Fall Asleep Fast with a Quiet Mind
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Ever feel like you’re spending way too much time counting sheep when you should be catching Zzz’s? Learning some tricks on how to fall asleep fast might help. Simple habit changes may be what you need to get better sleep.
How to fall asleep fast
Relaxation is the key to falling asleep fast. To calm your mind for sleep, consider these helpful techniques.
Mediation leads you to focus your attention and awareness on a single sensation. It may center on specific:
- breathing rhythms
Evidence suggests that meditation may improve insomnia and sleep quality. It also has other health benefits, like improved stress management and coping skills.
Your senses have a surprising effect on sleep. Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is something you see, hear, or touch that helps us relax.
You may fall asleep faster by listening to calming tones at bedtime. Some examples of ASMR sounds are:
- whales singing
- frogs croaking
A 2022 study found that listening to certain sounds creates a calming atmosphere. As a result, you may relax and fall asleep faster.
3. Binaural beats
Another sound to help you fall asleep is a binaural beat. Hearing two beats in each ear of different frequencies is a binaural beat.
For example, you’ll simultaneously hear a 400 hertz (Hz) tone in the left ear and a 430 Hz tone in the right.
The unique sound heard stimulates the brain and nervous system. As a result, studies report report lower levels of anxiety.
Binaural beats might help calm the mind to help you fall asleep, especially if your anxiety is keeping you awake.
4. Breathing techniques
Taking slow and deep breaths calms the mind and senses. As a result, the body may relax at bedtime.
So, how does it work? Well, the nervous system links with your:
- mental state
For example, therapeutic breathing may impact your sleep. But it also helps relieve stress and anxiety. Your mental state may change your sleep and breathing patterns, too.
It’s a circle where one impacts the other.
5. Good sleep hygiene
Good sleep hygiene is vital for a good night’s rest. It includes things like:
- Improving your bedtime routine: A nightly ritual is perfect for both kids and adults. For example, taking a warm bath, reading, or meditating every night is a great way to calm the mind for sleep.
- Sticking to a sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day helps regulate your sleep cycle.
- Exercising during the day: Exercise may help you sleep better. You’ll want to avoid strenuous exercise less than an hour before bedtime.
- Avoiding caffeine at night. Caffeine is a stimulant that may keep you up at night.
6. Relaxing sleep environment
Some simple changes to your bedroom can lead to more restful sleep. Steps to consider include:
- Keeping the room dark.
- Lowering the temperature to around 65 degrees.
- Phasing out the noise.
- Only sleeping or engaging in sexual activity in the bedroom.
- Using comfortable bedding and pillows.
You can do other things to make your bedroom a space conducive to sleep. Fans, sleep masks, and body pillows might also help.
7. Avoid naps, if possible
If you can’t sleep, you’re tired during the day. So a nap may seem like a good idea, but it can lead to more problems.
If you sleep during the day, you may find it more difficult to sleep at bedtime. Decreasing daytime napping may improve sleep hygiene.
8. Turn off screens
The blue light from your smartphone or other devices isn’t good for slumber. It prevents your body from naturally making melatonin and drifting off to sleep.
Avoiding viewing screens 2 hours before bedtime may help you fall asleep faster. Research suggests that wearing amber-colored and blue-light-blocking glasses may help improve insomnia symptoms, too.
9. Pick up a book
Studies show that reading a book in bed at night improves sleep quality. Plus, you might stay asleep longer.
If you’re new to reading, maybe start with just a chapter a night. It might be a great way to get to fall asleep faster.
10. Try sleep supplements
Sleep supplements are natural sleep aids you can purchase without a prescription. They may help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep.
Typically, supplements have fewer side effects than doctor-prescribed medicines. But they’re not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so consider talking with your doctor first.
Sleep supplements include:
- melatonin: a hormone that helps us to fall asleep by regulating our circadian rhythms
- lavender: essential oils containing lavender might improve sleep quality when applied to a pillow or used in a nighttime bath
- valerian: plant found in teas, capsules, and extract that may improve sleep
- chamomile: used for thousands of years as a sleep aid and usually found in teas or capsules
- cannabidiol (CBD): derived from the cannabis plant that may help you sleep better through relaxation
Other supplements also suggest they help you fall asleep faster. But, they can interact with health conditions and medications, so use them with caution.
What could prevent falling asleep?
The most common sleep disorder in the United States is insomnia, and many factors trigger it.
It’s caused by:
- restless leg syndrome
- chronic pain
- gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- chronic health conditions like asthma
So many things can keep you up at night-from sleeping disorders to mental health concerns.
If you’re a light sleeper or grieving loss, you’re also more likely to find falling asleep difficult.
Good quality sleep is vital to our overall health and wellness. So, long-term trouble falling asleep might be a sign of a more serious issue and require medical treatment.
The tips discussed may help you fall asleep faster. But if you experience any trouble with sleep, it’s best to let your doctor know.
Prioritizing good sleep hygiene is an excellent step toward better health and wellness.
Chaieb L, et al. (2015). Auditory beat stimulation and its effects on cognition and mood states. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4428073/
Finucane E, et al. (2021). Does reading a book in bed make a difference to sleep in comparison to not reading a book in bed? The People’s Trial—an online, pragmatic, randomised trial. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8740874/
Guerra P, et al. (2020). Yogic meditation improves objective and subjective sleep quality of health professionals. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1744388119309715
Jerath R, et al. (2019). Self-regulation of breathing as an adjunctive treatment of insomnia. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00780/full?ltclid=
Kaur H, et al. (2022). Chronic insomnia. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526136/
Meditation and mindfulness: What you need to know. (2022). https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation-and-mindfulness-what-you-need-to-know
Momin R, et al. (2022). Short term insomnia. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK554516/
Shecter A, et al. (2018). Blocking nocturnal blue light for insomnia: A randomized controlled trial. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022395617308592
Yoon H, et al. (2022). External auditory stimulation as a non-pharmacological sleep aid. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8838436/
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