A good night’s sleep can mean the difference between a great day, full of achievement or a mediocre day where you feel sluggish and tired. But going to sleep, and actually falling asleep, are two completely different things. There is nothing worse than going to bed early in order to get some much-needed z’s only to find yourself tossing-and-turning an hour later wondering when, and how, you’ll finally enter dreamland. So, with that in mind, we are going to share our eight best tips to help you fall asleep faster so that you can wake up energized, refreshed, and rejuvenated.
Eight Tips to Help You Fall Asleep Fast
1. Get a good pillow: When we lie down to sleep, our necks and backs require the right support to align properly so that we can settle in for our nightly rest. Our muscles need to be able to relax and unwind in order for us to sleep better. A good pillow can make a big difference in how well we sleep. Your pillow should contour to the shape of your body and fill in the empty spaces between the bed and your neck when you lie down. A pillow that is soft enough to provide comfort for your head but at the same time firm enough to support the weight of your head and neck is exactly what you need to sleep better at night. Each of us is different but making sure you have a quality pillow that has structure and is made from premium material is essential to falling asleep quickly.
2. Avoiding caffeine and other stimulants: While an invigorating cup of coffee or tea might suit you just fine in the morning or at mid-day, caffeinated drinks are best avoided after 3.00 pm. Caffeine can provide a stimulating effect for more than just a few hours so making sure that you have that last latte or matcha early in the afternoon is paramount.
3. Darken the room: There is something to be said about letting our bodies settle into a natural rhythm governed by day and night to help us fall asleep faster. Darkness is a key factor in helping our bodies prepare for sleep. By making the bedroom dark and switching off all our devices, we are cueing our body for bedtime. Levels of the sleep hormone melatonin rise and our bodies wind down, bringing on the onset of sleep. So power-down your phone and get ready to fall asleep faster.
4. Take a warm shower: A warm shower about an hour before you go to bed can decrease your body temperature and help signal your brain that it is getting close to bedtime. Like darkening the room, this is another way to let your body know that you are preparing to get some rest. By following a shower and bedtime routine, the brain forms a habit of readying the body for sleep after we have showered.
5. Breathing techniques and meditation: Meditation does not need to be a long drawn out process where you sit on a mat cross-legged and try to empty out your thoughts. All you need to do is sit or even lie down in bed and focus on taking a few long, slow, deep breaths. Breathe in for a count of four-to-six seconds, hold your breath for the same amount of time and breathe out again for four-to-six seconds. By focusing on your breathing, you’ll actually start to clear your mind of all your other thoughts and help yourself relax. Focused breathing and meditation can help you de-stress and increase the oxygen levels in the blood, both of which are conducive to falling asleep.
6. Listen to relaxing music: Listening to slow relaxing music is also a great way to de-stress and slow the heart rate. Slow music has a calming effect which helps the body relax. Keep the volume low and play music that is light and without heavy beats and allow yourself to drift into a slumber.
7. Read a book: Read a real book made of paper and ink. It is best to avoid a e-Readers at bedtime because the backlight can act as a stimulant. Read a good book the old-fashioned way. Reading allows us to transfer our thoughts away from our daily anxieties or responsibilities. Plus, setting up a reading routine before bed signals to your brain that you are getting ready to sleep.
8. Light lavender candles: Research shows that the scent of lavender relaxes our bodies and filling your room with this delightful fragrance can be very soothing. Let the warm glow of the candles and the sweet smell of lavender lull you into a wonderfully relaxed state. As your eyes start to close, gently blow out the candles and float away into the night.
Forming a good bedtime routine and sticking to it will go a long way in helping you fall asleep faster at night. Keep these simple tips in mind and make the necessary changes because nothing is better than going to sleep and falling asleep right away.