Falling asleep sounds so easy, and yet for many people, it can be a real challenge and can even be a pathway to insomnia. Sleep is a basic biological need, meaning that we need to get enough of it for our minds and bodies to function properly.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to fall asleep faster and stay asleep. First, let’s look at the science behind sleep. Then, let’s go over some sleeping tips that can help you fall asleep fast.
Falling asleep is a normal and necessary part of the sleep/wake cycle. During waking hours, the pressure to fall asleep continues to build until sleep time. This pressure to fall asleep, also called ‘sleep debt‘, is decreased or ‘paid off’ while sleeping. When the sleep debt, or sleep pressure, is not reduced, sleep deprivation occurs.
Things That Make it Difficult to Fall Asleep
There are many things that can make it difficult to fall asleep, including:
- Caffeine (including coffee, dark tea, soda, energy drinks, etc.)
- Nicotine (cigarettes and chewing tobacco)
- A more complex sleep disorder
If you have difficulty falling asleep for more than a few days, you may have insomnia. There are several causes of insomnia. There are also several treatment options for insomnia. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia, also known as CBT-I, is a widely recommended approach. If you would like to learn more about how CBT-I can help with sleep, Sleepstation offers a fully supported online course. Many have found behavioral therapy to be a preferable option to medication.
Over-the-counter supplements, like melatonin or CBD oil are sometimes used for the treatment of insomnia. Read more about the effectiveness of alternative treatment options like CBD oil and melatonin.
Every person has a specific amount of sleep that they need. For most, it is eight hours. Some need more, and some need less. If you feel sleepy during the daytime, you probably are not getting enough quantity or quality of sleep.
With so many individuals searching for the secret of how to fall asleep, we felt it beneficial to review a few key sleeping tips to help you fall asleep quickly.
Sleeping Tips to Help You Fall Asleep Fast
- Have a ritual – go to bed at the same time. Wake up at the same time.
- Calm yourself before bedtime – Many enjoy yoga, a hot shower or bath, or listening to soothing music or ASMR. Do something that relaxes you as part of your nightly ritual.
- Avoid things that will keep you awake – this includes avoiding alcohol and caffeine before bedtime. Don’t exercise right before bedtime.
- Don’t watch TV or read in bed – you only want to associate your bed and bedroom with sleep
- While in bed, if you find yourself awake for more than 10 minutes, get out of bed and sit in a chair until you are sleepy.
- Don’t stress out about not falling asleep. If you have a bad night, or find yourself awake for longer than expected, don’t be upset at yourself.
- Realize that daytime naps will subtract some of the sleep pressure that you will have at night. Use them with caution if you’re having difficulty sleeping at night.
- Create a bedroom sanctuary – Create a calming bedroom with things like weighted blankets, essential oil diffusers, soft music, and dim lighting.
- Follow good sleep hygiene – Sleep hygiene is defined as behaviors that one can do to help promote good sleep using behavioral interventions.
- Engage with online sleep services that provide support and are specifically designed to improve your sleep. Online sleep clinics can help you pinpoint the cause of your problems and give you the support and guidance needed to improve your sleep. Sleepstation. Offers an online service that is fully supported with sleep qualified experts.
It is important to reduce anxiety before bedtime. Realize that falling asleep is a natural, biological process. You do not need a special substance or ‘trick’ to fall asleep. The need to sleep is ingrained in your DNA. Every person has a specific amount of sleep that they require. You cannot force yourself to sleep if you have already slept enough. Similarly, you cannot sleep less than what your body requires. Trying to sleep more than what you need can actually lead to insomnia.
Need more help? Learn about these calming rituals to help you fall asleep faster