Tips & Tricks to Fall Asleep Faster
Let’s face it, falling asleep quickly and getting a good night’s sleep is not always easy. Life can be busy, stressful and highly distracting, all of which can make it harder than it should be to quiet your mind and fall asleep. We get it - maintaining a healthy work-life balance is difficult, which can lead to eating habits that affect sleep quality. On top of that, smart phones and other devices make it easy to stay distracted late at night by keeping us connected to an always-on, digital world. The internet never sleeps and, sometimes, neither do we. Finally, an uncomfortable mattress or over-stimulating bedroom can leave you tossing and turning as you try to fall asleep every night. Fortunately, we have pulled together some tips and tricks to help prepare your body for sleep, encouraging sleep to come more quickly and stick around a bit longer.
Tip 1: Healthy Eating Habits
Responsibilities at work and at home often make it difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance, which in turn can impact meal times and sometimes even the quality of these meals. You’re eating a large dinner late or, if you skipped dinner, find yourself rummaging through the fridge for a midnight snack. You may even crack open a caffeinated soft drink or mix yourself an alcoholic beverage to unwind before bed. Unfortunately, eating late at night or consuming caffeine or alcohol actually interferes with your body’s ability to sleep. Eating late means the muscles that digest are working when they should be resting, caffeine is a stimulant that may keep you awake, and while alcohol may temporarily make you feel drowsy, it lowers your melatonin levels, which lowers your quality of sleep. Eating or drinking late at night could essentially lead to chronic trouble falling asleep, possibly even sleep insomnia.
Healthy eating habits can make a significant difference in your quality of sleep. If you find yourself eating late on a regular basis, try healthier food options or smaller portions. Many experts actually recommend eating no later than 12 to 16 hours before you plan to wake up the next day or keeping your eating window to just 10 hours a day to help improve sleep quality. Additionally, minimizing caffeine consumption in the afternoon and limiting alcohol consumption before bed can help quiet your mind for easier, faster sleep.
Tip 2: Relaxing Bedtime Routine
One of the smartest things you can do to help yourself fall asleep faster is to create a relaxing bedtime routine. Some of our favorite relaxing bedtime recommendations include taking a hot bath, listening to soothing music or reading a book. There are also a variety of warm, caffeine-free, teas that can help you mentally prepare for bedtime. Some hot teas are made with natural sleep remedies to help relax both the body and mind – chamomile being a go-to.
Tip 3: Relaxing Sleep Environment
Our most important tip for falling asleep faster is to create a relaxing and healthy sleep environment. Your sleep space should be soothing and really only used for sleeping. Keep your bedroom clean and free of clutter by removing paperwork, used dishes and sometimes even electronic devices. Your bedroom should promote high quality sleep, which means that having a supportive mattress and a cozy pillow is all the more important.
Another important component in cultivating a relaxing sleep environment is the lighting. Some people need complete darkness in order to fall asleep, so if you are one of those people you may want to consider hanging blackout curtains to block streetlights, moonlight or the morning sun. Electronic devices that produce blue light actually stimulate your body, making it hard to fall asleep after use. The bright light from TVs and blue light from smart phones and computers keep the brain alert long after you turn them off and reduce your brain’s production of melatonin, a hormone that induces sleep. Alarm clocks with bright LED lights can do the same damage. With that in mind, we highly recommend that you reduce or eliminate screen time in the bedroom.
Temperature, noise, and having a high-quality mattress can also impact how relaxing your sleep environment is. By lowering the temperature of your sleep space, you will signal your body to adapt to this new temperature and start to feel sleepy as a result. Most people sleep comfortably in a room that is around 65 degrees. Having some ambient sound or soft music in the background can make it easier to fall asleep, as well. Color noises help quiet the brain and relax muscles for sounder sleep. Perhaps unsurprisingly, your bed partners can have a huge impact on your ability to sleep, too. For instance, it can be hard to fall asleep if your partner snores or tosses and turns regularly. Sleeping on a quality memory foam mattress will help reduce motion transfer substantially, but If they snore, try adjusting their sleep position or use ear plugs.