I have struggled with insomia for many, many years. I've tried everything and still struggle. But I've definitely found some things that can help.

Sleep Hygiene


  • Keep a regular sleep schedule (especially a regular wake-up time in the morning)
  • Avoid day-time naps
  • Exercise during the day (at least 4 hours before bedtime)
  • Avoid caffeine after lunch
  • In the evening, limit:
    • Potential stimulants
      • Alcohol
      • Nicotine
      • Sugar
      • Chocolate
    • Fluids (so you're not making repeated trips to the bathroom while trying to fall asleep)
  • Decrease screen time before bed (TV, smart phones, tablets)


  • Try to go to bed as near the same time every day as possible
  • Optimize your sleep environment
    • Cool temperature
    • Turn off lights and electronics
  • Have a bedtime routine so your brain knows certain activities mean its time to get ready for sleep (specifically to help with the release of melatonin). Consider:
    • Hot beverages
      • Milk
      • Chamomile tea
    • Relaxing activities
      • Warm bath
      • Yoga
      • Meditation
      • Reading
        • Book with as-dim-as-possible light
        • Back-lit eReader (NOT tablet or phone, which are too stimulating; I personally love the Kindle Oasis and Kindle Paperwhite for this purpose)

Sleep Aids

Sensory Sleep Aids

  • Light/Noise Blockers
    • Satin Eye Mask - such as Jersey Slumber; soft, smooth, and cool against your skin
    • Acoustic Sheep - bluetooth sleep headphones that I personally use to cover my eyes as well. They make Fleece and "Breeze" options (I personally am a hot sleeper so recommend the Breeze). They also have pretty good customer service.
  • Audio Aids
    • Relaxing music
    • Sleep stories - honestly a WONDERFUL tool that has helped me so much
      • Calm is an awesome app that has very limited free options and a fairly expensive optional subscription but I personally find it worth every penny. They have meditation guides, sleep stories, and sleep/relaxation music, with so much variety within each genre. I use it every night. Thankfully, they have a 7-day trial so you can try it before committing to the cost.
      • Abide - a Christian meditation app that also has sleep stories and music. I did use their free trial but didn't love it as much as Calm so did not purchase.
    • White noise
      • White noise machine - I only started using these after my daughters were born. I honestly don't think I could ever sleep in silence again. The Hatch Rest is by far the best one I've used (and I've used a bunch; see my "Baby Registry" page, "Sleep Aids" section for more on this).
      • Fan
  • Weighted blankets - while not everyone agrees that it is good for us to be sleeping with a weighted blanket all night, many people find they sleep significantly better with one, so it's hard to argue against them. I personally LOVE LOVE LOVE my Hush ICED blanket.
  • Cooling Sheets

Pharmacologic Sleep Aids