If you have ever had trouble sleeping, you may wonder how to get to sleep more quickly. While your unique traits and needs can impact your sleep, there are some things you can do to help you get a good night’s sleep more quickly.
Relaxation is the best way to fall asleep quickly. The body and mind need to be calm before they can fall asleep. We’ll talk about activities that can help you sleep, like meditation, breathing exercises, and relaxation therapy.
The Fastest Way to Sleep?
What’s the problem with attempting to sleep rather than getting some rest? You’re not the only one. The thoughts are awakened by working too hard, which might generate (or continue) a cycle of anxiety and nervousness.
While it may be challenging for your body to follow if you can’t get to sleep, the opposite is true. However, there are proven methods for flipping the switch and safely shutting down your body.
You might use scientific tricks to put your body into a safe shutdown phase. We’ll go through several tried-and-true methods for accelerating the process of winding down for bed.
It’s essential to keep in mind that while the following techniques take 120 seconds to complete or help you fall asleep faster, only the final 10 seconds are required to allow yourself to fall asleep.
1. The Military Method
The famous military method, which Sharon Ackerman initially published in the book “Relax and Win: Championship Performance.“
According to Ackerman, the United States Navy Pre-Flight School came up with a way to help pilots take naps in two minutes or less. For about six weeks, the pilots practiced their skills. Even though they were drinking coffee and listening to gunshots in the background, they could still get it right. People who need to rest while sitting up can use this method.
Breathing and muscle relaxation are the cornerstones of the military approach, and there is some scientific proof that they can help you. The efficiency of this strategy may also be hindered by illnesses such as ADHD or anxiety.
2. Use the 4-7-8 Method
The 4-7-8 method demands you to focus on counting to divert yourself from anxiousness. The 4-7-8 approach is a simple way to get to sleep more quickly.
Pranayama, a traditional yoga technique, is the foundation of the 4-7-8 system. According to the research, it can help you fall asleep faster by reducing anxiety and lulling you into a state of peace.
3. Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)
Progressive muscle relaxation, often called deep muscle relaxation, is a muscle relaxation technique. The idea is to tense your muscles — but not too much — and then relax to let the stress go. This movement brings calmness to your entire body. It’s a tried-and-true method for overcoming insomnia.
Before you start, consider practicing the 4-7-8 approach while envisioning the stress leaving your body as you exhale.
Keep your mind on how your body feels when you’re calm and relaxed and not stressed out.
Meditation techniques that help you get a good night’s sleep may help you fall asleep faster. Mindfulness meditation, in particular, has shown promising results when it comes to improving your sleep.
Critical ideas for meditation that are called “mindfulness” are to bring about relaxation by paying attention to the present and letting go of judgment. When mindfulness is practiced at bedtime, it may help people stop ruminating and let go of negative emotions to go to sleep.
A 2014 study indicated that mindfulness meditation helped persons with chronic insomnia sleep better and spend less time awake. Beginners may find it difficult to relax at first. With practice, you can relax and fall asleep faster. Consult your doctor if you have a history of trauma or meditation that brings up painful or uncomfortable thoughts.
These relaxation techniques aren’t the only way to help you sleep faster. You can also get regular exercise, take a warm bath or shower before bed, use essential oil aromatherapy, or write down your thoughts and worries.
5. Try Autogenic Training
Developed by German Psychiatrist Johannes Heinrich Schultz, autogenic training is a method of calming the mind. Autogenic training, based on hypnosis principles, uses a succession of phrases to induce a relaxing effect. Here’s how to use autogenic training to fall asleep quickly:
It has been found that autogenic training can help with many physical and emotional problems, including anxiety, the US Department of Veterans Affairs says. When you do this, you can fall asleep faster.
6. Take a Warm Bath or Shower
Your body temperature changes as you sleep in the middle of the night. Cools down when you are lying down and warms up again when you get up. This is how your body works.
In a too-hot room, you might have a hard time sleeping. If you set your thermostat to 60–67°F (15.6–19.4°C), it could help. People have different tastes, so find the temperature that fits best for you.
If you want to speed up the body’s temperature changes, you could also take a warm bath or shower. As your body cools down, this can tell your brain to go to sleep.
