Having trouble falling asleep? Are you looking for ways on how to fall asleep faster?
Having a good night’s sleep is vital for our bodies and brains, as it can help them fully rest and perform at the highest level.
Sleep deprivation can negatively impact your everyday life, from feeling tired all day and having to rely on caffeine, to lack of concentration and decreased work performance. We all know how important sleep is.
Table of Contents
1. Exercise During The day.
Physical activity improves the quality of your sleep and extends its duration.
A study of 2600 people of all ages performing at least 150 minutes per week of moderate to intense exercise, on average reported a 65% improvement in sleep quality. They even felt less sleepy during the day.
A few examples are:
- Going for a brief walk (10-30 minutes)
- Lifting weights
2. Don’t eat before going to bed.
When you try to fall asleep just after eating a meal, your body is busy digesting your final meal. This can result in various issues, such as indigestion.
You should avoid eating too close to bedtime, as well as avoiding eating overly spicy or saturated food. These will end up making your stomach upset, which will make it extra uncomfortable and difficult to sleep fast.
3. Limit alcohol consumption before bed.
If you are one of those people that drink a glass of wine in order to fall asleep, I have some bad news for you.
It may help you fall asleep a bit faster, but, it can seriously worsen your sleep quality by a lot, and you won’t wake up as well-rested.
A 2018 study compared the sleep quality of different groups who drank different amounts of alcohol. Even low amounts of it (fewer than two servings per day for men or one serving per day for women) decreased sleep quality by 9.3%.
You should stop drinking alcohol at least 4 hours before bedtime for the best sleeping quality.
4. Avoid Caffeine 6 hours before bed.
Caffeine has a half-life span of about 6 hours. This means that it can take up to 12 hours for your body to fully metabolize it.
Studies have shown that consuming caffeine 3 to even 6 hours before going to bed, significantly disrupts sleeping patterns. Even consuming it 6 hours prior, it is shown that caffeine reduced sleep by one hour.
I’ve set a personal rule for myself that I won’t drink any caffeine after 4-5 pm. because I get in bed around 12 pm. So, if I consume any coffee or energy drinks past 5 pm, I know for a fact that I’ll have a difficult time sleeping.
5. Limit Use of electronics and/or Decrease blue light exposure.
Digital devices contain blue light, which is linked to suppressed melatonin levels (sleeping hormone), as a Harvard Study shows.
Not only that but using these devices will keep your brain in an active and engaged state, which will make it harder for you to fall asleep.
If you have to use electronics at night, consider using blue light filters on your devices or using a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses.
6. Lower the temperature of your room.
Our bodies have internal thermostats, so when we go to sleep, our brain sets this temperature to a few degrees lower. So if your room is cooler, you’ll make it much easier for your body to fall asleep.
This doesn’t mean to turn your bedroom into a freezer, because if it’s too cold, our bodies might struggle, causing insomnia.
Also, it’s almost impossible if the temperature of your room is too hot. You’ll have to find out what works best for you.
So, what’s the best temperature for sleeping?
|Adults||15-22 degrees||60-72 degrees|
|Elderly||19-21 degrees||66-70 degrees|
|Toddlers and babies||18-21 degrees||65-70 degrees|
Note: This is a general guideline. You can of course go lower or higher than the suggested temperatures.
7. Try the 4-7-8 Technique.
The 4-7-8 breathing method is a simple but effective method to relax and calm your mind down.
Here’s how you do it:
- Close your mouth, breathe through your nose and mentally count to 4.
- Hold your breath for the count of 7.
- Exhale through the mouth for the count of 8.
- Repeat this pattern at least 3 more times.
At first, you may find it difficult to breathe out completely for 8 seconds. It’s totally normal. You can steadily go there by practicing it.
8. Practice Meditation and Yoga.
If you just can’t stop your mind wandering around, thinking about what you said (or could have said) to someone 5 years ago, or how things could have been different, then it will be very difficult to fall asleep.
Both yoga and meditation can calm your mind, leaving you feeling relaxed and prepared for a good night’s sleep.
Yoga is a balanced practice that combines physical, mental, spiritual, and breathing exercises. It can help you loosen up tight muscles and help you relax. The perfect recipe for quality sleep.
Meditation on the other hand, and especially mindfulness meditation is the practice of sitting still for 5 minutes up to how many hours you want and clearing up your mind completely from running thoughts.
Try one or both and experience a good night’s sleep.
9. listen to deep sleep relaxing music.
If meditation or yoga don’t work for you and you find your mind racing from one thought to another, making it harder for you to fall asleep, you should consider listening to binaural beats.
Listening to relaxing music before bed is linked with the ability to fall asleep faster. It also improves the quality of sleep.
A small study of 19 people suggests that 73 percent of participants had higher levels of melatonin (the sleeping hormone) after using binaural beats.
10. Dim your lights and achieve total darkness.
In addition to limiting the use of electronics and the blue light exposure, you should also dim your lights at least 30 minutes before you go to bed.
Having bright lights affect your melatonin hormone, making it harder to fall asleep and staying that way.
Consider having black curtains and/ or an eye mask to not get woken up by the sunrise in the morning.
11. be consistent – Go to sleep at the same time every day.
This tip will upset many of you reading this.
Going to sleep at almost the same time every day, weekday or weekend will help your circadian rhythm be on a regular schedule.
This means that over time, your body and brain will get used to waking up and going to bed at around the same hours, making falling asleep much faster and your life much easier.
12. put away the clock.
If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, and constantly looking at the clock, you might want to consider removing the clock from your room, or putting your clock/phone to the other side, and mindfully not checking it when you wake up.
Having the ability to look at the time to find out how much time you’ve got to sleep, or how much time you’ve been trying to sleep, is not helpful and it’ll only stress you out.
This behavior is well known among people who struggle with insomnia.
13. Get sufficient sun exposure during the day.
Make sure that you are getting sufficient sun exposure during the day, along with minimum blue light exposure during evening and night time.
Research suggests exposing yourself during the daytime for at least 30 minutes of sun exposure. Natural light exposure can help to regularize the patterns of sleep and wakefulness.
14. Monitor your sleep.
There are many apps out there that can help you track your sleep quality, sleeping patterns, and sleep efficiency. I personally have used Sleep Cycle since August 2018 to help me monitor my sleep.
You can also wear different smartwatches that offer sleep monitoring that measure your heart rate, your rem sleep (deep sleep), how many hours you actually sleep, and much more.
This is not a short-term fix like the other tips mentioned in this article, but you can use the valuable information that sleep monitoring gives you to can make crucial adjustments to your everyday life.
15. use the 20-minute Rule.
If 20 minutes have passed and you are wide awake, get out of bed.
Do something relaxing for your mind. Don’t browse social media, as it will wake you up. Instead, read a book (preferably a physical book), or have a cup of tea (caffeinated-free). Then, try and go back to sleep after 20 minutes.
Try it this night and let me know if it did wonders for you in the comments down below!
Having problems with falling asleep at night can cause serious side effects on your physical and mental health.
Hopefully by implementing one or all of these tips can help you fall asleep quickly, and can help you have more energy throughout the day.
You may wonder: This is some helpful information, but how can I make all of these work? How can I implement these techniques in my day-to-day life?
I’ve got a gift for you…
A free step-by-step checklist with all the tips mentioned in this article you can download so you can have it with you wherever you are, or print it out and put it where you can see it every day.