Ten Simple Tips to Help You Fall Asleep Faster
Some people fall asleep without any effort. All they do is close their eyes and within a few minutes they are in deep slumber. There are, however, millions of people around the world who take long to sleep after getting in bed. For these people, falling asleep is a struggle. Rather than the normal ten to twenty minutes healthy people take to sleep, they take as long as two hours before falling asleep. This condition is called sleep onset insomnia. Statistics shows that it affects a third of the world’s adult population and if you are one of the affected you will certainly find these tips helpful.
1. Maintain a stable sleep routine
Human bodies maintain a circadian rhythm that makes the body sleepy during night-time and alert during daytime. When each day you go to bed and wake up at the same time, your body, through its internal clock, adjusts to this routine. Thus anytime you go to bed it quickly induces you to sleep. However, when you have irregular sleep habits, you disrupt the body’s circadian rhythm and, therefore, become prone to developing sleep onset insomnia and other sleep disorders. Maintaining a strict bedtime routine is, therefore, one of the best ways of falling asleep faster.
2. Keep your room temperature low
Another way of reducing your body’s temperature is to lower the temperature of the room. The ideal room temperature for sleep differs from one individual to another. In general, research shows that room temperature of between 15-22 degrees is ideal for sleep.
3. Take a warm shower before going to bed
It is hard to fall asleep when your body’s metabolism rate is high. To slow down the metabolism rate and fasten your sleep, the body needs low temperature. Taking a hot shower before going to bed in a cool room achieves that – a reduction of your body temperature.
4. Avoid alcohol and caffeine
Caffeine and alcohol have been found to be major causes of poor sleep. For instance, energy drinks, which have high caffeine levels, cause sleep problems even when taken six hours before going to bed. Thus, for better sleep quality, it is recommended that you avoid taking alcohol and caffeine six hours before going to bed.
5. Sleep comfortably
The quality of your mattress, pillows, blanket, and night clothing can have a major effect not just on the quality and depth of your sleep, but also on the speed at which you fall asleep. Studies have shown that mattresses of medium firmness, weighted blankets, and orthopedic pillows are ideal for falling asleep fast. Wearing comfortable clothing when going to bed also helps you sleep faster.
6. Avoid long daytime naps
Napping for less than thirty minutes during the day improves wellbeing and alertness. However, taking long naps that go as many as two or three hours may negatively affect the quality of your nighttime sleep. The long naps are particularly bad for your sleep if you take them in the evenings. Thus, if you must nap, let it be short and earlier in the day.
7. Wear loose socks to bed
Going to bed with your feet cold might be the reason behind your inability to fall asleep faster. Cold feet impede proper blood circulation and, therefore, make it hard for you to fall asleep quickly. By wearing socks, you keep your feet warm. For best results, consider buying natural soft fiber socks instead of artificial fiber or cottons ones. The socks should be loose enough to avoid constricting blood vessels.
8. Perform regular physical exercises
Anxiety is a major cause of sleep onset insomnia. Anxiety is associated with high levels of cortisol hormone. Physical exercises reduce cortisol levels and, therefore, reduce anxiety. To get the best results, perform the exercises early in the morning.
9. Listen to calming music
Soothing music whose rhythm is less than eighty beats a minutes helps you relax before sleeping. Such music is particularly important if you are suffering from anxiety or depression. When you have a relaxed mind it is easy to fall asleep fast.
10. Switch off electronic devices
Using electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and televisions before going to sleep may delay your sleep. Apart from delaying your circadian rhythm or internal clock of the body, such usage also suppresses the production of melatonin which is a sleep-inducing hormone. Therefore, to fall asleep faster, make sure that you turn off all electronic devices at least an hour before going to bed.
Taking a long time to sleep can be frustrating especially if it becomes a daily reality. You should not let sleep onset insomnia go untreated as your productivity and mood depends on good quality sleep. Tips above can help you fall asleep faster, however if insomnia has become your everyday problem, it may be a good idea to seek for a medical advice. Sweet dreams!
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