It’s a common problem that most of us experience from time to time. You lay down for a lovely, refreshing sleep, feeling ready for a night’s slumber. However, you find yourself lying awake for hours on end, finding that your longed-for sleep eludes you. This is usually nothing to worry about if it is only happening every now and then, but what should you do if you find that trouble sleeping has become a regular problem for you?
Good-quality sleep is absolutely vital for all round health, and there are various reasons for this. Firstly, your body requires it nightly in order to repair and rejuvenate. Studies have found that people who do not sleep enough often struggle with their memories, and can perform poorly on all kinds of memory tasks. Also, chronic lack of sleep can have an effect on our mental health, and can leave us crabby, tetchy and irritable. Even more concerning is the lack of concentration that can accompany insomnia, and it is well-known that being extremely tired can affect our ability to drive safely. However, the biggest worry for those of us that struggle to sleep is the link with various medical conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and even heart attacks.
If this all sounds familiar, you are probably wondering how you can improve your sleep and fall asleep faster. Of course, if your insomnia is really chronic and is affecting your health, you should see a doctor to find out if there is a more serious underlying cause. However, the great news is that there are plenty of measures you can take to improve your sleep that are simple, cheap, and best of all work fast! We’ve been doing our research, and have compiled a great list of ways to fall asleep fast.
7 Proven Ways To Fall Asleep Faster
1. Try Taking A Hot Shower
First, try this extremely simple trick for getting yourself off to sleep fast. Jump in the shower or bath and enjoy a nice, long wash. Why not try using some lavender-scented body wash, to harness the sleep-enhancing powers of aromatherapy at the same time? This awesome tip works for two key reasons:
- 1. Hot showers and baths are relaxing, and can help to relieve muscle tension. Who doesn’t feel instantly more calm and refreshed after a lovely, long soak? Even better, the feeling of getting into bed nice and clean will get your night’s slumber off to a great start.
- 2. Scientists believe that the sharp fall in body temperature after you get out of the bath or shower can help you nod off faster. Why, you may ask? It’s all down to metabolism. When your body temperature drops suddenly, your metabolism follows suit by slowing down. Therefore, your body knows it’s time to fall asleep.
So now you’ve taken your nice hot bath or shower, you may be asking if there’s anything else you can do to use your body temperature to full advantage. That leads us on to our next top tip.
2. Keep Your Cool
So now you know that cooling your body down can make you extra sleepy, it’s a great idea to make sure you’re stepping out of the hot shower into a nice, cool bedroom. After all, there’s nothing worse than a hot, sweaty sleeping environment to keep you tossing and turning late into the night. Scientists say the best temperature to aim for is 60-70 Fahrenheit. If you’re wondering how to get your bedroom down to that ideal temperature, here are our top tips.
- -Open several windows and open all the internal doors in your house or apartment. This allows the air to circulate around your bedroom, and you’ll find that the breeze quickly cools it down.
- – Use electric fans to circulate the air more effectively. Sometimes, it’s just not practical to open all your doors and windows. Additionally, sometimes it gets so hot that you need a helping hand to get your bedroom temperature down. You could even consider placing more than one fan around your room to create a cooling air current.
- -Consider a portable air-conditioning unit. OK, so this probably isn’t the cheapest option on our list. However, for those of us that live in very hot climates, sometimes fans and windows just aren’t enough. If you find the heat is really affecting your sleep in a negative way, an air-conditioning unit may prove to be worth every penny. After all, what better to invest in than you wellbeing?
Hopefully, you now now how to use your body’s natural metabolism to fall asleep faster. But what other ways are there to ensure a good night’s sleep?
3. Consider Aromatherapy
You may heard that the scent of lavender can help you catch some shut-eye, and dismissed it as just an old wive’s tale. However, there’s actually solid science to back up this traditional remedy for sleeplessness. Scientists at Wesleyan university found that inhaling this soothing scent for a few minutes before hitting the hay experienced deeper sleep of a higher quality. So if you’re thinking of giving this fragrant tip a try, how can you build aromatherapy into your nighttime routine? Here are our favorite ways.
- -Put a few drops of pure lavender oil onto your pillow before you settle down for sleep. Then, you can benefit from the soothing aroma of the oil all night long and hopefully wake in the morning feeling refreshed.
- -Use bath and body products scented with lavender. While you may associate lavender scents with your grandmother, grandma knows a thing or two when it comes to surrounding yourself with soothing smells. Luckily, it’s easy to pick up bubble bath, body wash and even luxurious body lotion infused with the scent of this calming flower. What is better excise there for a pampering session before bedtime?
- – Consider an oil or reed diffuser. These release a delightful scent into your bedroom all day and night, so you can benefit from its sleep-inducing effects whenever you fancy a snooze.
