5 Simple Ways to Fall Asleep as Fast as Possible
Of course, you know that sleep is vital for your health.
Yet, many of us are struggling with falling asleep or getting the right amount of ZZZs, on a daily basis.
Continuous sleep onset often results in chronic insomnia, which in turn puts you at risk of developing hypertension, obesity, and hormonal disorders.
What’s the solution to all of this? Fall asleep faster.
And this article can show you five proven ways how to do this.
1. Try Breathing Techniques
Breathing exercises can be useful as a quick method to calm down. They can even relieve panic attacks!
And, of course, controlled breathing is beneficial for those who experience troubles with falling asleep.
The most known way to switch on the sleeping mode through breathing is the ‘4-7-8 method’.
You’ve probably heard about this technique, but in case you haven’t, here’s how to do it:
- press the tip of your tongue to the upper front teeth and keep it this way throughout the whole breathing routine;
- now, exhale all the air from your lungs through your mouth;
- inhale deeply through your nose while counting to four;
- hold your breath for seven seconds;
- open your mouth an exhale all the air for eight seconds.
For maximum effectiveness, you need to repeat this cycle at least three times; some people may need much more in order to start feeling sleepy.
“You may also use this breathing technique during meditation for an even more pronounced calming effect.”
2. Switch On Your Thermostat
Now, you probably might be wondering:
How will this help me fall asleep faster?
Well, our bodies actually love cooler environment when it comes to sleeping. Circadian rhythms are bound to melatonin production, which starts in the evening, but a drop in our body temperature may speed up this process.
Melatonin is our sleep molecule, which is responsible for falling asleep and staying asleep during the night.
See the logic?
The more melatonin in your body, the easier it is for you to fall asleep.
The National Sleep Foundation suggests that the best temperature for sleeping varies between 60° and 67°F (or 15° and 19°C). So, adjust your thermostat and enjoy a fast and peaceful sleep.
“Interesting fact: studies claim that lowering the room temperature is also beneficial for your metabolic health. Scientists found that men who slept in a room with 66F (19C) burned more visceral brown fat and had quicker metabolism.”
3. Check Your Mattress
You might be surprised but the thing that prevents you from falling asleep might be… your mattress.
See, an uncomfortable bed will definitely increase the time of your tossing and turning while looking for a comfortable position.
But how do you define ‘uncomfortable’?
Well, there are several signs of an unfit mattress:
- It’s old. On average, all beds have a lifespan between 10 and 12 years, but this may vary depending on the quality of materials and maintenance. Generally, if your mattress has been serving you for more than eight years, chances are it doesn’t perform well in terms of support anymore.
- It’s saggy. Saggy spots can appear even on a high-quality mattress, especially if you’re a large sleeper or share a bed with a partner. Sagging puts your neck and spine out of alignment and may provoke pain and discomfort, which results in poor sleep.
- It’s lumpy. If you’re an owner of a pillow-top mattress, you might notice that its incredibly soft upper layer can form lumps pretty quickly. An uneven surface isn’t the most comfortable to sleep on. But unlike the previous two situations, in this case, purchasing a mattress topper could be a good solution to your sleeping problems.
4. Use Scents and Sounds in Your Favor
Sometimes, difficulties with traveling to the land of Nod may lie in your inability to wind down, relax, and breathe deeply.
Yet, there are some ways to solve this problem.
Aromatherapy is an extremely soothing activity that can promote healthy relaxation and calm you down. And there are plenty of ways how to incorporate aromatherapy sessions in your daily life. For example, you can:
- invest in an automatic oil diffuser;
- use a good old aroma lamp with oils (or pre-made blends) during your evening routine;
- put a herb sachet with dried jasmine or lavender flowers near your pillow.
“Remember that essential oils are very active substances, so you should control the amounts you use to avoid side effects.”
If scents don’t seem like an appealing thing to you, try sounds.
Well, noises, to be precise.
For example, our brain perceives white noise as soothing and relaxing. And studies found that pink noise is beneficial for treating insomnia too and may even improve memory in older adults.
Thus, investing in a white noise generator might be a good idea. Or, just download an app with samples of different noises.
5. Shift Your Meals
Your diet can also have an impact on how you sleep. Fried and spicy foods or red meat are heavy to digest and may provoke heartburn, which will keep you awake.
Foods with high fiber content can do the same.
So, what can you eat then?
- Tryptophan-rich foods. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is needed to create melatonin and serotonin. Both of these substances help promote faster and more restful sleep. You can find tryptophan in turkey, nuts, and spinach.
- Fatty foods. No, not deep-fried, but rich in healthy fats. In one study, women who followed the Mediterranean diet and consumed plenty of healthy fats had lower risks of developing insomnia and other sleep disorders.
- Drinking milk is another effective way to help you fall asleep faster. Besides being rich in tryptophan, a cup of warm milk may promote the feeling of comfort and relaxation.
Some nutritionists also suggest eating high-carb foods. However, this advice is quite controversial. First, although carbs can shorten the sleep onset, they also decrease the therapeutic properties of your sleep by reducing the percentage of slow-wave sleep (SWS, or deep sleep) phase.
Second, carbs — when eaten before bedtime without any physical activity afterward — are more likely to turn into fats and go into your fat deposits.
Don’t forget that no matter which food you choose, it should be eaten at least 2-3 hours before bedtime, so your stomach can digest it properly.
- How You Can Use Routines for a Better Night’s Sleep
- What To Do When All I Want to Do Is Sleep?
- How Sleeping on the Floor Benefits Your Health?
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