20 Basic Methods To Fall Asleep Instantly

Articles Jul 04, 2019 03:28

Have you ever had those nights when it's difficult to fall asleep and you had to wake up for couple hours then finally slept peacefully? Dealing with that in one night is fine but repeatedly stay up late can affect your health significantly. Fear no more as we'll guide you how to fall asleep instantly with these basic methods.

Here are 20 simple ways to fall asleep as fast as possible.

1. Lower the Room Temperature

20 Basic Methods To Fall Asleep Instantly

Your body temperature changes as you fall asleep. Core temperature decreases, while the temperature of your hands and feet increases (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).

If your room is too warm, you might have a hard time falling asleep. Setting your thermostat to a cool temperature between 60–75°F (15–23°C) could help (4Trusted Source).

Individual preferences will vary, so find the temperature that works best for you.

Taking a warm bath or shower could also help speed up the body's temperature changes. As your body cools down afterwards, this can help send a signal to your brain to go to sleep (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).

2. Use the "4-7-8" Breathing Method

The “4-7-8” method is a simple but powerful breathing method that promotes calmness and relaxation. It might also help you unwind before bed.

It consists of a breathing pattern that relaxes the nervous system. It can be practiced anytime you feel anxious or stressed.

Here are the steps:

  1. First, place the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth.
  2. Exhale completely through your mouth and make a whoosh sound.
  3. Close your mouth and inhale through your nose while mentally counting to four.
  4. Hold your breath and mentally count to seven.
  5. Open your mouth and exhale completely, making a whoosh sound and mentally counting to eight.
  6. Repeat this cycle at least three more times.

This technique can relax you and help you fall asleep quickly.

3. Get on a Schedule

Many people find that setting a sleep schedule helps them fall asleep easier.

Your body has its own regulatory system called the circadian rhythm. This internal clock cues your body to feel alert during the day but sleepy at night (7Trusted Source).

Waking up and going to bed at the same times each day can help your internal clock keep a regular schedule. Once your body adjusts to this schedule, it will be easier to fall asleep and wake up around the same time every day (8Trusted Source).

It is also important to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. This has been shown to be the optimal sleep duration for adults (7Trusted Source).

Lastly, give yourself 30 minutes to an hour to wind down in the evening before getting in bed. This allows your body and mind to relax and prepare for sleep (9Trusted Source).

4. Experience Both Daylight and Darkness

20 Basic Methods To Fall Asleep Instantly

Light can influence your body’s internal clock, which regulates sleep and wakefulness.

Irregular light exposure can lead to disruption of circadian rhythms, making it harder to fall asleep and stay awake (10Trusted Source).

During the day, exposing your body to bright light tells it to stay alert (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source).

At night, darkness promotes feelings of sleepiness. In fact, research shows that darkness boosts the production of melatonin, an essential hormone for sleep (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).

Get out and expose your body to sunlight or artificial bright light throughout the day. If possible, use blackout curtains to make your room dark at night.

Maybe you're interested in 9 Midnight Snacks That Are Safe

5. Practice Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness

When people are stressed, they tend to have difficulty falling asleep (15Trusted Source).

Yoga, meditation and mindfulness are tools to calm the mind and relax the body. Moreover, they have been shown to improve sleep (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).

Yoga encourages the practice of breathing patterns and body movements that release stress and tension accumulated in your body (15Trusted Source).

Meditation can enhance melatonin levels and assist the brain in achieving a specific state where sleep is easily achieved (16Trusted Source).

Lastly, mindfulness may help you maintain focus on the present and worry less while falling asleep (17Trusted Source).

Practicing one or all of these techniques can help you get a good night's rest and wake up reenergized.

Watch: How to Make Sleepy Time Tea.

6. Do Not Look at Your Clock

It is normal to wake up in the middle of the night. However, the inability to fall back asleep can ruin a good night’s rest (18Trusted Source).

People who wake up in the middle of the night often tend to watch the clock and obsess about the fact that they cannot fall back asleep.

"Clock-watching" is common among people suffering from insomnia. This behavior may cause anxiety about sleeplessness (19Trusted Source).

To make matters worse, waking on a regular basis without falling back asleep may cause your body to develop a routine. As a result, you might find yourself waking up in the middle of the night every night.

If possible, it is best to remove the clock from your room. If you need an alarm in the room, you can turn your clock and avoid watching it when you wake up in the middle of the night.

7. Avoid Naps During the Day

Due to poor sleep at night, people with insomnia tend to be sleepy during the day. This often leads to daytime napping.

While naps of short duration have been linked to improvements in alertness and wellbeing, there are mixed opinions about the effects of napping on nighttime sleep.

Some studies have shown that regular, long (two hours or more) and late naps may lead to poor nighttime sleep quality and even sleep deprivation (20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source).

