Ten tips to get to sleep quicker
For some people falling asleep isn’t as easy as placing their head on a pillow and shutting their eyes. If you tend to lie awake desperately waiting for sleep to come, here are ten tips to help you fall asleep more quickly:
- Switch off – Mobile phones, laptops, tablets and TVs can all interfere with sleep and should be avoided at least half an hour before your bedtime. The type of light these electrical devices emit is too stimulating1 and may affect your ability to switch off.
- Have a bedtime ritual – Prep your body for sleep by having a bedtime ritual that you repeat every night. This could include a warm shower, relaxation techniques, reading under low light and/or listening to soothing music.
- Keep cool – Research shows that there’s an ideal temperature for sleep, which tends to be on the cooler side, and when the temperature heats up, it can take longer to fall asleep.2 Wear light clothing, use natural/breathable bedding and open a window, use a fan or air conditioning to keep cool at night.
- Make sure it’s dark – Light and darkness are powerful cues that tell our bodies when it’s time to wake and rest. So it’s no surprise that light in the bedroom, or outside your bedroom, can interfere with a quality night’s sleep. Use low wattage bedside lamps to help you wind down in the hours before sleep and block sources of artificial light such as bright alarm clocks. Also consider using an eye mask.
- Use relaxation techniques – As you’re lying in bed, try this relaxation technique. Curl your toes tightly for a count of five and then relax. Repeat through each muscle group working from your feet to your head.
- Consider bedtime stretches – Gentle yoga stretches before bed may help to release the stresses of the day, relax your body and calm your mind.
- Journal – If you struggle with stressful thoughts as you’re trying to fall asleep, clear your mind by writing in a journal. Putting what’s bothering you down on paper, may stop them from circulating in your head, helping you to let go of them at least until the morning.
- Make yourself comfortable – Avoid tight and uncomfortable clothing and accessories such as socks or hair bands, ensure your bedding is cozy and be sure to use the bathroom, as the need to go may interfere with your ability to fall asleep.
- Avoid stimulants late in the day – It takes the body many hours to process caffeine therefore try to avoid consuming coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages after mid-afternoon. Late night exercise may also impede your need for sleep, so consider an earlier session.
- Try a natural remedy – Herbs like zizyphus, valerian and hops have calming effects on the body and may help to relieve sleeplessness and insomnia. The milk protein lactium may help to relieve stress in adults, which may be affecting your ability to fall asleep quickly.
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Published February 17, 2015
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