In one study, people who took a hot bath or shower before bed were more efficient and had a better night’s worth of sleep. In this case, “sleep efficiency” refers to how much time you spend asleep in bed instead of lying awake.
A few hours before going to bed, people who took a shower or bath that was between 104°F and 108.5°F (40.0°C and 42.5°C) had good things happen to them. There were benefits to their sleep even if they took a short bath or shower. A lot more study is needed, but these results are promising.
7. Try to Stay Awake
One unusual method of falling asleep quickly is to try to stay awake. Although an unplanned all-nighter isn’t ideal, worrying about your sleep won’t help you sleep better. It may seem counterintuitive, but staying awake can reduce your anxiety about falling asleep.
Try not to look at your phone or turn on any bright lights. Instead, consider the following: To stop counting sheep, give your mind a break it needs by taking your attention away from the task at hand.
8. Peaceful Music
A noisy environment can hinder rapid sleep. Listening to relaxing music might help you relax and filter out unwanted noises15. Make a playlist that corresponds to a 10-to-20-minute sleep latencies window and listen to it every night to establish a rhythm. If music is too distracting, some recommend white noise for sleep16.
9. Guided Imagery
Recalling a tranquil memory or visualizing a peaceful scene can help you reduce and prepare your mind and body for sleep. To immerse oneself in an imagined environment, take slow, deep breaths and concentrate on sensory elements such as sights, sounds, and scents.
You might find it beneficial to direct your thoughts with a pre-recorded soundtrack. Soundtracks for guided imagery are freely available on the internet.
10. Avoid Caffeine Up to Six Hours Prior
Caffeine may be the hero for getting you out of bed, but it’s also a big no-no for going asleep. So, how long should you avoid your regular cup of java before going to bed?
Caffeine has been shown to affect sleep quality up to six hours before bedtime, so if you usually go to bed around 10 p.m., you should finish your last cup by 4 p.m.
Be aware of caffeine sources that aren’t expected. It can even make you tired if you drink too much coffee. Decaffeinated teas like chamomile or lavender can help you get your drink fixed before bed without sacrificing your sleep.
11. Get on a schedule
Many people find that setting a sleep cycle helps them sleep. The circadian rhythm is your body telling you what to do. During the day, your body should be alert but tired at night. This internal clock tells your body what to do.
This can stay on track if you wake up and go to bed simultaneously every day. Before long, your body will be able to fall asleep and wake up at the same time every day.
Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night is also essential. (the ideal amount of time for adults to sleep).
Before you go to bed at night, give yourself greater than 30 minutes to get ready to sleep. This lets your body and mind relax and get ready to go to sleep so that you can go to sleep.
12. Turn Down Your Technology
Modern technology means that going online before going to bed is more of a given than something to think about, not something to question. Looking at your screen before you go to bed can make it hard to get a good night’s sleep.
During the day, many objects emit a blue light that looks like sunlight. This can help you wake up, but it can also keep you awake at night.
If you can’t give up your gadgets for an hour before you go to bed, you might want to turn down your tech instead.
If you have trouble turning off your device’s screen at night, check the settings to see if a night mode is available. The screen’s colors will generally be warmer, reducing the blue light’s impact on sleep.
13. A Bedtime Routine
A routine signals the body when it is time for sleep. Pre-bedtime practices can be complicated or straightforward, depending on an individual schedule and preferences.
Getting to bed and waking up simultaneously each day is the most fantastic strategy. Other steps in a nightly routine may include:
According to one study, bathing 1–2 hours before bedtime helped participants fall asleep 10 minutes faster than usual. After a warm bath or shower, the body cools down, and the brain recognizes that it is time to sleep.
14. Sleep Restriction Therapy
This method is frequently used in conjunction with stimuli control therapy. Sleep restriction therapy involves adjusting the amount of time spent in bed to meet the individual’s sleep requirements.
Those who stay in bed for 9 hours but only rest for seven should not stay in bed for longer than 7 hours.
Individuals should start by keeping a sleeping diary to determine how much sleep they receive on average. Add 30 minutes to the average sleep time to account for falling asleep time.
When implementing sleep restriction therapy, working with a doctor or health care professional can be beneficial.