One study showed that among 440 college students, those who reported taking three or more naps per week, those who napped more than two hours and those who napped late (between 6 and 9 p.m.) had the poorest nighttime sleep quality (20Trusted Source).

Another study found that older adults who napped frequently had lower quality nighttime sleep, more depressive symptoms, more limited physical activity and were more likely to be overweight than those who rarely took a nap (21Trusted Source).

Other studies have revealed that naps do not affect nighttime sleep (22Trusted Source).

To find out if naps are affecting your sleep, try either eliminating naps altogether or limiting yourself to a short nap (30 minutes or less) early in the day.

8. Watch What and When You Eat

It seems that the food you eat before bed may affect your sleep. For example, research has shown that high-carb meals may be detrimental to a good night's rest.

A review of studies concluded that even though a high-carb diet can get you to fall asleep faster, it will not be restful sleep. Instead, high-fat meals could promote a deeper and more restful sleep (23Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source).

In fact, several studies agree that a high-carb/low-fat diet significantly decreased the quality of sleep compared to a low-carb/high-fat diet with the same amount of calories for both diets (25Trusted Source, 26Trusted Source).

If you still want to eat a high-carb meal for dinner, you should eat it at least four hours before bed, so you have enough time to digest it.

For more details on foods to eat, here are the 9 best foods to help you sleep.

9. Listen to Relaxing Music

20 Basic Methods To Fall Asleep Instantly

Music can significantly improve quality of sleep. It can even be used to improve chronic sleep disorders like insomnia (27Trusted Source, 28Trusted Source).

A study of 24 young adults demonstrated that sedative music promoted deeper sleep (29Trusted Source).

Buddhist music is a kind of music created from different Buddhist chants and used for meditation. Listening to it may be a great tool for better sleep (30Trusted Source).

Another study revealed that 25 participants had a more restful and deeper sleep when they were exposed to soothing music for 45 minutes at bedtime, compared to those not listening to music (31Trusted Source).

Lastly, if relaxing music is not available, blocking all noise could also help you fall asleep faster and promote uninterrupted sleep (32Trusted Source, 33Trusted Source).

10. Exercise During The Day

Physical activity is often considered beneficial to healthy sleep.

Exercise can increase the duration and quality of sleep by boosting the production of serotonin in the brain and decreasing levels of cortisol, the stress hormone (34Trusted Source).

However, it is important to maintain a moderate-intensity exercise routine and not overdo it. Excessive training has been linked to poor sleep (35Trusted Source).

The time of the day when you exercise is also critical. To promote better quality sleep, working out early in the morning appears to be better than working out later in the day (36Trusted Source, 37Trusted Source).

Therefore, moderate-to-vigorous exercise in the morning could significantly improve the quality and quantity of your sleep.

11. Get Comfortable

It has been shown that having a comfortable mattress and bedding can have a remarkable effect on the depth and quality of sleep.

A medium-firm mattress has been shown to positively affect sleep quality and prevent sleep disturbances and muscular discomfort (38Trusted Source, 39Trusted Source).

The quality of your pillow is also crucial. It can affect your neck curve, temperature and comfort. A study determined that orthopedic pillows may be better than feather or memory foam pillows (40Trusted Source).

Additionally, the use of a weighted blanket could reduce body stress and help improve your sleep (41Trusted Source).

Lastly, the fabric of the clothes you wear to bed can affect how well you sleep. It is crucial you choose comfortable clothing made of fabric that help you keep a pleasant temperature throughout the night (42Trusted Source).

Browse a selection of weighted blankets online.

12. Turn Off All Electronics

Using electronic devices late at night is terrible for sleep.

Watching TV, playing video games, using a mobile phone and social networking can make it significantly harder for you to fall and stay asleep (43Trusted Source, 44Trusted Source).

It is recommended that you disconnect all electronics and put away computers and mobile phones so you can ensure a quiet place, free of distractions. You will be able to fall asleep much faster.

Maybe you're interested in Health Benefits That Ginger Tea Brings To Our Body

13. Try Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils.

Aromatherapy is commonly used by those who have trouble falling asleep, as it may help with relaxation.

A systematic review of 12 studies revealed that the use of aromatherapy was effective in improving sleep quality (45Trusted Source).

Additionally, it seems that lavender and damask rose are popular scents with positive effects on sleep (46Trusted Source, 47Trusted Source).

An essential oil diffuser could be helpful in infusing your room with relaxing scents that encourage sleep.

Purchase essential oils online.

14. Practice Journaling

Some people have difficulty falling asleep because their thoughts keep running in circles. Research has shown that this can produce anxiety and stress, which can generate negative emotions and disturb sleep (48).

