There are those of us who have the gift of being plunged in slumber the second their heads hit the pillow. But unfortunately, although most of us find falling asleep fast to be second nature, some actually struggle more than they can afford to before getting any shut-eye.
That actually happens to a significantly large group of people. Tossing and turning in their beds is all they know, and that can get a little too frustrating. In any case, it is very vital for all of us to get enough sleep each and every night. Making a habit (intentionally or not) of staying up late brings about a number of health problems.
According to a number of studies, when you don’t have a stable circadian rhythm, you’re putting yourself at risk of depression, diabetes, and weight gain.
The math is simple. A balanced life requires a well-balanced sleeping habit. Regulating your sleep cycle can significantly boost your performance during the day and reduce the risks of suffering from a number of health conditions.
But I guess that’s why you’re here, isn’t it? Do you want to end your suffering for good? We hope that we have the answers for you with the tips we’ve rounded up.
After How Long Does a Normal Person Fall Asleep?
Studies that have been conducted on the matter show that a healthy person would need from 10 to 20 minutes before going from fully awake to asleep.
This information doesn’t only concern those who exceed the time limit but those who also fall under it. Anyone sleeping in a shorter time than the one indicated is surely suffering from a problem, most likely sleep deprivation.
But when it goes longer than 20 minutes, then the most common issue is what’s known to the experts as sleep onset insomnia, which is basically the problem of difficulty in getting asleep. If you have that, you need to see a doctor. Otherwise, there are some tweaks that you can apply to your lifestyle and sleep habits to fall asleep way faster.
What You Need to Sleep Fast at Night
Getting the kind of sleep that you’ve wanted for so long doesn’t just depend on what you do when you rest your head on your pillow. A lot of the things that we do during the day have their own influence on what happens when we close our eyes.
So, we find it very important that you be aware of all the activities that you do during the day so it becomes easier for you to place your finger on the exact thing that might’ve been making the sleeping process more difficult for you.
Think about the kind of breakfast that you choose to have, the number of important tasks that await you during the day and even everything else in between them, from leisure activities to just some unnecessary time-wasting, potentially stressful, actions. Anything can affect your sleep, both in a good or a bad way.
But beyond that, there are also some other obvious factors that play their hand directly during sleep time. For instance, any physical pain can deter you from getting some rest. Also, visual and auditory stimulants coming from electronic devices like the TV or mobile devices, lights, ringtones and such can all decide the kind of sleep you’ll be having.
It’s important to keep in mind that not all people are the same. What might keep others awake can have little to no effect on you. So, what you need to do is run a full diagnosis of your life during the whole day and try to pick and choose the elements that you suspect may be damaging your sleep cycle through their presence or lack thereof and experiment with and without them. The idea is that you’ll find the right combination that’ll work for you.
So, to aid you to speed up your journey in optimizing your day and in looking for the things that’ll help you finally get the fast sleep you deserve, we’ll list down the best tips we can round up when to comes to stress-free, goodnight, and fast sleeping.
Tips and Tricks to Fall Asleep Faster
It All Starts with the Habits
Fix a Routine
Having a very chaotic sleeping schedule can be a big factor in the problem. If one day you wake up early but the next you decide to sleep in, you’re not helping your body find a good footing in the realm of sleep.
Setting a strict time for both going to bed and waking up can help magnificently in teaching your body when it’s time to shut down and have some rest and when it’s time to wake up and become active. And you’ll know it worked when you start noticing the signs.
We can’t stress it further, following a strict routine is imperative in enhancing your sleeping experience and plunging in slumber faster at night.
No Naps During the Day to Sleep Fast at Night
We all know how tempting a nap can become for a person going through a busy day. But you might want to think it through before getting some rest during daytime. Studies have shown that naps can cause some harm to your nightly sleeping schedule. It can deter you from falling asleep at the time you want to.
On the other hand, some research tells us that a half hour of naptime can actually benefit the body by reversing the effects of suffering from a bad night’s sleep. But just to be safe, you should stay away from any daytime sleeping if you’re an individual suffering from insomnia.