15. Don’t Worry If You Don’t Fall Asleep Instantly
Is it even possible to fall asleep in just five minutes, or is it impossible? It’s not always as simple as turning off a switch to fall asleep. Many people waste time trying to fall asleep right away.
Instead, begin to wind down an hour before going to bed. You can start by:
16. Experience both Daylight and Darkness
Light can change your body’s internal clock, telling you when to sleep and wake up. It can be hard to fall asleep and stay up if you don’t get enough light at the correct times.
During the day, bright light tells your body to stay alert. Natural daylight and artificial light can make you less alert.
At night, the darkness makes people feel tired. Research shows that when it’s dark, the body makes melatonin, which is essential for sleep. Because the body doesn’t make melatonin during the day, it doesn’t make much of it.
Get outside and expose your body to sunlight or bright light. You can use window coverings to make your room dark at night.
17. Avoid Naps during the Day
Insomniacs are generally tired due to inadequate nighttime sleep, leading to daytime napping. While brief naps have been related to increased alertness and wellbeing, the effects of napping on nighttime sleep are controversial.
According to some research, research indicates that long (at least 2 hours) and late naps may contribute to poor nightly sleep quality and possibly sleep deprivation.
In a study of 440 college students, individuals who took three or more naps per week, napped for more than two hours, and napped late had the worst quality of night sleep (between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.).
A 1996 study indicated that napping older individuals had poorer quality sleep, more depressive symptoms, and less physical activity. Individuals were also more likely to be overweight than non-nappers.
Recent high school students’ research found that daytime napping reduced sleep duration and efficiency. Other research shows naps don’t alter nocturnal sleep.
To see if naps impact your sleep, try removing them or restricting them to a 30-minute nap early in the day.
18. Do Yoga Before Bed
If you’re tired at the end of the day, a little yoga can help your body relax before going to bed to go to sleep. People who have insomnia can get better sleep if they do yoga before going to bed. This helps them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Yoga is a great way to relax both your body and your mind. It encourages deep breathing and muscle relaxation, which can help you feel calmer. You might want to spend a few minutes in a child’s pose or as a happy baby before you try to fall asleep next time. This will help you get ready to go to sleep.
19. Practice Sleep Hygiene
“Sleep Hygiene” refers to daily routines designed to promote restful sleep at night. Common sleep hygiene behaviors include:
Make sure your bed is only used for sleeping to start with good sleep hygiene. Cozy up on the couch until it’s time to go to bed instead of a bed.
20. Increase Sunlight Exposure
Increasing your exposure to intense light or getting more sunlight throughout the day can help you fall asleep quicker at night. Bright light, according to research, can assist regulate your circadian rhythm, which is how your body determines when it’s time to sleep and wake up.
Make sure you get outside for a few minutes each day and keep your bedroom dark in the evenings to take advantage of this. This replicates sunrise and sunset, so once you start decreasing your lights, your body will realize it’s time to sleep.
21. Eat Carbs at Night
Preparation is required for this technique. However, consuming carbs four hours before bedtime helped people sleep better and faster. The study focused on simple carbs, which are easily digested.
White rice, white bread, white spaghetti, and potatoes (as well as sugary foods). Interestingly, a Japanese study revealed no sleep advantages from bread or noodles. Even if you are attempting to reduce carbs, a dish at dinner may be suitable for your sleep.
Keep meals simple and limited in size to avoid indigestion. The study found that eating carbs four hours before bedtime was more efficient than eating them an hour before. Also, spicy foods can hinder your ability to fall asleep quickly.
22. The Right Timing for Better Sleep
Because circadian dislocation can make it difficult to fall and stay asleep, it’s critical to time your light exposure. The asleep routine supports your circadian rhythm if you want to get more energy during the day.
Follow this circadian-friendly exposure to light and sleep schedule guidelines to make it easier to get all the sleep your body requires.
Consistency is essential for your circadian rhythm, so stick to a schedule. This includes weekends. While staying up late on a Friday night or sleeping later on a Sunday morning may seem harmless, disrupting your circadian rhythm can make it difficult to wake up or fall asleep on time the following week. So, try to maintain a regular sleep routine.
