Sometimes you just cannot fall asleep as fast as you’d like to. Perhaps you’ve had a rough day or an emotional event; in fact, even positive events may result in unwanted alertness in the evening and may doom you to spend hours staring at the ceiling.
If that sounds familiar to you, keep reading!
You will learn about 10 scientifically proven methods that will let you reduce the time it takes you to travel to the land of Nod significantly.
#1 Try Breathing Techniques
Controlled breathing helps reduce heart rate and lower blood pressure and hence makes you sleepier. You can refer to yoga practices or to the well-known ‘4-7-8 method‘, which according to user reports, will make you drift off in less than a minute!
“No matter which breath technique you’ll choose to try, follow this simple rule: inhale the air through your nose and exhale fully through your mouth.”
#2 Relax Your Muscles
You can also use a method called progressive muscle relaxation. The point is to strain certain muscles for 8-10 seconds and then completely relax them for another 8-10 seconds. You can start with your head and move to toes or go in the opposite direction, just follow the timing. Usually, this method allows you to fall asleep in about a minute.
“You can combine progressive muscle relaxation with breathing techniques, guided meditation, or visualization sessions for even more pronounced effects.”
#3 Trick Your Brain
Even though your brain is a very structure, you can still trick it with something as simple as staying awake intentionally. Just force yourself to lie with your eyes open. You can also whisper something like ‘I won’t fall asleep’ or concentrate on the details of your room’s furniture and the texture of your bedding sheets.
Paradoxically, your brain may switch into a do-the-opposite mode, and this will result in falling asleep faster.
“Note that this method might not work if you have chronic insomnia or other sleep disorders.”
#4 Use CBD Remedies
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the two main alkaloids of the cannabis plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the other active component, CBD doesn’t make you hazy and euphoric. Instead, it provides anxiety relief and a pronounced calming effect, soothing you and improving your sleep.
CBD sleep remedies come in different forms: oils, drops, and even cartridges for vaping ! So, you can choose what suits you most and rely on the relaxing properties of this substance.
#5 Address Melatonin Supplements
If you’re skeptical about CBD, you can choose other sleeping aids. The most popular over-the-counter supplement that doesn’t develop dependency symptoms and is totally safe for your body is melatonin. Basically, it’s the analog of the sleep hormone produced by your body to regulate your sleep and wake cycles. Taking melatonin 30 minutes prior to bedtime will ensure that you will fall asleep faster and your sleep will be sounder.
“As with all supplements, you should consult your doctor before taking melatonin. Given the fact that most people consume way more melatonin than they need, the supervision of your healthcare specialist will guarantee that you won’t have to face the symptoms of melatonin overdose.”
#6 Adjust Your Thermostat
This is actually one of the fastest ways to fall asleep. All you need to do is drop your room temperature between 60 and 67°F.
Why would you sleep better in this case?
Well, your body temperature naturally lowers during the night. This triggers a lot of processes that promote sleepiness, and the production of your body’s natural melatonin is one of them.
But just by adjusting your thermostat, you can boost the levels of this hormone without taking any pills.
#7 Use Light and Darkness in Your Favor
Sunlight is a natural regulator of circadian rhythms in your body. That’s why by greeting the sun in the morning, you turn on the ‘alertness’ mode and wake up completely.
Darkness, on the other hand, signals to your system that it’s time to sleep. That’s why it’s recommended to dim the light in the evening and avoid using phones and computers. You can also wear a sleeping mask to create a total blackout and offer yourself peaceful sleep.
#8 Implement a Sleep Schedule
Old but gold.
Your internal clock works way better when it’s regulated based on consistency. The best way to achieve consistency is to fall asleep and wake up at the same time.
First, calculate your sleep needs (most adults require 7-8 hours of sleep per night); then, integrate your sleep need into your daily routine.
One of the most important things is to maintain the sleep schedule 24/7/365. Even on weekends and holidays. The reason is that your internal clock is very fragile, so even one all-nighter can easily wreck it for a couple of days.
#9 Dedicate Some Time to Yourself
Sometimes you just need to let go of anxious thoughts and wind down before going to sleep.
There are several ways to do this:
Read a book. Fiction can send you on a fascinating journey to another world, while non-fiction allows you to learn something new. In each case, reading will help you forget about your troubles at least for a short period of time. You can also go a different way and just choose the most boring book to help yourself fall asleep faster.
Play with your pet. If you have a furry friend, you can spend some time with her. Pet therapy has proven relaxing benefits and can improve your mental health.
Take a hot shower. Hot water under pressure has a pronounced relaxing effect on stiff muscles, especially in the neck area. Also, it improves blood flow and warms you up, thus giving a sense of comfort, which may be exactly what you need before bedtime.