4. Chill Out To Some Music
Music has been used for many years to improve mood and aid relaxation, and many people can attest to its calming effects. But did you know that it can also help you nod off at bedtime? Believe it or not, studies have shown that time spent listening to music in the evenings can help you fall asleep and sleep better. But hold the rock and heavy metal! When it comes to sleep-enhancing benefits, not all music is created equal! Certainly, any music that is loud, upbeat or bouncy may actually stimulate your brain, which is not what you want when trying to fall asleep. Instead, reach for the classical music CDS. With its smooth, lyrical sound, classical music is the number one choice when it comes to inducing a sound slumber.
Not a fan of classical music? Although it’s the ideal option, music specially designed for mediation may also help you on your way to catching forty winks. A word to the wise, though. Always make sure you switch your music off before nodding off, otherwise, you could find it waking you in the night.
5. Try Not To Fall Asleep
We promise we’re not pulling your leg! As silly as it may sound, there is method to our madness. Have you ever noticed that the more you try to nod off, the harder it becomes? In fact, you may find that trying to stay awake is a counterintuitive, but nevertheless effective, way of getting to sleep.
Why is this? Scientists put the effectiveness of this weird trick down to reverse psychology. Remember being told you couldn’t have something as a child, and wanting it even more? Studies found that people actually fell asleep faster when they tried to fall asleep, and this could also be down to them putting less pressure on themselves. However, be warned! Do not use this as an excuse to play on your phone or catch up on the latest shows. This hint only works if you are tucked up in bed without anything to stimulate you.
6. Try Relaxation Techniques
You don’t have to be an expert at yoga or mindfulness to give this great suggestion a try. Fortunately, there are all sorts of easy ways to relax your body and mind, even as a beginner. Also, this will help calm your racing mind, which is vital if you’re planning a trip to dreamland. Here are some of our tried-and-tested methods for achieving a chilled-out state.
- -Give visualization a try. If you want to give this trick a go, you’ll need to come up with an image that inspires peace and tranquility in your mind. However, there are no rules about what to picture, and it should be personal to you. If you’re struggling to think of an image, how about a favorite peaceful place, a beautiful flower, or a still ocean? Then, you will need to focus on that image, trying to picture it in detail. If thoughts come, let them drift away. Hopefully, you will soon be enjoying a peaceful sleep.
- -Focus on your breathing. As anybody who has ever taken a yoga class will tell you, breathing exercises are a great way to unwind and calm a racing mind. Those yogis are experts in achieving a peaceful state of mind, so why not borrow some wisdom from them? First, try to take slow, steady and deep breaths. While you do this, focus on the rise and fall of your breath. If you find this difficult, try counting your breaths up to twenty, then starting again, until you drift off.
- -Experiment with progressive relaxation. Some of us already have experience with this technique, and for good reason, as it soothes your body as well as your mind. Begin by progressively tensing all the muscles moving up your body, starting at your toes and moving up. Once your whole body is tense, then slowly relax them in reverse order, starting at the top. After a while, you should notice a more relaxed mindset.
7. Ditch The Screens
Often, we can fall into the habit of scrolling through our phones before bedtime, accessing social media and watching entertaining videos. It seems like a great way to relax, right? Not so, says science. In fact, the blue light coming from those pesky screens has been shown to prevent you from producing the key sleep hormone melatonin, which makes it harder to then doze off. Experts recommend avoiding staring at screens of any kind for at least an hour before you fall asleep. Yes, that includes the TV! So, what’s a screen addict to do to fill that hour before bed?
We recommend taking part in an activity that is soothing and relaxing, in order to get your body ready for bed. However, if you’re in the habit of using technology to keep you entertained, in can be a hard one to kick. Here are our favourite before-bed relaxing activities.
- 1. Read a book. If you find that you get bored easily, reading a book can be an entertaining way to fill your time that is still calming. Plus, you avoid that blue light, which is a no-no for anyone trying to sleep.
- 2. Take a bath. As we mentioned earlier, a hot bath really is a great way to prepare yourself for slumber.
- 3. Take part in an art and craft activity to keep yourself occupied. Knitting, sewing, colouring and painting are all creative and relaxing options to help you unwind. Even better, you’ll have some beautiful new art to decorate your cool, lavender-scented bedroom with.
As you know from reading this article, when it comes to falling asleep fast there are all sorts of things you can do to help you nod off quicker. Remember, everyone is different, so you need to find what works for you. If one trick doesn’t work, there are plenty of other things you can try to help yourself to catch forty winks. It really is worthwhile taking some time to get your sleeping habits back on track, and you will reap the benefits across all aspects of your life. Sweet dreams!