In case napping becomes of utmost necessity, try not to exceed 30 minutes of napping so that you don’t ruin your night’s sleep cycle.
Wear Some Socks to Sleep Fast at Night
According to the research done on the subject, it’s been proven that having warm hands and feet can help with the slow sleeping problem. Basically, if you’re going to bed with cold feet, you’re probably going to have some trouble before you can actually get some rest. Because of that, the National Sleep Foundation encourages wearing of socks before going to sleep to get warm enough feet and less trouble sleeping.
Write Down What’s Bothering You
Your psychology can, without a doubt, impact your sleep during the night. If you’re tossing and turning in your bed, there’s a chance that it’s caused by a personal problem that’s been bothering you. So, we recommend that you take the time to grab a pen and paper and relieve your mind of the issues by transforming them to scribbles. Write down what you’ll deal with tomorrow and forget about them tonight.
Try a Warm Shower
Try to have a warm shower before going to bed by about an hour. Warming the body up like that and going out to cooler room temperature can help reduce your body’s heat quickly.
Why would you want to do that? Well, because it can slow your metabolism down just as fast which will consequently make you readier for sleep faster. Besides that, showers are known to be a very relaxing activity anyway.
So, if you can, try to make a hot shower a part of your sleep routine, just an hour before hitting the bed. Your body will be expecting some shut-eye after it once it has adapted.
Do Not Snooze Your Alarm
You might think that staying in bed for a while after hearing the alarm ringing will help wake up more easily and start a day in a more comfortable manner. But unfortunately, that doesn’t have any truth to it.
Once you heard the alarm and found yourself no longer in a sleeping state, going back for a 5-minute rest can do more harm than good. You don’t want to start your day like a grumpy cat.
Get Yourself Some Sunlight
When it comes to sleep, the sun is not your enemy. In the matter of fact, it helps out. You’ll have to expose your body to enough sunlight if you want to solve the issue and fall asleep faster at night. So, get out there for at least an hour every day. All the artificial light that we expose ourselves to can really confuse our bodies and sunlight can cleanse that a bit and make sleep a bit easier to accomplish.
Have a Good Posture to SLeep Fast
The way your body rests is just as important as anything else. You need to find a position that brings you comfort and actually promotes good sleep. Don’t let any part of your body rest in an annoying position when you’re lying in bed.
Make sure that the mattress and the pillow are comfortable enough. The pad needs to support the neck properly and if it doesn’t, consider replacing it. The same goes for your mattress. If it’s old, worn down and doesn’t give you proper support, then it’s advised that you replace it.
For most people, a side position would work best, the left side in particular. But try lying I your back and see if it works for you or not. And try not to change the position that you chose. Habits tend to make things easier. You’ll body will adapt and fall to sleep easily and more quickly.
Core body temperature relates directly to the sleep you get at night, according to research. Consequently, a delayed temperature rhythm represents one of the reasons why people suffer from slow sleeping or some diseases such as sleep onset insomnia.
How can you fix that? Wear comfortable clothes for sleeping or even no clothes at all if you want to. It can help regulate the temperature of the body and effectively make you sleep faster.
A Candle-Lit Dinner?
You should try to avoid artificial lights as much as possible. The light coming from our electronic devices can really diminish the secretion of melatonin in the body. So, try to decrease their use and why not try candles for instance.
Adjust Your Diet
Avoid Heavy Meals and Late Snacks
This might not be something that you’d think about, but food can play a part in the quality of sleep you’re getting. Try to stick to a balanced diet if you want to prevent sleeping issues and fall asleep faster. Because let’s say you tend to eat sweets or fatty foods before sleep. What happens is that your body won’t have enough time to digest them, a process that’s ideally done when sitting or standing.
The proper thing to do is have a period of at least 4 hours between dinner and sleep. And if you’re going to ingest anything, make it something that facilitates sleep like carbohydrates, magnesium, selenium, and Vitamin D. Add to that potassium which seems to boost sleep efficiency. Basically, take things like spinach, oily fish, egg yolks, avocados, milk, bananas, and soy products among other things.
