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Katherine Moon
Katherine Isabella Moon
Meow, hello there, my name is Katherine, but you can call me Kat; because I basically am a cat. Anyways, I am a 26-year-old, lifestyle blogger, with an INFP-T personality type, from the United States. I love fashion, the color pink, cats, dogs, and spending all my time on my computer. I'm often seen wearing cat ears headbands.
The Kat Life
The Kat Life

how I'm choosing to live my best life

Thursday, September 24, 2020

5 Things That Help Me Fall Asleep

Woman sleeping in her bed
Photo courtesy of Raphael Lovaski on Unsplash
Some nights, falling asleep can seem like an impossible task, especially if you're a night owl by nature. But there are a few things that can help.

For as far back as I can remember, I have always been a bit of a night owl. Even when I was very young, the 9:00 PM bedtime that my parents had set for me didn't work very well, as I would only end up lying in bed awake for hours, unable to sleep. Mind you, this was without having a smartphone, tablet, or laptop within my reach to keep me up all night; all I really had was maybe a flashlight so I could try to read a book under the covers. I had a TV in my room, but my parents would have known if I had turned the TV on, so that wasn't an option. Most nights, I would just lay in bed bored, until I was finally able to fall asleep around midnight or so. Needless to say that by 8th grade, when my bedtime was no longer enforced, and I was allowed to set my own as long as I didn't make a habit of being late for school, I did not stick to that 9:00 PM bedtime. I knew that I wasn't going to be able to sleep if I went to bed that early anyway, and it didn't take very long for my personal "lights-out" time for a school night to get moved to midnight. I am sure that there are people out there who are screaming at the very thought of that, which is actually fair given the fact that I still had a hard time falling asleep at that time. There were times that I was lying in bed, still trying to fall asleep when my alarm went off. I can't even begin to explain how good it felt to take a long nap the second I got home from school; although let's be real, that nap is probably what made it impossible to sleep at night. 

I could actually go on and on about the horrendous sleeping habits that I've had throughout my life. For the longest time, you could have sworn that I was legitimately nocturnal, and I would often half-joke that I was nocturnal. I was often going to bed when most people would be waking up on the days they chose to sleep in and waking up in the evening. With that said, I'd like to say that if you're on a similar nocturnal sleep schedule, and it works for you, I'm not about to judge you for it. Seriously, you do what works for you. However, while I am most certainly a night owl by nature, I also like mornings, believe it or not, and all my life, I've wanted to be a morning person. And, with that said, I've actually successfully found a way to be a night owl and a morning person simultaneously by going to bed at midnight and waking up at 7:00 AM. However, if I want that 7:00 AM wake-up time to work for me, and not leave me feeling tired, crabby, and unproductive all-day, I have to find a way to actually fall asleep soon after hopping into bed. And when you have a brain that seems to not be able to shut off at night, and all your thoughts start racing the second you dive under the covers, falling asleep isn't always an easy task. Especially when you get bit by the creative bug within an hour of your bedtime. There's actually a wide variety of thoughts that tend to keep me up that I can go on and on about, as you can probably tell. But, that's enough of my sleepy-time woes.

All of that being said, I have managed to find quite a few things that do help me fall asleep at night. As a matter of fact, many of the things that I've discovered actually help me fall asleep relatively soon after getting under the covers. And the best part is, not a single one of them involves taking any sort of medication or supplement.

Things That Help Me Fall Asleep

ASMR videos

Woman watching videos on an ipad in bed
Photo courtesy of Viktor Hanacek of PicJumbo

Ever since I discovered the ASMR community on YouTube in 2017, I have been absolutely obsessed with ASMR videos, and I am not at all embarrassed to admit that. Although, it seems that watching and listen to ASMR has become more and more "socially acceptable" over the last couple of years, so if you love ASMR, I don't think anyone would really judge you for it anyway. Anyway, if you've somehow never heard of ASMR, or you have yet to watch an ASMR video, I have to say that you are big-time missing out, and I highly recommend that you at least give it a chance. With that said, I will admit that if you've never really watched an ASMR video before, it can seem a little bit weird at first, as the ASMRtist is often speaking softly, whispering, or not speaking at all as they make different sounds with various objects. I also have to admit that there are quite a lot of ASMR videos that are a bit on the weirder side, but this isn't exactly a phenomenon that's exclusive to ASMR. Anyway, my point is, when you watch ASMR, do keep in mind that these videos are usually intended sleep and relaxation, hence why ASMRtists tend to speak quietly, and why the focus is mostly on soft sounds and/or hypnotic visuals. I could honestly go on and on about why you should give ASMR a chance (if you haven't already), but to sum it up, it's just hella relaxing.

Anyway, while I typically listen to ASMR during the day, as it's actually fantastic to listen to when you want to be productive, most ASMRtists intend for their videos to be watched at bedtime as you're getting ready to go to sleep. As a matter of fact, it's actually a compliment to tell an ASMRtist that you fell asleep while watching or listening to their videos. That being said, I have to say that ASMR videos have been beyond helpful in helping me fall asleep on nights where I would not otherwise have been able to shut my mind off to fall asleep. ASMR has also helped me to fall asleep rather quickly on quite a few occasions. With all of that said, I can confirm that, even if I don't always get ASMR tingles, ASMR videos are a phenomenal (and natural) sleep aide, and they are absolutely marvelous for relaxation. Personally, I consider watching ASMR videos to be a form of meditation, and one of the many ways that you can use modern technology for self-care. So while I know that not everyone enjoys ASMR, it is worth giving it a fair chance before writing it off as weird. Especially as there are so many ASMRtists and types of ASMR videos that you are bound to find something that you enjoy and find relaxing as long as you keep an open mind.

If you'd like to watch a little bit of ASMR right now, my best friend Mari recently started an ASMR channel on YouTube, and her content is absolutely amazing. Here is one of her videos if you'd like to take a moment to relax right now...

Counting (not necessarily sheep)

Numbers on candle holders
Photo courtesy of Darren Richardson on Unsplash

Can I be honest with you for a second? Using counting as a "hack" to fall asleep at night was actually an inadvertent discovery that I made trying to get myself out of bed in the morning. Long story short, I'm rarely ever thrilled to get out of bed in the morning, as I'm sure that many people can relate to, and I would always try to put off getting out of bed for as long as I could. One of the ways that I would put off getting out of bed would be to tell myself that I was going to get out of bed on the count of 10, 20, 50, or whatever number popped into my head, and let me just say, this was quite an effective way to delay getting out of bed in the morning. As a matter of fact, it was a bit too effective, as I'd end up falling asleep before I finished counting. That being said, if you're looking for an effective way to actually get yourself out of bed, counting to 10 or doing any sort of a countdown probably isn't it. However, once it occurred to me that counting rarely fails to put back to sleep in the morning, and I remembered that people count sheep to fall asleep at night, I realized that counting could actually be a powerful tool to help me sleep at night. So, rather than telling myself that I'd get out of bed at the count of whatever number in the morning, I decided to try counting myself to sleep at night instead. And I must say, counting is quite an effective method for helping yourself fall asleep at night; I suppose this is why people suggest counting sheep when you can't sleep.

For the record, you obviously don't have to count actual sheep in your head; you can mentally tally up anything you'd like. That being said, if you'd prefer to count puppies or kittens over sheep, then mentally tally up puppies or kittens. Honestly, you don't have to count anything specific at all, and you can opt to focus solely on the numbers themselves. I know that it may seem a bit boring to think about numbers, but that's the point, as you are actually trying to bore yourself to sleep by counting. After all, it's a lot easier to fall asleep when you're bored than when you're excited. Am I right? Counting gives your brain something tedious but relatively undemanding to concentrate on and can help distract you from those racing thoughts that are keeping you up at night. As a matter of fact, it's been said that counting is a great way to relieve anxious thoughts in general. So if you find that your thoughts are keeping you up at night, or if you're feeling anxious, perhaps you may find it helpful to slowly count to 10, 20, 50, 100, or however high you believe to be necessary, or until you fall asleep. You can also choose to count backward from any number if you wish; it's entirely up to you. Personally, when I am lying in bed counting, I also like to take some deep breaths and tally up the breaths that I'm taking; and I must say that the combination of counting and deep breathing is magnificent for relaxation.

Allowing myself to actually rest at night

Candle, book, and flowers
Photo courtesy of Ellieelien on Unsplash

I have a confession to make; sometimes, allowing myself to actually rest is much easier said than done. Honestly, I need to set a strict time to stop working and trying to be super productive, as I sometimes find myself still trying to be productive up until it's time to go to bed. I'd also be lying if I said that I've never stayed up beyond my bedtime to work on something that could have easily waited until the next day. Sometimes I think I might actually benefit from using a website blocking extension to prevent myself from trying to do work after a set time, even though most people use such extensions to stay productive. Seriously, I have that difficult of a time figuring out when to stop working sometimes. Can anyone else relate? That being said, while I am sure that many people may view it as a good thing to not be able to stop oneself from working or trying to be productive, it can wreak havoc on my mental health when I neglect to balance work, play, and life in general. Working late into the night also tends to make it difficult for me to fall asleep, even if I get to bed on time, as it prevents me from winding down, and it keeps my mind active. Although admittedly, some of my favorite self-care activities also make it difficult for me to wind down at night, so I can't say that my work is the only culprit in preventing me from resting at night.

