Count your muscles instead of sheep
"Progressive muscle relaxation can be helpfully distracting," Dr. Gentile says. "From your head to your toe, contract and relax individual muscle groups for three seconds apiece. You don't have to learn a bunch of muscle groups for this, just go with the ones you know: forehead, cheeks, shoulders, etc. This helps both the mind and body be engaged in an activity. By a third or half the way down, you've fallen asleep."
Try a white-noise machine
Sometimes you need to break out the big guns, especially if you tend to be one of those problem-solver types. "It can be helpful to distract yourself mentally," notes Dr. Gentile. "For some people, the distraction can be mildly goal directed, like coming up with a grocery list. For other people who try to fix problems as they're falling asleep, goal-directed things aren't ideal. For them, something like a white-noise machine can be pleasantly distracting." White-noise machines may also help if you live on a busy street, or otherwise need to tune out your surrounding environment.
Keep a sleep diary
Hang on, it's not as bad as it sounds, and if you're always tired, this may be the key to getting the rest you need. "If you're having particular trouble with sleeping, you may want to use a sleep diary. The report you write down is often different from what you think about your sleep habits," explains Dr. Gentile. "This can help illuminate the correlations between stress, caffeine use, sleeping in, and your sense of tiredness."
She recommends against using the diary for more than a week at a time, though, because you don't want the diary to be a substitute for good habits -- like having sex and eating elk.
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Jess Novak can only sleep in a coffin, and refuses to be seen during the day. While her image can't be captured on camera, you can follow her misdeeds on Twitter at @jesstothenovak and Instagram at @jtothenovak.