An early and light dinner is a good habit to adopt for making sleep easier and faster to achieve.
Avoid Medications, Alcohol, and Caffeine
These are three things you need to cut back on. Poor sleep and easily be associated with excessive consumption of caffeine, alcohol and the use of medications. Any energy drink can give you a jolt of adrenaline and make your hormones crazy when you want to sleep even if you consume them 8 hours before going to bed.
If you hit the afternoon period, try to keep away from this type of beverages as your body won’t have enough time to deal with them before sleep and that can cause you issues.
Let Go of Your Gadgets to Sleep Fast
Make it Dim
While all the light surrounding us during the day can play a big part in adjusting our circadian rhythm in a way that keeps us awake during the day and asleep at night, the lights coming off our electronic devices that we use all the time can later affect us during bedtime, particularly if we use them too close to our time of sleeping. Try to avoid using any electronic devices such as your smartphone, tablet, or computer before heading to bed, and you’ll notice that you’re falling asleep faster and faster every day.
Also, make things as dark as possible. When it’s dark, your brain produces melatonin which tells the body that it’s time to take some rest. Using an eye mask is a great idea as well.
Get Rid of the Clock
As you’re fighting the sheets in your bed trying the sleep, the clock is sitting next to you staring at you, asking you to constantly check the time on it, to worry yourself over every passing second, over all the precious time being wasted without rest. Obviously, that’s a terrible experience to go through. That’s why it’ll be better if you try to minimize your anxiousness by hiding the clock. Put it away from your reach and gaze and don’t give it a second thought. It’ll ease out the stress a bit and result in quicker sleeping.
A Sleep Tracker isn’t a Good Idea
In the United States, 10% of the people have some sort of a sleep tracker that they regularly use when they’re asleep. It’s used to document what goes on during sleep.
You might be thinking that that can be a useful thing, but in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine published a study that proves that those who’ve used a sleep tracker were putting pressure on themselves to try and get an appropriate amount of sleep, which naturally led to an increase in anxiety.
In the end, that sleep tracker might’ve been doing them more bad than good. So, to wrap it up, if you use one of those devices or apps, maybe try putting it off for a few days to see if that can solve your problem and help you to sleep faster.
Prepare a Sleepy Environment to Sleep Fast
Keep Away from Noises
Just in case this isn’t obvious enough, we’ll talk about it here. A study conducted back in 2016 that examines sleep quality and what factors in the duration of sleep showed that noise is one of the biggest deferrers from good night’s sleep. If you have to combat noises at night that you simply cannot turn off, we recommend using a white noise machine as it can ease out things a bit.
Ambient Sounds Can Help
We’ve already mentioned how people are different from the aspect of reacting differently to stimulants during sleep. So, it’s all about finding what makes you specifically fall asleep better.
While some people may prefer complete silence for sleep, others may want to have a specific ambient sound as they try to have some rest. Some like the sound of crowded places, or maybe the sound of a passing train (you read that right).
Try out some different stuff and see what works for you. If you used to live in a busy area with a lot of cars and trains passing by, but you don’t find that anymore, maybe you’ll want to simulate that feeling again with an app. Anything that’s familiar to a sound that makes you feel more comfortable will work. Make sure you set a timer on those sounds; you don’t want them to go on for the whole night as that can deteriorate the quality of sleep.
Nature Sounds Can Also Help
If you’re more about soothing sounds, you might want to consider ones relating to nature. Rain, waterfalls or maybe the sound of wind. As we’ve said before, try out different stuff and see what works best for you to guarantee that you fall asleep faster at night.
Make Use of Soothing Music to Sleep Fast
Yes, loud music is as bad as it can get if you’re trying to stay away from sleep deterrents. But on the other hand, calm music can have a good influence. Sleep quality can be boosted by slow rhythm music as research shows. It’ll make feeling peaceful and relaxed. Some research has even shown that classical music can help people combat depression.
