Sleeping is one way to reset your body from the daily stressors of life. It is a way to regain mental and physical energy. When you get enough sleep, you will notice that you see things clearly with a positive outlook each day.
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential, but sometimes falling asleep can be frustrating. You keep tossing and turning at night, causing more anxiety because you have to get up early the next day. Are you finding ways to fall asleep faster? Then this article is for you.
You probably envy those people who get into bed and instantly fall asleep. You wonder how they do it and wish you could be like them. Are they just overly tired during the day? Are there bed sheets cozier than yours?
We’ll never know the answers. But one thing’s for sure. There are many ways to fall asleep more quuckly and naturally.
Are you having insomnia or sleep problems? Here’s what you can try tonight to fall asleep fast:
1. Count Breaths
Falling asleep fast is pretty hard for some people. It involves pure dedication to attain a consistent body clock and sleep patterns. That is why counting breaths are an easy and effective way to combat insomnia. Here’s how you count your breaths:
- Allow yourself to ease up.
- Close your eyes and breathe.
- Inhale and exhale in a natural way. Do not force it.
- Exhale for at least 5 counts.
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you are truly relaxed.
Breathing can affect sleep quality. This is why breathing exercises can help you fall asleep quickly. The 4-7-8 method is a technique that was developed by Dr. Andrew Weil. This is a simple way to fall asleep quickly. Here’s how the technique goes:
- While lying down, close your eyes.
- Touch your tongue to your palate.
- Keep it that way throughout the process.
- Take a breath and long inhale through your nose for 4 seconds.
- Hold your breath for 7 seconds while keeping your mouth closed.
- Exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds.
- Repeat the cycle 4 times until you get used to it or until you fall asleep.
The combined forces of muscles, lungs, and brain are vital to sleeping better. Training the muscles can also help in falling asleep. One technique is progressive muscle relaxation (PMR).
Progressive muscle relaxation involves relaxing and tightening the muscle with simultaneous breathing. This can create a calming effect after the process is performed.
Try to find a place where you can relax. You can incorporate sleep music, audio podcasts, or guided meditation to help you focus on different muscle groups in the body. Here are some tips you can follow:
- Breathe in and out while keeping your eyes closed the whole time.
- Squeeze the muscles of your forehead for 4 to 10 seconds, then release them slowly.
- Notice the difference between muscle relaxation and tightening.
- Tighten your lips together, then eventually relax them. You can also focus on the jaw and chin area.
- While breathing, raise your shoulders towards your ears for 10 seconds, then relax.
- Repeat the process on the different muscle groups down to your feet.
- Lay flat and relax until you fall asleep.
With all the apps and content available these days, many of us tend to use the internet while lying in bed. Looking at the screen for too long can have a negative effect on your sleep quality.
One contributor to delayed sleep is the blue light coming from devices. The blue light will make you stay awake and can do harm while trying to catch some zzzs.
Consider switching off your device for at least 30 minutes before you sleep. If you are not used to this, try to listen to music or podcasts while relaxing. This will help minimize your screen time and avoid sleep disorders.
Meditation can help you relax your mind, body, and soul. Bringing yourself to meditate and relax will be beneficial in the long run, especially if you want to sleep well.
Research data has shown that meditation can be the key to overcoming insomnia. There are several techniques out there that can guide you. Choose what you like the most and include it in your routine.
Take at least 10–20 minutes a night and work it up to an hour if you like. Here are some basic techniques you can follow:
- Find an environment you are comfortable with, or lie down in your bedroom, whichever you’re comfortable with.
- Close your eyes and relax the tension in your body. Focus on inhaling and exhaling deeply.
- Clear your mind of negative thoughts and be calm.
- Repeat the steps until you are satisfied or on the verge of sleepiness.
How can you fall asleep instantly? Practice having a consistent bedtime routine. Do easy steps that you can follow religiously.
Bedtime routines can help you set up your body clock and instantly hit the sheets. Your routine can be as simple as reading a book before bedtime, listening to relaxing music, or meditating.
Another easy method is to go to bed around the same time every day. See what is it that suits your preference. Your body will thank you for it.
Warm showers or taking a long bath will soothe your muscles. This is often advised to people who are struggling with sleeping disorders. A warm shower or bath can help you fall asleep faster and can improve sleep quality.
It is preferable to take a warm bath or shower an hour or two before bedtime for at least 10 minutes. So, step into your bathtub and enjoy a warm bubble bath using calming aromatherapy oils like lavender or chamomile.
Exercise and sleep can benefit each other and work hand in hand. Proper exercise can alleviate sleep-related health problems and help you get enough rest. As they say, “exercise is the natural tranquilizer of the nervous system.”
Exercising during the day can release hormones that will aid in the promotion of sleep. Do not pressure yourself into engaging in strenuous exercise just to have good sleep. Try simple activities like walking your dog, cleaning the house, or washing your car.
Caffeine is a natural stimulant that can prevent you from falling asleep. It is often the main culprit behind your sleepless nights. Avoid caffeine-containing beverages at least 6 hours before your sleep. This includes coffee, hot chocolate, soda, and energy drinks.
Research data has shown that drinking coffee throughout the day can lead to sleep deprivation during the night. It is vital to lay off caffeinated drinks when you want to establish a good night’s sleep. If you crave caffeine, try decaffeinated coffee or caffeine-free herbal teas like chamomile tea.
Visualize a relaxing image in your head and its details, be it a beach that you visited before or an aerial view from a plane. Images like these can help you fall asleep fast.
Practice visualization by lying in your bed, relaxing your body, then closing your eyes, focusing on breathing in and out slowly and evenly. Eventually, when you are engaged in a specific image, you will find yourself dozing off in minutes.
Ever wonder why we have nap times in the office? Why is it so nice to sleep in a colder room with fuzzy comforters? Our body leans towards a cool temperature for faster sleep than a warmer temperature.
The ideal bedroom temperature is between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit for the most comfortable sleep. Our bodies experience a slight temperature dip in the evening, which is a sign that it is already time to sleep.
Eating a meal hours before bedtime is advisable, as this can help you sleep better. Eat foods rich in carbohydrates like pasta, rice, and potatoes. Choose carbs that are simple and do not contain artificial sugars and preservatives.
Have at least a portion of carbohydrates, even if you are on a diet. Research also shows that having milk before going to bed can help you fall asleep fast.
Having a good sleep environment is important to help in relaxation and falling asleep faster. One method you can use is to try dimming the light or having a night light beside you. Diming or completely turning off the lights will give your brain the signal that it is nighttime and time to sleep already.
There are two types of lights. One is blue light, which keeps your brain awake. Then there is yellow light, which has a calming effect. This will signal to the brain what mode you are on.
One method is to set up your bedroom by eliminating artificial lights and minimizing the use of tablets and phones. You can use eye masks if you are not used to doing both.
Knowing facts about good sleeping habits like counting breaths and getting some physical activity can help you establish a good sleep. It is important to stay on track and practice them regularly.
If you have trouble drowsing at night and the techniques above don’t suit you or don’t improve sleep health, consult a mental health professional to help you uncover psychological or emotional causes that keep you awake at night. Talk to a counselor or therapist at Kentucky Counseling Center for medical advice now.
It is never too late to ask for help. You may have sleep problems or anxiety that keeps you up at night, so you need to talk to a therapist to sort your thoughts and emotions out.