Getting a good night’s rest is very important and will prevent you from suffering from sleep deprivation symptoms, which are pleasant at all. A lack of sleep can result in a number of cognitive issues that can ruin your following day. This can be a huge issue when you have a professional job that requires a working brain.
For some people, however, getting a good night’s sleep might not be the problem. It may, in fact, be that they struggle to fall asleep in an adequate time, which can be frustrating and boring. It can also have an adverse effect on your sleep quality because the more you start to think about sleeping, the harder it will become.
However, believe it or not, millions of people get this and it is nothing to worry about. In fact, it can be easily solved with a number of healthy habits and a willingness to listen. In this article, we will look at ways you can use to fall asleep faster. They are simple to apply and can be used if you feel you’re not going to fall asleep as soon as you get in bed.
Get Up and Move Around for a Few Minutes
This one might seem a bit counterintuitive, but if you are struggling to fall asleep fast, try getting up and moving around for a few minutes. This is a great way to prevent the bed becoming a place associated with wakefulness, which can be a big problem if you are consistently lying awake at night, unable to sleep.
When you get up, don’t just stand around and do nothing. Scientists suggest that you should do something that requires your hands or head. Try to do a puzzle or maybe read a book. Make sure that you perform these activities outside of the bed, as this should be a place left for sleep and sex, as professionals point out. The one thing you should avoid, however, it bright lights like screens and TVs. Screens will keep you awake and will prevent the production of melatonin, which will ruin your sleep even more.
Cool Your Room
This is a well-known one but keeping yourself cool in the night is an excellent way to make you fall asleep faster. This is related to the body’s natural function of lowering the body temperature when you are in your deepest part of sleep. Around 4 am is when your body is at its lowest temperature in the night. Because of this, temperature has been suggested to play a crucial role in our sleep.
The best thing to do when you’re preparing for sleep is to keep your room dark and cool. It is important to keep the body cool when you start sleeping as you will aid your body’s natural cycle. It is important to also wear as little as possible to bed as this can warm you up and prevent you from falling asleep as fast. In the winter, however, wearing some pajamas might be ok.
Hide Your Alarm Clock
We have already spoken about how bright lights from screens can keep you awake if you’re trying to sleep. They emit what is known as blue light, which tells the brain it is morning, preventing the production of the required neurotransmitters. The light from your alarm clock could actually emit such a light and might be the thing stopping you from falling asleep quicker.
Admittedly, the light from an alarm clock might not be enough to keep you awake altogether but it can stop you from falling asleep. It may be of benefit to you to remove the alarm clock from your bedside table or from the room entirely.
In addition, the reason you might want to remove the clock entirely is that of time watching. If you are unable to fall asleep quickly you may start to watch the time tick away. This can stress you out and make things a whole lot worse. Therefore, in some cases, removing the alarm clock altogether might be the best option.
You may be interested in 9 Surprising Ways to Prepare Yourself for Sleeping.
Try to Stay Awake
Again, this is a bit of a weird one because that is the one thing you don’t want to do – stay awake! However, it is a little psychological trick that has been used for many years. If you want to try something a bit different, try to force yourself to stay awake. If you are feeling tired, try to stay awake longer until you can’t keep your eyes open anymore. At this point, you should try to move over to your bed and you’ll instantly fall asleep. This form of reverse psychology was actually supported by a study in Glasgow, so there is some evidence to suggest this works. The next time you feel that you’re wide awake before bed, pick a book and try and read it for as long as possible without falling asleep, we guarantee you’ll eventually give in and fall asleep.
Use the 4-7-8 Method
This is a method that many of you may not have heard of. This is because this was proposed in an award-winning book and involves the use of breathing, oxygen, and relaxation. The method is suggested to make you fall asleep in under a minute if you do it properly. There are a number of steps to the breathing technique but it is pretty straightforward. Here are the required steps:
- You need to start by placing your tongue on the ridge on the back of your front teeth. The ridge is the part where the skin and the tooth meet.
- From there, you are going to want to exhale through your mouth, making a whooshing sound in the process.
- Next, inhale quietly through your nose for 4 seconds
- Hold in the breath for 7 seconds (count in your head)
- You’re then going to want to exhale through your mouth again for 8 seconds (making whooshing sound)
- Repeat this a few times and see if you feel tired
I tried this while writing it and I did start to feel a little drowsy, so it does work! Do this while you are sitting in bed and remember to remain relaxed through the whole experience.
Have a Bath or Shower before Bed
This is a classic tip for when it comes to falling asleep faster. This relates to the temperature changes talked about above. If you want to help the body relax and get into the state of sleep, you need to heat it up and then rapidly cool it down, just like it would during sleep. To do this, you take a bath or shower (baths work better). The change in temperature from the hot water to the cold air should begin to relax the body, tricking it into thinking you’re asleep.
Try to have a bath 2 hours before bed to feel the best effects. This does work and has worked for millions of people, including myself. The temperature change cools you and will send you off to sleep incredibly quickly.
Listen to Music
This is something I used to do when I was younger. Listening to music has been seen to be a great method to help you relax and fall asleep quicker. However, there have been studies to suggest that certain music works better than others. In particular, soothing music or the sound of rain has been found to produce a feeling of relaxation, sending the individuals off to sleep very quickly. This was the most effective with younger individuals, however. So if you’re an older individual and don’t like the sound of listening to headphones before bed, you might want to give this a miss.
Do You have a problem with Sleeping? See our review of Insomnia: The Explanation, Causes and Treatments.
Getting Acupuncture Can Help
Massages and acupuncture have been seen to be great methods when it comes to relaxing. However, I am not talking about the needles and self-therapy, I am talking about applying light pressure to certain parts of the body in order to stimulate relaxation and sleep. The actual art of acupuncture comes from Chinese ideas about the spiritual nature of the body. The acupuncture is supposed to realign the spirit, mind, and body. You can apply acupuncture to yourself in order to help you sleep with these simple techniques:
- Between the eyebrows, just above the nose, there is a small depression. Gently apply pressure to the depression for a minute
- There is another depression on top of the foot, between the first and second toes. Gentle push that until you feel a dull ache.
- Try to then massage both of your ears for a minute
If you have done all of that then you should start to feel a little drowsy. This stuff can actually work if you do it right. Whether or not the ideas behind it are true or not doesn’t matter because if it works, it works.
With the tips and advice above, you should be able to fall asleep a lot faster than you were already. Many people have trouble getting to sleep in the first place but through applying on of these (or multiple) tactics to their lives, they can start to condition their body to rest quicker. Sleep is an essential part of our lives and it is important you try your absolute best to make sure you’re getting enough. Remember to take action, as that is the only way you’ll see results.