Tips to Falling Asleep Faster: Sleeping can be hard sometimes. You toss, turn and just can’t get comfortable. Then, when you finally do drift off, you’re awakened what feels like moments later by the sound of your alarm. If this sounds all too familiar, you’re in the right place. From bedroom essentials to recommended wind-down activities, we have you covered.
1. Establish a Regular Sleep Schedule
One of the best ways to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night is to follow a consistent sleep schedule. Going to bed and getting up at the same time each day helps to regulate your body’s natural sleep rhythm and can make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
2. Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine
Creating a relaxing bedtime routine can also help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly throughout the night. A relaxing bedtime routine might include taking a warm bath, reading a book or writing in a journal. These activities can help calm your mind and body and prepare you for sleep.
3. Avoid Caffeine After Lunch and Before Bed
Caffeine is a stimulant that can make it impossible to fall asleep. Therefore, it’s best to avoid caffeine after lunch, especially in the evening, and limit your intake to earlier in the day. Remember, caffeine has a half-life of about five hours. That means even if you have a cup of coffee at three to get yourself through the afternoon, that same cup can still affect your sleep later in the evening.
4. Avoid Alcohol Before Bed
While alcohol may make you drowsy, it can disrupt your sleep and make it difficult to stay asleep throughout the night. Therefore, it’s best to limit or altogether avoid alcohol consumption before bed. If you do drink, reserve it for special occasions or earlier in the evening and make sure you are well-hydrated. If you’re having trouble cutting back or stopping, it may be time to speak to a professional. There’s no shame in asking for help.
5. Avoid Eating Large Meals Before Bed
Eating a large meal before trying to sleep can cause indigestion and make it difficult to doze off. Therefore, it’s best to avoid eating large meals in the evening and instead opt for lighter fare and smaller portions. Protein helps us feel full, so something like hard-boiled eggs, yummy yogurt or even a small salad with a few strips of leftover grilled chicken can be a satisfying and healthy way to satisfy hunger before you sleep without interfering with your sleep cycle.
6. Avoid Exercising Before Bed
Exercising before bed can raise your body temperature and make it difficult to fall asleep. Therefore, it’s best to avoid exercising in the evening and, instead, opt for earlier in the day. If you exercise in the evening, try to do so at least three hours before going to sleep.
7. Create a Comfortable Sleeping Environment
Creating a comfortable sleeping environment can also help you reach dreamland more quickly. A comfortable sleeping environment should be dark, quiet and cool. Consider using blackout curtains, earplugs or a fan to create white noise and an environment that promotes better sleep. Additionally, if you haven’t changed your bed in the last decade, it’s definitely time to shop for mattresses and find an upgrade that works for you. After all, quality sleep is a key factor in overall health and well-being.
8. Limit Your Exposure to Blue Light
Blue light is emitted from electronic devices such as computers, smartphones, and TVs. Exposure to blue light may suppress melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep. Therefore, it’s essential to restrict your exposure to blue light in the evening by avoiding electronic screens for at least one to two hours before bed. You can also consider wearing blue light-blocking glasses or using an app that filters blue light from your device’s screen. Most of the latest smartphones will also have a preset night mode that filters blue light in the evening.
9. Practice Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce stress and promote better sleep. To practice deep breathing exercises, simply inhale slowly through your nose for five seconds, hold your breath for three seconds, then exhale slowly through your mouth for five seconds. Repeat this process until you feel relaxed. You can adjust the length of your inhalation, exhalation, and holding times to suit your needs. To practice progressive muscle relaxation, begin by tensing all the muscles in your feet for five seconds, then release them. Work your way up through your body, tensing each muscle group for five seconds, then releasing them until you reach your head. Repeat this process until you feel relaxed.
10. Address Lingering Medical Concerns
Many medical conditions can interfere with sleep, including insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome. If you are having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep regularly, it’s important to speak to your doctor to rule out any medical contributors. There are also measures you can take to deal with them. For example, some people who suffer from sleep issues benefit from adjustable beds because they can be altered to relieve sleep-disrupting ailments like acid reflux or back pain. When you can find relief from ailments like these, you’re sure to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
BONUS: Enjoy a ‘Sleepy Time’ Tea
If you’re still struggling with falling asleep, consider drinking a cup of ‘sleepy time’ tea before bed. Many sleep teas contain herbal ingredients such as chamomile, passionflower, and valerian root, which may help soothe your nerves and promote better sleep. You can add honey or cinnamon to your tea for natural sweetness and flavor. Enjoying a cup of ‘sleepy time’ tea before bed may help you relax, unwind, and finally drift off into blissful slumber.
Implementing these tips can help ensure you get a good night’s sleep and wake up refreshed and energized. And who doesn’t want that? Sweet dreams!
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