Falling asleep quickly is a challenge for some and a child's play for others. But not being able to fall asleep fast isn't the only frustrating thing; the anxiety that comes from not being able to sleep makes it harder to relax and rest back.
Severe deprivation from sleep can have hazardous effects on the mind and body. And then tossing and turning becomes a routine at night, while days continue on a mindless snooze.
However, fortunately, some techniques have been introduced on how to fall asleep fast, and they aren't even hard to follow.
So let's take a look at the tricks and techniques on how to fall asleep fast and different ways to fall asleep.
Sharon Ackerman introduced this method in the book "Relax and Win: Championship and Performance." According to this, the US Navy established a routine for pilots to fall asleep in less than 2 minutes.
Trying to sleep at night can become problematic when you have a tiny nap during the day, even for just an hour or two. Sleeping is resetting the body to work longer. And when a person takes naps, they've already reset their body.
However, a study shows the relationship between daytime naps and nighttime sleep. In this study, healthy adults and middle-aged people report better performance of tasks with a 20 minutes daytime nap rather than overworking. And the current data on power naps suggest no negative impact on nighttime sleep.
Having a balanced diet plan and a healthy sleep schedule is closely interconnected because the various nourishments consumed can either stimulate the brain into being alert or drowsy.
Japanese research studies show that eating carbs four hours before going to bed, like rice, noodles, and bread, promotes better sleep. Since the carbs are easily digested, they'll not trouble the tummy with indigestion; in return, they do not disturb sleep.
Note: The above sleeping tips may take a little more than 10 seconds to take into effect, but it is possible to fall asleep fast with practice and resilience.
A famous 4-7-8 method was developed by Dr. Andrew Weil. It is a breathing exercise that promotes calmness and relaxation.
It is based on the yoga technique that consists of a breath control method that relaxes the nervous system.
Progressive muscle relaxation, also called deep muscle relaxation, was introduced by Dr. Edmund Jacobson in the 1930s upon his premise that
mental calmnessis a natural result of physical relaxation.
It's a simple practice of tightening one muscle group at a time, followed by relaxation with the release of tension. This tensing and relaxing of muscles can become an effective remedy for insomnia. Because if you are up most of the night wondering how to fall asleep fast with insomnia, it might've been affecting the body and mind more than you can imagine.
Falling asleep fast is also a part of a schedule. Many people follow a strict sleep schedule to stay healthy. Although, for beginners, it may be difficult. But, with time, your body will learn to shut itself down as per the schedule.
However, do not force the body to fall asleep. Doing so will only tense the muscles rather than relax them. Also, it may take at least a week of consistency to build up a schedule. And by the time the body gets accustomed to the timing, it'll feel tired enough to fall asleep within seconds on its own.
That's right. When sleep is the last thing happening, then think of it as such. According to psychology, this method is called paradoxical intention, where the focus shifts from 'trying to fall asleep to 'trying to stay awake.'
Paradoxical intention is a cognitive behavioral therapy that psychologists use against insomnia patients. It persuades the patients to lay down in bed and stay awake comfortably. While the patient is comfortably awake, their mind eases, and the body starts to relax, making it easier to fall asleep.
Let's take the traditional way to the land of dreams. Instead of breathing exercises and other mind-consuming methods, count sheep.
But here's a catch, don't start from one. Instead, go higher and count backward. Sleep expert Dr. Vicky Seelall recommends playing mindless games like counting. Doing so will help the mind focus on one thing and keep it from wandering to other thoughts.
As cliché as it sounds, it is one of the natural ways to fall asleep. Visualizing or imagining a serene scene can help relax the mind and manage stress. It's like daydreaming, which means it's fine if your thoughts wander off, but make sure to gently return to the original thought.
Music is one of the most influential and expressive art, and it can be used as a tool to fall asleep. Maybe music can be the lullaby that's needed to fall asleep fast. It is proven that listening to music before going to bed improves sleep efficiency and promotes better rest; there are also fewer cases of waking up during the night.
But how to choose the right music?
Stress is the enemy of rest. And a stressed mind tends to fall asleep with difficulty. Hence, yoga and meditation have been proven to relax the mind and body, resulting in efficient quality sleep.
Practicing meditation before bed steadies the breathing pattern and relaxes the nervous system. Consequently, it helps achieve a good night's sleep and wake up re-energized.
This does not only apply to working or overworking. Tiring one's body means going out and doing a physical and healthy activity, where the mind or body does not feel tired until it's time to hit the hay.
But this does not imply that one starts exercising just before bedtime. On the contrary, doing so will only worsen the case since extreme movements alert the mind.
For healthy 'tiredness,' follow a schedule where the body gets physically tired 4-5 hours before bed. And then tire the brain till you go to bed.
It's better to go all caveman, at least 2 hours before bedtime since gadgets and poor sleep quality are closely connected. Today, excessive screen time, especially in adolescents, is the leading cause of many sleeping problems.
Research shows that gadgets are harmful to the mental health of a growing mind since people tend to use more and more gadgets and choose to interact through social media.
Lastly, it is essential to ensure maximum comfort and right stillness in the room. A dimly lit room with the right coolness will instantly relax the muscles.
And if the mattress is not to your comfort, make sure to find a comfortable spot on the bed. Also, don't forget the pillows; the more, the better; and use weighted blankets since they reduce body stress and help improve sleep quality.
Now, those weren't really hard steps and methods to follow, were they?
But, if falling asleep fast still poses a problem, there are still undiscussed methods that can be taken into action, like hot baths, aromatherapy, and many others.
However, if the sleep is still hard, contact an expert and follow their instructions accordingly. Or just change the mattress.