Everyone’s habits vary in this department, but sleep can sometimes feel elusive when we’ve got a lot on our minds. With everything going on in the world today, new shifts in rhythms and expectations, and a decrease in socializing impacting the lives of many, anxieties can arise, and it can feel challenging to get regular tasks completed.

If all of your classes are now online, you might be dealing with a completely different schoolwork schedule as well. Perhaps you’re learning to adapt where and when you get your homework and studying done, and things might feel a little off-balance for a while. Sleep does a remarkable job of helping us deal with and process stress, so it’s important that even if you don’t have an early class to wake up for, you’re keeping a consistent sleep schedule and practicing healthy sleep hygiene.

So what’s a person to do if falling asleep has been a little harder these days? Read on for some tips and tricks to calm your mind, and let your brain know that it’s time to get into a sleepy state.

1. Keep a regular rhythm

Do you normally take a shower or bath before bed? Do you eat a bedtime snack at a certain time? Keeping your regular rhythms can do a lot to prepare your mind for sleep. Certain things we do during our bedtime routine tell our bodies that it’s time to start slowing down and getting into sleep mode.

While it’s nice to be clean, that hot bath before bed is also cueing your brain and helping you start the shift from a daytime mindset into a nighttime mindset. Switching up these rhythms too much can really affect your ability to fall asleep easily, so try and keep at least a few things regular in your nighttime routine.

2. Do something soothing

If you don’t have any calming activities that you do before bed, maybe it’s time to start a new habit! Light a lavender-scented candle while you’re getting ready for bed, or do listen to some calming music as you brush your teeth. Introducing a comforting new habit can help quiet nerves as it becomes a part of your regular, expected schedule. It will also play into your routine and let your mind know that it’s time to start preparing for sleep.

3. Move your body a little

While you probably don’t want to run 10 miles right before you start getting ready for bed, it’s not a bad idea to do some calming movement before you get ready for sleep. Try introducing some peaceful yoga right before bed, or focus on some specific stretches before you put PJ’s on. Calming movement that isn’t aerobic can your mind and body in a place that’s ready for sleep.

4. Read a book

Books are a wonderful pastime, and they make for a great part of a routine before bed. Books can help us escape from the everyday and ordinary, as well as the stressful events in our lives. They can take us too far off lands and on daring adventures right from the comfort of bed. If you’re going through a stressful time, try to choose a book that isn’t going to stress you out further or give you nightmares.

5. Journal

Getting your thoughts down on paper can do a lot to relieve anxiety before bed. Oftentimes, when we can’t sleep, our mind is racing and the thinking we’re doing isn’t very productive. Writing down your worries helps you put them somewhere, and then you know that you’ve spent some dedicated time working through whatever problem is happening, and you can set it aside for now in order to get some rest.

6. Pray

Talking to the Lord also relieves stress. Our Father cares deeply about His children, and if there is a lot on your mind, then you should tell him! He comforts his sheep, and if you trust the Lord as your Savior, then you are a part of that! Ask God for what you need—He is listening!

7. Make a plan for tomorrow

We can often feel stressed if we know we have a ton of things to do the next day and we’re not entirely sure how to get them all done. Try scheduling out your day or making a list of everything you need to do. That way, you won’t spend time thinking about it while you’re trying to fall asleep because you already know that there’s a plan in place.