We’ve all been there. Lying in bed late at night, analysing something over and over in our heads, anxious about tomorrow, next week, or some distant point in the future; our thoughts racing in all directions with an impending sense of urgency that something needs to be done...
Oh yeah, how to fall asleep?!
As important as sleep is to our health, it’s like one of the most natural functions in life has taken a backseat to just about everything else in this fast-moving world. Our priorities and sleeping schedules have shifted so much that sleep can feel like a job under pressure instead of a period of rest and relaxation — as nature once intended it to be.
Luckily, sleep is becoming a subject of rigorous study and focus in scientific and medical fields, which is sure to shed more light on its importance to our health and help us discover ways of achieving a better sleeping cycle and avoid things that prevent us from getting quality sleep in the first place. After all, difficulty sleeping isn’t something we see very much in the animal kingdom — just take a look at your cat or dog.
But don’t worry, because this article is here to teach you how to get to sleep fast. It can also help you achieve a better sleeping regimen, which will leave you feeling more positive and energised the following day. To take full advantage of the following tips, try combining them in any way that suits you best and helps you fall asleep faster.
Some Tips for Falling Asleep Faster:
When it Comes to Sleep, Darkness is Your Best Friend
There’s a reason we can’t see very well in the dark, and that’s because as humans, we don’t have a whole lot of natural business in the night. Our ability to sleep has evolved alongside the darkness of night to give us an optimal chance of survival in the light of day. So when it gets dark, our bodies begin producing a hormone called melatonin to make us feel drowsy and help regulate our sleeping cycle.
If you’re looking for tips on how to fall asleep fast, you might want to start by making sure that your sleeping environment is as dark as possible when you’re ready to turn in — which will help your body and mind prepare for sleep the natural way.
It’s best to shut off or cover anything in your bedroom that produces a glow such as plugs with LED lights. If you need to keep these powered on for whatever reason, such as to power an electrical alarm clock, there are LED Covers
available which solve the problem.
If you’re a late sleeper, blackout blinds and blackout curtains can help keep your bedroom pitch-dark and cosy even while the sun is up. If you’re having trouble creating a fully-darkened environment, wearing an eye mask
is also a great way to simulate darkness and fall asleep faster.
Give the Electronics a Rest
With the accessibility of modern electronics, one of the biggest mistakes we make before sleeping is taking our phones, tablets, and computers to bed with us. Screens are made of LEDs, which produce blue light — a high-energy light spectrum that acts as a stimulant on our brains and can impact our ability to fall asleep.
If you can’t get to sleep, the culprit may very well be the screen you were looking at before closing your eyes. It’s a good strategy to stop using your phone or computer or watching TV for at least an hour before going to bed. If this is difficult to avoid, try installing a blue light filter on your device to reduce the effects of blue light on your sleep cycle.
We also advise charging your phone in another room so you are not distracted by random notifications. If you use your phone as an alarm clock then can set up do not disturb mode which will stop notifications from coming through, depending on the times you choose.
Make sure your room is the Optimal Temperature for Sleeping
While some of us might have never heard of such a term, we’re all quite aware of when it’s too hot or too cold for us to sleep comfortably. However, according to leading neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker
, the ideal sleeping environment for the human body is between 18.3°C and 20°C (
65° and 68°F) room temperature. During sleep, our bodies actually cool down as a result of reduced activity and in order to produce melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone.
If you have trouble getting to sleep, try keeping your bedroom a little cooler during the night, or covering yourself with a sheet instead of a blanket. Another great trick for how to fall asleep quickly is taking a hot bath before going to bed. Not only is it relaxing, but a hot bath will also dilate the blood vessels of your skin and help radiate inner heat outward and reduce your core temperature just in time for sleep.
To easily monitor the temperature of your bedroom you may wish to invest in a room thermometer
, so at a quick glance, you can check to see if the room is too warm. Simply open a window to let some cool air in or to achieve the perfect temperature or during the warmer months, air conditioning units
can be a godsend.
Read or Listen to an Audiobook
Bedtime reading has always been a thing — and for good reason. Not only does it help take our busy minds away from other stuff, but it also helps put our bodies into a state of relaxation as we focus more energy on our imagination.
Reading a book is often considered as one of the best tips for how to get to sleep quickly, and it’s also a great way to avoid harmful phone and computer screens before bed. If you can’t fall asleep, try turning on a dim bedside light (with warm soft lightbulbs) and reading a book — it may just work wonders.
