Even though you have tried counting sheep and drinking warm milk to relax before bed each night, nothing seems to be working — but that is okay. Forget all of the rumors you have heard, because here is the real deal on how to fall asleep faster:
Why am I having trouble falling asleep?
You might have trouble falling asleep because you are not creating a comfortable atmosphere for yourself. If your mattress is not firm enough, or if there are springs digging into your back, then you are going to have a hard time falling asleep.
If your room is too hot or too cold, that could be another reason why you are not sleeping well. You should install a heater, turn on a fan, double up on your blankets, or sleep with thinner clothing depending on your problem with the temperature.
If you keep waking up earlier than you intended, sunlight might be the problem. Make sure you have blinds covering your windows and if it is still too sunny, buy blackout curtains. They will take away the light in case you need to sleep during daylight hours or need a few extra hours in the morning.
If your bedroom is already sleep-friendly, then you might be having trouble because you have been spending too much time on your devices. Your phone and tablets emit a blue light, which suppresses melatonin, the hormone you need to fall asleep. That is why you should stop texting and watching videos while you are snuggled beneath your blankets.
Of course, there are also medical reasons why you might not be sleeping well. You could be suffering from insomnia or sleep apnea. Anxiety and depression are also the cause of sleep trouble. If you believe one of these conditions could be impacting you, then make sure you visit a doctor with your concerns.
How can I fall asleep faster?
You can fall asleep faster if you alter your bedtime routine.
First of all, make sure that you only use your bed for sleeping. You do not want to read while you are in bed or watch videos while you are in bed, because you want your brain to associate resting in bed with falling asleep.
If you are the kind of person who stares at the clock every minute, freaking out about how late it’s getting, then you would also benefit from keeping your clock faced away from you. That way, you won’t stress yourself out and accidentally keep yourself awake for even longer.
You should also cut down on screen time before bed and avoid eating right before bed. Not only can late night snacking cause you to have trouble sleeping and invoke nightmares, but it can cause you to gain weight. It’s best to eat two or three hours before you are ready to get some shuteye.
If you are sleeping in bed with someone who snores or grinds their teeth, then you should try listening to relaxing music or nature sounds with your headphones. You can even buy a white noise machine.
There are little tricks you can use to fall asleep faster. Use a lavender scented lotion on your hands or use essential oils, because the aroma is known to relax your nerves and lower your blood pressure. You can also try taking a warm shower before bed, wearing socks to bed, and blowing bubbles (it might sound silly, but it’s a type of deep breathing exercise).
When all else fails, you can try taking melatonin. You can buy it over the counter and take it a few hours before you are ready to fall asleep. It should make you drowsier, which means falling asleep and staying asleep will come easier than it usually does for you.
How important is sleep, anyway?
You have probably heard the term ‘beauty sleep’ before — and it’s a pretty accurate term. Sleep is good for your body as well as your mind.
Short sleep duration is associated with weight gain. The less sleep someone gets, the more calories they take in throughout the day. Sleep also gives your skin a chance to recover moisture. Basically, it gives your skin a glow and a bounce. Meanwhile, if you are not sleeping enough, it speeds up the aging process, making your skin look puffy and dry.
When you sleep, it gives your mind time to recharge too. A good night of rest will enhance your problem solving skills, memory, cognition, concentration, productivity, and performance. That is why, when you do not get enough sleep, you feel so sluggish and hazy.
If you plan on being physical throughout the day, getting enough sleep will increase your speed, accuracy, and reaction times. And if you plan on being social, sleep enhances your ability to listen, remain alert, and hold a conversation.
Best of all, sleeping strengthens your immune system, which means you are less likely to develop a cold. Not to mention, the less you sleep, the greater chance you have of developing a heart disease or suffering from a stroke.
Overall, sleep is important. If you are having trouble getting rest, then you need to make a change for the health of your mind and your body.