Health + Wellness, Lifestyle, Living With Chronic Illness

How to Fall Asleep When You Can’t

How to fall asleep when you can't

Hey, friends! Can’t sleep? Lately, neither can I. It’s starting to drive me a bit nuts. I’m sure you can relate if you’ve also laid awake every night staring at your ceiling, waiting for a restful night’s sleep to find you. Maybe you’re dealing with anxiety, or maybe chronic pain keeps you awake. (Been there, felt that!). Either way, not sleeping well has a negative impact on our health and well-being. In this blog post, I share tips detailing how to fall asleep when you can’t, so that we all can get more time asleep and less time tossing and turning. 

This blog post contains affiliate links, and I may earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. I am not a medical doctor. Please consult a medical professional before beginning any supplements. Full disclaimer here.

Take Melatonin

The first solution on my list of tips for sleeping better is melatonin. Maybe you’ve already heard about this trick. If you haven’t, allow me to give you a brief rundown of what it is. Melatonin is a hormone your body makes that lets you know when it’s time to sleep. Basically, when it starts to get dark out, your body starts producing melatonin, and it can help you relax so that you feel ready for bed. 

For some people, especially those with low levels of melatonin, taking the hormone as a supplement can help them fall asleep. It is recommended that you take the lowest level of melatonin needed to help you sleep. Start with taking .5 mg or 1 mg between 30 minutes and one hour before bedtime and see how that works before taking any higher doses. 

Olly Melatonin Gummies get rave reviews on Amazon and each gummy contains 1.5 mg of melatonin. Olly also lists all the ingredients, so you can see what’s in the product.  If you want tablets that you can cut with a pill cutter, Nature Made Melatonin also gets high reviews on Amazon. These tablets come in 3 and 5 mg doses. 

Drink Sleepytime Tea

In the colder and cooler months, I love winding down the night with a cup of herbal tea while wrapped in the fuzziest of blankets. But have you ever tried any of the Sleepytime Teas by Celestial Seasonings? Honestly, I was very skeptical that tea would help me fall asleep. But I tried the Sleepytime Honey Herbal Tea one night just to try it–because when you’re desperate for sleep you’ll try just about anything. Right? 

Well, guess what? It actually worked! I remember I was reading something and after about 45 minutes my eyelids got heavy and I was too tired to read anymore. I squinted over at my empty mug of tea, still skeptical even though I knew it had worked. But I am a skeptic no more! Celestial Seasonings makes many different flavors of their Sleepytime tea line, like peach, mint, and vanilla. 

Play White Noise

Another great tip for sleeping better, white noise machines or features can be found in various products on the market today. Google Home Mini features a white noise option. It also has other relaxing sounds, such as rain, country night sounds, and ocean waves. Many apps, such as the Calm App, also have soothing sounds, including a white noise option. 

Background noises are probably one of the most effective solutions that help me fall asleep when I can’t. Besides white noise, I love ocean waves, campfire crackling, and country night sounds. I’ll play these either on my phone or our Google Home Mini when I get into bed at night. They remind me of some of my favorite peaceful places so that my body relaxes enough to fall asleep. Plus, both of these options allow me to set sleep timers, so they automatically turn off after a set amount of time.   

Soak in Epsom Salt Baths

The effects of this tip for how to fall asleep when you can’t are twofold. Taking a warm bath before bed alone may help you relax and prepare for sleep. But adding Epsom salts to the mix? Especially Epsom salts scented with lavender? Well, that’s even better! Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt Soaking Solution with lavender is a brand that I’ve used and loved, and it’s also highly rated by users. Soaking in a bath with these dissolved salts can not only relieve body aches but can also help you feel ready to dive into bed. 


Sometimes, you may struggle to sleep because of chronic pain. I know this all too well. In my opinion, pain is the worst reason to miss out on quality sleep. Like Epsom salts, CBD products can help with both issues. I depend on Magsoothium products infused with CBD to relieve all my toughest pain points that can keep me awake at night. 

