20 Best Ways to Fall Asleep Fast

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There are many ways to fall asleep fast. Some people listen to calm music, read a book, or take medication. Falling asleep at the same time each night is an example of good sleep hygiene and helps set your body’s internal clock. Good sleep hygiene refers to habits that help improve sleep quality. Other examples of good sleep hygiene include sleeping in a comfortable space, exercising regularly, and avoiding heavy late-night meals.

No one-size-fits-all solution exists to help you fall asleep fast. Different techniques work for different people. The best way to follow one of these techniques is to first decide which one would be the easiest for you. You can even try several methods at the same time. Some people may have sleep disorders that make it hard to fall asleep quickly. Diagnosing and treating these sleep disorders can help you rest better.

1. Switch off all electronic devices.

Switch off all electronic devices when going to sleep. Switching them off will prevent them from distracting you. Electronic devices to turn off early include your TV, laptop, smartphone, or tablet. They should be shut down at least an hour before bed. The blue light emitted by electronic devices suppresses the production of melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy. Instead of being on your phone or watching TV, you can read a book, meditate, or spend quality time talking to your family. Spending time using electronics before bed will keep you awake. The content you consume may engage your brain too much, making it hard to relax. One drawback of this method is that you may feel bored at first. People who are used to being on their phones or watching TV before bed might struggle to change this habit. The best way to transition into this habit is to leave electronics out of your bedroom before you go to bed.

2. Concentrate on staying awake.

Concentrate on staying awake to fall asleep fast. When you're trying to sleep, your mind can sometimes start racing. If you focus on staying awake, your mind will eventually relax, and you'll drift off to sleep. This technique is best to try during the day when you're not trying to sleep. That way, you can train your mind to relax. The best time to focus on staying awake is when you're feeling drowsy but not quite ready to sleep. Once you're good at this during the day, try it at night when you're ready to go to bed. The only drawback is that it takes practice and patience. Concentrating on staying awake could be tricky at first because it doesn't sound like it could help you fall asleep.

3. Drink a calming beverage instead of caffeine.

Drink a calming beverage instead of caffeine to fall asleep fast. Caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you awake. You should avoid caffeine at least six hours before bedtime. Instead of coffee, tea, or energy drinks, drink herbal tea or warm milk before bed. Chamomile tea is especially calming and is known to have sleep-promoting benefits. The only drawback to drinking a calming beverage is that you might have to use the bathroom at night. Waking up to go to the bathroom several times interrupts your rest, and you could have difficulty falling back asleep.

Illustration of a Man Sleeping Tight after a Cup of Tea

4. Change the way you sleep.

Change the way you sleep to fall asleep fast. How you sleep can affect the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep. If you typically sleep on your stomach, try sleeping on your back. This will help your head, neck, and spine to align properly. Good spine alignment helps prevent back and neck pain, both of which could cause restless nights down the road. Sleeping on your side can also help reduce snoring. Snoring is disruptive to your partner and you. The only drawback of changing the way you sleep is that it can take time to adjust. You may have trouble sleeping at first, but eventually, you'll get used to the new position. Using extra pillows is a great way to help make yourself more comfortable in a new sleep position.

5. Make yourself at home.

Make yourself at home to fall asleep fast. When you're in a comfortable environment, it's easier to relax and fall asleep. If you're sleeping in a hotel, you should make your bedroom as comfortable as possible by using soft sheets, a comfortable mattress, and cozy blankets. You may want to bring your favorite pillow or something else that reminds you of home. Having things that remind you of home will make you feel more comfortable and help you fall asleep faster. To make your home cozier, personalize your bedroom. Add pictures of your family and friends, or hang up a poster of your favorite movie. A drawback of this method is that it takes work and time. Making yourself feel at home when you're someplace else can be tricky. Use your imagination and see what item you can bring with you to remind you of home when trying to sleep.

6. Get some exercise during the day.

Get some exercise during the day to help you sleep faster. Exercise can help you sleep better at night by making you tired. A good time to exercise is in the morning or afternoon. Working out right before bed could make it hard to fall asleep because it can give you an energy boost. Working out in the morning and afternoon gives you plenty of time to wind down before bed. The only drawback to this method is that you may need to build up to working out regularly if you’re not used to it. You should start slowly, trying mild exercises if you don't usually work out. As time passes, you can try more intense workouts, and you may see your sleep schedule improve.

