At the end of a long day, there’s nothing more satisfying than collapsing into your warm and cozy bed and quickly drifting off into a deep, peaceful slumber. Oh, that doesn’t happen for you? Actually… me neither. Well, it didn’t used to happen for me. Now, however, I use these tips to help me fall asleep faster, and they can help you too!
It used to take me hours to fall asleep. Hours. I always attributed it to being a night owl, but I knew that wasn’t really why I couldn’t fall asleep, even if I was tired.
Getting a good amount of sleep can significantly increase your health and productivity, which are both very good things! So, I decided to figure out what was keeping me from falling asleep quickly. As it turns out, quite a few things were! I’ve learned what works for me and have listed the most helpful ideas for how to fall asleep faster below. Hopefully, you can find something that works for you!
- The 4-7-8 Breathing Method
The 4-7-8 breathing method is the easiest trick you can start trying immediately to see results. A lot of people, including myself, benefit from this method to fall asleep quickly. You may have heard of this method before relating to managing anxiety, but if you haven’t, I’ll walk you through the steps.
1. Put the tip of your tongue on your gums where they meet the back of your front teeth, and make sure your tongue is relaxed.
2. Keep your tongue in that position, and blow all the air out of your lungs.
3. Breathe in quietly through your nose for 4 seconds.
4. Hold your breathe after inhaling for 7 seconds.
5. Exhale forcefully, for 8 seconds. You breathe out should make a bit of a whoosh noise.
6. Repeat this 4 times before taking a break, then you can start again.
It might take a few nights to get the hang of it, but once you do, you will not need to do it as many times! This method really helps calm your mind and relax your body so you can drift to sleep quickly.
- Adjust Your Sleep Environment
This is a big one, and it’s super easy to do. There could be things going on in your sleep environment that, unbeknownst to you, are hindering your sleep!
The first thing you should check is the temperature of your bedroom. If it’s too hot or too cold, it can make it harder for your body to reach the internal temperature it needs to initiate sleep. Depending on your preference, it is recommended to stay between 60 to 67 degrees.
Next, you should make sure there is no light in, or coming into, your room. I highly recommend getting blackout curtains, as they keep any light outside from entering your room and disrupting your sleep. Other lights to check are clocks and charging lights on electronics. You can also opt for using an eye mask to block out the light instead.
Another thing to think about is your bedding. If you feel too hot when you’re trying to sleep, make sure your sheets are made from a breathable fabric like cotton or linen. You can also try adding a weighted blanket to your bedding. I use a weighted blanket, and I find it helps immensely with falling asleep quickly.
Finally, if it’s too loud outside or in your house when you’re trying to sleep, try earplugs. If you feel like it’s actually too quiet, try a fan or white noise app.
- Wake Up Earlier
Obviously, this doesn’t apply if you’re already waking up early, but if you aren’t, this tip is for you! Sleeping feels good in the moment, but it makes harder to have a productive day and harder for you to fall asleep at night. I have recently started to wake up earlier instead of sleeping in, and it really does help you fall asleep faster. As long as you don’t take a nap during the day, waking up early will help your body be more ready for sleep when the time comes.
- Be Active During The Day
This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you haven’t been active during the day, your body and mind won’t be as tired at night time. If you don’t have an active job, or are usually sitting all day at work, try adding exercise into your daily routine. This could be a 30 minute workout, or taking your dog on longer walks, or really doing anything active that requires a good amount of energy.
- Listen to a Podcast or Sleep Playlist
Sometimes I have trouble falling asleep even when I am feeling tired. This is usually because my mind starts wandering and worrying, and that keeps me from relaxing and falling asleep. When this happens, I like to turn on a podcast or a sleep playlist. Choose a podcast that is calm and positive. Now is not the time to catch up on your favorite murder mystery or true crime podcast. Choose one that is positive and uplifting. Same goes for music! Make a playlist of your own or look for a pre-made one on your favorite music streaming service.
- Stretch Before Bed
Taking a moment to stretch and breathe before getting into bed is a great way to promote sleep. Stretching helps relax your muscles and quiet your mind before bed. Follow a simple yoga routine or just do whatever feels right, but focus on your breathes and relaxing your body. This can also help keep your muscles from feeling restless once you’re in bed.
- Keep a Brain Dump Journal Next to Your Bed
This is another great one if your mind is keeping you awake. Keeping a journal next to my bed has been a huge help in getting me to sleep quicker. As soon as I close my eyes and thoughts and to-do’s start popping into my head, I immediately get out my journal and start writing. I usually make a list of each thing that is on my mind, and when I’m done I close it up and put it away, along with my thoughts. It’s a signal to my brain that I can let these things go and not worry about them right now, because they’re written down.
- Create a Night Routine
This is the most important step to being able to fall asleep quickly. If your serious about getting the right amount of sleep in a healthy way, this is the way to go. Creating a night routine and sticking to it will teach your body when to start preparing for sleep. When you get into bed after completing your night routine, your body will know that it’s time go to sleep. It will already be preparing by producing the necessary hormones. This is obviously significantly better than just hopping into bed without any preparation!
These tips and methods are what finally helped me start falling asleep quickly and easily, and they can help you too! Try a new method every night and find what works fo you. Sleep is such an important component to a healthy and happy life, so it is not something you want to skimp on!
What helps you get to sleep? Do you already use, or will you try, any of these methods?