Anyway, my point is, to give myself the best chance of getting a good night's sleep, it's necessary to give myself at least an hour to rest and wind down before bed. However, I do prefer to shoot for at least three hours of restful self-care before bed, meaning that with my 12:00 AM bedtime, I like to halt all activities that keep my mind active and start winding down around 9:00 PM. This means that as 9:00 PM approaches, I need to find a stopping point to whatever I'm doing, whether I'm working, playing video games, indulging in a book with an exciting plot, binge-watching a show on Netflix, or whatever else may be holding my attention. This certainly isn't to say that I have to sit in silence and twiddle my thumbs in the last couple of hours before bed. Sometimes, my actually mind races when I sit in silence and don't find a way to stay at least somewhat occupied. However, when it comes to my "wind-down" time at night, there are definitely some activities that I like to avoid, and others that I will certainly allow...

Activities to avoid and activities to do at bedtime

Helpful Hint: If your mind tends to become a bit more active at night, you may find that journaling, or even just writing things down can be quite helpful in easing your mind. Seriously, if you're having a hard time shutting your brain off, you may find that it can be very beneficial to take a few minutes to write down whatever is on your mind. This could be thoughts that are weighing on your emotions, ideas that popped into your head that you don't want to forget, things that you're curious about and want to Google tomorrow, or anything that is on your mind at the moment.

Making my sleeping environment as comfortable as possible

Woman snuggled up under the covers
Photo courtesy of Elvira Gibadullina on Pexels

It probably goes without saying that the more comfortable you are, the more likely you are to fall asleep faster and have a better night's sleep, or at least, I know that I can't argue with that. With that said, as I'm getting ready for bed, I like to ensure that my sleeping environment is as comfortable as I can possibly make it and that I'll be as comfortable as I can possibly be once I hop under the covers. For me, this primarily means ensuring that my bed is made and that my room is tidy before I shut out the lights. I also have to say that pleasant smells really help me sleep, so I also like to either diffuse some lavender essential oil at bedtime or wear a soft floral perfume to bed. As someone who loves sleeping with a lot of heavy blankets, I also like to open the window to let in some of the cooler air during the Spring and Fall time. There are actually quite a few things on my personal comfort checklist for bedtime, and I know that everyone's comfort checklist will be a little bit different. Honestly, it's all a matter of preferences, but here are a few factors you can consider in terms of your own comfort when it's time to start getting ready for bed...

  • If it's within your control, do you prefer a warmer or cooler sleeping environment?
  • Do you prefer your room to be completely dark, or do you like having a small amount of light in case you need to get up for anything?
  • Do you prefer silence, or would sound form of white noise, such as a fan, help you sleep better?
  • Would you find a light floral scent, such as lavender, to be soothing for sleep? 
  • Do you prefer to sleep heavy blankets or with something a bit lighter?
  • Do you prefer warm cozy pajamas or lighter clothing for sleep, or would you be more comfortable in your undies? Or would you feel the most comfortable in the freedom of the buff?

Seriously, put a little bit of thought into your sleeping environment, and what makes you the most comfortable and helps you get the best night's rest, and do whatever you can to make your room as comfortable as possible. I know that not everyone can directly control every aspect of their sleeping environment, but there are always little things that you can do to make your room as comfortable as possible at night. For example, if you don't have control over the thermostat in your home, perhaps cracking a window or turning on a fan can help keep your room a little bit cooler at night. Or, if you like it warmer, you could use a small space heater to heat your room up to your liking. If you need to sleep in a completely dark space, but you can't fully darken your room at night for any reason, using an eye mask or blindfold to block out the light can often make a huge difference. Or if you need a little bit of light in your room, using a nightlight or keeping some fairy lights on at night will allow you to see what's going on around you, without being too bright. Honestly, there are a lot of little things that you can do to make your sleep environment more comfortable. So seriously, to the best of your ability, optimize your sleeping environment for your own comfort at night.

Of course, if you're sharing your room with anyone else, whether they are your partner, your sibling(s), or your roommate(s), you may need to compromise a little bit. But almost certainly, as long as everyone is willing to cooperate, you can work something out that allows for everyone to be comfortable and get a good night's rest. But if your sleeping alone, you really don't need to compromise on much of anything.

Following my bedtime routine

Alarm clock with reflection of fairy lights
Photo courtesy of Amanda Jones on Unsplash

Honestly, my morning and bedtime routines just might be the most vital parts of my day. More often than not, what I do in the first couple hours of the morning sets the tone for my entire day, and what I do in the last couple hours of the night sets the tone for how I'm going to sleep (and thus, how I'll feel the next day). In all honesty, I actually believe that my bedtime routine is actually even more important than my morning routine, as my morning routine actually starts with my nighttime routine, and I start planning the next day at night. Although, my morning routine also has elements that affect my sleep as well, as I know that I typically sleep better at night when I workout in the morning and get my bed made early. Honestly, all elements of my daily routine go hand-in-hand. But at the same time, the quality of sleep I get at night has a significant impact on my energy levels and how I'm feeling throughout the day. A cruddy night's sleep can lead to difficulty getting out of bed and starting my day, having a crappy workout, feeling lethargic and unproductive, irritability, and all sorts of nasty side effects. So needless to say, everything comes back to giving myself the best chance at a good night's sleep and having a good bedtime routine in place. So with that said, I highly suggest curating a bedtime routine that works well for you and that you can be consistent with.