7. Get a taste of both brightness and darkness.

Get a taste of both brightness and darkness to fall asleep in less time. Your body's natural sleep rhythm responds most to light and darkness, and exposing yourself to both will regulate your internal clock. First, spend time outside in the sun during the day. This will help boost your mood and energy levels throughout the day. Then, at bedtime, turn off all the lights in your house and use a small night light if you need to get up. The only drawback of this method is that it can be hard to find time to be outside during the day. If you work at night or are homebound, try opening the curtains during the day or sitting near a window. An advantage to this method is that sunlight exposure can help improve your mood.

Illustration of a Woman Enjoying the Sun in the Park

8. Make a mental list of things that make you joyful.

Make a mental list of things that make you joyful to fall asleep quickly. When you're relaxed and happy, it's easier to fall asleep. Think about topics like spending time with your friends and family, going on vacation, or reading your favorite book. One drawback of this method is that it takes time to make a list. You will have to dig deep into your mind to figure out what makes you happy and could put your mind at ease. Another drawback is that it's easy to forget something on the list. If you have a hard time remembering things, you may want to write down your thoughts. This will help you remember the things that make you happy. You can go a step further and make more time for these things in your life, which will help lift your spirits.

9. Take a look at something calming.

Take a look at something calming before bed to fall asleep quickly. When you're trying to fall asleep, you may find your mind is filled with thoughts. One way to clear your mind is to look at something calming. This can be a picture of nature, a statue, or anything that relaxes you. Looking at something helps clear your mind and allows you to relax. One drawback of this method is that you need to find a suitable image. If you don't have anything around your room, you may need to get creative. Art pieces may cost a lot of money, so use your imagination. Avoid searching for images on your phone or computer, as the blue light from these devices can be counterintuitive to sleep.

10. Before going to bed, practice writing.

Before going to bed, practice writing to relax and fall asleep quickly. Writing can help clear your mind and relax you. When you're trying to go to sleep, it's helpful to have a calm mind. One way to achieve this is by writing about your day. Write down everything that happened, from the good moments to the bad. This will help you process the day's events.

Another way to use writing as a sleep aid is to write down your worries and concerns. Putting your thoughts down on paper can help you feel more in control. Writing can help you find solutions to your problems. The only drawback of this method is that you need something to write with and on. Make sure you have a pen and paper near your bed, or you may not feel like getting up to get them. Writing about what you’re grateful for is good if you’re stuck on what to write. Sources of gratitude can include your family, house, job, or small things like an empty parking spot you found that afternoon.

11. Practice the 4-7-8 breathing technique.

Practice the 4-7-8 breathing technique to fall asleep fast. This technique can help you relax and fall asleep in less time. To do this, exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound. Close your mouth and inhale through your nose for 4 four seconds. Hold your breath for 7 seconds. Exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds, making a whoosh sound. Repeat this cycle for 4 minutes. One drawback of this method is that you need to be able to control your breathing. If you have trouble breathing through your nose, you may want to try another method. This technique can also take some time to master.

12. Don't look at your watch.

Don't look at your watch or clock when you're trying to fall asleep. Looking at your watch can make it harder to fall asleep. When you're trying to sleep, your mind can be focused on how long it's taking, causing it to race with different thoughts. This can make it harder to relax and fall asleep. One way to avoid this is by not looking at the time. Don’t wear your watch to bed and keep your clock out of eyesight. This will help you relax and fall asleep without worrying about how long it's taking. The only drawback is that you may have to fight the urge to look at your watch or clock.

Illustration of a Girl Sleeping Peacefully

13. Incorporate yoga, meditation, and mindfulness into your daily routine.

Incorporate yoga, meditation, and mindfulness into your daily routine if you want to fall asleep faster. Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness can help you relax by clearing the mind. You can do these activities during the day or right before bed. One drawback to these activities is that they take some time to learn and do correctly. You’ll also need to find time in your schedule to do these practices. The easiest way to learn is to start slowly. You can enroll in yoga classes or use YouTube videos to practice at home. The same goes for meditation. Mindfulness takes equally as long to practice, and you can do it throughout the day regardless of what you're doing.

