Sleep Mysteries

Unsolved Sleep Mysteries

How Long Should It Take You To Fall Asleep?

Does the process of falling asleep feel like a tug of war?  You’re either counting 5,000 sheep as sleep eludes you or out like a light before your head hits the pillow.

How quickly you transition from being fully awake to sleeping is known as “sleep latency.” And how easily you fall asleep can be a good indicator of the quality of sleep you’re getting (or not).

How Long Should It Take To Fall Asleep?

Sleep scientists consider it normal to fall asleep within five to 20 minutes. This optimal time frame sets the stage for two critical stages of sleep: rapid eye movement sleep (REM) and non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM). 

Both REM and NREM sleep are directly affected by sleep latency. If you achieve an optimal sleep latency, you’ll likely cycle through all phases of sleep,  so you wake up feeling refreshed and energized in the morning.

Is It Bad If I Fall Asleep Too Quickly?

Sort of. Falling asleep the second your head hits the pillow probably means you’re overly tired and not getting enough sleep to begin with.You may need to go to bed earlier or sleep longer consistently.

Why Does It Take Me So Long To Fall Asleep?

On the other hand, if you’re still awake, say, an hour after getting in bed, it’s time to take a look at your lifestyle. Things like consuming too much caffeine, eating sugary foods, doing strenuous exercise in the evening, or exposure to light from screens in the evening can overstimulate your mind and body, making it harder to  drift into dreamland. Also, certain medications or sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea or insomnia, may be contributing factors you should discuss with your doctor.

Still awake? Try these three tricks to help you fall asleep faster:

Stay Cool & Awake In The Heat​

3 Tricks To Help You Fall Asleep Faster

1. The 2-Minute Military Hack

Originally designed for combat pilots, this method  had a 96 percent success rate in people who practiced it for six weeks. : Get into a comfortable position. Release any tension in your face. Feel your legs get heavy. Turn your brain “off” by visualizing this fantasy sequence.

2. Half-Frog yoga Pose

This is a gentle, grounding stretch that starts out by lying on your belly, and it’s known for helping you calm down and feel relaxed.

3. ASMR Videos

If you’ve heard about it but aren’t sure what it is, ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) is a term describing the tingling sensations that start in the scalp or neck and travel down the spine in response to audio-visual triggers, such as whispering, tapping and hand movements. These dull, monotonous sounds can help induce a state of relaxation, comfort, and sleepiness. You can even record your own ASMR, and share it with friends (side hustle!).

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Unsolved Sleep Mysteries: How Long Should It Take You To Fall Asleep?

time to read: 2 min