You need to fall asleep and you need it fast ? I have prepared this guide and laid out 10 things that helped me get ready to sleep fast and get up early in the morning refreshed and ready to go !
The body works in an amazing fashion. Besides all its mechanics, the focus here is on falling asleep faster which largely involves the working of the eyes. These are where all the good and bad things about life find their way to the brain. The eyes see and the body then reacts. Still on the eyes, a person falls asleep only when the eyes are closed, which then starts the process to ‘shut out’ the mind – that is to fall asleep. Nevertheless, from everyday experience, not all the time that people close their eyes and suddenly fall asleep. Research shows that many people do struggle with falling asleep once they get into bed.
There are many ways that keep a person’s eyes open, for example watching your favorite TV show on Netflix from your tablet. You would wish to go straight into a deep sleep after watching such shows, but it is not always the case with people as it can take hours to just fall asleep. If you are one of those who struggle with sleep, you are at the rightful place, read below for some useful advice about falling asleep fast.
10 Things that helped me fall asleep faster
1. Keep your body in shape
Falling asleep is all an act of your body, as being directed by the brain. But, for the brain to be able to accurately direct the body to quiet down and fall asleep, the rest of the body should be kept in good health, such that every body part that has a part to play does not emerge as the ‘sleep saboteur’ at the end of a very stressful night.
A good example is the function that temperature control plays in the build-up to falling asleep. Here, the body temperature drops from the time you get into bed. This allows for the rest of your body processes to synchronize and help the body to get into a relaxation mode. Now, imagine if just one process is not getting well with the rest because the body itself will not have been well looked after?
Falling asleep could be difficult given such a condition. In order to properly fall asleep, the body should be kept health, with every part of it ready to serve its purpose in the cycle of sleeping.
2. Love the gym, love sweating
I took the liberty of putting this point right below the previous one because of how closely related these two are – they all speak to the need of using your own body to fall asleep easily. Now, your body works like a machine that only shuts down easily after a long day’s work. This is to explain the fact that spending the whole day on twitter, hitting those trends and failing to do some physical work, or rather workouts, you might find it difficult to fall asleep easily.
This method can easily be proven by making a comparison between a construction worker and a receptionist who sits behind a desk for the rest of the day. When these two go to bed; the guy who spends the whole day mixing concrete and shouting at the top of his voice easily falls asleep than the other one who is a receptionist.
Therefore, if you do not get physical at work, like the receptionist in our example, you can solve this problem by making use of the place called a gym.
3. Don’t be too stingy, buy some comfortable bedding
The greatest investment a person can ever make is in his or her own health. A great night sleep ensures good health and reduces long term illnesses that are related to stress and not sleeping.
Having said that, it should surely not hurt to just invest in some comfortable bedding materials so that once you get into bed, your body will not be subjected to a harsh environment and instead of the brain communicating to the rest of the body to relax and fall asleep, it will be complaining about the pain coming from your groins or the backside.
Study shows that humans should spend a third of their time sleeping to ensure good health, and for this to happen smoothly, surely the sleeping place should be comfortable. Hard pillows can cause neck pains and so are itchy sheets to your skin. When all these discomforts occur, you will find it difficult to fall asleep easily resulting in spending half the night tossing and turning.
4. Allow your mind to rest
It is common belief that people fantasize about a lot of things when in bed. Inasmuch as it can be a good thing to think about the good things that you can, or wish to lay your hands on, the same could be a source of frustrations and result in your mind getting restless. When this happens, it will become difficult to relax and fall asleep easily.
Besides fantasies, the tendency of thinking about a lot of things when in bed could also lead to over thinking about the day’s problems and what possibly awaits you the following day. Nightmares, unpaid bills, unemployment and many more problems will not go away in a second, and also just because you have thought about them long and hard. Doing this will only keep your mind highly active at night resulting in a sleepless, long winter night.
More so, keeping your eyes fixed at the stimulating blue lights of the phone or tablet will keep your mind highly awake. Avoiding using your cell phone when in bed is therefore another way of taking your mind to a complete relaxation mode, leading to falling asleep easily. Research has proven that using the stimulating blue lights will also reduce the level of the hormone melatonin, which helps to you fall sleep easily.
5. Follow a working nighttime routine
Routines are the best way of teaching a body to behave in a certain way. Religiously following your own nighttime routine will help in making your body fall asleep after finishing certain activities.
A good example is that of following a routing where you drink a glass of warm milk, take a quick warm shower, brush your teeth and read a book whilst in bed before falling asleep. Following this routine could condition your brain to want to sleep after you finish the final sleep ritual.
A good example of routines that work is that of kids who get a nice warm bath before being tucked into bed and listen to their parents reading a nice bedtime story for them. The bedtime story is always the last part of the ritual and once this starts to happen, the kid clearly starts to get prepared to fall asleep, but this will hardly happen if suddenly the lid only gets a shower and no bedtime story.
