10 Simple Tips That Help You Fall Asleep Quickly

Good sleep is incredibly important.

It helps you feel good and makes your body and brain function properly.

Some people have no problem falling asleep. However, many others have severe difficulty falling and staying asleep through the night.

Poor sleep can have negative effects on many parts of your body and brain, including learning, memory, mood, emotions, and various biological functions

1. Lower the temperature

Your body temperature changes as you fall asleep. Your body cools down when you lie down and warms up when you get up

If your room is too warm, you might have a hard time falling asleep. Setting your thermostat to a cool temperature between 60–67°F (15.6–19.4°C) could help.

Individual preferences will vary, so find the temperature that works best for you.

Taking a warm bath or shower could also help speed up the body’s temperature changes. As your body cools down afterward, this can send a signal to your brain to go to sleep (5).

One literature review found that taking a hot bath or shower before bed could improve certain sleep parameters, such as sleep efficiency and sleep quality.

Sleep efficiency refers to the amount of time you spend asleep in bed as opposed to lying awake.

People who took baths or showers measuring between 104°F–108.5°F (40.0°C–42.5°C) 1 to 2 hours before bedtime experienced positive results.

They reported improvements in their sleep even if their baths or showers lasted for as little as 10 minutes.

More research is needed, but these findings are promising

 

2. Use the 4-7-8 breathing method

The “4-7-8” method that Dr. Andrew Weil developed is a simple but powerful breathing method that promotes calmness and relaxation. It might also help you unwind before bed (7).

It’s based on breath control techniques learned from yoga, and it consists of a breathing pattern that relaxes the nervous system. It can be practiced any time you feel anxious or stressed.

Here are the steps:

  1. First, place the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth.
  2. Exhale completely through your mouth and make a “whoosh” sound.
  3. Close your mouth, and inhale through your nose while mentally counting to 4.
  4. Hold your breath, and mentally count to 7.
  5. Open your mouth and exhale completely, making a “whoosh” sound and mentally counting to 8.
  6. Repeat this cycle at least three more times.

This technique can relax you and help you fall asleep quickly.

3. Get on a schedule

Many people find that setting a sleep schedule helps them fall asleep easier.

Your body has its own regulatory system called the circadian rhythm. This internal clock cues your body to feel alert during the day but sleepy at night (1Trusted Source).

Waking up and going to bed at the same times each day can help your internal clock keep a regular schedule.

Once your body adjusts to this schedule, it’ll be easier to fall asleep and wake up around the same time every day (8Trusted Source).

It’s also important to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. This has been shown to be the optimal sleep duration for adults (1Trusted Source).

Lastly, give yourself 30–45 minutes to wind down in the evening before getting in bed. This allows your body and mind to relax and prepare for sleep (9

4. Experience both daylight and darkness

Light can influence your body’s internal clock, which regulates sleep and wakefulness.

Irregular light exposure can lead to the disruption of circadian rhythms, making it harder to fall asleep and stay awake (10Trusted Source).

During the day, exposing your body to bright light tells it to stay alert. Both natural daylight and artificial light, such as the kind emitted from an e-reader, have this effect on your alertness (11Trusted Source12Trusted Source).

At night, darkness promotes feelings of sleepiness. In fact, research shows that darkness boosts the production of melatonin, an essential hormone for sleep. In fact, the body secretes very little melatonin during the day (1314).

Get out and expose your body to sunlight or artificial bright light throughout the day. If possible, use blackout curtains to make your room dark at night.

5. Practice yoga, meditation, and mindfulness

When people are stressed, they tend to have difficulty falling asleep (15Trusted Source).

Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness are tools to calm the mind and relax the body. Moreover, they’ve all been shown to improve sleep (15Trusted Source16Trusted Source1718Trusted Source19Trusted Source).

Yoga encourages the practice of breathing patterns and body movements that release stress and tension accumulated in your body.

Research shows that yoga can have a positive effect on sleep parameters such as sleep quality, sleep efficiency, and sleep duration (15Trusted Source16Trusted Source).

Meditation can enhance melatonin levels and assist the brain in achieving a specific state where sleep is easily achieved (17).

Lastly, mindfulness may help you maintain focus on the present, worry less while falling asleep, and even function better during the day (18Trusted Source19Trusted Source).

Practicing one or all of these techniques can help you get a good night’s rest and wake up reenergized.

6. Avoid looking at your clock

It’s normal to wake up in the middle of the night. However, the inability to fall back asleep can ruin a good night’s rest (20Trusted Source).

People who wake up in the middle of the night often tend to watch the clock and obsess about the fact that they can’t fall back asleep.

Clock-watching is common among people with insomnia. This behavior may cause anxiety about sleeplessness (21Trusted Source).

To make matters worse, waking on a regular basis without falling back asleep may cause your body to develop a routine. As a result, you might find yourself waking up in the middle of the night every night.

If possible, it’s best to remove the clock from your room. If you need an alarm in the room, you can turn your clock and avoid watching it when you wake up in the middle of the night.

7. Avoid naps during the day

Due to poor sleep at night, people with insomnia tend to be sleepy during the day, which often leads to daytime napping.

While naps of short duration have been linked to improvements in alertness and well-being, there are mixed opinions about the effects of napping on nighttime sleep.

Some studies have shown that regular naps that are long (at least 2 hours), and late may lead to poor nighttime sleep quality and even sleep deprivation (22Trusted Source23Trusted Source).

In a study of 440 college students, the poorest nighttime sleep quality was observed in those who reported taking three or more naps per week, those who napped for more than 2 hours, and those who napped late (between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m) (22Trusted Source).

A 1996 study found that older adults who napped frequently had lower quality nighttime sleep, more depressive symptoms, and more limited physical activity. They were also more likely to be overweight than those who rarely took a nap (23Trusted Source).

A recent study of high-schoolers concluded that daytime napping led to shorter sleep duration and lower sleep efficiency (24Trusted Source).

Other studies have revealed that naps don’t affect nighttime sleep (25Trusted Source26).

To find out if naps are affecting your sleep, try either eliminating naps altogether or limiting yourself to a short nap (30 minutes or less) early in the day.

8. Watch what and when you eat

It seems that the food you eat before bed may affect your sleep. For example, research has shown that high-carb meals may be detrimental to a good night’s rest.

A review of studies concluded that even though a high-carb diet can get you to fall asleep faster, it won’t be restful sleep. Instead, high-fat meals could promote a deeper and more restful sleep (27Trusted Source28Trusted Source).

In fact, several older and newer studies agree that a high-carb/low-fat diet significantly decreased the quality of sleep compared to a low-carb/high-fat diet.

This held true in situations where the high-carb/low-fat diets and the low-carb/high-fat diets contained the same amount of calories (29Trusted Source30Trusted Source31Trusted Source).

If you still want to eat a high-carb meal for dinner, you should eat it at least 4 hours before bed so you have enough time to digest it (28

10. Exercise during the day

Physical activity is often considered beneficial to healthy sleep.

Exercise can increase the duration and quality of sleep by boosting the production of serotonin in the brain and decreasing levels of cortisol, the stress hormone (39Trusted Source).

However, it’s important to maintain a moderate-intensity exercise routine and not overdo it. Excessive training has been linked to poor sleep (40Trusted Source).

The time of the day when you exercise is also critical. To promote better quality sleep, working out early in the morning appears to be better than working out later in the day (41Trusted Source42Trusted Source).

Therefore, moderate to vigorous exercise in the morning could significantly improve the quality of your sleep and how much sleep you get.

Get moving with activities like:

  • running
  • hiking
  • cycling
  • tennis