How you are going to fall asleep is not a question you should be having to research or worry about. Besides, worrying about how to make yourself fall asleep is actually going to prevent it from happening even more because of the keyword, worry.
Most of us have all been there. We notice we just can’t fall asleep like we used to. We lay down, we close our eyes, and next thing we know, we can’t get comfortable, we can’t slow our brain down, we then get mad, and then……we just can’t fall asleep.
There are many reasons this can be happening, so we will go over the best ways to fall asleep faster and get you back to catching those much needed zzz’s.
During the Day
1. Don’t Nap
It doesn’t get much more simple than that. Taking naps = trouble falling asleep that night. If you take naps, try stopping the habit.
If you love your naps too much, then limit them to only 20 minutes, because anymore than that, you may find yourself staring at the ceiling again that night.
It is a fact that exercising helps all sorts of health related things including many sleep related ones like insomnia and sleep apnea (that pesky cpap mask stuff).
Exercise reduces stress which reduces that keyword worry we mentioned in the opening paragraph. Anxiety and Insomnia just don’t mix so the less stress the better!
It also tells your body that it needs to recharge, therefore making you sleepier when it gets time for bed.
Just don’t exercise 3 or less hours before you go to bed (hanky panky excluded, more on that later!).
This will actually get you all ramped up (get your body going) and you will not be able to fall asleep.
3. Watch What You Drink
Limit your caffeine intake. We know caffeine keeps us awake.
Yet, did you know that alcohol and even too much water (before bedtime) can cause some problems as well?
Alcohol is proven to help falling asleep quickly, but is proven to also mess up the sleeping process (number of times you go into REM and deep sleep modes).
So, if you are one of those people who likes kicking a few back before bedtime and you have trouble staying asleep and feeling tired the next day, it could be you are missing out on those important processes of sleep.
Also, drinking too much water before bedtime can put your body into working mode instead of slowing down. Besides, you will be waking up having to pee too.
4. Get up at the Same Time
Is your schedule out of whack every morning or on the weekends? As you can probably imagine, getting up different times can have an affect on how well you fall asleep.
Try to get up every day at least within 30 minutes of your normal wake-up time.
The same goes for bedtime. Keep it within 30 minutes. Example: bedtime is normally 10pm. Go to bed between 9:45 and 10:15. Also avoid hitting the “snooze” button on your phone or clock.
Studies have shown that this can actually do more harm than good. Though, I have not been able to kick that habit yet.
5. Stay Busy
Keep your mind and body moving throughout the day. If you sit a lot during the day, get up and walk around, or at the very least, keep your mind working hard instead of staring off in space.
Staying still and/or day dreaming can cause you to get sleepy during the day and means you are not burning energy, which in turn, makes it hard to fall asleep at night.
Get plenty of sunshine, if possible. Open up your blinds at home or work and let the light in from dawn till dusk.
Getting plenty of light, helps you to stay alert in the day and promotes tiredness at night.
Pretty much, your body learns “oh it is light outside, so time to get going!” Then “oh it is dark outside, time to slow down!”
In The Evening
7. Watch What You Eat
Eating a heavy meal at night is not only good for your weight, but also can make it hard for you to go to sleep fast.
If you are laying in bed with food still digesting in your stomach, it can keep you awake.
Also a heavy meal gives you increased chances of heartburn when you lay down.
Though, don’t starve yourself and go to bed hungry if you eat an early supper. Hunger can also keep you awake.
Eat a small snack if you have to. The rule to keep in mind is to not eat anything 2 hours before you go to bed.
8. Limit TV and Computer Use
Try not to watch TV as much or play around on your laptop/tablet or phone in the evening.
Research shows that brightness from screens can cause you to stay alert.
You are also working your brain when doing these things when it should be winding down and you don’t want that at sleepy time.
This sounds simple enough, but it can be hard to settle down in the evenings if you are just getting off from work, for example, and especially if you hate your job.
Think about it, if you are bored and dreary all day at work and are looking forward to going home, you are basically teaching yourself to ramp up after work.
This doesn’t necessarily hold true if your job makes you tired and you are active all day.
Try relaxing more after dinner and leave your daily stress/worries for tomorrow and during the day.
Keep Your Bedroom Like Sleep Heaven
10. Keep it Clean and Appealing for Sleep
Ever walked into a room and it just feels nice, relaxing, and comfortable. This is how your bedroom should feel.
This feeling is one of the best tips for falling asleep.
A clean bedroom reduces stress. Going to bed with clutter all around just puts more worries on your brain.
The look and feel DOES matter. This is especially true if you think you are a little OCD.
11. No lights
Even the smallest of light can interfere with your sleep hormones and make your brain stimulate. Have a night light or clock that lights up? Consider turning them off.
Have a street light? Consider and eye mask or covering up your window to black it out.
12. Take the Electronics Out
The bedroom is for sleep and that other thing. Turn the TV off or remove it if you have to.
The bright lights and people talking will just stimulate your brain. The same applies for the computers, laptops, tablets, and phones.
13. Stay Cool
The bedroom should be cool, temperature wise of course. It is proven that we get better sleep when the room is between 65-70 degrees.
Why? Well, a lower temperature makes your body temperature lower which helps you to fall asleep faster.
14. Aroma’s Can Ease You
Different scents or aromas can help you fall asleep. Again, there are studies that show that different scents have an affect on the brain.
Certain ones such as vanilla, lavender, and sandalwood will make you calm and therefore help you to go to sleep.
