19 Ways to Fall Asleep Faster.. According to Sleep Experts
It was the week before my best friend’s wedding, and my anxiety (nerves plus excitement) had reached epic levels. I wasn’t sleeping, to say the least.
Part of that had to do with the maid-of-honor speech I would be giving. I was terrified and could not shut off my brain to fall asleep at night.
After day three of lying awake until the wee hours of the night, I decided it was time to find ways to fall asleep.
I searched the web and spoke with a number of sleep experts to come up with 19 ways to fall asleep faster. If you're struggling with snoozing, chances are, these'll help you too.
Below you'll find 19 ways to promote your deepest sleep yet.
Tip 1: Avoid trying to fall asleep when you get into bed
This might seem counter-intuitive, however instead you should make your goal to unwind and to relax, knowing that sleep will follow. This will put less pressure on falling asleep and help you get some rest sooner rather than later.
Tip 2: Enjoy being in bed
This might seem simple and obvious, but is often overlooked. Stop caring how fast you fall asleep and enjoy the moment of being in bed.. comfortable, quiet and responsibility free.
Tip 3: Put your devices down or protect your eyes
As much as you might like to unwind by scrolling through Facebook or Instagram or even reading an article or two on your phone, exposing your eyes to blue light can actually prompt you to feel more awake.
Sleep expert Sam Edward says that, if you absolutely can't imagine parting ways with your devices, you should wear blue light glasses while using them.
Tip 4: Take a warm bath or shower
Recent research found that taking a warm bath or shower, preferably 1 to 2 hours before bedtime, can help people fall asleep faster—36% faster, to be exact.
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Tip 5: Try Massage therapy pillow
Massage at home has become a new norm in today’s light-fast environment. For that reason people who prefer massage at home are growing exponentially.
Massage therapy pillow helps to lose muscle knots and relieve tension. It is commonly used by those who have trouble falling asleep and it also helps with relaxation.
A systematic review of 14 studies revealed that the use of massage pillow was effective in improving sleep quality by 35%. Additionally, it showed that just 15-20 minutes of massage at home 3-4 times a week has very positive effects on sleep.
Tip 6: Read a book
Unwinding at the end of the day is a must if the goal is to fall asleep fast. One way to do so is with a good read.
However, in order to promote sleep, light, non-engaging, non-fiction is likely best to help you relax—otherwise you might want to stay up all night to find out the ending.
Tip 7: Make sure your hands and feet are cozy
Cold hands and feet can make it difficult to fall asleep. While wearing gloves to bed would likely be uncomfortable but cozy socks are sure to be comfy and warm. Canadian research has demonstrated that warm feet and hands are the best for rapid sleep onset.
Tip 8: Keep consistent bedtime and wake time
Getting in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle or circadian rhythm is one of the most important strategies for sleeping better.
If you keep a regular sleep-wake schedule, you’ll feel much more refreshed and energized than if you sleep the same number of hours at different times, even if you only alter your sleep schedule by an hour or two.
Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day. This helps set your body’s internal clock and optimize the quality of your sleep.
Tip 9: Allow yourself to snack
A low carb meal eaten 4 hour before bed helped people potentially fall asleep faster. Interestingly, one study discovered that a low carb diet improved sleep, indicating that carbs aren’t always necessary, especially if you’re used to a low carb diet.
Tip 10: Get some exercise
It's no secret that moving your body is the premise of a happy, healthy life and according to several studies done, it promotes better sleep too. Exercise does wonders for sleep and you will have more energy and be more motivated. Even if you can't make it to the gym or out on a long run, remember that even a short walk or two throughout the day is a step in the right direction to a better snooze.
Tip 11: Expose yourself to natural light during the day
Sunlight is something of a cure-all. While it's more difficult to get direct light in the winter, you should still try your best to get some, as it helps reset your body clock. Among the studies done on 190 people between ages 25-60, showed that people who soak sun for at least 30 min a day had better sleep at night than when they didn’t.
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Tip 12: Keep a journal on your bedside table
Intentional gratitude has been having a major moment lately and, if ever you were to add it to your routine- bedtime is a great time to do so.
It’s also a good way to write down three things you are grateful for—and while you’re at it—jot down three good things that happened during the day. Doing this can help get you in a good mindset for relaxing and falling asleep.
Tip 13: Avoid caffeine before bed
Look, we love coffee as much as the next person, but when it comes to aiming to fall asleep fast, it's imperative to not consume the java for at least six hour before trying to hit the bed.
Tip 14: Try to ease your worries
Whether you have anxiety or are simply anticipating everything you have to do the next day, it is very advantageous to relax and not to worry once your head hits the pillow.
Remember, you have 16 hours during the day to worry, so make the bedroom your 'worry-free zone’. Make a to-do list every day and write out your worry list as well. The mere act of writing down things can make them seem more manageable than leaving them to swirl around in your head at night.
Tip 15: Utilize the hour before bed for meditation and relaxation
Research has shown that taking time to meditate and intentionally relax will help you unwind. If you feel like you're the worst at both of these things, consider using massage therapy pillow. Short or long meditations will help you gradually able to free your mind and can promote sleep quicker than you think.
Tip 16: Make a bedtime routine
While you might think bedtime routine is only for children, new research has presented that adult bedtime routine helps them to fall sleep faster.
The best way to start is to follow the same routine every night before bed and to include something pleasant: soft music, reading, yoga, etc. Your mind and body need that transition time between wake and sleep. The routine itself will serve as a cue that it’s time to sleep.
Tip 17: Focus on your breathing
People who are stressed or anxious are actually chronically under-breathing because stressed people breathe shortly and shallowly, and often even unconsciously hold their breath. That said, to help yourself relax, work on deep and relax breathing while imagining a figure eight in your head. While it might seem a bit out there, doing so in harmony will almost always help you slow down, unwind and sleep faster
Tip 18: Try the 4-7-8 method
If the figure-eight trick doesn't work, try the 4-7-8 method. When you feel stressed or anxious—which often is a reason for not being able to fall asleep—adrenaline courses through your veins, your heart beats at a rapid rate, and your breathing becomes quick and shallow.
By extending your inhale to a count of 4, you are forcing yourself to take in more oxygen, allowing the oxygen to affect your bloodstream by holding your breath for 7 seconds, and then emitting carbon dioxide from your lungs by exhaling steadily for 8 seconds.
The technique will effectively slow your heart rate and increase oxygen in your bloodstream, and may even make you feel slightly lightheaded which contributes to the mild sedative-like effect. It will instantly relax your heart, mind, and overall central nervous system because you are controlling the breath versus continuing to breathe short, shallow gasps of air.
Tip 19: Adjust your room temp
Since sound sleeping is associated with optimal comfort, the idea of lowering the temperature in your room might aid in good sleep.
According to different research, it's easier to fall asleep (and stay asleep) in slightly cooler rooms. Temperature between 64 – 72 °F (18 – 22 °C) is recommended room temperature for good sleep.
At the end
Having trouble falling and staying asleep is not only frustrating, but it can also affect your mental and physical health.
Using the one or more techniques above can help you fall asleep quickly, while sleeping much better and having more energy the next day.
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