20 Simple Ways to Fall Asleep Faster3:31:00 PM
It can be pretty tough to fall asleep when your brain is thinking nonstop or anxiety has gotten the best of you, and it seems to only get ha...
It can be pretty tough to fall asleep when your brain is thinking nonstop or anxiety has gotten the best of you, and it seems to only get harder when you're lying in bed listening to yourself breathe. Yet paying attention to that breathing may be exactly what you need in order to find a calm, easy entry into a good night's rest.
Some researchers have said that the average person takes 20-30 minutes to fall asleep. If you find yourself tossing and turning for hours on end, it’s time to make some changes. Where do you start? We will examine 20 ways to fall asleep faster. These fall into three categories: lifestyle changes, supplements, and dietary changes.
Lifestyle ChangesLifestyle changes may be the biggest help to getting a good night’s sleep. Some of the best lifestyle changes you can make to help you fall asleep faster include:
1. Stress Reduction: The stress of daily life can wreak havoc on your sleep patterns. Try to eliminate stressors to the extent you can.
2. Exercise: Lack of exercise inhibits your ability to fall asleep faster. Studies have shown that moderate exercise improves sleep patterns. Don’t expect ‘overnight’ success: it may take several weeks in an exercise regime before you notice positive changes in your sleep.
3. Deep Breathing: Deep breathing exercises remind the brain that it does not have to be in fight-or-flight mode. Try this exercise: take a deep breath in through your nose. If you see your chest and shoulders rising instead of your stomach, you need to re-train your body how to breathe. Instead, take a deep breath in through your nose, allowing air to fill your lower lungs and expand your diaphragm (it may be easier to practice this exercise lying down). Hold for four counts, then release the breath through your mouth. Practicing this type of deep breathing several times per day will increase oxygen in your body, and calm the nerves, allowing you to fall asleep faster.
4. Take a hot bath: A hot bath is a great way to wind down at the end of the day and will signal your body that it’s time to put the day’s cares behind you. Add a half cup of Epsom salts to the bath to increase the effect.
5. Massage: Getting a massage isn’t just a pampering treat. Studies have shown that massage can increase serotonin levels, which will contribute to a positive, calm mood. A more positive and calm mind equals better sleep.
6. Unplug: Bringing your laptop or tablet to bed may seem like a good idea to wind down; however, electronics stimulate the mind. Try reading a good old-fashioned book with the light of your table lamp. Power down all electronics at least 30 minutes before bed time. All electronic components emit unhealthy EMF (electronic magnectic forces) and have the potential to effect the cells electronic potential. Don’t forget to power it down!
7. Quit smoking: Some studies have shown that sleep disturbances are far more common in smokers. Nicotine is a stimulant, and as such will make it that much harder to fall asleep fast.
Supplements8. Homeopathic remedies: Coffea Cruda 30c in a dose of just one or two pellets may be the right remedy to calm your mind and help you get to sleep.
9. L-theanine: L-theanine is an amino acid that works by increasing the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, increasing feelings of calmness. Try taking 200-400 mg a half hour before bed.
10. Melatonin: Your body already produces melatonin, but you may need a bit more to regulate your sleep cycles or to fall asleep faster. Start with 3 mg dose 20 minutes before bed. If you find that’s not quite enough, try bumping it up to 5 mg.
11. Valerian: Among the herbal choices for sleep aids, Valerian is one of the most common. It is widely available and relatively inexpensive. Follow the directions on the bottle to fall asleep faster.
12. L-Tryptophan: One of my favorite supplements to try since it has the potential to rebalance some excitatory neurotransmittors such as norepinphrine and dopamine. It does that by raising levels of seratonin which is a inhibitor brain chemical. It naturally will raise levels of 5-Htp and melatonin. Take 1000-2000 mg an hour before bed on an empty stomach.
Dietary AdjustmentsProper diet is critical to your well-being and your sleep habits.
13. Food allergies: As many as 15 million Americans may have food allergies. If you often eat a meal before bed only to find your heart racing and digestive disturbances occurring, food allergies may be the culprit.
14. Refined foods: Eliminating refined foods can give your body the break it needs. When you pump your body full of chemicals and stimulants (such as refined sugars) it is in a constant battle state and will have a hard time winding down at night.
15. Caffeine: Many of us just can’t go without that cup of joe in the morning… and mid-morning… and mid-afternoon. How about one right after dinner? If that sounds like you, you may be perpetuating a cycle that is very difficult to break. By constantly stimulating your body, it becomes more difficult to fall asleep. Then, you need that cup of coffee in the morning just to function. Try cutting back to one cup in the morning. Above all, do not drink caffeine after 2 PM, as it can still be circulating in your system many hours later.
16. Vegetables: Increasing your intake of vegetables is another key to falling asleep faster. Green, leafy vegetables are high in magnesium and calcium, two calming minerals that help you relax.
17. Snacking: Chowing down on junk food is never a good idea. However, eating a small snack right before bed may be what your body needs to fall asleep faster. If you eat an early dinner, this may be even more important for you. Blood sugar dips may be responsible for your being wide awake. Try eating a small snack of a gluten-free cracker with almond butter before bed.
18. Alcohol: That night cap might feel soothing at the time, but alcohol can actually disrupt sleep patterns. Drinking right before bed may be preventing you from falling asleep faster.
19. MSG: Monosodium glutamate may be responsible for many health-related complaints, including upset stomach and headaches, which keep you from falling asleep. Avoiding MSG is not only good for your overall health, but may also help improve your sleep patterns.
20. Moderation: Eating too much or too little affects sleep habits, too. Eating a moderate diet will enable your body to get just the right amount of energy. It may take some experimenting, but try altering the amount of food you eat during the day, as well as when you eat.