Five Simple Ways to Fall Asleep FasterFebruary 24, 2023
Sleep is always the answer to getting back on track after a long and stressful week at work, a busy holiday season, or any challenging day. Unfortunately, for many, a restful sleep schedule is only something they can dream about. Things like caffeine, cell phones, and hectic schedules are scientifically proven to disrupt our ability to fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up feeling refreshed. Poor sleep can pose many adverse health effects in the short and long term, including memory problems, attention and mood disorders, and cause other biological functioning issues. If you are one of the many with sleep problems, read for these simple and practical tips for falling asleep fast, sleeping more deeply, and aligning your mind and body through restful sleep!
1. Lower Your Bedroom Temperature
Sleeping in a colder room might seem like a terrible and uncomfortable idea at first—a warm and cozy space typically comes to mind when you think about being relaxed and at ease. However, science proves that lowering the temperature in your sleeping space will help you fall asleep faster. Why is this? Our body's temperature drops in sleep and heats up when we wake. So by lowering the temperature before bedtime, your body will ease into sleep more quickly.
An even more effective method for signaling your body into sleep mode is to take a warm bath or shower as you are getting ready for sleep. After a warm bath, your body naturally cools down and will enter sleep mode much faster paired with a cold room.
2. Stay on Schedule
Our work and home lives function better on a regimented and determined schedule, and sleep is no different. Our bodies respond to habit, routine, and ritual. If you struggle with sleep, your internal clock may be receiving mixed signals. To reset our clocks, try to go to sleep and wake up at the same times each day. Our circadian rhythm will reset and respond by signaling rest at specific times, making it easier to fall asleep more efficiently. Another helpful tip is to allow between a 30-minute to hour time frame before sleep to wind down and relax.
3. Get Your Fill of Both Daylight and Darkness
If you have a lifestyle that does not allow much exposure to the outdoors or sunlight, your body is not receiving natural signals of awakening and alertness. On the other hand, darkness is the body’s way of naturally promoting feelings of sleepiness. There are artificial fixes to both more light and darkness that can aid your body in sleep. For example, artificial vitamin D lamps or heavy light canceling drapes and curtains are helpful ways to balance daylight and darkness.
4. Practice Breathing Techniques, Yoga, and Meditation
There are more active ways to help your body enter sleep mode. For example, relaxation and meditation techniques such as measured breathing, yoga, and mindfulness exercises will train your brain and body to be more disciplined and aligned. On a chemical level, these activities also induce levels of natural sleep aids such as melatonin. With a relaxed body and mind, sleep will come easier and deeper.
5. Read and Write Before Bed
Sometimes the last thing you want to do is more work before sleep. However, studies show that our brains are often trapped in patterns of anxious thoughts when we are ready to wind down. Feeling stressed and anxious affects our ability to fall asleep quickly and leads to disruptive sleep patterns. If you can concentrate on an enjoyable book or write in a journal, your stress may ease. A lowered stress level is necessary for your mind and body to prepare themselves for a night of deep sleep.
Next time you toss and turn, remember that the key to restful sleep can be achieved with simple steps. Be ready for anything life throws your way with a rested heart, mind, and body!