Did you know that you’ll spend up to a third of your life asleep? Sleep is essential to your health and well-being, but it can be hard to drift off exactly when you need to. Learn how to fall asleep faster, and you’ll be sure to get the rest you need.
How to Fall Asleep Faster
It’s estimated that the average person spends one-third of their life asleep. According to sleep scientists, this time is an essential period for our bodies to rest and heal from a day hard at work. Missing even a few hours of sleep can have a negative effect on your mood, your immune system, even your blood pressure.
Despite the fact that sleep is such an important part of our lives, it can be hard for many of us to get the rest we actually need. If you have difficulty falling asleep at night, it’s important to learn how to fall asleep quickly. It takes a little practice, but it’s easier than you might think.
Set Yourself Up for Success
It may surprise you to learn that there’s plenty you can do to improve your sleep before your head even hits the pillow. In fact, you can set yourself up for better sleep with a few simple lifestyle changes:
- Your body has an internal clock called a circadian rhythm that governs your sleeping patterns. Resetting that clock is an important step towards getting better sleep. Choose a regular bedtime, as well as a regular time you wake up in the morning, and stick to it. The more regular your sleeping schedule is, the easier it is for your body to tell when it’s bedtime.
- If you struggle to find the motivation to exercise, here’s some good news for you: Moderate exercise during the day leads to better, easier sleep at night. Just 20 minutes a day of walking, aerobics, or another moderate activity can help you get the sleep you need.
- On the flip side, relaxation and a peaceful mind are also important to sleep. If your mind is racing while your body is trying to rest, sleep can be difficult to achieve. If anxiety keeps you awake, consider yoga, meditation, or other forms of mindfulness work.
Tips and Tricks for Bedtime
Making smart moves during the day can make sleep easier to find. However, some of us need a little extra help. If sleep continues to elude you, try these techniques:
- Have a bedtime routine that includes relaxation. Spend some time before bed listening to calming music or reading a book. Avoid screen time on a smartphone or TV set, as the blue light from these devices can interfere with your body’s ability to sleep.
- One of the ways your body regulates sleep is through body temperature. Your body cools down as you fall asleep, and warms up as you prepare to wake up. Help the process along by keeping your room cooler at night and taking a hot shower (and allowing some cool-down time) before bed.
- Many people use natural supplements to help them sleep, such as melatonin or magnesium. These can help you sleep without the side effects caused by sleeping pills and other medication. Talk to your doctor before you try these, though, especially if you are currently taking other medications.
- If relaxing enough to drift off is challenging, try “4-7-8” breathing. Lay down in a comfortable position, then breathe in through your nostrils for four seconds. Hold your breath for seven seconds, then exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. Repeat this cycle until you feel relaxed or until you fall asleep.
Learning how to fall asleep faster takes some trial and error for everyone. If these tips don’t work for you, be sure to talk to your doctor about other options. You deserve a good night’s rest, so go get it!
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