To avoid increasing sleep latency at night, snooze during your afternoon drop and limit your nap to 90 minutes (the length of a complete sleep cycle). This software will advise you when to go for your daily afternoon dip.
Wake Up to the Sun
Reveal yourself to daylight as quickly as possible after waking up. As a last resort, sunlight through a window will suffice, although walking outside is preferable. Taking yourself out for an early walk or run is even better because physical exercise during the day can help you sleep better at night.
Go Dark at Night
Light exposure at night can affect your body’s natural melatonin production, so avoid it for 90 minutes before bed. Bright lights and blue light from electronics can be harmful. So dim or turn off your lights and wear blue-light-blocking glasses. And turn out all lights in your room! Use eye masks and blackout shades.
Aim for Your Melatonin Window
The pineal gland begins producing melatonin 2-3 hours before your natural bedtime. This is the start of your Melatonin Window in the RISE app. Going to bed during this period will help you fall asleep faster because your body creates the most melatonin. Miss the window, and you’ll have trouble falling and staying asleep.
23. Try a New Sleeping Position
We all know how hard it is to fall asleep when you’re not comfortable. If you’re having trouble sleeping, it might be time to change how you sleep.
For example, people who sleep on their sides can get hurt if they aren’t adequately supported. If you usually sleep on your side and have to move around to get comfortable, try to sleep on your back.
24. Turn off the Clock
When you have anxiety about getting to sleep at night, looking at your clock can worsen. You might want to turn off your clock at night or turn it around so you can’t see the time.
Place your phone face down and wear a sleep mask to block all light and noise. It will make it less likely for you to check the time or go on a late-night web surfing binge.
25. Visualize Things that Make you Happy
Rather than worrying about stressful things, picture a place that makes you happy and calm. When people were told to use an imagery distraction in a study on insomnia, they could fall asleep more quickly than when they were told not to.
They used this method to keep their minds occupied with good thoughts instead of worrying and worrying about things before they went to sleep.
A picture or focus on what makes you feel good can take your mind off the things that keep you awake at night and make it easier to fall asleep.
26. Read Something
In the evening, reading could be a good way for you to wind down. Bedtime reading may help children get a good night’s sleep. You should also know the difference between reading an eBook and a paper book.
Electronic books eject blue light, making you less likely to make melatonin. People who have less melatonin in their bodies have a hard time getting to sleep and are more likely to be tired the next day.
So, it’s best to read from an actual book to relieve stress and improve your sleep.
27. Practice Writing before Bed
Some people have trouble sleeping because their minds go round and round. This has been known to cause anxiety, tension, and sleep disturbances.
Journaling and positive thinking can help you relax and sleep better. Writing down happy occurrences throughout the day can increase feelings of appreciation and happiness, reduce tension, and help you relax before bedtime.
A study of 41 college students revealed that writing increased sleep time and enhanced sleep quality. Set aside 15 minutes every night to reflect on your day. It’s vital to remember the good things and how you felt.
A different study found that drafting a to-do list for 5 minutes helped young adults fall asleep faster than journaling.
28. Take a Walk
At night, can’t stay still. Try going for a walk (kind of). Isn’t it weird that getting up at night and moving to another part of your house for a few minutes can help your brain get back to normal?
If you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, it might be a moment to do a quick reset and try again. You should only go for a short walk for about five to 10 minutes at night. Make sure you don’t disturb anything like turn on a bright light or make a loud noise.
29. Put Socks On
If you’re having trouble falling asleep for no apparent reason, you might be experiencing cold feet – literally. According to research, your blood vessels contract when your feet are chilly, causing less blood to flow and sending signals to your brain to stay awake.
Wearing socks before bed will help warm your feet and cause your feet’s blood vessels to dilate, signaling to your brain that it’s time for some sweet dreams.
The Bottom Line
If you still have difficulties sleeping after making these modifications, talk to a healthcare practitioner. You could have a sleep issue or another underlying condition that prevents you from sleeping well. Your doctor can assist you in identifying the problem and developing a treatment plan with you.
Using the tactics outlined above can assist you in falling asleep quickly, sleeping well, and having more enthusiasm the next day.
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