The following distractions need to be engaged in for at least 15 minutes to get the adrenalin out of your system. (Adrenalin is the hormone that keeps you awake from worry, if you have worried throughout the day another hormone, Cortisol is released, this is the stress hormone that wakes you up in the morning.
Distraction with sound, listen to music that put you to sleep, audio books, white noise.
Distraction with sight, read, do puzzles, look at family pictures, (not on your phone), watch a candle or look at the stars. You can find a focal point and stare at it without blinking your eyes putting you into an alpha state. Does not work for some people who resist hypnotism.
Distraction with visualization, imaging being someplace that was comforting, perhaps a time in childhood when you were having fun and life was good.
Distraction with odors, lavender and other odors that is relaxing. We associate memories with odors; hot buttered popcorn with movies, bread baking with pleasant meals, etc…. You can distract yourself with the associated memories.
Distraction with food, not for people with gastric problems that cause acid reflex when lying down after eating. I had a couple of roommates at UCLA who drank a cup of hot water every night before turning in. The hot water warms the gut and it releases endorphins. As when the gut is working, it’s telling your brain you are relaxing. What’s your favorite comfort food?
Distraction with touch; having your partner give you a massage, or physical intimacy, if alone auto eroticism. A hot bath or shower will also relax the body and when getting out, the cooling down of the body signals that it’s time to sleep.
Too much noise or light. Darken the room, use earplugs, or a white noise machine.
Worry and anger, it’s okay to let the mind rattle, but going over the same thoughts over and over again will work us up. Secure thoughts help us to calm down. “Calm begets calm.” Dr. Low
Physical discomforts; have to use the john, itching, physical pain, headaches, noise, tinnitus, sinus blockage, sore throats, being too tense. If pain wakes you up, you need to get medical help. Pain is natures’ way of saying that something is wrong.
Chronic sleep disregulation. Habits are easy to start but may require help to change.