Surely everyone has tried having a hard time falling asleep. Although falling asleep may sound like a simple task to do—just lie down and wait for sleep to come—that’s often not the case for many people. There are those who lie awake for hours before falling asleep or maybe they don’t fall asleep at all. In fact, insomnia affects nearly half of the US population. Sleeping pills might seem like the easy solution but there are actually a couple of natural ways you can do to help yourself fall asleep. Otherwise, a lack of sleep will take a toll on your physical health, mental health, job performance, relationships, and more. Here are ten ways to help you fall asleep.

1. Listen to soothing music

Annoying sounds such as those from a snoring roommate, a beeping delivery truck, a party next door, or a barking dog on the street can hinder immediate sleep. As a solution, try listening to soothing music to keep out all the other noise disturbances. Moreover, listening to a soothing soundtrack will also help your body relax and promote sleep.

2. Stay awake

Although you’re trying to achieve the opposite, reverse psychology actually works to help you fall asleep. The more you try to force yourself asleep, the more awake your brain will be. Instead, lie in bed and keep your eyes open. Studies show that doing so works better than closing your eyes and forcing yourself asleep. Soon, you’ll find your eyes feeling heavy and you’ll drift off to sleep without even knowing it.

3. Imagine

Visualize your happy place, be it a real place or imaginary. Try to think of whatever it is you want to do in life and imagine yourself doing it. This will help your body and mind relax and you’ll soon drift off.

4. Clean your room

You may not notice it but a cleaner room helps you relax much better to help promote an easier sleep. Get rid of any clutter in your room so cool air can freely flow through and change your sheets. Clean sheets will keep you from itching at night and the fresh laundry smell will help you relax.

5. Stick to a sleep schedule

It’s very important to have a regular sleep schedule even during the weekends. Wake up at the same time every day and go to sleep at the same time as well. This will help regulate your body clock so that it’s easier to fall asleep at night, wake up in the morning, and stay awake throughout the day.

6. Keep your room dark

Your body actually triggers sleep by producing melatonin. Melatonin production is induced and promoted by darkness. Thus, keep your room dark to help yourself fall asleep. Avoid using gadgets or staying in front of the TV before going to bed as the light hinders melatonin production.

7. Avoid caffeine

Caffeine is meant to give you a jolt of energy in the morning but if taken too late, it can last throughout the night. Avoid drinking coffee at least six hours before bed so try not to drink coffee in the afternoon at work. Apart from coffee, alcohol, cigarettes, carbonated drinks, and tea also has caffeine that can disrupt your sleep.

8. Take a warm bath or a hot shower

A warm bath or a hot shower works the same way to promote sleep. First, it relaxes your body by unwinding stressed muscles after an entire day of hard work. And second, it raises your body temperature so that when you proceed to a cool room, it becomes easier for you to fall asleep.

9. Get up

If you can’t fall asleep within 15 minutes of lying down, get up and do something for 10 minutes that requires your hands and head like a colouring book or jigsaw puzzle. Avoid any electronic-related activity as the light will suppress melatonin production. Afterwards, lie down and try again.

10. Exercise

Even light exercise any time of the day will help promote efficient body functioning and help you sleep at night. Do not exercise too late in the afternoon or evening though as your increased heart rate will hinder sleep.