I'm with Beth in admitting that sometimes it can be difficult to turn my brain off and just fall asleep. Even with the best of intentions (exercised, no clutter in the bedroom, no tv, bath and tea before bed, etc) I can still find myself awake way past bedtime with panicked thoughts about how little sleep I'm getting keeping me from getting any rest. But recently my boyfriend's mom gave me something that's been helping:
She gave me this pillow mist and roll-on aromatherapy from Bath and Bodyworks. I know, I was a little skeptical too. But again, desperation helps me try out new ideas. Of course aromatherapy wasn't a new concept to me, I had tried lavender in the bath and soothing candles. But there has been something really comforting about the ritual of rolling on the scent of lavender and chamomile onto my wrists, taking deep breaths of it and then misting the pillows with the scent of warm milk and honey (which smells way better than it sounds). It's probably the deep breathing that's really helping, but I'm not messing with a good thing, here.
You don't have to stick with these products, any Health Food store or Whole Foods has essential oils. The best ones to help foster relaxation and sleep are Lavender, Chamomile, Bergamot, Jasmine, Rose and Sandalwood. Normally you dab a bit on your wrists, rub them together and take a bunch of deep breaths, or you can add them to your bath or release the scent by buying candles with those oils.
To make your own pillow mist, combine 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 teaspoon of witch hazel and 4-5 drops of essential oil to a spray bottle and shake it up. Then just spray a mist over your pillows before bed. Via Wikihow.