鈥淒on鈥檛 try to fall asleep,鈥 she says. Instead, try not to fall asleep, and then watch sleep come to you. In psychology, this technique is known as paradoxical intention.

Researchers once asked 34 insomniacs to test it out for 14 nights. Half the participants were asked to use paradoxical intention while the other half were not. The study concluded that 鈥減articipants allocated to paradoxical intention, relative to controls, showed a significant reduction in sleep effort and sleep performance anxiety.鈥 Meaning, they fell asleep faster and with less stress.

Beyond this counterintuitive technique, Kennedy suggests, 鈥渋f you鈥檙e having trouble sleeping, stop trying and distract yourself until your body is sleepy again. Try deep breathing, reading, coloring, Sudoku鈥攁nything that takes your mind away from the frustration of not sleeping.鈥

Quit looking at the clock

If you often wake up in the middle of the night, you know a digital clock can taunt you. When you see that it鈥檚 4:30 a.m., you immediately start doing the mental math, stressing about how many hours you have left to catch some zzz鈥檚. To sleep better, experts recommend turning the clock鈥檚 face away from view to curb the anxiety that keeps you awake.

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