For me personally, the best nighttime routine involves planning my outfit for the next day, the workout I'll be doing in the morning, as well as considering what I'll have for breakfast; that way, I won't have to make those decisions when I'm waking up. I also like to loosely plan out the next day before going to bed, and write down what I want to get done; that way, I won't forget about any tasks I wanted to get done during the day. But beyond that, I primarily like to focus my nights on self-care and winding down for bed, which for me, entails taking my nightly shower, taking a moment to do something kind for myself, and finding something relaxing to do for a little while. I also must say that allowing myself to have the time for a brief meditation and a 10-20 minute yoga or stretch session really helps to get my mind and body relaxed for bedtime. There are quite a lot of things that you can add to your personal bedtime routine, and with that said, I'd like to remind you that you should curate your bedtime routine based on your own needs, and don't be afraid to modify it from time to time. If you believe that something may benefit you and help you get a better night's sleep, don't be afraid to add it to your nightly routine. Likewise, if you don't feel that something is serving you, then don't hesitate to remove it from your bedtime routine. On that note, I'd also like to say that your bedtime routine doesn't have to be a complicated or lengthy process. As a matter of fact, sometimes the simpler, the better.

I know that, sometimes, getting a good night's rest can seem a lot easier said than done, and it can even seem nearly impossible to fall asleep on some nights. Not all of us were blessed with the ability to fall asleep seemingly the second we close our eyes, no matter where we're at, especially not those of us who are night owls. However, the fact that it can be rather difficult to fall asleep at night doesn't negate the fact that getting a good night's rest is essential to both our mental and physical wellbeing, not to mention our general mood and productivity. I know first-hand how crabby I can get when I don't get enough sleep, and how hard it is to do anything productive when I'm exhausted from sleep deprivation, and it can be quite a challenge to push through it. So with that said, finding a way to get that much-needed rest is more than necessary, and luckily there are quite a few things that can help, and many of them are little things that won't cost you very much if anything at all. So perhaps, before reaching for the melatonin, you could try doing something as simple as turning on an ASMR video and taking a few deep breaths; or counting backward from 100. Or maybe you could change up your bedtime routine and allow for more rest in the last hour or so of your night. There are a lot of little things that you can do to improve your chances of falling asleep naturally and getting a great night's sleep.

What are some of the things that help you fall asleep at night? How do you optimize your sleeping environment and your bedtime routine to give you the best chance of a good night's rest as possible? I'd love to hear your thoughts, as well as some of your own "hacks" for falling asleep.

Thank you for reading, and I hope the rest of your day is wonderful!
If you liked this post, I'd really appreciate it if you'd help this blog grow and hit the follow button! :)


  1. I was so happy to see a new post after refreshing your page, Kat :D

    What was an even more pleasant surprise was that I didn't expect to be included in this one.
    Awww, Kat, I've said it a million times, but I'll say it again. I don't deserve you ; o ;

    This sounds so cheesy but I just want to take this moment to say thank you for your friendship xx <3

    I love the carousel pins as always! And the photographs you've curated are soo pretty too! I love how it's all white, black, blush and gold.

    I had a tv in my room when I was little too, and my parents would know what's up if I also tried to use it late at night while waiting for sleep to come. And it's soo cool how we both discovered asmr in 2017! It was really life-changing for me because it helped a lot with my tinnitus.

    I love everything xx !!!

    Mari |

    1. I am glad that you enjoy seeing my new posts, Mari! Adding your ASMR video was actually my favorite part of writing this post! I really appreciate your friendship as well! 💖✨

      I am glad that you noticed that the photos I used follow a color scheme! I've been trying my best to have all the photos I use in my posts go together, when possible. The color scheme varies from post to post, but this is one of my favorite color schemes! I've also been enjoying creating the carousel pins... It allows me to add more photos that can be pinned... I'm thinking of making more templates and maybe even sharing a few of my templates if I can figure out how to make Canva templates available to anyone who wants to use them. 🌟

      Parents always seemed to know when you had the TV on, or when you were doing anything aside from sleeping. Even if I kept the volume way down, they somehow knew when the TV was on at night. That's awesome we found ASMR in the same year! It really is life-changing, and it can help with so many different things. That's great that it helps with your tinnitus. 💕 ASMR was one of the things that I've loved from day one, for sure.

  2. Kat, Kat I love your new domain name, !!! And I love the loading page too, it's sooo pretty! xx I missed you :')


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