Mental Health

Disturbed Sleep? Here’s What You Can Do

Had enough of the tossing and turning? Try these natural ways to fall asleep faster.

By URLife Team
27 May 2024

A good night’s sleep often can be difficult to come by, even if you avoid caffeine in the afternoon and put away your phone well before bedtime, you might still find yourself lying awake, wondering, "Why can't I sleep?"
To understand this, we need to rethink what it means to "fall asleep easily." Many people believe that good sleepers drift off instantly. This belief can create anxiety when it doesn't happen, making it even harder to fall asleep.


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Related story: How To Calm The Mind And Get A Good Night's Sleep


How To Fall Asleep When You Can’t

Difficulty falling asleep can also stem from poor sleep habits, known as sleep hygiene. Good sleep hygiene includes habits like going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, which helps improve sleep quality. Here are simple sleep hygiene tips to improve the quality of your sleep. .

1. Avoid coffee and alcohol: Alcohol and caffeine disrupt sleep quality. While alcohol may make you feel sleepy initially, it can disrupt your sleep cycle and can lead to multiple trips to the bathroom during the night. Alcohol decreases rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, a crucial stage for brain function and overall restfulness. Caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you awake if consumed in the late afternoon or evening. It usually stays in the system for up to six hours, affecting your ability to fall asleep.

Tips for Better Sleep

  • Limit caffeine intake: Avoid coffee, tea, energy drinks, and other caffeinated products at least six hours before bedtime.
  • Skip evening alcohol: Avoid drinking alcohol in the evening to prevent sleep disturbances and improve the quality of your sleep.


2. Stay away from blue-light screens: Electronics like phones, computers, and TVs emit blue light, which can significantly affect your sleep-wake cycle by hampering the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls sleep. Scrolling through social media or watching TV in bed might seem relaxing, but it can make it harder to fall asleep. 

Tips for Better Sleep

  • Turn off your phone, computer, and TV at least two hours before bedtime.
  • Leave your phone and other devices in another room to avoid temptation and ensure a more restful sleep environment.


Related story: Are You Addicted To Your Phone? Here's How You Can Cut Screen Time


3. Create a cosy ambience: A noisy room with excessive light can prevent you from falling and staying asleep. By optimising your sleep environment, you can reduce disturbances and enhance your ability to get a good night's rest. An uncomfortable temperature can lead to restless sleep.

Tips to create an ideal sleep environment

  • Use earplugs, a white noise machine, or a fan to block out disruptive sounds.
  • Turn off lights, use blackout curtains, or wear an eye mask to create a dark sleeping space.
  • Keep your room cool between 15-19°C, for  a comfortable sleep environment.


4. Don’t think about why you’re not able to sleep: Anxiety worsens insomnia. Worrying about not falling asleep can create a cycle of anxiety that makes it even harder to sleep. You know you will eventually get sleepy enough to fall asleep, so don't have to get too worked up about being awake at night occasionally. 
By staying calm and not stressing about being awake, you can break the cycle of anxiety and improve your chances of falling asleep naturally.

Tips to Stay Calm

  • Instead of stressing about being awake, try focusing on something calming, like deep breathing or reading a book.
  • Remember that it's normal to have occasional sleepless nights. Trust that your body will eventually get sleepy enough to fall asleep.


Related story: 6 Viral Life Hacks To Help Sleep Better


5. Don’t forget to exercise: Without regular physical activity, your body may accumulate excess energy that can lead to restlessness and difficulty falling asleep. Exercise is linked to deeper and more restorative sleep. Without regular physical activity, your sleep may be more fragmented, resulting in poorer sleep quality. 

Tips for Incorporating Exercise

  • Daily exercise: Aim for 20-30 minutes of exercise each day. Activities like walking, jogging, cycling, or yoga can be very effective.
  • Timing matters: Finish exercising at least three hours before bedtime to avoid overstimulation that can interfere with sleep.


The pursuit of a restful night's sleep often requires us to challenge our assumptions about what it means to drift off effortlessly. By recognising the various factors impacting our ability to sleep, from lifestyle habits to environmental influences, we empower ourselves to make informed choices promoting better sleep hygiene. So, the next time sleep proves elusive, let's remember to approach the problem with curiosity and flexibility, seeking solutions that prioritise our well-being and rejuvenation.


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