Imagine the situation: you finally finished all your business before midnight, so now you can at last have a long awaited night of proper sleep. You turn off the light, make yourself comfortable, close your eyes, and… can’t sleep! Minutes go on, but you are still lying on your back with your eyes wide open, and there is no sign of falling asleep any time soon. Sounds familiar? Keep reading to learn how to avoid such situations in the future and make sleeping your friend.
Prepare your room
The quality of your sleep highly depends on the environment of your bedroom, so don’t forget to take the following steps to cut down the amount of time you spend struggling to fall asleep.
- Turn off the light. White light suppresses producing of melatonin, hormone that makes the body feel sleepy. Dark room is the first condition for a good healthy sleep.
- Set the temperature down. Science says that it is easier to fall asleep in a cool room. In fact, this would be even better for your health and body shape because lower temperatures speed up the metabolism. However, keep the temperature comfortable (65-66 degrees is perfect) because shivering will definitely not help you relax.
- Let the fresh air in. Keeping your window open for 10 minutes before going to sleep will never hurt.
Prepare your body
For sure, proper setting in the bedroom will help you fall asleep faster, but it won’t do the trick of your body is not ready.
- Take a warm bath. Warm temperatures help the body to relax, so taking a warm shower before going to bed is definitely a good idea, which will help you fall asleep faster.
- Drink milk or chamomile tea. While drinking large amounts of liquid is not a good idea prior to the bedtime, a glass of cocoa, warm milk, or chamomile tea will help you get less stressed out.
- Take melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that helps you sleep, but it is produced in pills as well. However, in case you don’t want to risk taking any medicine, you can find melatonin in such fruit like bananas, pineapples, and oranges.
- If you are lying in bed but cannot fall asleep, try concentrating on your breathing, making each breath slightly longer and deeper. This exercise will help your muscles relax, while your brain will become concentrated on one thing that will soon bore it and knock it down.
- Try 4-7-8 exercise. Simple breathing doesn’t help? Try something more complicated. The 4-7-8 exercise is a totally awesome trick to fall asleep really fast. So, at first, make yourself comfortable either in a sited or in a lying position. Then, take a deep breath with your nose for 4 seconds. Now hold the air in your lungs for 7 seconds, and exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds. Repeat this set until you fall asleep. It seems hard to believe but it really works!
- Check out progressive relaxation. There are two ways to do it, so you can choose the one that fits best for you. First, you can tense all the muscles of your body for 10 seconds and then relax them. However, you can also try slowly tensing your muscles one by one and then slowly weakening them, allowing your body to relax gradually. Either of these methods will help your body have a rest after a stressful day and let you fall asleep faster.
- Try acupressure. Do you know this weird medical trick when doctors pin certain points of the body with needles and heal all kinds of diseases? You can try something like this but with your fingers instead of the needles. Next time you have troubles falling asleep, softly press you finger on the spot between your eyebrows, just up your nose, and hold it there for a minute. According to masters of acupressure, it will get you closer to your sleep.
Adjust your daily routines
It is not only the prior to bedtime routines that help you fall asleep faster and sleep better, but also the way you spend your days.
- Do not eat heavy food 2 hours before sleep. First, it slows down your metabolism, and, second, it keeps your body awake by making it busy digesting the food it consumed.
- Don’t go to bed hungry. Eating too much food keeps you awake, but hungriness doesn’t let you sleep either. The best choice would be drinking a hot beverage or eating a snack an hour before you go to bed. It will make you feel full but at the same time will not keep your stomach too busy.
- Avoid drinking coffee 8 hours prior to the bedtime. Remember: caffeine makes you awake for almost 8 hours, so if you want to gently slide to your sleep at night, try surviving without coffee after 2 PM.
- Do not exercise before bed. Exercising during the day is actually good for a great sleep, but physical activity less than 3 hours before bed will release adrenalin and keep you awake longer.
- Try going to bed at the same time every day. It is not a secret that human body loves scheduling because it makes performing different tasks much easier. Going to bed roughly at the same time every day will teach your mind when bedtime comes, so it would be easier to fall asleep.
- Do not use gadgets 3 hours before sleep. We have already talked about the ways using gadgets before and during the bedtime damages your sleep here, but, to cover it up, gadgets in bed keep you awake.
Set the mood
- Lavender oil relaxes the body and sets it to the sleepy mood, according to the studies. Smelling this scent during the night also helps you wake up faster and better.
- Noisy environment will do nothing positive for a good sleep, as it will get you distracted during the attempts to fall asleep. Try to create silence in your sleeping environment. If this seems impossible, listen to slow relaxing music or nature sounds through your headphones.
- Reading or writing. These activities help your brain get distracted from the crazy events of the day, which will be a good thing when you are trying to fall asleep.
- Wear comfortable clothes. Physical comfort is the prior thing for a good night’s rest, so it will be really difficult for you to fall asleep fast if you are wearing uncomfy pajamas.
- Forget about the problems. What is the most common problem that keeps your awake? It’s your issues and concerns. Remember that worrying too much about them takes away the precious hours of your sleep, so try to wander your mind off them by using some of the exercises that were described above.
- Imagine something pleasant. Picture your favorite place or your favorite season. It will help you set a perfect mood and you will fall asleep quickly.
- Remembering real places doesn’t help? Try dreaming about your future journeys or creating a picture of your ideal future.
Optimize your bedroom
- Choose a comfortable pillow. Remember times you could not fall asleep because of a terrible headache? Wrong pillow may have been the cause for it. Comfortable pillows will help you find a right position for your head and you will fall asleep much faster.
- Pick a mattress that suits you. Good mattress is also a big deal because uncomfortable body position can keep you awake for hours, so pay a close attention while mattress shopping and choose wisely!
- Take care about your bed sheets. It’s easy: dirty or bad-smelling sheets are not something you would want for a pleasant night.
- Keep your bedroom clean. Note: useless stuff in your bedroom can create an impression of messiness, which will distract you from falling asleep quickly.
To sum up
- Adjust your daily routines and your diet.
- Keep your bedroom clean and your bed tidy.
- Prepare your room for sleep.
- Set the right mood for sleeping.
- Try to relax.