6. Find your magic sleeping schedule
A magic sleeping schedule is the one that works well given how your day to day activities are set. There is nothing that is as annoying as going to work every day feeling like you need some more sleep.
This can happen to you everyday of you fail to come up with a comprehensive sleeping schedule. Having said this, you ought to learn that, according to research and sleep trackers; it should take about 15 to 20 minutes for a normal person to fall asleep at night.
If this is not the case, then your sleeping schedule could not be normal and you run the risk of falling asleep during the day. In order to come up with a good sleeping schedule, you ought to understand your daytime schedule and then create your own sleeping schedule according to when you are required to be awake by the following day. Ideally, if you want to wake up at 7 am, in the following morning, then you are better off going to bed at 11 pm.
More so, taking occasional sleeps, or power naps, during the day could greatly disrupt your sleeping schedule. These occasional sleeps could steal away most of your night’s sleep which in turn has negative impacts to your health, causing problems such as insomnia and sleepless nights induced anxiety. The problem is even severe in people who naturally struggle with sleeping during the night.
7. Make use of different foods to fall asleep
Falling asleep easily can be achieved by making use of different food combinations. To note is the fact that a food component called melatonin is the one that is responsible for causing the body to want to fall asleep, and can be found in milk. Therefore, taking warm milk just before you go to sleep will do the magic.
However, you ought to remember that the melatonin should have something to take it to the brains with, where it will work its magic from. In order for this to happen, you ought to take the warm milk with something that has carbohydrates in it, and cookies are the best choice. Just avoid taking cookies that contain a lot of sugar in them.
Moreover, foods like tart cherries, corn, asparagus, tomatoes, pomegranate, olives, grapes, broccoli, cucumber, rice, barley, walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, mustard seeds, kidney beans, lima beans, and chickpeas also help your body to easily fall asleep as they are proven natural sources of melatonin.
8. Control what your ears hear
The most annoying thing about trying to fall asleep is loud music coming from your neighbor, or just the sound of cars passing nearby, which is if you live closer to a public road. When this is the case, you can only try and create your own sort of a sound that is appealing to you and this can be in the form of music or just any other soothing sound.
Controlling what you hear takes your mind away from being all over the place, or even from being annoyed to only concentrating on yourself and your body. This quickly leads you into a relaxed mood and thus quickly leading to falling asleep. The method with a soothing sound machine had long been synonymous with children but recently, it has been proven to be an effective adult sleep therapy too.
Placing this in your room and switching it on with your eyes closed will make you fall asleep quicker than trying to do it with o aids, or in the presence of noise from around your house. Soothing sound machines can be purchased from a number of online stores if they are difficult to get hold of in your area.
9. Force open your eyes for some time
Yes, this is all about using force to achieve a certain result, which is falling asleep faster. This method can be sounding a little unorthodox, but research shows that it has produced results before. This is more of showing off the power of reverse psychology when trying to fall asleep faster.
The method’s effectiveness was proven by a small study that was conducted at the University of Glasgow and found out that sleep deprived individuals who were instructed to lay in bed and try to stay awake actually fell asleep faster than their counterparts who were just put in bed and not instructed to do so.
Therefore, according to this experiment, the harder you try to fall asleep, the lesser are your chances of getting to dreamland within the normal 20 to 30 minutes time frame, but trying to force you eyes to stay wide open in the dark will get them tired quick enough to close and lead the body to sleeping in a short space of time.
10. Keep a warm body
This does not need much of science in order to understand. I am sure that most of us understand, or remember just one night when we went to bed with ice-cold feet and how much we struggled to sleep during the same night. This therefore means that a freezing outer body can cause serious challenges to the mind that is in search of sleep.
Taking a warm shower before going to sleep can help take care of your cold feet and hands, and also will help to keep your body warm and thus speeding up the sleeping process. More so, taking socks into bed will keep your feet warm and thus help you fall asleep faster.
Lack of sleep in humans has been identified as one of the problems that people face during the night. Worth to note is also the fact that the problem is also growing in young, school-going children as opposed to adults only. This problem can be prevented by using a number of ways.
These ways have been proven to be natural, like taking a warm bath, and also scientific like switching off electronic gadgets to trigger the creation of melatonin, and they can be biological through using different kinds of food combinations just to get the body to sleep. Whichever way works for you, the bottom line is to get as much sleeping hours in order to keep your body healthy and free of sleeplessness induced stress.
Katerina Legaspi. A travel photographer and writer. She writes for Discovery World and National Geographic. Legaspi is also the Editor in Chief for Arrivedo.com. She is also a mountaineer and an environmentalist. Loves to be outdoors capturing landscapes and the beauty of every city or town she goes to.