How to Fall Asleep at a Sleepover

Two Methods:Learning How to Fall AsleepSleeping at a Sleepover

Sleeping over at a friend's house overnight can be a lot of fun - but not if everyone else is asleep and you're stuck awake! It's not uncommon to have sleep problems in an unfamiliar place. Fortunately, there are some easy things you can try to fall asleep when you're at a sleepover.

Method 1
Learning How to Fall Asleep

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    Use sleep routines. You can learn to use relaxing sleep routines at home before going to a friend's house for a sleepover. Any routine that helps your body relax will help you go to sleep. An example of a relaxation routine used before bed is progressive body relaxation. This means thinking about every individual part of your body, first tensing, and then relaxing it.[1]
    • Start at your toes, and work your way, one body part at a time, all the way to the top of your head and the tips of your fingers.
    • Don't feel like you have to complete the entire exercise. You may find yourself asleep before you finish.
    • Notice any sensations that appear in your body as you move through. This will help you stay focused and relaxed.
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    Find a sleep app you like. There are lots of good sleep apps that you can download to your phone or tablet. Some apps are guided meditations, while others just provide "white noise" to help block out the other sounds. Some are quiet "environmental" sounds like waterfalls, ocean surf, or crickets.[2]
    • If you're not sure what will help you get to sleep, try downloading some free apps first.
    • One of the most popular apps is called iSleepEasy. It contains a variety of short guided meditations to help you get to sleep.[3]
    • The disadvantage of using sleep apps at a sleepover is that you'll have to be comfortable falling asleep wearing headphones or ear buds.
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    Try listening to audio books. Listening to an audio book that you're not very interested in, or listening to poetry on your phone or tablet, can be a good way to fall asleep. A good choice for an audio book for sleeping might be a book you've already read. It will be interesting, but it won't keep you awake to see what happens because you already know what happens.[4]
    • Remember not to listen to scary stories when you're trying to fall asleep.
    • If you're too interested in the book, it might keep you awake. The best nighttime audio books might be a little dull. Maybe an academic subject, like science or history, would work best.
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    Count backwards. This is one of the simplest methods to fall asleep. Start at 100, and mentally count backwards one number at a time: 100, 99, 98, 97...etc. If you get all the way back to 0, start the counting again. Or start at 300. Or 500. You can start at any number you like, as long as you stick to your counting method that you've begun.[5]
    • If you like, visualize the numbers being written, slowly, by a calligrapher.
    • You can try variations on this by counting backwards in other patterns. For example, count backwards by 2 (100, 98, 96, 94...) or by 3 (100, 97, 94, 91...)
    • Use your imagination to create other scenarios. For example, visualize each number descending an ornate staircase. Or falling from a tree, like autumn leaves. Use whatever visual image helps you relax and fall asleep.

Method 2
Sleeping at a Sleepover

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    Be sure you're comfortable. If you're too hot, take off some blankets. Too cold? Make sure you're well covered. It can be hard to get used to sleeping in a new place, so make sure you bring your favorite pajamas. Bring some socks to keep your feet warm if you need to.[6]
    • Bringing your own pillow or stuffed animal will help you feel safe and comfortable.
    • Doing your normal nightly routines, like brushing your teeth, taking a bath or reading a favorite book before bed, will help you fall asleep at a sleepover.
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    Stay away from sodas before bed. Many sodas contain caffeine, which is a stimulant and may keep you from going to sleep. Try not to drink too much liquid of any kind right before bed, but if you're thirsty, stick to water.[7]
    • Not only are many sodas full of sugar and caffeine, but most are diuretics, which means that they make you need to go to the bathroom.
    • If you're sensitive to caffeine, stay away from anything containing caffeine after 3:00 in the afternoon.
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    Avoid eating too much sugar before bed. Sugar can give you an unpredictable burst of energy that will easily keep you awake at a sleepover. Cookies, candy, cakes and ice cream are the main culprits, but remember that a lot of junk foods are loaded with sugar as well.[8]
    • Eating chocolate will combine sugar with caffeine, a double-dose of wakefulness.
    • Overeating before bedtime is also associated with nightmares, another cause for difficulty sleeping.
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    Try to stay away from scary movies at night. Watching scary movies is fun to do unless it keeps you from falling asleep. If you've been telling scary stories or watching scary movies with your friends, turn your attention to something more calming when it's time to go to sleep.[9]
    • It can be helpful to remind yourself that the scary movies are always pretend. There might be some scary things in the world, but none can be solved by staying awake worrying!
    • Having a nightlight or keeping a hall light on can be helpful to remind yourself where you are. If you feel safer at night having a little light, don't be afraid to ask for it. Chances are, other kids will be grateful.
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    Don't get worried if you can't sleep. It's natural to have difficulty sleeping in a new place. If you're worried about not being able to sleep, you'll be even more stressed and tense. Those feelings make it even harder to sleep. Instead, practice relaxation strategies such as paying attention to your breath.[10]
    • Try using your sleep routines, such as listening to relaxation apps on your phone.
    • Practice thinking good thoughts as you try to fall asleep. Focusing on the things you're happy about will keep you from being worried.
    • If you can't sleep after a short time, don't force yourself. Go read a book, or enjoy listening to an audiobook. After a while, you may fall asleep on your own.
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    Plan your ride home. It can feel terrible to feel like you're trapped at a sleepover. Make sure you have a phone number to call if you need to leave to go home, whether it's the middle of the night or the next morning. If you know you have a ride home whenever you need it, you might feel calmer and more able to sleep.[11]
    • If your parents are out of town, make sure you have the phone number of another adult or trusted family friend to call.
    • Always have a phone number to call in case of emergency.

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Categories: Better Sleeping