19 Ways to Fall Asleep Naturally
There are many ways to improve sleep, below are the 19 most effective solutions for better sleep naturally that are backed by research.
Tip 1: Create a Consistent Sleeping Pattern
Creating a consistent sleeping pattern can help a person to fall asleep naturally.
Going to bed at different times every night is a common habit for many people. However, an irregular sleeping pattern could interfere with sleep because it interrupts the body’s circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm refers to a selection of behavioral, physical, and mental changes that follow a 24-hour cycle..
This is heavily influenced by a biological clock that releases hormones to induce sleep or wakefulness.
Going to bed at the same time every night helps the body clock predict when to induce sleep.
Tip 2: Exercise
Physical exercise is known to have a positive impact on sleep quality.
One study that looked at 310 people over 40 years old with sleep problems found that moderate or high-intensity exercise programs led to improvements in sleep quality. The study also found that participants took their sleep medication less frequently.
It is currently unclear whether exercising at different times of day has an impact on sleep.
Tip 3: Keep Lights Turned Off
The circadian rhythm is also influenced by cues, such as light, which help the body judge when it is nighttime. Keeping the room as dark as possible when going to bed might help bring on sleep.
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Tip 4: Avoid Napping
Naps during the daytime can also disrupt the circadian rhythm, particularly those longer than 2 hours or close to the evening.
One study found that students who napped at least 3 times per week for longer than 2 hours or napped close to the evening had a lower quality of sleep than their peers.
After a poor night’s sleep, it is tempting to take a long nap, particularly close to the evening. But try to avoid this as it can adversely affect a healthful sleep cycle.
Tip 5: Avoid Using Your Mobile
One study on college students found that those who scored high on a scale of problem phone use, such as addictive texting behavior, had a lower sleep quality.
Blue light- which electronic devices like smartphones and computers emit in large amounts is the worst in this regard.
There are several popular methods you can use to reduce nighttime blue light exposure. These include:
- Wear glasses that block blue light.
- Install an app that blocks blue light on your smartphone. These are available for both iPhones and Android models.
- Stop watching TV and turn off any bright lights 2 hours before heading to bed.
Tip 6: Try Meditation or Mindfulness
Meditation and mindfulness can help reduce anxiety, which often disrupts sleeping.
A study in older adults with sleeping difficulties found that mindfulness meditation improved sleep quality, compared to people who did not practice mindfulness.
Tip 7: Read Books
Reading books can be relaxing and may help prevent anxious thought patterns that could interfere with a person’s sleep. It is best to avoid books that might cause strong emotional responses.
Tip 8: Avoid Caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant. It stimulates wakefulness and can disrupt sleep patterns. It is best to avoid caffeine for at least 4 hours before going to bed. In some people, consuming caffeine at any time of the day could have a negative impact on sleep quality. For these people, it is best to avoid caffeine altogether.
Tip 9: Change eating habits
It is best to allow the body time to digest food before sleep.
What a person eats, particularly in the evening, can have an impact on sleep.
For example, eating a large meal within 1 hour of going to bed may impair a person’s ability to sleep. Digesting a meal can take at least 2 to 3 hours.
Lying down during this period can cause discomfort or feelings of nausea and slow the digestive process in some people, though this is not the case for everyone.
It is best to allow the body enough time to digest a meal before lying down. Eating at least 3-4 hours before bed is recommended by many experts.
Tip 10: Try Massage relaxing 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 11: Get the room temperature right
Being too hot or too cold can have a significant impact on the ability to sleep.
The temperature at which people feel the most comfortable varies, so it is important to experiment with different temperatures.
However, the National Sleep Foundation recommends temperatures around 65°F (18.5°C) as being the ideal condition for sleeping.
Tip 12: Listen to music
While this may not work for everyone, many people benefit from listening to relaxing music before going to bed.
Buddhist music is a kind of music created from different Buddhist chants and used for meditation. Listening to it may be a great tool for better sleep.
Tip 13: Find a Comfortable Position
A comfortable sleeping position is essential for sleep. Frequently changing positions can be distracting, but finding the right spot can make a big difference to the onset of sleep. Most people find sleeping on their side is the best position for a good night’s sleep.
Tip 14: Use the bathroom
Needing to use the bathroom can be a significant distraction from sleeping. While leaving the comfort of the bed may seem unappealing at the time, it is essential to use the bathroom when needed.
Trying to hold off going to the bathroom not only prevents sleep but can disrupt sleep later in the night.
Tip 15: Take a Hot Bath or Shower
Taking a bath or shower can be relaxing and help prepare the body for sleep. Research found that 36% increased sleep quality in people who took shower 2 hour before bed.
Tip 16: Avoid Reading E-Books
E-books have become increasingly popular in the past few years. Reading an e-book in bed could affect sleep.
They have backlit screens, which make them ideal for reading before bed in a darkened room. However, this could affect sleep negatively.
One study gave young adults a printed book and an e-book to read before bed. The researchers found that when using the e-book, the participants took longer to fall asleep. Such results suggest that e-books could have a negative impact on sleep.
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Tip 17: Use a Comfortable Bed
In a recent survey by the National Sleep Foundation, 9 out of 10 respondents reported that their mattress was essential to their sleep. Investing in a comfortable mattress could have a positive impact on sleep quality.
Tip 18: Avoid Alcohol Consumption before bed
Drinking large amounts of alcohol before bed can have an adverse impact on sleep. Alcohol is problematic because it can induce feelings of restlessness and nausea, which can delay the onset of sleep. Research suggests avoiding alcohol consumption 5 hours before bed.
Tip 19: Avoid Noisy Environments
Noise can be distracting, prevent the onset of sleep, and lower the quality of a night’s sleep.
A 2018 study found that participants had a significantly worse sleep in a hospital than at home. The authors of the study found that this was primarily due to the increased level of noise in the hospital, compared with a person’s home.
Getting to sleep naturally is the best way to ensure the mind and body gets the rest that it needs.
Trying one or more methods above can increase the chances of falling asleep without the need to use any sleep aids.
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