I've seen many clients and friends as of late who are challenged by getting to sleep. Here are my two cents.
Your ability to get to sleep and sleep restfully through the night directly impacts optimal functioning of body and mind during your waking hours, so taking some time to focus on sleep patterns is well worth the effort.
During sleep, the brain and body do some of their best balancing and restoration work. This is why if you don't sleep well your brain might feel foggy or you just don't have enthusiasm about the day so you grab that extra cup of coffee to perk you up.
Here are some natural simple ways to induce restful sleep. Our senses are supportive pathways to restful sleep, so many of these suggestions engage the senses to begin the process into the rest stage of the day.
Have a cup of tea an hour or so before bedtime. Traditional Medicinals make a few amazing ones.
Don't take in caffeine after 3 pm.
Essential Oils applied or diffused, there are many that support rest such as lavender, rose and serenity
Gentle Stretching assists the body and mind in softening, releasing & dissolving the patternings of the day.
Relaxation/Sleep Music many wonderful playlists can be found on Spotify and YouTube for free, keywords restful sleep. This form of sound assists the mind and body into gently moving into a restful state. These sound waves also interrupt thought patterns. Guided Visualizations for sleep are also helpful if you "need words" to follow.
Transitional Activities- all of the above are considered transitional activities. It is helpful to create an evening rhythm an hour or so before your bedtime (a routine bedtime is important too) The body/mind will be subconsciously signaled during a transitional activity that sleep time is almost here and will become conditioned to start the process of settling down.
I saw this most powerfully with my children within their Waldorf educational system where it was believed that a transitional activity held much power. For us, my children and I would often take a short walk at dusk which signaled them the day of activity was over and now it's time to get quiet like nature. Of course, bath time before bed helped them settle in as well.
Find what feels good to you. What helps you feel at peace and restful and go with it. The important part is you are choosing to attend to this essential part of the life rhythm we call sleep.
Always available if you need deeper support. Sometimes a Reiki or Cranial Sacral session will help to reprogram and rest the central nervous system and the brain's ability to turn off.