How to Fall Asleep When Not Tired

Many people wonder how to fall asleep when not tired. Actions taken during your waking hours can affect your sleeping hours. Not getting the recommended eight hours of sleep can impair your productivity over the course of the day and you’re at a greater risk for conditions such as obesity and diabetes. Whether you prefer natural remedies, prescription or over-the-counter pills or simple lifestyle adjustments, learning how to fall asleep when not tired can help you get the sleep your body needs.

Create a Bedtime Routine:

Winding down before bedtime helps you relax and get ready to fall asleep. Taking a warm bath, meditation, breathing techniques and reading a book are all non-stimulating activities that help take your mind off the stress of the day.

Create a Sleep Schedule:

Going to bed and waking up each day at the same time regulates your body’s sleep-wake cycle. Your body automatically gets enough sleep each day. Even though some people enjoy taking naps during the day, this may backfire at nighttime when it’s time to sleep. In this case it’s best to avoid napping.

Create a Pleasant Sleep Environment:

When you think of how to fall asleep when not tired, adjusting your sleep environment may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, black-out drapes, a comfortable bed, the soothing sound of a fan and a room temperature of no more than 65 degrees Fahrenheit can all help you fall asleep.

Sleep-inducing Foods:

A light snack before bedtime can help you fall asleep. Foods that contain tryptophan have a calming effect on the brain. Ideally you combine tryptophan-containing foods with some carbohydrates. Half of a turkey sandwich, a banana or granola with low-fat milk can all help induce sleep. Avoid large meals and fatty foods before going to sleep, because heartburn and indigestion can keep you awake when it’s time to sleep.


Exercising right before bedtime makes it hard to fall asleep because it has a stimulating effect. Instead, exercise early in the day so you feel more tired at night and fall asleep easily.

Herbal Remedies:

At a drug store you can find herbal sleep aids in the form of teas and supplements. Ingredients you’ll commonly find in these herbal sleep remedies include valerian root, kava kava, chamomile, passion-flower, lemon balm, St. John’s Wort and lavender. Herbal remedies have a mild sedative effect and when taken in large quantities they can have side effects, such as dreams and excitability.

Over-the-counter and Prescription Remedies:

Antihistamine, the active ingredient in many over-the-counter sleeping pills, makes you feel sleepy. However, these sleeping pills are only meant to be taken for a short period. Taking them for a long time can result in unpleasant side effects, such as drowsiness during the day. Your doctor can prescribe sleeping pills that are benzodiazepine or non-benzodiazepine based. Both trick your brain into thinking you’re tired. These pills can be habit-forming and are not a permanent solution to insomnia.

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One Response to How to Fall Asleep When Not Tired

  1. Bettina says:

    What helps me is a dose of Valerian and counting backward from 10 to zero. And then again. Counting inhibits any worrying thoughts that might come up if you are lying there wide awake. It almost always works.

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