Falling asleep quickly and getting good quality sleep is important for both physical and mental health. However, many people struggle with insomnia and take a long time to fall asleep.
This can lead to daytime fatigue, irritability, lack of focus, and other issues. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help train your body and mind to fall asleep faster. In this post, we are going to share 10 practical tips and steps that will help to sleep faster.
Tips to Fall Asleep Faster by Zain
- Choose a Consistent Sleep Schedule
One of the most important things you can do to fall asleep faster is go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
This helps regulate your circadian rhythm so your body expects to fall asleep and wakes up naturally at those set times. Try to keep your bedtime within 1 hour of when you plan to sleep. Waking up at the same time reinforces this.
- Optimize Your Bedroom Environment
Make sure your bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet. Use blackout curtains or an eye mask to block outside light. Keep the temperature around 65-70°F. Consider a white noise machine, earplugs, or noise-canceling headphones if needed to eliminate disruptive sounds.
Also, make sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable. Having an optimal sleep environment triggers your body’s cues that it’s time for rest.
- Follow a Relaxing Pre-Bed Routine
Do relaxing activities before bed like light yoga stretches, reading a book, or taking a bath. Dim the lights in the hour leading up to bedtime, which increases melatonin production.
Avoid stimulating activities like computer/TV use, chores, or exercise too close to bedtime. Having a consistent, relaxing routine is a key way to prime both the mind and body for faster sleep.
- Reduce Evening Caffeine, Alcohol, and Big Meals
It’s best to avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate) after 2 p.m. or so. Caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours, so it could disrupt sleep. Avoid drinking alcohol close to bedtime too, as it can fragment sleep. Big meals too close to bed can also make it harder to fall asleep, so eat dinner earlier if possible.
- Quiet Your Mind
A racing mind full of worries or tomorrow’s to-do list can make it very difficult to fall asleep. Try relaxation techniques like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation.
If anxious thoughts keep invading, write them down on paper to get them out of your head. Remind yourself that tomorrow is a new day and you can tackle things then.
- Use Supplements Wisely
Talk to your doctor before using any over-the-counter or natural sleep aids. Antihistamines like Benadryl can help induce drowsiness but may impact sleep quality.
Melatonin, magnesium, Glycine, and chamomile are some mildly relaxing supplements to try. Use the lowest effective dose and don’t become reliant on supplements for sleep.
- Seek Professional Help if Needed
If you have ongoing insomnia or take more than 30 minutes to fall asleep most nights, talk to your doctor. They can screen for underlying conditions that may be disrupting your sleep, like sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, anxiety, chronic pain or depression.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is also effective for treating chronic insomnia. Prescription medications may be an option for short-term use in some cases.
- Get Regular Exercise
Getting regular exercise helps promote good sleep, but avoid exercising too close to bedtime as it can keep you awake. Aim for at least 30 minutes per day of moderate exercise like brisk walking. Just don’t exercise within 2-3 hours of your bedtime.
- If You Can’t Fall Asleep, Get Up
If you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes or more in bed, don’t keep tossing and turning. Get out of bed, go to another room, and do a relaxing activity until you feel sleepy. This helps reprogram your mind to associate the bed with just sleep.
- Try Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, visualization or meditation can help quiet your mind when you can’t sleep. Focus on relaxing each part of your body from head to toe. Or imagine a peaceful scene. This reduces anxious thoughts.