Have you ever found it difficult to sleep at night but failed to do so despite all your efforts? Do you envy those who can sleep early effortlessly while it’s another whole level of struggle for you? Then you are not alone as for some people sleeping early at night is tiresome, and because of sleep deprivation, they feel anxious and become more irritable. In addition to that, lack of sleep can lead to several different health problems further down the line. If you've been thinking - yup that's me - then let's go through some science-backed tips that can help you fall asleep in no time.
Avoid Looking at Your Clock
Are you constantly checking on your clock whenever you wake up in the middle of the night? If it is the case, you need to stop doing it as it may lead to more sleeplessness and aggravate the anxiety of not sleeping. The best solution to this problem is to remove the clock from your room. However, even if you need an alarm and cannot remove the clock, you should make a conscious effort to avoid seeing the time even if you wake up in the middle of the night. Mindless counting does little to help so best take the distraction away.
Research shows that our sleep environment is key. So in a world where most of us are working from home - we need to leave our bedrooms for two things - sleep and sex. It is super important that comfort is also met and a medium-firm mattress has been shown to impact your rest positively, thus preventing you from developing muscular discomfort and sleep disturbances. Also, the use of orthopaedic pillows can positively affect your neck curve, comfort, and temperature, which would help you sleep peacefully at night. So next time when you go out shopping, you know where to spend your money for a peaceful night’s sleep.
Avoid Caffeinated Products
No brainer! Suppose you are in the habit of taking a lot of caffeinated beverages like coffee, soda, energy drinks. In that case, it’s time for you to avoid taking a lot of them before going to bed, as it can affect your sleep pattern. Caffeine is a stimulant and can cause alertness, thus affecting your sleep. Therefore, it’s better to take other herbal teas before bed and avoid these caffeinated beverages at least 6 hours before bedtime for a good night’s sleep.
Ideal Sleep Position
There are three main sleep positions: back, side and on the stomach. In the past, it was believed that back sleepers had a better quality of sleep. However, recent studies have concluded that it has been associated with obstructive sleep apnea and snoring that can disrupt your normal sleep cycle and cause daytime somnolence. If not managed on time, it can lead to the development of hypertension. You don’t have to worry about it just yet, as individual preference matters a lot. It has been supposed that side position promotes better quality sleep.
Lower The Temperature
Being in a comfortable environment can help you sleep better. When you fall asleep, your body temperature decreases and then increases when you wake up. If your room temperature is warm, then you may find it hard to fall asleep. The ideal temperature for a person to fall asleep fast is 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 18.3 degrees Celsius. Therefore, if you are having trouble sleeping quickly, try to keep the temperature of the room cools, not colder, to maintain sleep throughout the night.
Get On A Schedule
Your body can get on quickly with a schedule that may help you to fall asleep fast. All of this is possible because your body has a circadian rhythm that allows you to stay awake and alert in the morning and makes you sleepy at night. Therefore, waking up and going to bed at fixed times can help your body adjust to that schedule and help you to sleep peacefully at night. Also, try to make it a habit of giving yourself another extra 35-45 minutes in the evening to wind yourself up; that would help you to relax and alleviate your anxiety, thus preparing yourself for a night’s sleep.
Practice Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness
You may know that melatonin is a hormone released by the brain’s pineal gland that helps you sleep peacefully and control your sleep/ wake cycle. But what is interesting is that yoga and meditation can help boost this melatonin production, thus bringing more restful sleep at night. In addition, yoga also encourages breathing patterns and causes stretching and relaxation of muscles contributing to a lot of physical activity, thus releasing stress and tension accumulated in the body that would help you relax and sleep peacefully.
Avoid Naps During The Day
We can’t deny that most of us love to have power naps throughout our day to feel more energetic later. Short naps generally don’t affect the sleep patterns of most people. But if somehow you are suffering from insomnia or poor sleep at night, then napping might worsen these problems. Therefore it is essential to avoid prolonged or frequent napping. It has been studied that a 2-hour long nap can leave you feeling and can hamper your normal sleep cycle. Therefore, it is recommended to have a power nap of 20 minutes or 90 minutes not to disrupt your sleep cycle and feel more awake and perform better during the daytime.
Watch Out Your Dietary Habits
You may find it strange, but what and when you eat is going to influence the depth of your sleep. The ideal time to have dinner is 3 hours before bedtime, which allows the stomach to digest the food properly and thus allows your body to focus on the preparation of sleep when bedtime rolls around the corner. It is recommended to eat a small amount of meal before bedtime, ideally, food items containing complex carbohydrates, veggies, or a small number of proteins that will satiate your hunger pangs and help you sleep fast at night.
Listen To Relaxing Music
Who thought that trying to fall asleep would be a fun activity? Listening to your favourite relaxing music before going to bed for sleep can help your brain focus on something other than life’s troubles. A biological reason for this is slow music can help calm parts of the autonomic nervous system. In addition, it can lead to slower heart rate, lower breathing efforts, and reduced blood pressure, thus helping your body relax and mind to rest and promoting deep, restful sleep. Lastly, blocking all the noises can help you fall asleep faster and have an uninterrupted sleep if the music is not available.
Stressing Your Muscles Out
So if you are still looking forward to ways to sleep fast at night, this time, you need to engage yourself in some physical activity. But the key thing research has shown is that daytime activity is linked with better sleep - but it is important to avoid late evening activity as it has the opposite effect! Moderate intensity workouts can help you decrease the level of cortisol-a stress-causing hormone and increase serotonin, a sleep-promoting hormone, for a more peaceful and better quality of sleep. So, what are you waiting for? Get yourself involved in running, hiking, or invite your friends to play tennis with you or go cycling.
Practice Writing Before Bed
If you consider yourself an inborn writer and want to put this skill to use to get the sleep you wish, then make journaling a habit. It has been studied that journaling for 5 minutes before going to bed has been shown to help a person sleep fast. To be more precise, writing down the to-do list or the pending task you need to do for your next day can help alleviate the stress and anxiety related to the unfinished business, allowing you to sleep peacefully.
Reading a book at night before going to sleep or getting to know someone else’s story can help you focus on something else to get your mind off from your daily troubles that would help you calm yourself. It is known as a stress reducer; therefore, reading a book for just 20 minutes can do wonders. Although you can read till you feel drowsy, without comprising the amount of sleep you get each night, reading your favourite book before sleep reduces your stress level and thus helps you sleep sound.
I always tell my patients to avoid lingering your bed for more than 45 minutes if you can't sleep. Get up, move to a new room, make sure it is dimly lit and read a book.
Visualize Things That Make You Happy
The human mind is very creative and can visualize things or recall memories that can bring us happiness. It is one of the most powerful techniques to help you unwind your thoughts and remember memories that bring joy and relieve stress. You can also try to imagine a relaxing scene and clear your head for 10 seconds. This would help you to relax your racing mind and thoughts, thus promoting more peaceful sleep.
So now you know some tips and tricks that can help you sleep fast and get you a better quality of sleep that would leave you alert and more focused the next day. If you haven't fallen asleep reading this, then feel free to recommend it to a fellow insomniac and help someone else! Yay good deed of the day done for you. 😄
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