Sleep is one of the most important things we do every day. It is vital for health and well-being, but many people don’t get enough of it. Sleep affects our mood, our energy levels, our ability to learn and remember, and how well we can cope with stress.

Plus, lack of sleep is linked to many health problems such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity. Too little sleep also shortens life expectancy by raising the risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Conversely, getting more sleep each night may reduce the risk of some diseases.

What if you have trouble falling asleep at night? It’s a common and frustrating problem that many people experience. You’ve heard all the conventional advice, like sleeping in a dark room, avoiding caffeine, etc., but there are less conventional “tricks” you can use to fall asleep faster.

Watch the Night Sky

night sky

Trying to get a handle on your insomnia? Consider spending some time looking at the sky and letting the stars lull you into a restful state. Gazing up at the stars at night is one of the most relaxing things you can do. Observing nature in any capacity is relaxing for the mind and body. Doing it before sleep reduces the stress hormone cortisol, so you can sleep better. If the weather cooperates, take a stroll outdoors, so you can observe the stars and mood directly. Doing so will bring positive energy into your life.

Drink a Glass of Tart Cherry Juice

cherry juice

Studies show drinking a glass of tart cherry juice an hour before bed may help you fall asleep faster and improve sleep quality. Not only is tart cherry juice high in antioxidants and compounds that reduce inflammation, but it also contains melatonin, a hormone that helps set your body’s sleep-wake cycle. You may discover you enjoy the sour but sweet taste of this tart beverage.

Write in a Journal


Writing in a journal is a way to vent frustrations and worries. Getting them down on people reduces the need to ruminate about them once you get into bed. One study found that writing a to-do list for the next day may help with sleep. In the study, those who journaled their to-do list for the next day 5 minutes before bedtime fell asleep nine minutes faster than those who didn’t. At the very least, get your thoughts down on paper before falling asleep.

Sleep with a Weighted Blanket


Studies show that sleeping on a weighted blanket can help you fall asleep faster. Swedish researchers found participants who slept on a weighted metal chain blanket fell asleep faster than those who slept on a non-weighted blanket.  The weight of a weighted blanket may work by calming anxiety and worry and by giving a greater sense of security. A weighted blanket may be particularly effective if you suffer from anxiety or depression.

Take a Bubble Bath


Relaxing in a hot bath before bed can boost your sleep quality. A study showed that taking a hot bath 90 minutes before sleep helps your body drift off to sleep faster. How does it work? The warmth of the bath and the drop in body temperature once you step out of the hot tub signal your body that it’s sleep time. Adding a little bubble bath or bath oil turns it into a soothing spa experience too.

Color in an Adult Color Book

coloring book

Coloring is an excellent stress reliever, and it makes you feel a little creative too. You can experience your creativity with a variety of beautiful colors and admire your work once you’ve finished. According to Cleveland Clinic, coloring relaxes your mind and body. Any activity that relaxes your mind at bedtime can help you drift off to sleep faster.

Read a Boring Book

asleep beside a book

Have you ever read a boring book and fallen asleep while reading it? That’s a hack you can use when you can’t fall asleep. Keep a boring book on your nightstand, preferably one with no photos, and read it when you can’t sleep. It’s a super-fast way to drift off to dreamland.

The Bottom Line

A good night’s sleep matters for your health and wellbeing. If you can’t fall asleep, try these tips to help you get a better night’s sleep.

Pigeon WR, Carr M, Gorman C, Perlis ML. Effects of a tart cherry juice beverage on the sleep of older adults with insomnia: a pilot study. J Med Food. 2010 Jun;13(3):579-83. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2009.0096. PMID: 20438325; PMCID: PMC3133468.
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