Laying in bed counting sheep? You’re not alone. With over 25 percent of Americans experiencing acute insomnia per year, ‘how to fall asleep fast,’ is a question on most people’s minds.
The trick to getting quality sleep is all about timing. Waking up easily is possible when you fall asleep fast enough to allow your sleep cycle to get into action with delay.
The amount of time it takes a person to fall asleep from the moment you jump into bed to the time you enter the sleep cycle is called sleep latency. Sleep latency is very closely linked to sleep quality: if you’re able to fall asleep quickly, studies show you’ll have better sleep.
Someone with a normal sleeping latency generally takes between 10 - 20 minutes to fall asleep. If you’re spending more than 20 minutes trying to enter dreamland, you are not sleeping as well as you could.
Time for a change? Falling asleep faster is possible for anyone. And this quick guide is the perfect starting point for anyone who wants to sleep better and faster.
One of the best ways to turn sleepless nights around is to identify areas for improvement in your sleep hygiene which may be impacting your ability to sleep quickly.
A key reason why people struggle to fall asleep is that they’re uncomfortable in bed or stressed - this guide provides some quick tips on how to upgrade to the most comfortable mattress, and other sleep hacks such as the military method, and the 5-minute stress-relieving writing technique.
Falling asleep fast is one of the best ways you can improve your entire sleep cycle, including how energized you feel when you wake up in the morning.
Eat Sleepy Foods
The gut and digestive system can play a major role in how well (or how poorly) you sleep. Guts do more than just process food - this intelligent organ is in constant contact with the brain sending positive and negative signals as new foods and liquids are ingested.
Many refer to the gut as the "second brain". Just like us, most organs also have a form of a "circadian rhythm" or sleep cycle. If you load up on fatty foods, sugars, and too many carbs before bed, it confuses your body and in turn, makes it hard for you to fall asleep fast.
It is okay to eat before bedtime, but if you want to fall asleep as fast as possible, there are certain foods that can help. The best foods for sleep are rich in antioxidants that help trigger the release of melatonin production so you can start to naturally feel drowsy.
Some of the best foods that can help you fall asleep faster include:
The Military Method
The military method is designed to instantly relax the body and induce sleep in under two minutes. Some who use this technique report having the ability to fall asleep in under 10 seconds.
The step by step process should be practiced consistently for two weeks if you want it to become a habit.
Here’s how it works:
If you are usually someone who lays in bed over-thinking, the military method for falling asleep quickly may take a little time to get used to. With a little practice, even the most troubled sleepers have successfully used this method and transformed their sleep.
When practiced regularly enough, Dr Weil's famous 4-7-8 breathing technique, which stems from traditional pranayama yoga practices, has helped many people enter sleep quickly with a clear mind.
The science behind the power of breathing suggests that replenishing the organs with oxygen allows the body and mind to deeply relax.
Focussed breathing also helps to stabilize the heart rate and ease tension in muscles and joints that may feel agitated at bedtime. To practice the 4-7-8 breathing technique, follow these simple steps:
The 4-7-8 breathing technique can take a little time to get used to. It is suggested that after 6 weeks of practice, this breathing technique can instantly send the body into a state of drowsiness for incredibly fast sleep.
Write It Out
43 percent of American adults report having poor quality sleep due to stress. Laying in bed with ruminating thoughts is a leading reason why so many people take so long to fall asleep.
Research indicates that writing before bed is a proven way to reduce stress and anxiety before bed, and allow the body to enter the sleep cycle quickly and stress-free.
Have you ever entered your bed feeling sleepy, but then feel an overwhelming wave of thoughts enter your mind just as your head hits the pillow? It’s common for the mind to start stressing when you’re in a quiet room away from distractions.
If you’ve been wondering how to go to sleep fast and stress-free, and haven’t tried writing - it might be exactly the technique you’ve been looking for.
One of the most effective methods of writing as a way to fall asleep is to write a comprehensive to-do list. Often, people lose sleep about things they are yet to complete so getting it all out on paper can be very therapeutic. But to ensure you fall asleep as fast as possible, it’s important to know what to write.
A study into effective bedtime writing shows that people who write down a quick but detailed list of things they need to do, as opposed to writing down a list of what you have accomplished, is much more effective.
The results of the study suggest that writing a to-do list reduces sleep latency for faster sleep.
If you often lay in bed stressing about the lineup of things you’re yet to accomplish - write it all out for 5-minutes before bed.
Here’s our favorite tip - and one you’re bound to love: get comfy. Designing a bedroom that is optimized for quality sleep will help you fall asleep in no time. Over one-third of life is spent in the bed, so you need to ensure the mattress you sleep on is the best mattress for your unique sleeping style. A supportive mattress should relax the body, help to reduce pain and stress in pressure points and provide comfort no matter what sleeping position you sleep in.
If you think your bed might be the reason you’re unable to fall asleep fast - try upgrading to an award-winning memory foam mattress like a Puffy. Upgrading to the most comfortable mattress can be life-changing for some people - especially if you've been sleeping on the same old mattress for over a decade.
Most mattresses don’t last beyond 8 years and old beds can impact the quality of your sleep. Fall asleep faster, and fall in love with your bed again.
Wherever you are, and whatever you do, just know you can be one of those people who fall asleep fast. Try these simple tips, and with some consistent practice, counting sheep will be a thing of the past!