- Sleep is a vital part of maintaining a healthy, stress-free life.
- One of the most common sleeping problems is insomnia. 33% of people experience it at least once in their life, in varying degrees of seriousness.
- There are lots of things you can try to help you go to sleep faster. They involve switching of your phone, playing tricks on your brain, using earplugs to cut off the noise and getting enough excercise.
- The 8 tips you find below are a great starting point to tackle your difficulties when trying to sleep.
Loop Quiet is a great solution to your sleeping woes – helping you to navigate your world of sleep.
One sheep… two sheep… three sheep… four… five…
Nope. Still awake.
Does sleep avoid you like a cat avoids water?
It can sometimes feel as if falling asleep is like climbing the world’s tallest mountain – with each grueling step you take not seeming to get you any closer to the top.
Sleep is a vital part of a healthy life, but people often don’t realize just how important it is. As sleep expert Dr. Amy M. Bender explains:
“Despite sleep taking up a third of our lives, we often struggle with sleep and fail to prioritize it.”
But did you know that there are some tried-and-tested ways to help you drift off?
We’ll give you some of the best tips and tricks to help you get some of that elusive shut-eye and finally catch some z’s.
What is insomnia?
Before we dive into how to sleep faster, let’s cover one of the most common sleep-related issues: insomnia.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that can make it incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to fall asleep. It also makes it difficult to stay asleep, with sufferers regularly waking up during the night or waking up far too early.
In general terms, there are two main forms of insomnia:
- Acute (short-term) insomnia: This is when a person experiences insomnia that lasts for a shorter period of time – normally less than three months.
- Chronic (long-term) insomnia: Chronic insomnia is when a person experiences insomnia for upwards of three months.
What causes insomnia?
While it’s not always clear what causes insomnia, acute insomnia is often brought about by stimulants such as alcohol or caffeine, recreational drugs, a traumatic event, large amounts of stress or other anxiety issues.
Chronic insomnia can occur for the same reasons, but can also be caused by issues such as depression, poor sleep hygiene, or a bad sleeping environment. It can also occur if you suffer from further medical issues, or if you have other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.
8 tips on how to go to sleep faster
You could be suffering from insomnia and looking to find ways to help you fall asleep, or you could just be a slow sleeper thinking “How can I go to sleep faster?”
Whatever your reasons, being able to sleep at the drop of a hat is a desired ability.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of eight tips on how to sleep faster so that you can finally doze off and get some well-earned rest.
1. Try and relax
What’s more relaxing than someone telling you to relax, right?
But in all seriousness, many people will start to get tense and anxious if they’re not falling asleep within the first few minutes of being in bed.
This will commonly end up as a self-fulfilling prophecy, as the more you think and panic about it, the less likely you are to actually fall asleep.
But it’s important to remember that not many people can go from being wide awake to being asleep in a matter of minutes. Falling asleep is a part of a process, and the first part of that process is relaxing your body and mind to prepare for sleep.
And even when you’re just lying relaxed, your body is in a rested state – so you can still recuperate to a certain extent without actually falling asleep. Keeping that in mind can also help you to drift off.
The best way to prepare your body for sleep is by starting to unwind for about an hour or so before you plan to get into bed.
Try drinking a cup of herbal tea, dimming the lights and perhaps playing some relaxing music as a way to ease your body and mind into a relaxed state.
The more relaxed you are, the more likely you are to drift off peacefully.
2. Switch off your screens
Be honest with yourself, how long do you spend scrolling on your phone before bed? Or flicking through the TV channels? How many times have you told yourself “Just one more episode!”?
With tech constantly at our fingertips, it can be difficult to completely detach yourself from a screen before bed. But screentime before bedtime can actually have a negative impact on the quality of your sleep – as well as your overall sleep cycle.
This is due to the fact that most tech screens emit a blue light that simulates sunlight. This blue light can actually trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime – which causes your body to stop releasing melatonin, a sleep hormone that helps us drift off.
And now that you’ve finally put your phone down? Bzz, bzz, bzz. There it is, buzzing away, begging for attention again. Make sure that you’re setting your phone to “Do not disturb”, because there’s nothing worse than getting woken up in the middle of the night by an automated email alert sent by your bank.
So try putting the tech down earlier and switching it to silent if you’re winding down for bed.
3. Try the military method
Conflict zones don’t sound like the most sleep-friendly environments do they?
And yet soldiers rely on sleep to recharge and prepare their bodies for their duties.
But seriously, how on earth do they do it?
Well, according to a viral TikTok video, it’s not so hard.
So here is the step-by-step way that has been proven to help people fall asleep in two minutes:
- Step one: Start by laying down in bed on your back with your arms by your side.
- Step two: Beginning at the top, start relaxing your entire face. Make sure to relax each individual muscle, including your tongue and your jaw.
- Step three: Moving down your body, relax your neck and shoulders, and let your arms and hands fall limp.
