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. Either way, not sleeping well has a negative impact on your health and well-being. Keep reading for tips on how to fall asleep when you can’t, so you can hopefully spend 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, let me 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. This hormone can help you relax so that you feel ready for bed. 

For some people, especially those with low melatonin levels, taking the hormone as a supplement can help them fall asleep. Healthline recommends that you take the lowest level of melatonin needed to help you sleep. Start with taking .5 mg or one 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 easily 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 three- and five-mg doses. 

Drink Sleepytime Tea

In the colder months, I love winding down the night with a cup of herbal tea while wrapped in the fuzziest of blankets. Has anyone here 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, and 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 flavors in their Sleepytime tea line, like peach, mint, and vanilla. 

Play White Noise

Another great tip for sleeping better is using a white noise machine or playing white noise on a device. You can buy a white noise machine online, like the Lectrofan EVO machine, which also plays ocean sounds and 22 different fan sounds. 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. They remind me of some of my favorite peaceful places so that my body relaxes for sleep.  

Soak in Epsom Salt Baths

This tip for how to fall asleep when you can’t has double the benefits. Taking a warm bath before bed may help you unwind and prepare for sleep. But adding Epsom salts to the mix? Especially Epsom salts scented with relaxing 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 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 you sleep better. I can attest to this claim. Most nights after I spray my feet with Magsoothium’s arnica/magnesium spray infused with CBD, it makes me sleepy and more likely to fall asleep easier. 

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 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. 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 until I’m sleeping better.

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 audio stories told by people with soothing voices. 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, this is a great solution for distracting your mind from anxious thoughts when you’re trying to fall asleep. Let yourself escape to the vivid settings the narrators paint for you and ease yourself 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. As someone who lived in New York City, this happened to me often. My first line of defense was a fan or other white noise machine, but sometimes even that couldn’t drown out blaring sirens or car horns. So, this brings us to my final tip for sleeping better: earplugs. 

Yup. I slept with earplugs some nights, and you know what? It got me through many nights in the city. 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 doesn’t completely block out all noise, (Not sure I would want that anyway? How would I hear invaders in the night?! Lol.) they muted noise enough so that I wasn’t startled awake at each siren. 

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. 

So, 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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