Either eliminate it or drown it out. Depending on the type of person you are, noise can prevent you from falling asleep, unless it is consistent.
Meaning, it also can help, if it is the right noise. If you are a heavy sleeper, then the things that go crack in the night are not going to wake you up, so you are probably better off with no noise at all.
If you are a light sleeper or can’t fall asleep because of noise you can’t control (cars going by, dogs barking, or a train for example), then a noise machine/white noise machine can work miracles.
If you don’t have one or don’t want to buy one, a fan can serve the same purpose. Or, buy some cheap ear plugs.
Bedtime Routine Tips
16. Go to Bed at The Same Time
We touched on this on an earlier point about getting up at the same time every day, and the same applies for bedtime.
Try to keep your bedtime around the same time every day. Though, if you are not sleepy, it may not be such a good idea.
It is better to get 7 hours of good sleep than 9-10 hours of bad sleep. Yet, once your body adjusts to getting up and going to bed the same time, you should feel sleepy around the same time every day.
17. Free Your Mind
Write things down before you go to bed so you won’t lay in the bed thinking about them or thinking about them because you are afraid you will forget them the next day.
When you are laying there with your eyes closed, you want to think about NOTHING.
If you find your mind is still racing, try thinking about peaceful memories you have had or peaceful places you have been. Praying or meditating works as well.
18. Free Your Body
Do you feel tense when you go to bed? Even if you don’t, it can benefit to do some stretching before you try to go to sleep.
You can do this before bed (real stretching or yoga) or even while you are in your bed.
Focus on each muscle on your body and tighten them individually for 10 seconds at a time and release.
When you are finished, you may be surprised how much it can relax you.
19. Take a Hot Bath
Not so hot that you are sweating, but nice and warm so that it can relax all your muscles and raise your body temp.
Then, once you get out and go to your “sleep heaven bedroom” that is nice and cool, your body will notice it is time to cool down which will help you to fall asleep fast.
Most of us have been there. We are reading and all of a sudden we can’t keep our eyes open.
Reading a book before bed is a great way to find that sleep you are looking for.
Just stay away from books that stimulate or make you think too hard.
An entertaining book is fine, but honestly a boring book is always best. It serves the same point as a boring lecturer.
21. The Right Drink
We talked about the wrong drinks, but they are some right ones. An herbal tea can actually help in falling asleep.
Milk is believed to help as well, but after tests it actually had no effect good or bad.
If you sleep best with no clothing, then this doesn’t apply to you, just keep sleeping naked! If you do have to wear some type of clothing, you want to make sure it is loose and soft.
Loose so that you will not get hot or bound down and soft so that you are comfortable.
Loose clothes or sleeping naked is also known to help with having erotic dreams, if you are curious or into that.
23. Sleep Position
How you sleep or are trying to fall asleep is super important. What you find comfortable may not necessarily be helping you if your posture is out of whack.
Make sure that your neck is aligned with your body and not raised or too low.
Also, try to find a position that you are accustomed to falling asleep to every night and use that same position again and again.
24. Your Pillow
Not much to say here besides, keep a comfortable pillow. Generally, unless you like a real flat pillow, you need to change your pillow out every now and then.
A fluffy pillow doesn’t stay fluffy forever and simply buying one every 6 months to a year can make some major changes in how you fall asleep.
If memory foam pillows interest you and you are looking to pay more for one that lasts, then the Snuggle-Pedic is very popular.
25. Wear Socks
To be warm on the outside means cooler on the inside. Your body cools down when you sleep, but for it to be able to cool down while you sleep it is important for your extremities to be warm.
Your feet lots of times are the coldest part of your body and wearing socks to bed can help your blood flow before you go night, night.
Lots of times when you get in the bed, you may have just got through going up/down the stairs or brisk walking through the house, for example, and your heart rate may be a little up.
Take some deep, slow breathes through your nose, then hold, then exhale through your mouth slowly (4 seconds inhale and 2 or 3 seconds exhale, repeat 5- 10 times. There is a more detailed method here). This will help tell your body “time to slow down”.
27. Hanky Panky
Sex is the only exercise that can actually help you to fall asleep instantly. This is actually one of my “sleep better” than you tips.
Most people are exhausted after, and there is just something about it that makes you want to relax or go to sleep afterwards.
So, if you and your partner find yourselves tense and having trouble slowing down after getting in the bed, having some one on one time will get you there! Also, going at it alone will do the trick the same!
28. The Bed
The best for last. Well, hanky panky is a close tie. Having a quality bed can be the best money you will ever spend in your home. When is the last time you replaced your mattress? If it has been 8 years or more, think about getting another one.
People normally complain about the costs of mattresses, but think about it, you are spending a 1/3 of your life in this bed.
Yea, that puts it into a better perspective right? Your mind and body deserve to be treated, so treat them with a great mattress! Memory foam mattresses are very popular right now, and with good reason.
They are super comfortable! A good one that is not very expensive at all, and very popular, is the Zinus mattress.
If you are crawling into a comfy bed every night, honestly, it will be hard NOT to fall asleep!
Closing it Up
In the end, you can see that there are many, many different tips to fall asleep fast. Falling asleep, staying asleep, and getting the right amount of sleep is crucial to your health and well being.
Some of these tips may not help at all, but without a doubt, some will.
Hopefully, you found some “light bulb” tips in this article, and more important than anything, hopefully those tips will help you find that fast slumber you are looking for.