Research has shown that journaling and focusing on positive thoughts can calm the mind and help you sleep better.

Writing down the positive events that happened during the day can create a state of gratitude and happiness, downgrade stressful events and promote more relaxation at bedtime.

In fact, a study of 41 college students found that journaling resulted in reduced bedtime worry and stress, increased sleep time and improved sleep quality (48).

Try practicing this technique by setting aside 15 minutes every night to write about your day. It is important to focus not only on the positive events of the day but also on how you feel at the time.

15. Limit Caffeine and Drink a Soothing Beverage

20 Basic Methods To Fall Asleep Instantly

Caffeine is widely used among people to fight fatigue and stimulate alertness. It can be found in foods and beverages like chocolate, coffee, sodas and energy drinks.

Unfortunately, caffeine can have disastrous effects on your sleep (49Trusted Source, 50Trusted Source).

Although the effects of caffeine vary from person to person, it is recommended that you refrain from consuming caffeine at least six hours before bedtime.

Instead, you could drink a soothing tea like chamomile tea, which has been shown to promote sleep and relaxation (51Trusted Source).

You can find a list of bedtime teas that help sleep in this article.

16. Adjust Your Sleep Position

Good quality sleep may depend on your body position during the night.

There are three main sleeping positions: back, stomach or side. Traditionally, it was believed that back sleepers had a better quality of sleep.

However, research has shown that this might not be the best position to sleep in, as it could lead to blocked airways, sleep apnea and snoring (52Trusted Source).

In fact, a study done on 16 people determined that the participants who reported consistent poor sleep spent more time on their back (53Trusted Source).

Although individual preferences play an important role in choosing sleep position, the side position seems to be linked to high-quality sleep (54).

17. Read Something

Reading could be a good activity to help you wind down before bed. At least for kids, it seems that bedtime reading may promote longer sleep (55Trusted Source).

However, it is important to understand the difference between reading from an electronic book and a traditional paper book.

Electronic books emit a kind of light that can reduce melatonin secretion, making it harder for you to fall asleep and causing you to feel tired the next day (56Trusted Source, 57Trusted Source).

Therefore, it is recommended to read from a physical book in order to relax and improve your sleep.

18. Focus on Trying to Stay Awake

It is believed that if you go to bed and try to force yourself to fall asleep, your chances of succeeding drop dramatically.

Instead, you can try "paradoxical intention." This technique recommends trying to stay awake instead of forcing yourself to sleep (58Trusted Source).

This technique is based on the idea that the stress and anxiety produced by forcing yourself to fall asleep can prevent you from relaxing and snoozing off.

A study showed that people who try this technique paradoxically tend to fall asleep faster (59).

19. Visualize Things That Make You Happy

Instead of lying in bed worrying and thinking about stressful things, visualize a place that makes you feel happy and calm.

41 participants suffering from insomnia were able to fall asleep faster after they were instructed to use an "imaginary distraction" (60Trusted Source).

This technique helped them occupy their mind with good thoughts instead of engaging with worries and concerns during the pre-sleep time.

Picturing and concentrating on an environment that makes you feel peaceful and relaxed can take your mind away from the thoughts that keep you up at night.

20. Try Sleep-Enhancing Supplements

Certain supplements can help you fall asleep faster.

They have been shown to encourage sleep either by boosting the production of sleep-promoting hormones or by calming brain activity.

Supplements that can help you fall asleep include:

  • Magnesium. Magnesium helps activate the neurotransmitters responsible for sleep. Doses of 200–400 mg per day, taken with food, have been shown to improve sleep (61Trusted Source, 62Trusted Source).
  • 5 HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan). 5-HTP boosts the production of serotonin, which has been linked to the regulation of sleep. Doses of 300–500 mg per day, taken either once daily or in divided doses, seem to be effective in treating insomnia (63Trusted Source, 64Trusted Source).
  • Melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced by the body, but it can also be taken as a supplement to help regulate your sleep. Doses of 0.5–5 mg taken 30 minutes before bed seem to improve sleep quality (65Trusted Source).
  • Theanine. Theanine is an amino acid with sedative properties. Although it has not been shown to induce sleep, it could help with relaxation. Doses of 200 mg per day seem to be useful (66Trusted Source).
  • GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA is a compound produced in the brain that inhibits certain transmitters and may help the central nervous system relax. Doses of 250–500 mg and no more than 1,000 mg are recommended (67Trusted Source).

The Bottom Line

Having trouble falling and staying asleep is not only frustrating, but it can also affect your mental and physical health.

Using the techniques above can help you fall asleep quickly, while sleeping much better and having more energy the next day.

Watch next: 7 Reasons to Drink a Glass of Lemon and Honey Water Every Day.

Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ways-to-fall-asleep#section19

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