The Bed Must Be for Sleep Only
Another factor that you might not have thought of is what experts like to call conditioned arousal. It’s about doing things that do not relate to sleep on the bed. That way, you train your mind to believe that bed is not a place for sleeping and that’s why you might not be sleeping properly. Keep your bed dedicated only to sleep.
Make Your Room Cool
No, we’re not talking about hanging posters of rock bands. Instead, this is about room temperature. As we’ve mentioned earlier, core body temperature is an integral factor that influences the sleep you have at night. Your body gets slightly colder when you’re sleeping so try to help it out. The ideal temperature would be between 60 and 67°F so try to keep it in that range.
Try Some User-Proven Sleeping Methods
Try Acupressure to Sleep Fast
Acupressure is similar to acupuncture as it’s also derived from old Chinese alternative medicine. It’s based on the theory that energy traverses specific parts of your body. Applying pressure on these parts can improve the general state of the body. The following techniques have been suggested by a member of the leading natural health university Bastyr University:
- Message the ears for a minute
- Move one third away from the tips of your toes in the direction of the heel and press on that area of the bottom of your feet for a few minutes.
- Press the area between your first and second toe for a while until you feel a slight pain.
- Apply pressure on the area above your nose and between your eyebrows for a minute.
Don’t Count Sheep; Visualization is the Key
A study published by Oxford University was conducted in 2002 on people who have insomnia where one group were told to visualize a relaxing picture while another group was told to count sheep or do nothing else as they tried to sleep. The first group’s members fell asleep 20 minutes before those from the second group. So, think of an open field or a waterfall instead of counting sheep next time you’re trying to fall asleep fast.
The 4-7-8 Method
Heavily promoted by Dr. Andrew Weil and a number of wellness bloggers, it’s a breathing technique that’s claimed to bring you to sleep in less than a minute. It’s said to increase the oxygen intake and release more CO2, slowing down your heart rate and making very relaxed. Here’s how Dr. Weil describes it:
- Place your tongue on the interior wall of your mouth, just above your upper frontal teeth for the entirety of the exercise.
- Exhale as much as possible from your mouth with a whoosh noise
- Close your mouth and inhale from your nose to the count of four
- Hold your breath and count to seven
- Exhale through the mouth with a whoosh noise counting to eight
- Repeat again three times
Hang Upside Down
There are props out there (like an inversion table) that are made to help you hang upside down. Doing this will help reduce stress, minimize back pain and improve your circulation, besides of course helping with getting some sleep. Before you decide to purchase an upside-down-hanging prop, consult your doctor.
Staring at a Point
This is one of the most effective methods we’ve got. Just open your eyes and focus on one singular point in the room. Even if the room is black, make sure to do so and think of nothing else. The darkness will actually make your eyes more tired, and that can be a good motivator for your body to know that it’s time to get some rest.
Apply Cold Water on Your Face
What might help with relieving your anxiety or stress before bedtime is a nice splash of cold water on your face for 30 seconds. If you’re going a stressful situation, what you want to do is to help reset your nervous system in order to calm down. One way to do that is putting your face in a bowl of cold water.
That will lead to a phenomenon known as the Mammalian Dive Reflex. It lowers the blood pressure and heart rate, and that will cool things off.
Read a Book to Sleep Fast
Whether you’re a bookworm or not, trying this one can bring your eyes to shut sooner than expected. A book is an excellent getaway from all the business you had to deal with during the day. Try different books, ranging from exciting and engaging to ones addressing boring subjects to see which ones have a better effect on you.
If Nothing Works, Consult A Doctor
Making changes in your lifestyle and habits is very important in solving the problem of lack of sleep. But if you go through all the tricks with no result, maybe it’s time to see a specialist. Perhaps your problem is a part of a bigger medical condition that needs to be addressed. So, if nothing of the above methods can help in making you fall asleep faster, it’s time to pay your health care provider a visit.
It’s completely understandable how frustrating it can get when you just want to get a good night sleep, but you don’t seem to be able to have it. You mustn’t ignore the situation, but you shouldn’t stress yourself over it. Be optimistic and try the different tricks that we’ve mentioned and hopefully things will turn out great and you’ll become a fast sleeper in no time.