Our time sleeping is priceless, literally. We cannot put a price tag on quality sleep because it is so important to our productivity during the day. Problems arise when we are so productive during the day, that our bodies cannot slow down enough to fall asleep at night. Instead of counting those proverbial sheep, try some of these data proven methods to fall asleep fast.
Setting A Routine
Having a sleep schedule is crucial if you want to fall asleep right away. Human bodies operate in rhythms and patterns and yours will benefit by having one. Choose a specific time at night and make that your set bedtime. As best you can, adhere to this timetable. As this routine becomes normal for you, your body will naturally begin to wind down on its own. Soon enough, your body will get into a cycle of you sleeping at a certain time, which you will know because you will start to get quite tired as the time draws near. Habits take several weeks of repetition to form, so don’t wait, get started today.
Cut Back On Screen Time
Your brain is in charge of your body, sending and receiving vital information to and from muscles and organs. One such function your brain has is knowing when to put the body to sleep, to recharge your systems. As evening comes and the sun begins to set, there is less natural light. The eyes register this increase in darkness and send a message to your brain, telling it that it is time to start preparing the body for sleep. Saturating your eyes with unnatural light, especially that from electronic screens, tricks your brain into thinking that it’s not yet time to turn in. To help you get to sleep quickly, don’t look at electronic screens up to an hour before you lay down to rest. Dimming or turning off most lights will also give your brain a helpful hint that it is time to wind down.
Instead of grabbing an electronic device when you cannot sleep, grab a book. An ebook is a great choice because the background lighting is adjustable to help your mind feel ready for sleep. Just make sure the book is slightly boring and will not keep you up to find out what happens next.
Exercise During The Day
Getting at least fifteen minutes of exercise a day will help you fall to sleep faster at night. According to the sleepfoundation.org, adults with insomnia who exercised consistently for at least four weeks “fell asleep more quickly, slept slightly longer and had better sleep quality than before they began exercising.”
When it comes to falling asleep, a late-night snack can be beneficial. The key is in portion control and substance. Choose a small healthy snack of specific foods that have sleep aiding powers. For example, cherries contain melatonin, a hormone which tells your body when it is time to sleep. Snacking on cherries or drinking cherry juice before bed can help your body fall asleep. A combination of complex carbs will also help you feel full, from just a small snack. Next time you are too hungry to sleep, grab a little peanut butter and banana or crackers with cheese to tide you over until morning.
While falling asleep on an empty stomach is difficult, foods such as coffee, sugar and alcohol can keep you tossing and turning even longer than that empty stomach. Try to avoid these foods at least an hour before bed.
No Ultra Long Naps
There is no denying the beauty and power of naps. In fact, they are quite helpful and restorative, not to mention, downright refreshing! While midday snoozes can be beneficial, too much of a good thing can be counterproductive. If your powernap turns into a several hour-long ordeal, your body’s sleep schedule will be thrown for a loop. Set a timer and limit your afternoon nap to only a handful of minutes. This will help you feel refreshed and awake, but not groggy and unable to sleep later in the evening.
Proper Sleeping Equipment
Your bed is only as comfortable as you make it. First, make sure your mattress is not contributing to your sleeping difficulties. If twisting and turning to find a comfortable position is part of your nightly routine (and we are not referencing yoga), it may be time to consider a new mattress. For a less committing change, try a different pillow or comforter to achieve better zzz’s. Investing in your sleep at night is an important step to more productive days.
Intentional Meditation And Stretching
Counting sheep is a thing of the past. The more effective practice to falling quickly, into a deep sleep, is through stretching and meditation. Before hopping in bed, go through some sleep aiding stretches. While stretching, meditate on a couple of your favorite quotes or try to empty your mind of all thoughts.
If meditation is not your cup of tea, practice a breathing technique called the 4-7-8 method. This method is as easy as it sounds. Start by inhaling while counting to four. Once you reach four, hold your breath for seven seconds. Finally release your breath, drawing the exhale out to the count of eight. Continue this breathing process while laying in bed and you will be off to sleep in no time.
Fall Asleep Fast
Don’t waste another night waiting to fall asleep. Use your nightly routine, healthy choices during the day and comfortable sleeping atmosphere to slip into dreamland before another sleepless day goes by. Remember, if time is money, then time sleeping is priceless. Invest in your sleep for a successful day.