I normally have no problems falling asleep, but lately I’ve been in sleep struggle town. I can’t seem to switch my head off and often lie there wishing I could take my brain out and pop it on the bedside table until morning! So, I’ve been reading about how to fall asleep – naturally – and thought I’d share some simple tips for getting to the land of nod quicker.
How To Fall Asleep
- Stick to a sleep schedule. Wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day – even on weekends. A regular sleep routine keeps your body clock steady so you rest better.
- Inhale through your left nostril. This yoga method is thought to reduce blood pressure and calm you. Simply lie on your left side and rest a finger on your right nostril to close it. With a long, slow, deep breath gently inhale through your left nostril. Then, just as gently exhale slowly and completely through the left nostril. This technique is also handy when you feel tense or stressed throughout the day.
- Keep cool. Most sleep scientists believe that a slightly cool room contributes to good sleep. That’s because it mimics what occurs in the body when its internal temperature drops during the night to its lowest level. By keeping the temperature in your bedroom at around 18 degrees, you’ll help your body’s core temp quickly and naturally reduce, which in turn creates the effect of drowsiness.
- Exercise early in the day. According to a National Sleep Foundation poll, people who exercised reported better sleep than non-exercisers. And those who exercised early in the day rather than at night may enjoy the best quality sleep. In fact, working out at least four hours before you hit the hay can help you to feel naturally tired at the end of the day and to fall asleep faster.
- Rewind your day. I don’t know about you, but counting sheep just doesn’t cut it for me! Instead, try closing your eyes, breath deeply and start rewinding your day. Remembering the mundane detail in reverse order clears your mind of worries and helps you reach a mental state that’s ready for sleep.
- Stay in the dark. If you’re finding it hard to go to sleep, resist the urge to look at your phone, iPad or computer. All light hampers sleep and the blue light that electronic devices emit is especially effective at suppressing production of the hormone, melatonin, which induces relaxation and sleep.
- Make a worry list. To quiet a mind that just won’t quit, spend some time every night before you get into bed jotting down your top concerns. Then write down the steps you can take to solve the problem. Once your concerns are converted into some kind of action plan, you’ll rest easier.
- Take time to wind down. Sleep is not an on-off switch – you need to give yourself time to wind down by creating a bedtime routine that works for you. For me, I like to turn off all technology an hour before I hit the sack and then spend some time getting ready for the next day, having a shower and reading.
What are your tips for how to fall asleep quickly?