2 months ago

How to fall asleep fast

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Hit the bed when super tired, yet cannot sleep? Trying to count the sheep but to no avail? Failure to have good quality and adequate sleep makes us irritable next day. It reduces our productivity and negatively affects our physical and mental state.

How long does it take to fall asleep? It varies. For most people, it is between 10 and 20 minutes. However, it does not necessarily mean a problem if someone needs a longer time but still has good quality sleep.

Several simple tricks can be used to facilitate sleep. Not all of the tricks work for everyone, and not to the same extent. Therefore, it is more like a trial-and-error process.

One of the most important things is to have a regular sleep schedule. Following a fixed time, preferably early hours, for going to bed and waking up is critical. This needs to be followed every day, including weekends. However, it is not possible for everyone.

The environment plays a key role in falling asleep. It should be dark and quiet. This can be achieved by closing blinds or curtains, using earplugs, and turning mobile devices off. Daytime napping should be avoided entirely. If it is absolutely necessary, reduce it to a maximum of 30 minutes. Anything longer than 2 hours disrupts nighttime sleeping.

Working out for one hour 4-5 times per week is a good way to facilitate sleep. However, high-intensity exercise should be stopped at least 2 hours before bedtime.

Digital screens are distractions that keep us from falling asleep. Using mobile devices for more than 8 hours during the day or half an hour before going to bed is detrimental to our sleep. We must stop using them at least 1-2 hours before bedtime.

Reading is a good option for helping us fall asleep. However, we should read paper books, not E-books. The backlit screens of E-books disrupt our sleep rhythm. Also, reading on the bed is not recommended. We should read in another room and go to bed when we start feeling sleepy.

Diet is very important for sleep. Sugary foods, saturated fat, and refined carbohydrates should be avoided during dinner, while more fibres, plants, and unsaturated fats should be included. Regardless of whatever we eat, it should be completed at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. The stomach needs that time to empty itself. Going to bed on a full stomach may make us nauseous or uncomfortable. No tea, coffee or anything stimulating within 3-4 hours of bed. The same goes for smoking.

Once in bed, we need to try relaxation techniques to take our minds off from worldly stress. Otherwise, we may not be able to sleep at all. Meditation is a great option, and so is breathing exercise. A popular one is called the 4-7-8 technique for breathing. This means 4 seconds of continuous breathing, holding it for 7 seconds and then letting go for 8 seconds. Another option is guided imagery, which is to recall a peaceful setting or a calming memory. Some people find music to be a stress reliever. A hot bath before going to bed often helps. It should be taken around 2 hours before bedtime.

If someone cannot fall asleep at all, moving is a good idea. Leave the bed, go to a different room and try soft music or book reading. Only go back to the bedroom when sleepy.

If all fails, there is something called the military method, typically used by soldiers. It can purportedly make someone fall asleep in 2 minutes. This entails taking a comfortable position with arms on the sides and shoulders dropped. Relax facial muscles, chest, and body, then start breathing deeply. Relax the body from hips down, think of a peaceful image in the mind, and light out!

If sleep is still difficult to come by, there may be an underlying health condition. In that case, it is recommended to check with a physician.

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