How To Sleep Faster: Health Trends
Falling asleep is supposed to be effortless. You just lie down, close your eyes and wait for that sweet slumber.
But for millions this is not the case. It’s estimated that 1 in 3 people suffer from some kind of insomnia, many of whom experience difficult falling asleep.
Anxiety is one of the main causes of being unable to fall asleep easily and naturally. If you go to be bed anxious and worried, you’ll likely have trouble falling asleep fast.
But don’t fret. We’ve got a round up of some practical, research-based tips and tricks to help you reach the land of nod in no time. First of all, let’s take a look at some of the science of falling asleep.
How long should it take to fall asleep?
According to research, for a healthy individual it should take between 10-20 minutes to transition from wakefulness to sleep.
Anything outside this time-span indicates a problem. If you take too little time to fall asleep this could be a sign of sleep deprivation.
If your sleep latency is longer than average, you might be suffering from what the professionals call sleep onset insomnia, defined as difficulty initiating asleep.
1) Sleeping position matters
It has been scientifically-proven that people who tend to sleep on their back are more prone to sleep disorders like sleep apnea and lower back pain. This could result in difficulty falling asleep and sleep deprivation.
To avoid any blockage in your airways caused by your sleeping position, it is advised to sleep on your side, as this is more beneficial for your heart, in particular if you are pregnant as it prevents heartburn and re flux. Keep in mind therefore, that sleeping position does matter if you have difficulty snoozing.
2) Change your pillow
Sleeping on the wrong pillow could be cause of poor sleep quality thanks to discomfort and chronic back and neck pain which in turn make it more difficult to fall asleep on a regular basis.
You should consider a proper neck pillow which will keep your neck in a straight line, or even use two pillows, one for the head and one between your knees which can keep your hips in a neutral position.
3) Lay on a quality sleep surface
Studies show that sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress, is probably one of the most common reasons for a bad night’s. sleep.Scientists indeed have found an obvious correlation between improvement in sleep and making small changes in mattress support. A study published in the Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association showed that lumbar support enables a more even distribution of pressure across the pelvic, lumbar and thoracic areas, while limiting comprehensive and shearing forces on the spine.
In this case, it is important to consider switching to a new mattress if you old one is saggy, worn out or pokey. Deciding to get a good quality mattress, this is definitely a step closer to falling asleep faster and getting a better sleep overall.
4) Wear comfortable clothes
There is a direct correlation between sleep and core body temperature as studies suggest. It has been found that sleep onset insomnia relates to a delayed temperature rhythm. Wearing comfortable sleepwear or no clothes at all, will help regulate your body temperature better and help you snooze faster.
Also read: Importance of Yoga In Our Life
5) Take a warm shower before bed
Empirical findings indicate that insomniacs have a higher core body temperature before bedtime, which leads to more arousal and difficulty falling asleep. Although it may seem weird, taking a warm shower and entering a cool room will slow down your metabolism and contribute to falling asleep faster.
In fact, it is recommend that you follow the same shower ritual every night before going to bed, so that you prepare your body for sleep.
6) Ensure a cool room temperature
If you don’t prefer taking a hot shower before bedtime to decrease your body temperature, you can try cooling down the room temperature to 65 degrees as this according to The National Sleep Foundation and researchers is just the right temperature to slow down the heart rate, digestion and help you fall asleep faster.
7) Put on your socks to bed
Research shows that warm feet and hands best predict a quick sleep onset. This means that having cold feet literally obstructs falling asleep faster and hence the National Sleep Foundation suggests wearing socks to warm your feet before going to bed, to prepare your body for sleep.
8) Turn off electronic devices
An increasing number of studies indicate that exposing yourself to blue screens and smartphones before going to bed, disrupts with your quality of sleep. It is best advised that you switch off all electronic devices an hour or two before going to bed, which helps fall asleep faster.
9) Put on some calming music
If you think loud music is the worst companion when trying to sleep, this is true. Instead, research evidence exemplifies how music with slow rhythm of 60 to 80 beats a minute, can boost sleep quality and make you peaceful, relaxed and ready to fall asleep. In fact, studies show that classical music in particular can have a healing effect on people with depression.
Also read: Benefits Of Walking Barefoot: Health Trends
10) Avoid exposure to noise
What you need especially if you have trouble sleeping is a quiet sleep environment. A 2016 study examining the quality of sleep and the factors influencing sleep duration, indicated that noise was among the most commonly reported reasons for poor sleep.
A great way to isolate noises is through using a white noise machine. This sort of device helps minimize any unwanted sounds leaving you undistributed to fall asleep.
11) Turn down the lights before bedtime
Apart from tablets and smartphones, blue-light sleep intrusions most commonly occur as a result of fluorescent light-bulbs and LED lights. Experts advise to dim the lights the hours before you go to bed, so as to keep your sleep environment as dark as possible.
12) Try some aromatherapy with lavender
Use lavender oil to relax your body, lower blood pressure and get in calm mood. It has been empirically proven that sniffing lavender oil may lead to deeper levels of sleep and waking up refreshed in the morning.
13) Meditate or try acupressure
There is little chance you can fall asleep if you are all stressed out. In fact, experts insist that anxiety and stress are among the most important factors contributing to insomnia and other sleep disorders.
The best way to deal with stress, is through meditation, yoga, and alternative medicine like acupressure. Meditation has been proven to improve the symptoms of insomnia, as people who meditate tend to sleep longer and better. Even a mere 10-15 minutes of meditation a day can make a difference.
Acupressure is also an effective way to combat anxiety and release stressed muscles from pressure and pain. It seems that this alternative Chinese method is becoming favourable in the Western world as it creates a balance in all areas of the body and mind. Specific acupressure techniques could alleviate symptoms of insomnia.
14) Keep a consistent sleep routine
There is no better way to prepare your body for sleep than keeping a stable sleep schedule. Our sleep-wake cycle is controlled by our internal clock, found in the area of the brain called suprachiasmatic nucleus.
Having unstable sleep habits can make it even more prone to sleep disorders, whereas if you stick to a regular sleep routine, the body will adapt and prepare on its own for sleep.
Although this may sound impossible, try to follow a strict bedtime schedule as it is of the most crucial factors to succeed in falling asleep faster and restore restful sleep.
15) Skip the late snacks and heavy meals
Although it may not cross your mind, sticking to a healthy diet could be a critical way to fall asleep faster. If you tend to consume foods like chocolate or any fatty and spicy foods, especially if it is close to bedtime, your body will not have sufficient time to digest, which it does best when standing or sitting.
Instead, you should try to avoid dinner at least 4 hours before going to bed, and in general try to eat nutrients which facilitate sleep, such as magnesium, as well as carbohydrates, vitamin D and selenium.
In addition, you might want to try potassium, which appears to increase sleep efficiency. Hence, recommended foods are soy products, bananas, milk, avocados, egg yolks, oily fish, and spinach which are good sources of all the above nutrients.
Establish a routine of eating a light, early dinner and you will be one step closer to a restful sleep.