10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Fall Asleep Faster
As most people are counting the number of days until the new year, some of us are counting sheep. In celebration of the countdown to 2020, we wanted to provide a list that we hope will be helpful for those who experience sleepless nights.
Here is our top ten list of verified tips to help you get to sleep faster. Whether you have a diagnosed sleep disorder, or just occasional difficulty dozing off, this list is for you.
10. Avoid alcohol in the evening.
This may be a tall order this time of year because of holiday events and parties. Though it may seem easier to fall asleep after drinking alcohol, it actually tends to interrupt sleep patterns throughout the night. With just a few alcoholic drinks, people can experience agitated or disrupted sleep. Additionally, alcohol can block the REM phase which is key to feeling rested in the morning. For a better night, try switching to an alcohol- and caffeine-free beverage like chamomile, which has tranquilizing antioxidants that decrease anxiety and help initiate sleep.
9. Consider a new mattress.
The average lifespan for a mattress is 7 to 10 years. Beyond this, you will start to notice that the bed does not provide the same support for your body as it did when it was new. Over time, it is normal for mattresses to lose firmness and become deformed and saggy in the middle. This can make it uncomfortable and cause issues with spinal alignment that lead to neck and back pain. So, if you find yourself tossing and turning at night, or waking up with pain, it may be time to replace your mattress. Be sure to find the best bed and pillow that work with your preferred sleeping position.
8. Take a warm bath or shower before bedtime.
Body temperature is an important factor in sleep quality. Try warming your body by taking a hot bath or shower then lowering the temperature in your bedroom. Because the natural sleep pattern is partially triggered by a lower core temperature, this can facilitate that drop. Plus, the warm water can help relax your body as you prepare for sleep.
7. Listen to relaxing music or white noise.
When your goal is to get to sleep faster, it is crucial to think about all five senses. Research has found that adults who listen to 45 minutes of relaxing music before going to bed get to sleep faster, sleep longer, wake up less frequently at night, and wake up feeling more rested. This is in comparison to nights when they do not listen to music. Slow instrumental and classical music are recommended even for people who suffer from insomnia and it also seems to help reduce depression.
For others, a good solution to sleeplessness and disruptions is white noise. It works to drown out noises that you may hear which can keep you awake or wake you up. Having a constant ambient sound in the bedroom has been shown to improve and maintaining sleep.
Listen to this playlist which has been tested and shown to help people fall asleep faster.
6. Explore aromatherapy.
Another sense which should not be discounted is smell. Aromatherapy has been shown to be a potent way to induce sleep. The scent of certain essential oils, including lavender and damask rose, can effectively help those who have trouble falling asleep.
5. Utilize a progressive relaxation technique.
One helpful method of relaxation therapy is called progressive muscle relaxation. It is often recommended to people struggling with issues ranging from anger management to insomnia. Yet, progressive muscle relaxation can be used by anyone in place of counting sheep. It involves by first tensing, then relaxing individual muscles in a gradual sequence–from your feet up to your head. Each part of the body should be contracted for about 30 seconds and released.
4. Get in tune with your body & mind.
Stress is one of the most common reasons that people have difficulty falling asleep. Some natural wellness activities can both reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality. For example, studies have found that 85% of people who practice yoga feel less stressed and more than 55% sleep better. Those who practice yoga say that it is focused on controlling breathing patterns and using specific sequences of body positions and movement to release tension. Meditation is another form of mindfulness that helps improve sleep, in addition to decreasing blood pressure, alleviating pain, reducing anxiety and depression.
3. Discover the power of a healthy diet.
We know that some foods can help us stay energized throughout the day, but a healthy diet can also help you sleep better. A diet that is balanced in terms of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals is important for healthy sleep. Specifically, to get to sleep quicker, you should avoid eating heavy and spicy dishes or foods that are high in sugar. Get more information on sleep-friendly snacks.
Timing matters too. Doctors also recommend that you have dinner at least two hours before bedtime. Patients with acid reflux are advised to eat at least three hours before going to bed.
2. Shut off electronics.
Screen time can be detrimental to sleep quality among children and adults. The blue light emitted by electronic devices delays the circadian rhythm and suppresses melatonin levels. Sleep experts say that you should put mobile phones, tablets, and computers away at least 30 minutes before your expected bedtime. They also suggest replacing habits, such as watching TV and playing video games, with un-plugged activities, like reading a book.
1. Create a relaxing bedtime routine.
This measure is crucial for healthy sleep hygiene. To support the natural sleep cycle, it is best to keep to a regular schedule of going to sleep and waking at the same time each day. You can also help your body to understand when it is time to sleep by setting a relaxation routine. Put away work and shut down your mobile apps. Then, listen to music, take a bath, meditate, practice relaxation techniques…do what makes you feel comfortable. Giving yourself time to calm down and unwind before bed can significantly reduce the amount of time you spend lying awake.
Make a Resolution for Better Health
If your resolution for the new year is to feel better and face life with more energy, sleep testing may be an important first step. Talk to your physician about the symptoms that are affecting your sleep quality. Ask for a referral to Sleep Health Solutions. Get answers to your questions and schedule a consultation today. Contact Sleep Health Solutions.