20 Ways to Fall Asleep Faster
20 Ways to Fall Asleep Faster
Sleep is one of those things we can all use more of. Falling asleep can be a struggle, and there are a variety of reasons for that. Anything from anxiety to drinking too much caffeine to room temperature, and so much more.
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According to the Sleep Foundation, we need 7-9 hours of sleep every night to be happy, healthy, and productive. Sleep is the time when our bodies heal, rest, and recharge.
Here are 20 ways to fall asleep faster and wake up more rested each day.
Exercise During the Day
Morning workouts help you get the day going and maintain a routine, along with lowering your blood pressure, which will aid in increasing the quality of your sleep.
Reset Your Sleep Schedule
Our bodies have an internal clock that tells us when things should happen. If you’ve ever felt like it is 7pm and it is actually 10pm for example, that is your internal clock needing a reset. The internal clock releases melatonin, a hormone promoting sleep, at the same time each night.
You can reset your sleep schedule through exercise in the morning, along with many other tips here such as cooling the temperature in your bedroom and making sure to block out all light and noise when it is bedtime.
Sometimes getting ready for bed can be a full routine, and other times it is one of two of these methods, and that will depend on how badly you need to reset your sleep schedule to promote better habits each night.
Block Out Noise and Light
Blackout curtains are amazing for this, and they will help keep the temperature down in your bedroom as well.
For noise, my husband sleeps with ear plugs, and has found they are required no matter what. The simplest noises will wake him up. I dislike ear plugs because they don’t stay in my ear.
I drown out annoying sounds, like the neighbor’s barking dog, with the ambient sound of my air conditioner because it keeps the temp in my bedroom much cooler on top of creating a good noise canceling sound. I also like to use tv programs that are designed to aid in sleep, such as rain or waterfall sounds. The consistent ongoing sounds help block out the distracting sounds and that does wonders for my sleep quality.
But the key with that is to make sure the program employs a black screen and not a bright colorful display. Otherwise it defeats the purpose.
Turn Off Your Phone
I’ll say it louder. Turn. Off. Your. Phone. Phones emit a blue light from the screen, which will keep you feeling awake and alert. Mindless scrolling through social media is also really detrimental for our mental health, and have negative effects on our moods. Don’t let yourself get sucked into the black hole of social media right before bedtime and prevent you from falling asleep.
Read a Book
I love my Kindle for this exact reason, and I can easily find short stories through Kindle Unlimited. Because the Kindle I linked to is meant for reading in any kind of light, it has a different kind of screen than my phone does, and I can read it in the dark without straining my eyes or keeping me awake.
Reading in bed sets you up for success when it comes to sleep because it reduces stress, eases muscle tension, and slows your heart rate down. Reading a book (even just a chapter or two of a novel) or a short story is one of the easiest, most enjoyable, and most effective methods to aid in falling asleep.
Write in a Journal
Exercising in the morning signals our brain that the day is starting. Journaling signals the end, and it really helps bring closure to the day by writing about it. Here are some great journal prompts to help you get started.
I recommend using a pen and paper for this, go old school. This is my favorite journal that I use daily.
Listen to Relaxing Music
Listening to music will help reduce stress and calm you before falling asleep. I highly recommend some classical music, without lyrics to fall asleep.
I do recommend that once you’ve made a playlist, you listen to it completely while you are awake. Some classical music is much louder than others, and that can wake you up easily. I’ve had this happen and had to alter my playlist because of it.
Take a Warm Bath
Take a bath one or two hours before bedtime and soak for at least twenty minutes. A warm bath can help induce a deeper sleep because your body relaxes during the soak, and your body temperature drops post-bath time.
Feel free to add in a few drops of essential oil into the water, or use a diffuser in the bathroom while you’re soaking.
Use Essential Oils
Lavender, sweet orange, chamomile, jasmine, and vanilla are some of my favorites for promoting quality sleep time. Open the bottle to sniff them, spritz them over your pillow, or add them into your bath water or diffuser to help you sleep.
Drink a Cup of Tea
Make sure the tea isn’t caffeinated, otherwise you’ll be up all night and that defeats the purpose. Chamomile is my favorite for that, and goes along with the essential oil theme during my bath.
Do a Yoga Routine
You can find some great yoga guides and videos online and through YouTube to help guide you through the poses that will help promote sleep.
