Sleep is an everyday task for us yet a good night’s sleep is often a coveted and sought-after prize that many simply cannot attain. For a lot of us the thought of actually falling asleep on time and waking up refreshed and energized is merely a pipe dream. A lot of people simply do with less than optimal sleep each night and try to make up for it on the weekends.
Though the modern-day corporate culture is also partially to blame we cannot completely absolve all responsibility. Sure you might not have some things under your control, like sleeping disorders that require medication. But you can make simple changes in your lifestyle or employ various strategies for falling asleep quicker. And that is exactly what we will be going over in this post.
Easily the most well-known method on this list yet surprisingly quite effective. The trick here is to busy your mind in a boring and menial task that is both monotonous and repetitive. What you have to do is to imagine sheep jumping over a fence or even your own bed and counting them. You’ll start to feel drowsy by the time you enter the hundreds. One disadvantage to this method is that, given its mind numbingly boring execution, your brain might decide to keep interjecting with more exciting thoughts like the sheep catching on fire or solving mathematical equations. Then again that might also signify your mind slipping in and out of a dream as you drift off.
No Screens One Hour Before Bed
The screens on our phones and monitors emit blue light. Said blue light is very effective at keeping the mind awake and is also used in light therapy to adjust the body’s circadian rhythm (the biological clock). Thus it’s not wise to be on your phone till the last minute before bed, as that adds almost another hour you will spend tossing and turning waiting for sleep to engulf you. It’s a simple enough change but can produce drastically impressive results. Try it and you might just realize this is what you have been doing wrong all these years.
Try White Noise
For some people they find that having white noise in the background helps them fall asleep and remain asleep significantly. White noise can be anything that you find relaxing to hear while in bed. There are a ton of great free apps available that you can set up your perfect mix of sounds in. For example you could have the sounds of a busy café and rain pouring on windows playing together. Or sounds of rushing waves of the sea is a great option too. White noise can also be used to mask disturbing noise from outside. Give it a try, mix and match, and you might find something that helps you sleep much better.
Get A Night Light
Some people find it relaxing and, consequently, much easier to fall asleep when they have a dim light in their room at night. And if the idea sounds appealing to you, you might just be one of those people. So look through some night light options like lamps or plug-in wall lights and see if you take a fancy to one. Important factors to consider when shopping for a night light are its positioning, the intensity of its light, and the color output of its light. A recommended night light would be a table lamp with a warm golden glow turned away from the bed.
Breathing Exercise 1
This is quite a simple one. When you lay down in bed breathe slowly and deeply. Take deep slow breaths; long inhales, long exhales. And while doing this visualize the air entering and exiting your body. If done right and without distraction this should help make you drowsy pretty quick. Before you know it your controlled breathing would be replaced with methodical and naturally slow breathing and you’ll be fast asleep.
Breathing Exercise 2
Another breathing exercise that works wonders but not for you if you hate math. Basically what you do is a more calculated version of the first breathing exercise. You breathe in for 7 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, and then exhale over another 7 seconds. Again, not for you if you hate numbers but if you get used to doing this you will swear by it your whole life. This exercise works wonders and knocks people out in five minutes flat when executed properly.
Condition Your Body To Recognize Sleep Time
This is another one that works immensely well. However, it also may require a huge change in your daily lifestyle. What you have to do is to abstain from doing anything on your bed other than sleeping. If you stop eating or surfing the web in bed and only lie down when you want to sleep, your body will in time come to correlate your bed with sleep and automatically fall asleep whenever you lie down. This can be your personal superpower if done right and you will come to thank yourself for doing it.
Make a Sleep Schedule and Stick to It
If you make up a schedule for your sleep and strictly follow it you will find falling asleep a lot easier. Select a time that you will drop everything at and go to bed. Follow this without exceptions every day. And before you know it you will have reconditioned your body’s circadian rhythm and will find yourself feeling drowsy every night at the right time and waking up at the proper time as well.
Don’t Focus On Falling Asleep
Simply put, when you lie down to sleep do not focus on the fact that you’re trying to fall asleep. Doing so would only lead to your brain thinking about it and keeping you awake. Instead, clear your mind of all thought and let yourself get carried away by the waves of irresistible sleep.
We bet you’re feeling drowsy already after having read about all those tips. Now you’re armed with the knowledge to take back your right to sleep and own bedtime again. So while you decide if you want to count sheep or enforce a new habit, here are some other posts you might be interested in. How to quickly prepare for an upcoming exam is a useful read. Alternatively, How to Lose Weight Fast is also good read if you’re looking to shed those extra pounds and don’t know where to start.