Learning how to sleep faster seems more difficult for many people. This has not to be so. There are times you need to sleep as fast as possible. So as to wake up early for an important event or do something else. Knowing how to sleep faster could help you overcome such stress of not getting enough sleep or not able to sleep (insomnia).
Falling asleep faster doesn’t come easy on some nights, thereby you are tossing and turning here and there. Worse is you tried all the basic ideas like reading a book, turning off Netflix and drinking water, but all these seems not to work.
Here are few creative yet simple strategies you can practically try on how to sleep faster. And get enough sleep, to make all the difference between a restless night and sweet dreams.
How To Sleep Faster – The Techniques
1. Force Yourself To Stay Awake
This method is solely based on reversing technology, as it it is good for everything. This may ultimately alleviate too much sleep anxiety. A recent study shows that some sleep-onset insomniacs fell sleep faster when instructed to try and stay awake for some minutes. Even quicker than participants told to fall asleep without this paradoxical intention (PI).
Sleep doesn’t have to be hard. But the truth of it is the harder you try to fall asleep, the more likely you fail at it..
2. Lower Your Room Temperature
Study shows that as you are falling asleep, your body temperature drops slightly to help the process along. This is because your internal body temperature is integral to regulating your body clock. Your body temperature changes as you fall asleep. As shown by study, core body temperature decreases, while your hands and feet temperature increases.
A warm bath could also help speed up the cooling down of the body, sending a signal to your brain to go to sleep. A bedroom temperature of 60–75°F (15 – 23°C) is recommended for the most sleep-friendly condition. This is because if your room is too warm, you may have trouble falling asleep.
The secret is cool, dark bedrooms. It is believed that darkness cues the brain to melatonin, a chemical that cools your internal body temperature. This tells your interior clock that it is time to sleep. Melatonin in the body reaches its lowest point by 2 and 4 a.m.
3. Hide Your Clock
Constantly checking time while trying to fall asleep only make it harder for you to sleep. This increases your stress level and make it harder to turn down the dial on your nervous system and fall asleep.
Though it is normal to wake up in the middle of the night. But the inability to fall back to sleep can increase your stress level. Watching clock when you wake up in the middle of the night make you obsess about the fact that you cannot fall back asleep. This is common among the insomniacs, a behavior which may cause anxiety about sleeplessness.
To worsen it, waking up on a regular basis without falling back to sleep may cause your body to develop a routine. This can make you wake up in the middle of the night every time, especially at that particular time. So if it is possible, it is best to remove clock from your bedroom. If an alarm is needed, you can set it and then turn your clock to avoid watching it when you wake up in the middle of the night.
4. Use The “4-7-8” Breathing Method
This is a simple yet powerful breathing method that promotes calmness and relaxation. It can also help you relax before bed time.
This can be practiced anytime you feel anxious or stressed, as it helps to relax the nervous system. It is a 6 steps techniques and are very easy to achieve.
Here are the steps:
- Place the tip of your tongue at the back of your upper front teeth.
- Exhale through your mouth, and try to make a whoosh sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale through your nose, while mentally counting fro one to four.
- Then hold your breath, and mentally count from one to seven.
- Open your mouth again and exhale completely. Try to make a whoosh sound, and mentally count from one to eight.
- Repeat this cycle for at least three more times.
This technique helps relaxes you and help you fall asleep faster.
5. Get Up And Do Something For 10 Minutes
If you can’t get back to sleep after 15 minutes of waking up at night, get out of the bed and try an activity for 10 minutes. Such activity should require your hands and your head, which can include a jigsaw puzzle, coloring a book and so on.
This is stimulus control theory and helps fall asleep better and faster. Though getting out of bed to do an activity may seems to be hard, but it’s so important. If you are spending around 10 hours in bed and you are only getting around 5 hours of sleep, then you need this technique. This gives your bed its value for the two things that it was meant for, which are sex and sleep.
6. Get On A Schedule
Setting up a sleep schedule can help you fall asleep better and faster. The body has its own regulatory system called the circadian rhythm. This control the body to be active and alert during the day and sleepy during then night.
Going to bed and waking up around same time everyday helps your internal clock (circadian rhythm) to keep a regular schedule, making it easier to fall asleep faster and wake up around the same time every day. Waking up and going to bed at the same times each day can help your internal clock keep a regular schedule.
Seven to nine hours of sleep has be known to be an optimal sleep duration, therefore it is important to get at least seven hours of sleep everyday. Give yourself at least 30 minutes to relax before going to bed. This will allow your mind and body to prepare for sleep.
7. Experience Both Daylight And Darkness
Since light is believed to influence your body’s internal clock, a system which regulates sleep and wakefulness. Irregular light exposure can lead to disruption of your body internal clock, making it hard to fall asleep and stay awake. Exposing your body to bright light during the day tells your body to stay active and awake. While experiencing darkness promotes the production of melatonin, an essential hormone for sleep. This tells your body to feel sleepy.
So always get out during the day so your body can feel sunlight and use black curtains at night to increase the production of melatonin in your body.
8. Practice Yoga And Meditation
Yoga promotes the act of breathing patterns and movements to release the accumulated stress in your body.