But CBD isn’t just great for chronic pain management, it’s also one of my tips for sleeping better. According to the American Sleep Association, some research suggests that CBD may help people deal with insomnia. It may also decrease anxiety and pain, which further helps individuals sleep better. I can attest to this claim. Most nights after I spray my feet with Magsoothium’s arnica/magnesium spray infused with CBD, I am sooo sleepy afterward and I experience less trouble falling asleep.  

Supplement With Magnesium

An essential mineral to our body’s proper functioning, magnesium can help you fall asleep when you can’t. Magnesium does this by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the branch of the nervous system that is responsible for making you feel calm.

But besides calming the body, did you know that not having enough magnesium can be just as bad for your sleep? Yup! A magnesium deficiency can actually cause insomnia, among other things, such as premenstrual syndrome, migraines, and high blood pressure. So, taking a magnesium supplement (as directed by your doctor!) may help you deal with chronic insomnia. When I struggle with bad insomnia, I take 100 mg of Solgar Chelated Magnesium once a day. But again, check with your doctor before starting this or any new supplements! 

Listen to Sleep Stories

I’ve already mentioned the Calm App in this blog post, but I didn’t specifically talk about the sleep stories feature. Similar to audiobooks, the sleep stories feature offers exactly what it sounds like it does: audio stories told by people with soothing voices (hello, Matthew McConaughey!). Sometimes, that’s all you need to relax and drift off to sleep! 

I find that listening to stories helps distract my mind from any anxious thoughts that keep me awake. And if I’m being honest, anxiety keeps me up a lot of the time. Drop me a comment below if you can relate! But seriously, girls and guys, this is a really great solution for pulling your mind elsewhere when you’re trying to fall asleep. Escape to the vivid settings the narrators paint for you and let your mind ease itself into a night of restful sleep.

Test Out Progressive Muscle Relaxation

If you’re wondering how to fall asleep when you can’t on a budget, maybe you should give progressive muscle relaxation a try. It’s free and easy to learn how to do. The Sleep Foundation cites this technique as one of many ways to relax your body for nighttime. The maneuver requires tensing and relaxing 16 muscle groups, one by one, until your entire body is relaxed and released from tension. New to this technique? Follow along with a guided video on YouTube, or a guided meditation on Spotify or the Calm App. 

Wear Ear Plugs

Sometimes, you just can’t sleep because of too much noise. Living in New York City, this happens to me often. My first line of defense is a fan or other white noise machine, but sometimes even that can’t drown out blaring sirens or car horns. So, this brings us to my final tip for sleeping better: earplugs. 

Yup. I sleep with earplugs some nights, and you know what? I don’t regret my decision to give this a go. My brand of choice is Mack’s Dreamgirl Soft Foam Earplugs. These are great because they’re slim enough to painlessly fit in my ears. In other words, wearing them in and of itself doesn’t keep me up. While this type specifically doesn’t completely block out all noise (Not sure I would want that anyway?), they mute noise enough that it doesn’t startle me awake. 

Try to Stay Awake

This sounds counterproductive, I know, but hear me (and science) out. This simple and clever tip for sleeping better just may be what you need to finally drift off to sleep at night. Sleep experts say that sometimes trying to fall asleep causes us to feel sleep performance anxiety. That means all that tossing and turning, checking the time every two minutes, and sighing into your pillow isn’t doing you any favors when it comes to falling asleep. 

Soooo, instead of trying so hard to fall asleep, sometimes you should try to stay awake. This is actually a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy known as paradoxical intent. The idea here is that not trying to sleep will remove some of the anxiety you may feel about getting a good night’s sleep. And with that anxiety lifted, you may find that you actually end up falling asleep. Pretty cool, huh? I, for one, need to try this inexpensive trick for sleeping better! 

How to fall asleep when you can't

I hope this overview of how to fall asleep when you can’t provides you with some tricks to try the next time you experience trouble sleeping. Have any other tips for falling asleep fast that you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below! And if you liked this post, make sure to pin it for later and share it on social! 



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