If you prefer to have stories read to you like we do Audible has thousands of great Audiobooks on offer to help you wind down. Click Below to Claim Your Free Audiobook (You Can Cancel Any Time)
Try Calming Visualisation or Guided Visualisation
If you’re struggling to sleep, one of the symptoms you may be experiencing is the constant bombardment of thoughts in the form of memories and visualisations. Instead of giving your thoughts free rein, try focusing on a calming visualisation, or, in other words — think happy thoughts. Picture a peaceful setting, and then do your best to keep it in mind until you fall asleep.
Another effective and popular trick for how to fall asleep instantly is guided visualisation, which is an audio recording of a calm voice giving you instructions on how to relax and providing suggestions for creating calming visualisations in your mind.
Practice Calm Breathing Techniques
Calm breathing helps you achieve relaxation and gives your brain the green light to go to sleep. One such popular breathing technique is the 4-7-8 method:
- Open your lips slightly and exhale, making a “whooshing” sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale through your nose for a count of 4 seconds.
- Hold your breath for a count of 7 seconds.
- Exhale through your mouth for a count of 8 seconds while making a “whooshing” sound.
- Repeat this technique 4 times or so.
The 4-7-8 breathing technique and other calm breathing practices help slow down your breathing and bring your body and mind into a greater state of relaxation, and ready for rest.
Practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation Techniques (PMR)
Breathing and muscle relaxation techniques go hand-in-hand to help you fall asleep faster, and can be mastered and done simultaneously without much conscious thought. Try the following PMR technique to get to sleep quickly:
- Close your eyes and exhale deeply. Take a deep breath through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Repeat several times.
- Clench your toes and flex the muscles of your feet by bending them forwards, then back towards your body for several seconds. Release and relax.
- Repeat the same technique one muscle group at a time moving upwards in your body, starting with the calves and up to the thigh muscles, abdomen, back, hands, arms, neck, and face.
- After you’ve tensed and relaxed the muscles in your body, take a few more deep breaths. You should feel a lot more relaxed and ready to snooze off after you’re done. If you feel like it didn’t help as much as you’d like, don’t worry — PMR takes some practice to master, so don’t give up and give it a try every night.
Nothing can keep us awake or jar us out of a pleasant dream quite like an unwelcome noise. If you are having difficulty falling asleep because of annoying background sounds, addressing this issue should be your first priority, and luckily, can be rather simple.
Earplugs for sleeping are an invaluable aid if you are a light sleeper who is easily stirred, have noisy neighbours, work a night shift, have a snoring or heavy breathing partner, or just have trouble getting to sleep. There are various types of earplugs for sleeping available made from materials ranging from soft mouldable silicone
to slow expanding foam
For best results, it’s best to try the different types of sleeping earplugs until you have found the material best-suited to your comfort level and goals. Depending on the sound you wish to filter, one material may be more effective than another, while the sensation the material produces on the skin of your ears may also be a factor in your decision.
Ultimately, choosing an earplug for sleeping that offers maximum comfort and noise reduction can help you sleep faster, easier, and more soundly than you did before.
Other Tips on How to Get to Sleep Quickly:
Listen to Calm and Relaxing Music:
Put on some quiet, soothing sounds while you’re in bed. Relaxing music can help set the mood for your mind and body to wind down and let you fall asleep faster.
Drink a Soothing Natural Tea:
Herbal teas such as chamomile, valerian root, lemon balm, passionflower, lavender, peppermint, and others are known for their stress-relieving properties and can help you achieve a more peaceful and relaxed state of body and mind, just in time for bed.
Essential oils are considered an effective and natural way to help you get to sleep faster. Oils such as lavender, valerian, and bergamot are some of the more popular ones and can be released into the air through a diffuser or sprayed onto a pillow, cotton ball, or onto the skin.
Relax, Close Your Eyes, and Try to Stay Awake:
Based on a psychotherapy technique known as paradoxical intention, this sleeping hack involves tricking your mind into going to sleep by focusing on staying awake. If you have difficulty sleeping, you probably know that thinking about falling asleep may actually prevent it from happening. Try the opposite, it couldn’t hurt!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read our blog post. We hope you found it useful. Please feel free to share it with any friends or family who are having trouble sleeping using the buttons to the right of this page.
We would love to hear from you in the comments section below to find out what part of sleep you struggle with so we can create more great content like this to help you.