Everyone has been there – tossing and turning at night, your mind racing.
Maybe, you’re exhausted from a long day of work, or anxious about tomorrow. But, no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to fall asleep.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were an easy fix for that?
While sleep is a notoriously elusive thing, there are some proven methods to help you fall asleep fast, and ultimately get a better night’s sleep.
These seven techniques will have you happily snoring the night away in no time.
1. Stick to a schedule
Irregularity is sleep’s number one enemy.
The body works via natural rhythms, and the circadian rhythm is what controls the natural sleep-wake cycle.
If you constantly change the hours that you go to sleep and wake up, you’re more likely to feel wide awake at night and groggy during the day.
It may sound a bit childish, but keeping a set bedtime can help you fall asleep much faster.
2. Prepare yourself for sleep
Part of a healthy bedtime ritual is preparing yourself to sleep.
This could be as simple as limiting stimuli, like bright lights and loud noises, or even telling yourself mentally, “it’s time to sleep.”
Reading is an ideal bedtime activity, provided you’re not reading a page turner that’ll keep you up until dawn.
On the one hand, many people find success in meditating to quiet the mind and prepare the body for rest. There’s a wide variety of meditation techniques to choose from, and even if you fall asleep while meditating, you’ve still succeeded!
Also, others benefit from a light snack or a warm shower an hour or two before bed.
3. Focus on your breathing
Even if you aren’t one for meditation, focusing on your breath can instantly relax your body and help distract you from your thoughts.
Breathing deeply and regularly while imagining a figure eight in your head should help you calm down.
Others recommend the 4-7-8 technique. This controlled breathing technique involves inhaling for four seconds, holding the breath for seven seconds, and exhaling for eight seconds.
Soldiers use this technique, combined with conscious muscle relaxation, to fall asleep in seconds, even after drinking coffee or with loud sounds in the background. If it works for them, surely, with a little practice, it can work for you as well.
4. Get some fresh air and exercise
Exercise is one of the keys to a happy, healthy life. But, it’s also one of the secrets to a good night’s sleep.
Even if you aren’t a marathon runner, going for a walk at some point during the day will help you rest easier later.
Similarly, spending time outside and getting enough sunlight are vital to keeping your circadian rhythms healthy and regular.
You might have already experienced that comfortable exhaustion after a long day at the beach in the sun, wind, and waves.
The body needs plenty of light and fresh air to function healthily. Especially during winter, not getting the right amount of light during the day can keep you awake at night.
5. Get comfy
You should be comfortable in your own bed, and make sure your sleeping arrangement is up to par.
You may even realise that a new mattress should be in order for you to have a restful night’s sleep. Having the right mattress can have you looking forward to lying down for the night, which will ultimately help you fall asleep quickly.
Also, make sure your hands and feet are warm in your sleeping setup as chilly toes can be a major obstacle to a good night’s sleep.
6. Avoid caffeine and alcohol
Caffeine starts a bit of a vicious cycle. You feel groggy during the day, so you drink a couple cups of coffee to perk yourself up, only to find yourself lying awake at night, full of energy.
Naturally, a moderate amount of caffeine early in the day shouldn’t be an issue, but later in the day you should abstain.
Similarly, drinking alcohol can negatively impact your sleep. It may help you fall asleep, but will ultimately diminish the quality of your sleep.
Remember that the body takes many hours to properly metabolise both caffeine and alcohol.
7. Limit screen time
This is one of the most difficult tips to abide by, given how important smartphones and computers have become for work and entertainment.
Unfortunately, the blue light they emit can mess up the body’s natural rhythms. Try to abstain from screen time for about an hour before going to bed to ensure a good night’s sleep.
In today’s fast paced, stressful world, there are so many obstacles to a good night’s sleep.
Fortunately, there’s also a number of simple changes you can make to your bedtime habits to help you relax and get that much needed sleep after a busy, tiring day.