How to Fall Asleep Fast: 20 Expert Tips
There are few things worse than staring at the ceiling all night calculating how much shut-eye you’ll get if you could just fall asleep right now. Luckily, a restful night doesn’t have to evade you. If you know the right tricks, you can be dreaming before the first counting sheep comes out of its pen. Check out these 20 proven tricks for how to fall asleep fast!
A large part of falling asleep fast at night is ensuring that your bedroom is conducive to sleep. While you can implement more drastic changes like painting your room blue, there are also smaller, easier measures you can take to sleep better tonight.
- Eliminate Blue Light: A Harvard Study found that the blue light that comes from phone, television, computer and tablet screens can interfere with melatonin, a chemical essential to sleep. So, shut down all of your electronics at least an hour before bed.
- Keep it Cool: A study from The University of South Australia found that the body loses heat as it sleeps. By keeping your bedroom temperature low (about 65 degrees Fahrenheit) , you can force your body to do less work cooling down. The result? You’ll fall asleep faster.
- Block Out Light: The absence of light sends signals to your body that it’s time to sleep. Drawing curtains and turning off overhead lighting before bed can help you get sleepy.
Clean Up: According to the Alaska Sleep Clinic, a cluttered room can cause your mind to focus on anything but sleep. Move anything not related to bedtime, like textbooks or gym equipment, to another room.
- Get Musical: Music with 60 to 80 beats per minute can help you calm down and zonk out. Try listening to something classical.
One of the biggest keys for falling asleep faster is to calm your mind. When your thoughts are racing, it’s too difficult for your body to shut down. Try one of these methods to send sleep-stealing anxiety packing.
- Use Reverse Psychology: Researchers at the University of Glasgow found that study participants who tried to stay awake fell asleep more quickly than those who did not.
- Write it Out: Are your thoughts and concerns preventing you from drifting off? Studies show that journaling your feelings can help you drift off and let go, if only for the night.
- Just Breathe: Taking deep breaths decreases tension in your muscles, lowers your blood pressure and heart rate and slows your metabolism -- all essential to falling asleep.
- Hide Your Alarm Clock: Educators at the National Sleep Foundation suggest hiding your clock (or turning over your phone). The reason? Watching the minutes tick by when you can’t sleep causes anxiety that further delays fatigue.
- Use Your Imagination: If anxious or unwanted thoughts are stopping you from drifting off, try picturing your favorite place or making up a pleasant story. Studies show it can help you relax and get sleepy.
Sometimes you have to engage your whole body in order to fall asleep. Try one of these quick and easy physical methods for drifting off quickly.
- Tense and Relax: The Mayo Clinic suggests tensing and relaxing each muscle in your body to help yourself drift off. Start at your toes and work your way up!
- Get Up and Out: If you can’t fall asleep, you may feel like you should stay in bed until you can. To the contrary, experts suggest that you should get out of bed and do something distracting, rather than focus on your insomnia.
Start Stretching: Light yoga before bed can help you go to sleep. For maximum effect, stretch with the lights off or at least dimmed.
- Apply Pressure: Acupressure is commonly used to help people relax and it can be used to help you sleep too. Try pressing between your eyebrows for about half a minute. Do the same thing between your big toe and second toe.
While there is a myriad of advice passed from generation to generation on how to fall asleep fast (warm milk, anyone)? There are a few study-backed natural remedies that can help you hit the snooze button.
- Have Some Fun in the Sun: A study found that exposure to the sun during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.
- Keep Your Hands and Feet Warm: As mentioned above, allowing your body to cool down aids in the sleep process. Placing a source of warmth (like a hot water bottle) at your feet opens the blood vessels, allowing heat to escape and your body to cool down more easily.
- Try a Hot Shower: Studies show that a warm shower or bath before bed is an effective way to fall asleep faster. There is one caveat, though: you have to allow time for your body to cool down before drifting off to sleep.
- Or Try Cold Water: If you get anxious before falling asleep, you need to calm your nervous system. Splashing cold water on your face causes your blood pressure and heart rate to drop.
- Employ Oils: Studies show that essential oils like lavender help with slow-wave sleep, which is the deep sleep that you need to wake up restored.
- Eat Up: Snacking on foods that are rich in magnesium, like pumpkin seeds, has proven helpful for inducing sleep.
For a quick-reference guide to all of our best falling asleep tricks, check out the graphic below:
How To Fall Asleep Fast: A Visual Guide
Are you feeling sleepy yet? Lying awake at night is incredibly frustrating, so we hope that these tricks help you fall asleep faster. Our last tip for drifting off quickly? Sleep on a great mattress! Our assortment of memory foam mattresses are ergonomically design to provide high quality sleep, no matter when you finally drift off.