Yoga sounds scary and intimidating to a lot of people, I know, and that’s ok. But don’t let it scare you. Nobody ever said you had to be perfect at it from the very beginning. It takes practice, and even that practice will do wonders to promote healthy and quality sleep.
Remember when it comes to any form of exercise, everybody has to start somewhere. Competition bodybuilders didn’t start out lifting competition weights. They had to work up to it through practice.
If yoga is just too intimidating, at least do some stretches. I find myself doing them in bed every night when I can’t sit still long enough to even try falling asleep. It isn’t yoga, but even the basics make a huge difference.
Practice Deep Breathing
I find myself doing this quite often. I highly recommend looking up online tutorials for specifics on the best methods that will help promote quality sleep, just like with yoga poses.
What I do is breathe in while counting to three, hold my breath while counting to three, and exhale while counting to three. Keeping that consistency is what seems to relax me the most, especially when I’m feeling anxious. This is my go-to method for anxiety.
Meditate Before Bed
Similar to deep breathing, meditation will help you to wind down and settle before bed. Once you learn how to meditate, it can be used again if you wake up during the night.
The Military Method
I actually learned this from the police officer working in my high school and have been using it ever since. I just didn’t realize it had a title until recently!
The idea is that you relax your body, bit by bit, starting with the muscles in your face, moving to your upper body, and then farther down as you go.
I’ve always started with my toes personally, and I can literally feel my body relaxing. It is also an exercise in focusing, telling myself to relax my toes, my feet, my heel, ankle, and so on. Focusing on that helps to keep my brain from wandering to the million other topics that will run through if I just lay down and don’t focus on something specific and useful.
Turn Down the Thermostat
The ideal sleeping temperature is between 60 and 67 degrees fahrenheit. That temperature will vary a bit for each person, so you’ll want to experiment until you find the ideal temperature for you.
Put on Socks
For the majority of my life I hated trying to sleep with socks on and thought anyone who could was an alien and not to be trusted. But I’m noticing that as I get older, it is significantly easier to fall asleep quickly when I wear socks to bed.
Apparently people who already knew this handy dandy secret to falling asleep easier were ahead of the game!
Use a Weighted Blanket
I don’t know why more people don’t use weighted blankets to fall asleep. Think about it, we swaddle babies when they’re tiny to comfort them so they can fall asleep quickly and comfortably. A weighted blanket is basically the adult version of this, and makes perfect sense.
Weighted blankets generally weigh between five and twenty five pounds. You’ll need to determine what is the best weight for you.
Adjust Your Sleep Position
Think about the automatic position you go for when you fall asleep. We all have one. I know when my husband is ready to go to sleep, he turns over on his left side. For me it is either my left side or my stomach.
Lately my stomach hasn’t been a comfortable position though, and I’m not falling asleep as quickly as I usually do. So I had to adjust and shift to my left side and try that for a while. Sometimes something so simple can make the difference.
Find the Right Mattress
How old is your mattress? Was it used before it came to you? Does it need to be shifted around or replaced? Mattresses definitely wear out, and they need to be replaced. This can definitely affect the quality of your sleep and how quickly you fall asleep.
The right mattress will take some effort to find, and it will depend on age, health conditions, comfort preferences, and more. Don’t be afraid to go to the store and ask questions. The sales associate should be knowledgeable and give you recommendations that you can sit on and lay down on while you’re there to see if it could work for you.
Did my 20 ways to fall asleep faster help you? What do you do to fall asleep quickly and effectively? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
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This is so useful thank you. I bought some blue light blocking glasses 3 months ago and it was life changing!
i always take a warm shower before going to sleep and often read a book.I find it a bit harder to get to sleep if I studied before but generally I am an easy sleeper. I do think your post covers basics for people who might start developing an issue
Nnniiiiccceeeee….reading a book and exercising during the day always get me so sleepy. I am always very exhausted.
An Indian Traveler
These are some really practical and useful tips. Turning off the phone or enabling the “Zen mode” on my phone works for me. The mind wanders a lot when it comes to phones. The military method sounds really interesting. I will try it out
These are great tips! One of my favorite things to do before bed is yoga and journaling and it helps me to sleep a lot better
I sleep with a weighted blanket of sorts at night… although mine has 4 paws and a lot of fur haha! In all seriousness though, my girl Daviana sleeps on my feet and legs at night. When she’s not there, I notice it. It’s a combination of the warmth, the weight, and the comfort that comes from feeling her breathing and her heartbeat through the night – something that I have gotten used to in the 13 years since adopting her.