8 Tips on How To Fall Asleep Faster
There is one activity the human body cannot do without—sleep. However, with more than half of adults dissatisfied with their sleep quality, trying to get a peaceful night’s rest is often easier said than done. If you’re in desperate need of a good night’s sleep, keep reading.
8 ways to help you fall asleep faster
Many of us struggle to get the sleep we need to feel adequately rested, but does it really matter if we skimp on sleep every night? In short, yes! Although it seems like everyone goes on about the importance of sleep, it’s not without good reason. Numerous studies show that getting enough sleep can help improve memory, learning, decision-making, and creativity.
1. Improve your sleep schedule
The first place to start in getting a good night’s sleep is a consistent schedule. You’ll want to go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time. Now, don’t panic if you have a late night at the weekend; it’s good to go out and do the things you love!
However, where possible, giving your body consistency will help you fall asleep faster. The more you stick to a regular timetable, the easier your body will find it to slip into a restful slumber.
2. Practise yoga, meditation, and mindfulness
Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness all have something in common—they help to reduce stress! Although a beneficial reaction in the short term, stress is a known disrupter of sleep due to its effect on hormone production.
The key to making yoga or meditation work for you is fitting it in around your lifestyle. You don’t need to practise yoga right before bed to reap the benefits. Instead, if all you can manage is ten minutes a day between meetings, that can be more than enough to reduce your heart rate, lower blood pressure, and get your mind and body ready for sleep when the time comes.
3. Exercise regularly
The impact of exercise on sleep is multifaceted. First, there’s the physical aspect to consider. It’s easier to fall asleep when your body is tired, and plenty of exercise throughout the day can certainly help. Then, there’s the impact on sleep conditions such as insomnia.
Researchers at the Federal University of São Paulo found data to suggest that regular exercise could help people fall asleep 13 minutes faster, and stay asleep for 18 minutes longer. Now, that may not sound like much, but add up the extra sleep over a working week, and suddenly a brisk walk or lunchtime gym session sounds mighty appealing.
4. Limit caffeine intake
For many of us, a cup of coffee is an essential lifeline. However, as the day goes on, increased caffeine intake can start to impact sleep negatively. Caffeine works by blocking adenosine receptors, preventing the neurochemical from promoting sleep readiness. This may feel great first thing in the morning, but it can severely disrupt restful sleep late at night.
We’re not proposing you give up caffeine entirely, but try to limit intake at least six hours before bed. Better yet, cut off your consumption as early as midday.
5. Avoid electronic devices before bed
You’ve likely already read headlines advising you to stop scrolling Facebook or Twitter before bed, but it’s worth going over regardless. The issue, of course, is not those adorable dog and cat videos but the blue light from the device itself.
Research suggests that blue light may interrupt sleep by disrupting melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone crucial to restful sleep as it helps to regulate your body’s sleep/wake cycle. Darkness causes a buildup of melatonin that tells your body it’s time to sleep, but electronic devices can inhibit this natural process.
To get your body back on track, try to avoid using your phone (or any device with a strong light source) at least one hour before you want to sleep.
6. Try the military method
Getting a good night’s sleep is hard enough in a comfy bed, let alone while you’re stationed in some of the most hostile parts of the world. However, for soldiers worldwide, this is precisely the reality they face. It turns out the secret to a good night’s sleep could lie in the “military method”, a set of protocols designed to help you fall asleep faster. It may take a few weeks to get the hang of, but if it works for troops on deployment, there’s no reason it can’t be beneficial at home. Here's how to do it:
• Start by focusing on relaxing your entire face.
• Let your shoulders and arms rest naturally at your sides.
• Inhale and exhale calmly, focusing on relaxing the chest.
• Use the same process you started with to focus on relaxing your body from the waist down. The key is to imagine working your way through each muscle group, relaxing each one in turn.
• The final stage is clearing your mind for ten seconds. Try to visualise peaceful scenarios such as waves on a beach or clouds in the sky.
7. Use the 4-7-8 method
Another popular approach for improving sleep quality is the 4-7-8 method. If you’ve never heard of such a thing, don’t worry; here's what’s involved:
• With your mouth open, exhale completely, letting yourself make a whooshing sound.
• Close your lips and inhale silently through your nose; count to four as you do.
• Hold the breath you just took for seven seconds.
• Finish with an eight-second-long, whooshing exhale.
Practising a breathing regime is meant to help practitioners enter a deep state of relaxation. To begin with, try to repeat the steps above four times, slowly building to a maximum of eight cycles once you’re comfortable.
8. Take sleep-enhancing supplements
Our final tip for a peaceful night’s sleep comes in the form of sleep-enhancing supplements. There’s a lot to choose from, and the best option will depend on your well-being needs. However, to help out, we’ve highlighted a handful of our favourites:
• Melatonin: It’s entirely possible to increase natural levels of melatonin by taking supplements. Encouraging a balanced sleep/wake cycle is an excellent way to boost short-term sleep quality.
• 5-HTP: By increasing the body’s natural serotonin levels, 5-HTP supplements may help to combat the impact of stress on restful sleep.
• Lavender: With centuries of worldwide use to back it up, lavender is a holistic herb widely touted for its soothing, sleep-promoting qualities. Scientists suspect these effects may be due to the plant’s terpene content.
• Chamomile: Another plant with a rich, vibrant history, chamomile could help to improve sleep quality thanks to its sophisticated blend of flavonoids and terpenes.
• Valerian: Valerian root’s modulation of the GABA system could balance out the pressures of modern living, in turn potentially improving sleep quality.
There you have it, eight tips to help you fall asleep faster and for longer. We highly recommend giving them a try to find which approach suits you. With sleep fundamental to looking and feeling great, there’s no reason not to give them a go!
Interested in trying CBD and other natural supplements to help you achieve a good night’s sleep? Why not browse the Cibdol store for a complete selection of oils, capsules, supplements, and more? Or, for an in-depth look at natural sleep aids, head over to our CBD Encyclopedia.