How Do You Fall Asleep as Soon as You Hit the Bed?

Fall asleep fast

Insomnia or lack of sleep is a frustrating experience.
Insomnia or lack of sleep is a frustrating experience.

Insomnia or lack of sleep is a frustrating experience. It makes you irritable and dull, as well as affects your physical and mental performance. Poor sleep can cause depression, body pain, heart disease, and diabetes. Medications to put you to sleep come with their own set of side effects; hence, other methods that hasten the sleep onset can be tried before you pop a pill.

Here are a few simple methods to make you sleep better:

  • Read a book: Try to read a boring book or novel before going to sleep. Make it a habit. Make sure you read a paperback book because e-books with their screens can cause sleeping problems.
  • Clock: Staring at the time and stressing about how much sleep you are missing can just worsen the anxiety and pressure you may feel. It is advised not to look at your alarm clock when you're trying to fall asleep. If you need it to wake up, turn the face around so you can't see it.
  • Wear socks to bed: Warm feet and hands were the best predictors of rapid sleep onset. Wearing socks shifts blood flow and temperature from your core and extremities.
  • Roll your eyes backward: You can simulate the same eye movement you experience in sleep by rolling your eyes upward and back. If you do this thrice, you will automatically feel yourself going into a deeper relaxation.
  • Night-time routine: Design a night-time routine for yourself. Have a warm bath, massage your head with warm oil, and brush your teeth regularly before going to sleep. In time, your brain will start associating this routine with bedtime, and you will start to sleep better.

Practice methods:

  • Dark sleep environment: Melatonin is a hormone that determines the healthy timing of our sleep. The blue light from your laptop or smartphone can fool your brain into thinking it’s still daytime, although it’s almost time to go to sleep. Even a hint of dim light (8-10 lux) may delay the release of nighttime melatonin in humans. It is advised to dim half the lights in your home and shut down all electronics about an hour before you go to bed and keep the sleeping room dark as much as possible before lying down.
  • Essential oil kit: Lavender, Roman chamomile, neroli, and orange essential oils are all potent sleep aids. It works on emotional, psychological, and biochemical levels to induce calmness. Essential oils act on the body to release natural chemicals and feel-good endorphins. Our sense of smell is immensely powerful and builds an “association” with sleepy calm if we use it consistently before nap time.
  • Watch what you consume and when: Certain foods make you sleepier. Conversely, some foods will keep you awake longer. Eating large or heavy meals or snacks packed with protein or a lot of sugar is not the best choice. What you drink alters your sleep patterns too. If you can help it, stay away from wine as you near your bedtime. Although it initially relaxes us and helps us fall asleep more quickly, alcohol before bed will disrupt your rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and the overall quality of your night's sleep. Apart from wine, stay away from caffeine because it acts as a stimulant and will keep you alert.

Additional methods:

  • Trick your brain: Using reverse psychology on the brain can help some people beat insomnia. It is also called paradoxical intention; this method of telling yourself to stay awake can indeed help you fall asleep faster. When you have insomnia, pushing yourself to fall asleep can make sleep harder to come by. Instead, it can help to tell yourself you are trying to stay awake.
  • The military method: It’s all about entering a stress-free zone so that your mind can seamlessly drift into slumber. Try the following method:
    • Relax every muscle in your face
    • Release tension by dropping your shoulders and letting your arms and hands drop to your sides
    • Breathe out and relax your chest
    • Let the relaxation travel down to your legs, thighs, and feet
    • Vacate your mind of stress by imagining a happy place
    • If your mind isn’t shutting off, repeat the mantra “don’t think” over and over again
    • Without realizing it, you would be already sleeping
  • 4-7-8 breathing method: It invokes mental relaxation by way of a specific breathing pattern. More than a powerful sleeping technique, it is also an effective way to tackle sudden bouts of stress or anxiety. Here is how to use it for sleeping purposes:
    • Place the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth
    • Exhale through your mouth, making a “whoosh” sound
    • Close your mouth and breathe in through your nose while counting to four in your head
    • Hold your breath while counting to seven in your head
    • Open your mouth and exhale, once again making the “whoosh” sound while you count to eight in your head
    • Repeat this pattern until you fall asleep

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National Institute on Aging. A Good Night's Sleep. National Institutes of Health.