Most of you who are reading this are probably not getting the recommended eight hours of sleep a night. Some of the reasons why are probably highly associated with the use of too much technology: scrolling through Instagram in bed, listening to late night notification pings as you close your eyes, or even the blinking LED screen you can still see even with your eyes closed. Here are some natural ways to fall asleep without using sleeping pills or other drugs.

Natural Ways to Fall Asleep:

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Photo Credit: Shape.com

Breathing Exercises

Take slow, deep breaths; breathe air into your nose and out of your mouth. A great way to do this is to try a yoga pose called savasana. Savasana is a restorative yoga pose used for meditation, where you lie flat on you back, heels spread out a little, arms to your sides, and palm facing upwards. Technically, you’re not supposed to fall asleep (it’s meant for rejuvenation and reflection) during the practice of savasana. But –and trust me– it really helps.

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Clear Your Mind

Stop thinking about all the paperwork you have to fill out tomorrow, or the assignments due by the end of the week. They can wait until morning. Sleeping is not a waste of time, and getting enough sleep will lead to faster and more efficient performance the next day. Try to think of something peaceful, or focus on your breathing. 

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Stretch in Bed

Try doing some light stretching on your back, especially ones that include stretching out your inner thighs and hip. Sitting at a desk cause your pelvic muscles to cramp up, which “shortens” the tendons in that area, which can potentially lead to serious injuries. The reclining bound angle pose (think frog pose but lying down on your back, heels stuck together) is a great way to stretch these tight muscles out. This yoga pose will help relax and “lengthen” your tendons, causing the rest of your body to relax better. A relaxed body will ultimately induce better sleep.

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Keep Track of Your Caffeine Intake

How many cups of coffee did you really have this morning? If you’re not sure, it may be one of the reasons why you can’t seem to fall asleep at night. The recommended maximum cups of coffee for the average adult is four, so if you’re having more than that, you might want to cut down a little!

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Have a Sleep Tracker

Phone apps like “Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock” on Apple or “Sleep as Android” on Samsung can definitely help you keep track of how many hours of sleep you are getting every night. However, a non-tech alternative is to write it out yourself onto a memo pad or sticky note. Here are some easy and quick examples of how you can do it:

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Pretty simple, right? Drawing out one of these won’t take more than 3-5 minutes, which is not very time consuming. 

Finally, check out this article on grounding, which has benefits that include better sleep, less stress, and more energy.

Know any other natural ways to hit the Z’s? Let us know in the comments below! You can also tag us on Instagram at @georgiapellegrini, and be sure to follow us on Facebook!

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Cheryn Shin

Cheryn is a college student from Seoul, South Korea. She currently studies at Wellesley College. Cheryn loves writing, reading, playing video games, and watching movies; chances are you'll catch her doing one of these things at all times!