- Step four: Take a few deep breaths, then one big exhale to relax your chest.
- Step five: Still making your way down your body, start to relax your legs, including your thighs, glutes and calves.
- Step six: Now that your body has relaxed, clear your mind for 10 seconds. This can be done by going to your “happy place” or by imagining yourself in a relaxing environment.
- Step seven: If you’re struggling to clear your mind, try repeating the words “don’t think” over and over in your head for 10 seconds.
- Step eight: Repeat step six/seven until you fall asleep.
This method was first introduced in “Relax and Win: Championship Performance”, a book by author Lloyd Winter. It has since been adopted by millions around the world as a proven way to fall asleep within two minutes – no matter the conditions.
This method does take some practice. So don’t worry if you don’t get the hang of it straight away – just keep trying and you’ll soon have a handy new way to help you fall asleep.
4. Trick your brain
If the more standard methods of falling asleep are failing you, it might be time to play a well-known trick on your brain.
Research has found that “paradoxical intention” is an effective method of how to go to sleep faster and easier.
While the name sounds complex, the process is actually incredibly simple – all you have to do is tell yourself to stay awake.
It might sound silly, but this type of reverse psychology shows great results, with the aforementioned research showing that people who practice paradoxical intention can fall asleep faster than those who don’t.
This method also helps to combat the pressure to sleep, or sleep anxiety.
So the next time that you’re worrying about not falling asleep straight away and the traditional breathing exercises aren’t working, try this sneaky trick.
5. Shut out the noise with earplugs
Is next door having a party? Are there late-night roadworks going on? Are you working shifts and have to try and fall asleep in the middle of the day?
Noise is a sleep killer.
But luckily, there’s a solution.
One of the simpler tips on how to sleep faster, using earplugs is a great way to shut out any external noise that may keep you awake.
Loop Quiet is the perfect solution for reducing noise levels, whether that’s to help you sleep, whilst you’re traveling, or if you just want to live life at your own volume.
With up to 27 dB of noise reduction, this is Loop’s most powerful earplug – and will do wonders for blocking out your partner’s snoring, the next-door neighbor’s dog barking, your ears buzzing or that annoying creaking sound your roof makes whenever it’s windy.
6. Get some regular exercise
One of the reasons why you may be struggling to drift off at night is that you’re still full of unexpended energy. And when this happens, it’s a clear sign that you need to use up some of that extra energy throughout the day.
Any doctor will tell you that exercise is good for you. But not only does it help with the general upkeep and healthiness of your body, it also can help you sleep better at night.
Even moderate levels of exercise can do wonders for both your body and your mind – so you don’t need to go full-out with four-hour gym sessions. Something as simple as a light jog or a midday walk can improve your sleeping pattern.
That being said, make sure that you’re not exercising too close to your bedtime. You should leave at least an hour between your workout and settling down for the night.
7. Create a routine
Humans are creatures of habit.
We love to follow schedules and patterns, whether that’s our morning routine of a cup of coffee and a bagel or our Christmas traditions that we do each and every year.
And the same should go for your bedtime routine.
Making a routine that stays consistent can help your body prepare itself for sleep.
It can be something as simple as making sure you’re always in bed at roughly the same time, or as complex as creating a playlist of music that you listen to, having a certain hot drink at a certain time, and completing a scheduled hygiene routine each night.
What your routine consists of is entirely up to you. But having that regular pattern can help to set your internal body clock and send your brain a message that it’s time to wind down and rest.
“At the end of a long day, you might want to collapse in front of the TV and watch an episode of your favorite show, but engaging in a regular bedtime ritual could actually help you sleep better.”Michael Breus, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Sleep Medicine Expert
8. Stop clock-watching
If I fall asleep now I’ll get eight hours of sleep. If I fall asleep now I’ll get six and a half hours of sleep. If I fall asleep now I’ll get…
When you’re struggling to fall asleep and you know you’ve got to be up at a certain time, your brain can feel like it’s constantly wired. This can lead to you constantly checking your clock to figure out how much sleep you’re going to get.
But all that is going to do is stress you out.
If you remove that temptation to check the time, you can seriously reduce your levels of sleep anxiety.
So take down the clock and turn over your phone.
You will sleep when you sleep.
You’ll be sleeping like a baby in no time
For some, a good night’s sleep will always be the result of hard work, practice, and effort. But when you learn what makes your body – and your mind – tick, you can find ways that work for you.
By living a healthy life, coupled with reducing your various sources of stress and blocking out noise, you can reduce your chances of insomnia and finally get the rest and recuperation that you deserve and need.
But remember, it’s not just about how you can go to sleep faster – it’s also about the quality of rest that you get.
A good night's sleep is about more than just the total hours of sleep you get..
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Our Experience, Quiet, and Engage earplugs are designed to not only protect your hearing but also to help you feel more comfortable in any environment. Whether that’s to help you fall asleep or to allow you to experience life at a safe volume.
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