Are you the 1 in 3 adults who comes up short on your 7+ hours of sleep each night? Falling asleep faster can help you get more hours of restful sleep in each night. If you lie awake tossing and turning for hours, you'll see the hours ticking away, making it impossible to get enough sleep.
Your sleep environment, routine, and activities leading up to bedtime can impact how quickly you fall asleep. Look at the triggers that might make it difficult for you to drift off to sleep quickly, and make changes to your routine.
Keep reading for eight tips to go to sleep faster.
1. Improve Your Sleep Environment
A comfortable, soothing sleep environment can help you sleep better. If your room is hot, noisy, bright, or otherwise uncomfortable, you'll likely have sleeping issues.
Program your thermostat to a cooler temperature at night to help you fall asleep faster. Ideally, your bedroom should be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Your body temperature naturally drops when you fall asleep, so having a cooler room encourages that lower body temp.
Make sure your mattress, pillow, and bedding are all comfy. Replace an old, unsupportive, sagging, or otherwise uncomfortable mattress, or add a thick, cushioning mattress topper to it. Choose soft, cozy bedding that makes you want to climb into your bed at night.
Darkening your room with blackout curtains can help. Look for light sources within your home, such as electronics and nightlights, that you can eliminate for an even darker sleep environment.
If you don't like total silence, consider some type of white noise. The hum of a fan works well for many people and helps keep your room cool. Other people prefer white noise machines with different sound options.
2. Create a Consistent Routine
Be consistent with your nighttime activities and your bedtime. When your body gets used to those rhythms and a regular bedtime, it's easier for you to fall asleep. It helps your internal clock know when it's time to go to sleep and when you should be awake.
Choose relaxing activities to add to your nighttime routine. Examples include:
- Reading a regular book, not from an ereader
- Taking a warm bath
- Listening to soothing music
- Doing yoga
- Practicing relaxation techniques
Your routine should avoid screens, including TV, phones, and tablets. These things emit blue light, which can affect your natural rhythms. Being on electronics can also stimulate your brain and make it more difficult to fall asleep.
3. Remove Distractions
Focus on what's keeping you awake. Is there light coming from the window, a noise from another room, or a glow from your alarm clock? Do your pajamas feel too hot, restrictive, or otherwise uncomfortable?
Physical distractions can keep you awake long past your bedtime. If you can pinpoint something that's preventing you from falling asleep, change it to remove that distraction.
4. Monitor Daytime Activities
What you do during the day can affect how quickly you can fall asleep. Consuming caffeine in the afternoon or evening can keep you awake. Too much alcohol can also keep you awake due to restlessness and feelings of nausea or headache.
Avoid eating large meals later in the evening. Your body is still digesting a meal two to three hours after you eat. You can feel uncomfortable due to the digestion process if you eat close to bedtime.
Moderate to intense exercise during the day can help you sleep better at night. Some people find it difficult to fall asleep if they exercise at night. Note how you feel when you exercise at different times of day and how it impacts your sleep.
Napping during the day can interfere with you falling asleep at bedtime. Long naps in particular are potentially harmful to sleep. If you need a nap, take a short power nap, or try to tough it out without a nap so you can fall asleep easier at night.
5. Deal With Worries
If you have a lot on your mind, you won't be able to fall asleep quickly. Worry, stress, sadness, and other negative emotions often keep people awake at night.
Confront the emotions that are keeping you awake. Writing in a journal before you go to bed can help you get your worries out of your mind.
Sometimes you can do things before bed to ease the feelings. If you're stressed about a busy morning, prepare as much as you can the night before, so you have less to worry about in the morning.
6. Use Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy can help you relax and feel sleepy at bedtime. Try lavender, cedarwood, and vanilla for common relaxing scents.
You can find these scents as essential oils, which you can disperse throughout your room using an essential oil diffuser. Turn on your diffuser about 30 minutes before you go to bed fill the room with the scent. You can also put a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow as a natural diffuser.
7. Try Supplements
Some supplements can help you fall asleep faster. Melatonin supplements are often used to help you fall asleep if you have trouble. It's a synthetic form of the hormone your body produces naturally.
Always check with your doctor before taking any type of sleep aid, even a melatonin supplement. While the product may say it's natural, dietary supplements aren't regulated by the FDA, so you can't always know for sure what you're getting.
You can find a variety of sleep aids as over-the-counter options, but they don't work for everyone. Some products can be habit-forming, causing you to rely on them to fall asleep every night.
Visualization techniques can help you fall asleep if you're in bed but can't doze off. Try visualizing a calming, relaxing location based on what you find soothing. The idea is to get your brain to feel that relaxation and keep the thoughts and worries that are keeping you awake out of your mind.
Follow These Tips to Go to Sleep Faster
When you follow our tips to go to sleep faster, you can improve your chances of getting a full night's sleep. You'll feel more relaxed at night and more rested in the morning to help your day go more smoothly.
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