All sorts of tricks, hacks and tips for getting to sleep quickly and beating insomnia.
Read a math book... seriously... try it.
Try to remember your day with as much detail as possible, from the second you woke up until now. Think in pictures - take your mind back to every moment, every event of the day. Remember to recall events in chronological order. This can be challenging and mentally exhaustive, so youll be asleep in no time. It is also good for your memory.
Try to keep your eyes open and stare at one spot on the wall/ceiling. Don't let your eyes close.
When your eyes are closed, naturally you will start to see shapes/flashes/colors, etc. It's a bit hard to explain, but just let your mind explore the images and it will trigger different images from your mind that will take you into a dream-like trance. Just let your mind go and show you whatever images it wants you to see. Gets me to sleep every time.
Record your lectures when you're in class. Start listening to them about 30-45 minutes before you really lie down for bed.
Pretend that you are asleep. Try to be in the most comfortable position that will not cause you to have to move around a lot.
Get up and out of bed for awhile, so you stop stressing about the fact that you can't fall asleep and you should be asleep right now and omg I'm only going to get x hours of sleep if I fall asleep RIGHT NOW and why can't I go to sleep... etc.
Sit in your living room and read a book. Get a snack. Look out the window. Listen to a podcast or audiobook or some calm music. Don't turn on a bright screen or get so distracted by the magic of the interwebs that you're up all night. Do calm things to reset yourself and get out of the "WHY CAN'T I SLEEP?!" restlessness that inevitably develops when you're in bed staring at the ceiling. Forget about what time it is and how tired you're going to be at school/work on so little sleep.
When you're calm and ready for bed, go back to bed like you were never in it in the first place.
No computer screen time or video games about 1.5 hours before bed.
Concentrate on relaxing every muscle and appendage in your body starting with your small pinkie toe and ending with your right ear. I've never gotten past my left hand.
Reading a book with just a reading light on works great.
Try to "consciously relax".
Whatever you do, never EVER think about that moment when you will fall asleep. That way you won't be able to fall asleep for at least an hour or two.
Listen to someone speak, preferably a deep, male voice. A distinct accent also tends to be more relaxing in my opinion. It can be anything, an audio book, a let's play, an instructional video, whatever. As long as the person speaking has a deep voice, I tend to fall asleep within minutes.
Count backwards from 1000.
Stretch every part of your body, especially legs. It's very relaxing.
Try as hard as you can to stay awake.
Play this game where you challenge myself to stay as still as humanly possible. No voluntary movements. You'll be out in 10 minutes, tops.
Read in dim light. Once your eyes start to cross, turn out the fucking light and crash.
Flip over the pillow, the other side is nice and cool and refreshing.
Close your eyes, in- and exhale slowly and deeply, but try not to concentrate on it too much; you should be out within five minutes time.
Use bright light to help manage your "body clock." Avoid bright light in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning.
Audiobooks, for sure. Nothing better than being read a book to sleep. Also, it distracts from those nights where the only thoughts keeping you up are the Cringe-worthy memories.
Turn on the Science channel and lay on the couch. It's usually How it's Made or Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman. They are usually just boring/soothing enough to relax the mind.
Open the windows. You can't sleep in a stuffy room filled with rebreathed air and old farts.
Make yourself some non caffeinated tea and buy some Valerian root extract. You can get them at whole foods. They are herbal droplets you put in the tea, make you super sleepy and relaxed, and they are non habit forming.
Buy a microwaveable heat pack, preferably with lavender in it. Heat that up, put it on your neck, curl up in bed.
Put away all electronics and get out a good book. Ken Follet is good for this - his books are easy to read but real page turners. Electronics will overstimulate your brain, while physical books will bring down all those visual stimuli and help you relax.
Make sure your room is cold. Your body temperature drops during sleep, and thus the body senses normal room temp to be hotter than it actually is during the night, causing restlessness. Snuggling up with an extra blanket is much better than tossing around in sweat in the night.
If you aren't allergic, invest in down feather comforter and pillows. I swear by this - after you sleep in a nice down bedstet, you will never want to sleep in anything else. They are expensive but it's worth it, considering you will keep them for decades.
Avoid naps, especially in the afternoon. A power nap may help you get through the day, but if you find that you can't fall asleep at bedtime, eliminating even short catnaps may help.
Exercise daily. Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Exercise at any time of day, but not at the expense of your sleep.
Buy only cotton/silk/satin pajamas and sheets. Anything synthetic will trap in moisture, causing your pores to clog, make you damp, and generally feel worse than sleeping in natural fibers.
Stick to the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends. This helps to regulate your body's clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.
If your SO or dog or both snore, invest in earplugs and pop those in at night.
I have this weird trick where each time I breathe out. I feel myself sinking deeper into sleep, relaxing more and more each time I slowly exhale. Feels like I'm actually sinking deeper into my pillow each time. Makes me very sleepy, very fast.