It is difficult for me to fall asleep and stay asleep. Moreover, I’m a light sleeper which does not help. In the morning, I am irritated, fatigued and in pain, my fibromyalgia symptoms get worst. I find myself going in the same circle every night, forcing myself to fall asleep with no success. I would count from 1 to 10 and backward while listening to the clock ticking.  All this did was just making me frustrated and making sleeping even more impossible.

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Something has to change, right?

After years of struggling with insomnia, I was desperate to find a solution to my night problem. I listened to calming bedtime music, going to bed earlier and other sorts of method to help me sleep. Eventually, I developed a bedtime routine…I stuck with and that made a significant impact.


Things to keep in mind

Start small

Don’t jump in all and try to do everything on this list at once. Select one or two ideas and try them for a few weeks before adding another idea to your list. This way you don’t overwhelm yourself and give up.


Document your results as you try these ideas. Notice what worked and what did not work. Keep the ideas that worked and replace the ones that did not work with new ideas. The goal is to test these ideas slowly and find the ones that work and the ones that don’t work.

Be consistent

Whether you are working on one idea or two, stay consistent with them. You need to test to know what works. No effort means no result.

Be patient 

It might take a while to see improvement in your sleep, so please be patient. These ideas are not a miracle pill that makes your insomnia go away after a couple of days.

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Tips for a better night sleep

  • Reduce noise or light. Get rid of any light source in your room, wear earplugs if possible.
  • Clean bedding makes a huge difference, and make sure you are warm and not hot under your blanket.
  • Use your bed for sleep, sex or when you are sick only. This helps your body associate being in bed to sleep.
  • Avoid heated discussions before bedtime. It might be helpful to communicate your needs with your family so everyone is on board.
  • Avoid caffeine within 8 hours and alcohol 6 hours before bedtime.
  • Do some relaxation techniques such as gentle yoga, reading or listening to calming music.
  • If you can’t fall asleep, get out of bed and go to another room and do some reading for 15 minutes and go back to your bed.
  • Replace the negative thought with a positive one. This would also help improve the negative thoughts associated with self-esteem.
  • Don’t check social media in bed, if you do, set a time to put your phone down. If you can’t do this then just don’t put your phone on your bed. Instead, put it far from your bed where you can not reach it.
  • Do regular exercise, it helps get better sleep at night.
  • Spend time in the light every day. This helps your body set the biological clock.
  • Journal your thoughts or worries and forget them.
  • If you are open to medication for depression, taking it during the day helps reduce stress resulting in a better sleep night.

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Raina is a psychology student who understands the importance of caring for mental health. She blogs about depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, men and mental health and parenting kids with ADHD.

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