How to Fall Asleep Faster
We’re pressed for time as it is, so the last thing we want to do is feel like we’re wasting any. Not being able to fall asleep right away can be one of the more aggravating things in a day, especially when we’re exhausted and know we have an early wake up call on it’s way. Here are some ways to convince your body to fall asleep faster that you might not have tried before.
Who knows, it might help the rest of your life as well. If you’re up tossing and turning in the night you can relax your mind by doing repetitive visualization exercises. Think perfecting your golf swing or finishing the race in the first place. Overthinking tends to keep you awake in the night, but this sort of thinking can help to reduce your anxiety instead of build it up.
Yes, seriously. Blowing bubbles in a cup can help to relax your body and mind enough so that you might fall asleep faster. It’s similar to the concept of simple deep breathing but a little more distracting than that option. The idea is to get the heart rate to slow down, and blowing bubbles requires you to take larger inhales and longer exhales which will do so. Tricky.
Listening to music to fall asleep can be helpful, but only if it’s a slower downtempo beat that will slow your heart rate. If you find music to be distracting you can also download apps that work as sleep machines with white noise options like the ocean or falling rain. Just be sure to throw on some headphones if you aren’t sleeping alone.
If you’re the type of person who gets in bed to go to sleep and can’t stop thinking about everything that needs to get done the next day, you should start keeping a notepad next to your bed so you jot these thing down. Sometimes all it takes is getting a thought safely onto paper for your brain to be able to let it go, since now you know you aren’t going to forget about it. Plus, to-do lists can actually be pretty effective when you’re ready to start tackling all of the things that are stressing you out.
Some people are hesitant to workout in the evenings since they feel like the exercise gets them hyped up, but some research has shown that doing an intense workout 90 minutes before bed can help to lower your cortisol levels enough to help you fall asleep faster. If you can’t make it to the gym you can look for a video online that suits your needs and just do it in the house. If not that, even a quiet walk or some mellow stretching can help to calm you down at the end of the day and move towards sleep time.
If you have the habit of checking the clock repeatedly as you toss and turn you’re just doing yourself a disservice by stressing yourself out more. The key is not think about the fact that you’re not falling asleep, no matter how challenging that can feel in the moment. Not only is it stressful to countdown backwards and calculate how short of a time you had left to sleep, the light from electronics is totally distracting. Our bodies are programmed to wake with the light so when you go around throwing light all over the place it confuses your sleep schedule. Turn off as many electronics as you can and leave your phone on the other side of the room where you can’t reach it from your bed.
About Kate Ferguson Kate Fergus is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blogs and online magazines. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce.