Are you among the lucky few who fall asleep shortly after going to bed and get a blissful 8 hours of rest every night? Or do you often lay wide awake in bed before finally falling asleep? Do you often toss and turn?
More and more people are finding themselves in the latter group. For them, the morning alarm always comes too soon and there are never enough hours in the night.
If you feel like you can't get a good night's sleep or wake up feeling refreshed, you need to make some changes. Persistent problems of this kind can lead to fatigue during the day and significant health problems further down the line. That's why we're going to present you with five ways to fall asleep quickly and sleep better.
Don't Use Electronics Before Bedtime
We are creatures of habit, and technology also surrounds us. As a result, most of us use some sort of electronic device at work or in school, whether it's a computer or smartphone. The real trouble with this comes at the end of the day.
That's when our bodies should react to a change in light levels and release sleep-signaling chemicals to help us nod off. But when you bring your smartphone or laptop to bed, you're giving your eyes a big dose of blue light.
The effect of this will vary from person to person, but it doesn't contribute to better sleep. One more thing to watch out for is watching TV late in the evening. In any case, if you're having trouble dozing off, try to eliminate as much artificial light as possible thirty minutes to an hour before bedtime.
Put Your Clock Away
Sometimes a thing as simple as hiding your clock from view can help you fall asleep faster. Anxiety leads to insomnia and counting down the amount of time you have left before your morning alarm goes off, doesn't help at all. In fact, it can make you even more nervous and be the little distraction that helps keep you awake.
Try This Breathing Exercise
There are a lot of products and devices available that claim to help with insomnia, but before you try them out, there is something you can try to help you relax and sleep. There's a shockingly simple breathing exercise that takes almost no time to perform. It was developed by the American celebrity doctor Andrew Weil. For those who have experience with yoga, it will be very familiar. Here's how it works:
- Step 1: Exhale, using your mouth while making an audible ‘whoosh' sound
- Step 2: Now close your mouth and inhale through the nose as you count to four
- Step 3: As you hold your breath, count to seven
- Step 4: Once again, exhale completely through the mouth and make the same ‘whoosh' sound as you count to eight
- Step 5: The first four steps count as one breath. Proceed to inhale again and repeat steps 1-4 three more times. Repeat if necessary.
Get out Of Bed and Do Something
A common mistake that people make is not getting out of bed when they can't fall asleep. Additionally, if you happen to wake up during the night and fail to doze off within 15 minutes, you shouldn't just lie there. Instead, get up and try to do something with your hands like a Rubik's cube or do some coloring in.
As mentioned above, you should stay away from TVs and other screens. The whole point behind this is that you need to train your body to recognize that being in bed is a cue to fall asleep. Conversely, getting out of bed at a set time is also important to get your natural clock back to a normal rhythm.
Choose A Good Sleeping Position
Not every position is good for you, even if you're used to it. You might want to try out something different to help you fall asleep easier. Take a look at some of the pros and cons to each position:
Sleeping on Your Back
- When you stretch yourself out belly up, your spine and neck are straight and in a more natural position. Moreover, back sleepers let their mattress support their spine like it's supposed to.
- Sleep apnea and snoring most often affect people who sleep on their back. If you're suffering from these conditions, side sleeping is recommended.
Sleeping on Your Side
- Sleeping on your left or right side takes the pressure off of your lower back and can help those who have heartburn or acid reflux fall asleep.
- This position can result in numb arms because of restricted blood flow. You might also end up with a sore neck or shoulders.
Sleeping on Your Stomach
- This position flattens the spine's natural shape, which can cause pain in your lower back. Since you can't sleep face down, you can also put strain on your neck with your head turned.