Mindfulness helps to focus on the present and worry less while trying to fall asleep. Practicing one or all of these techniques help you to fall asleep faster and better.
9. Avoid Naps During the Day
People with insomnia due to be sleepy during the day due to poor sleep at night, leading to napping during the day.
Though short naps can increase wellness and and alertness, there are opinions that it has effects on bed time and sleep. Some studies show that more than hours of nap during the day may cause poor night time sleep, and sleep deprivation.
It is equally found that older adults who napped always will have difficulty falling asleep at night, have more depressive symptoms, less physical activities and are more likely to be overweight than those who rarely took a nap.
Although, an opposite study also shows that daytime nap doesn’t affect sleep at night, this is due to individual differences and preferences. To find out if day time affects your night sleep, try eliminating day time nap completely or make it a shorter nap.
10. Eat Low Carbs And High Fat At Night
If you prefer to eat high carb for dinners, then always try to eat your dinner at least four hours before bed time, this promotes better sleep and improve digestion before bed time.
11. Relax Yourself With Music
Also, avoiding noise and distraction can also help you to fall asleep faster, if relaxing music is not available.
12. Daydreaming with purpose
If you have trouble falling asleep faster at night, ruminating or unwanted thoughts can play a vital role. This helps your mind to slogs through the day’s event, past embarrassing moments or what’s on your schedule tomorrow.
It has be found that focusing on effective daydreaming relaxes your mind, and keeps it returning to focus on the sleep scene.
13. Take a warm shower before bed
Warm shower helps alters your body temperature. Study shows that this alteration slows your metabolism down, preparing your body for sleep. Warm shower is also very relaxing, calming down your muscles and promoting a sleepy condition. Taking shower at night, round the same time help see the most sleep value, because after the shower, your body has an expectation what’s coming next, sleep.
14. Exercising During The Day
Exercises helps to boost the level of serotonin hormone in the brain and decrease the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Physical exercises are therefore often considered beneficial to a healthy sleep.
However, it is important not to overdue it and maintain a moderate-intensity exercise routine. This is because excessive training can also affect your sleep.
Working out early in the morning is beneficial to a sound and better sleep at night, as suggested by a study.
15. Turn Off All Electronic Gadgets
It is therefore recommended to put off all gadgets so a quiet place, free of distraction can be ensured. You will be able to sleep faster and have a deeper sleep.
16. Limit Caffeine and Drink a Soothing Beverage
Caffeine is known to be widely used in fighting fatigue and to stimulate alertness. Foods and beverages like chocolate, coffee, sodas and energy drinks contain high level of caffeine. But study has also showed that it has disastrous effects on your sleep. To promote healthy sleep, it is recommended to avoid caffeine at least six hours before bed time.
17. Wear socks to bed
A recent research from Swiss suggested that warm feet and hands promote sleep onset. This is because warm hands and feet widened the blood vessels on the surface of the skin thereby promoting heat loss. And shifting blood flow from your cores to the extremities, this cools down your body quickly, working in concert with melatonin, and helps promotes sleeping faster.
18. Picture your favorite place or something
Research shows that using imaginary distraction can greatly help you to fall asleep faster. Rather than counting hens and goats, visualize an environment that makes you feel calm and happy. This is to help distract you from worries thoughts for a while. This will help calm your mind and body and hasten your sleeping process.
19. Change or Adjust Your Sleeping Position
Better and good quality sleep may solely depend on your position during the night. There are three sleeping position, sleeping on back, on stomach or on your sides. Though it was believed that people who sleeps on their back always have better and quality sleep.
However, another study shows that most of the poor sleep cases arise with people who sleep on their back.
Another study shows that this is not the best position to sleep as it cause the blockage of the airways, sleep apnea and so on, causing snoring.
Although due to individual differences, people prefer to choose one sleeping position over another. But a research suggests that sleeping on sides promotes high quality sleep.
20. Use Sleep-Enhancing Supplements
Supplements have been known to encourage sleeping. This is done either by calming your brain activity down or by increasing the production of sleep-promoting hormones (Melatonin)
Below are few of such supplements:
- Magnesium – 200 to 400 mg doses of Magnesium per day have been known to boost the activation of the neurotransmitters which are responsible for sleeping. Magnesium helps activate the neurotransmitters responsible for sleep.
- 5 HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan). This helps in boosting the production of serotonin, which helps to regulate sleeping. 300 to 500 mg per day doses of tryptophan, taken either once daily or in divided doses, is known to be very effective against insomnia.
- Melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone and it is produced naturally by the body. It can also b taken as supplements to help regulate sleeping. It is recommended that 0.5 to 5 mg taken at least 30 minutes before sleeping helps to improve the quality of your sleep. but it can also be taken as a supplement to help regulate your sleep.
- Theanine. Theanine is a type of an amino acid that is found in tea, some mushrooms and so on. It is similar in structure to glutamic acid, and is believed to have sedative properties. Although no study showed that Theanine is helpful in inducing sleeping. But study has been shown that it helps your brain and body to relax.
- GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA is an amino acid which acts to inhibit the transmission of nerve impulses in the central nervous system. It is a compound that is produced in the brain, and it helps the central nervous system to relax. 250-500 mg per day doses per day is recommended to be taken to boost your sleep.