​10 Things To Do When You CAN’T Sleep!

by Study With Jess

Do you ever jump into bed after a busy day and all you want to do is sleep but you just can’t? Not to worry, here are some of my favourite tips for going to bed on those nights when you are feeling that little bit over-stimulated and fidgety!

Create a sleep tray

I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought that it is a fantastic way to collate all the useful sleep assistors you may need! In my bed tray, I like to include some warm fuzzy socks, an eye mask, some lavender oil and a mug – all the things that can help me to relax before bed. Having a sleep trey also acts as a cue so that instead of me struggling to fall asleep, I am reminded of various ways I can combat my restlessness and begin to wind down. Remember that you can include anything on this tray and that it’s all about focusing on what works best for you!

Have a relaxing bath

Having a bath, especially in the cooler months can help relax you and keep your body temperature warmer before bed. I like to add some bath salts and burn a candle whilst having my bath and it can also be nice to dim or turn the lights off to really calm your senses.

Put on some warm socks

Keeping warm is important, so sometimes some warm socks are a great way to maintain your body temperature and avoid the risk of waking up throughout the night because you are feeling cold. Avoid walking around the house bare foot in the hours leading up to bed time, especially if you’ve just had a nice hot bath too!

Have a cup of tea

A calming herbal tea such as chamomile can be a great way to unwind while you are preparing for bed. Just make sure to steer clear of caffeinated drinks, as they will only make it harder for you to fall to sleep!

Read a book

Reading a book can be a great way to unwind. However make sure that it is not something that is too thought provoking, as this may make it even harder to fall asleep. I like to allocate time for 10-20 pages a night before I sleep and typically opt for autobiographies, inspirational books and organizational books written by life coaches.

Avoid technology!

It’s a really good idea to put away your phone or turn off the television or computer screen well before you plan on sleeping. This is because a bright screen can stimulate your body and disrupt the release of melatonin, a sleep hormone produced in the lead up to catching some much-needed Z’s!

Light a candle or burn incense

Sometimes a subtle scent can be extremely relaxing; I also find the flicker of a candle nice to see in the background of my room before I sleep. Lavender oil is probably my favourite essential oil to burn in the evenings as it has a calming effect on the mind and body, however sometimes I’ll opt for a different scent such as lemongrass or bush scents. Just make sure to blow out any tea lights or candles before your sleep, as they can be a fire hazard!

Deep breathing & Meditiation

Spending some time practicing deep breathing or meditation can be very beneficial; especially if you have had a stressful day. Deep breathing helps to oxygenate the body and switch on our parasympathetic nervous system which helps us to relax. Ultimately, it allows your body to slow down and prepare to rest. It also can help us to be mindful, reflect on our days and process or work through anything that may be lingering on our mind.


Another great way to reflect is to write our thoughts down in a journal. Sometimes the reason we struggle to sleep is because we may be thinking about a lot that is going on in our lives at that given time. If we write down these things, it enables us to process all the positive and negative aspects of life and consider how we are going to accept and deal with these most appropriately.

Establish a sleep schedule

Finally, it’s very helpful to develop a sleep routine for yourself. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each morning. This way, your body can begin to develop a sleeping routine, making you less likely to wake up during ‘deep sleep’ periods of your sleep cycle, which can leave you feeling fatigued and drowsy.

Sleep is such an important part of our lives. We must make sure that we are getting sufficient sleep so that we are well rested and ready to take on the day ahead full of energy. It allows our body time to repair and regenerate, and our mind, time to calm down and refocus for a new day. Using the tips above can help ensure you are doing everything you can to assist your body to get the necessary rest it needs in order for you to wake up each morning ready for another productive and cheerful day!

Xx Study with Jess

For more study tips and advice on how to improve your grades, study smarter and enhance your study skills, check out my study skills book The High School Survival Guide!

 Watch my "Night routine" video below for tips on how to get a good night's sleep!