14. Keep track of what you eat and when you eat it.

Keep track of what you eat and when you eat it to help your body before bed. Eating right before bed can make it harder to fall asleep. This is because your body is digesting food, which can keep you awake. Eating a light snack or dinner a few hours before bed can help you sleep better. Drinking alcohol before bed can also make it harder to fall asleep. Try to avoid eating or drinking anything within two hours of bedtime. Calming beverages like warm milk or herbal tea are the exception.

If you're still having trouble falling asleep, you may want to track what you're eating and when you're eating it. This can help you see if there's a pattern with the foods you're eating and how they're affecting your sleep. A drawback of this method is that some people are used to snacking late at night. It takes time and effort to change this habit. The best way to start is to avoid unhealthy snacks. Then, try not to eat late, allowing your body to process food before it's time for bed.

15. Establish a routine.

Establish a routine to fall asleep faster. Having a routine before bed can help your body relax and prepare for sleep. Your routine can include skincare, brushing your teeth, and taking a warm bath. You may also want to try yoga, meditation, or mindfulness before bed. These activities can help clear your mind and relax your body. One drawback of this method is that it can be hard to stick to a routine. Establishing a new routine and sticking to it takes time and effort. The best way to start is by slowly adding new activities or eliminating old ones. Try not to change everything at once, as this can be overwhelming. Once you have a routine established, stick to it as much as possible.

A Lady Taking a Warm Bath - Illustration

16. Don't take naps during the day.

Don't take naps during the day if you want to fall asleep faster at night. Napping can make it harder to sleep at night because it can throw off your natural sleeping rhythm. If you're having trouble sleeping, try to avoid taking even short naps during the day. This will help you sleep better at night. A drawback of this method is that you may be too tired to go on without at least a short nap. Avoiding naps is especially difficult for people who are used to taking them during the day. If you're someone who needs to nap during the day, try to keep your naps as short as possible and avoid taking them too close to bedtime.

17. Take a look at supplements that can help you sleep better.

Take a look at supplements that can help you sleep better if you're having trouble falling asleep. Melatonin is a sleep-promoting hormone that’s available as a supplement. You can take melatonin an hour before bed to help you fall asleep. Melatonin is available over the counter and is relatively safe for most people. You can take herbal supplements like chamomile and lemon balm to help you relax. Supplements like valerian root have been shown to help people sleep better. A drawback of this method is that some supplements can have side effects. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you take medication, are pregnant, or are currently breastfeeding.

18. Lower the thermostat.

Lower the thermostat to fall asleep faster. The cooler temperature can help your body relax and prepare for sleep. Keep your bedroom cool by using a fan or turning down the thermostat before bedtime. A drawback of this method is that some people may find sleeping in a cold room uncomfortable. If you're someone who doesn't like sleeping in a cool room, this method may not work for you. You can try using a light blanket to stay comfortable while still keeping the room cool. You don't have to lower the temperature to the point that your room becomes cold. The best temperature for sleeping is 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit.

20. Experiment with aromatherapy.

Experiment with aromatherapy because it may help you fall asleep quickly. Many different scents can help you relax and fall asleep faster than usual. Try lavender, chamomile, or valerian essential oils. Add a few drops of oil to your diffuser and let the scent fill your room. A drawback of this method is that some people are sensitive to the scent of essential oils. If you're sensitive to smells, you may want to avoid using aromatherapy before bed. You can also try using scent-free oil like grapeseed oil.

19. Relax by listening to soothing music.

Relax by listening to soothing music to sleep faster and better. Many different genres of music can help you relax and fall asleep. You may want to try classical, ambient, or nature sounds. Put on some soft music and let it play in the background as you wind down for the night. A drawback of this method is that you may have to spend money to purchase the music. You may also find it difficult to relax and fall asleep when there's noise in the background. If you don't like sleeping with music, you can turn it off before sleeping.

Illustration of a Young Man Listening Music While Sleeping

What Methods Should You Use to Sleep Fast?

The best methods you should use to sleep fast are listed below. Each list element focuses on relaxing the body and mind.

  1. The Military Method: Drop your shoulders and allow the hands to drop to the side. This position should release the tension in the shoulders and neck. Relax your chest and exhale while relaxing your calves and thighs. Imagine a relaxing scene for 10 seconds, clearing your mind and focusing on breathing. You should fall asleep within 2 minutes.

  2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation: Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing and relaxing your muscles. The method helps release tension which causes anxiety and stress. Progressive muscle relaxation may help you fall asleep as it relieves the pain in the muscles.

  3. Peaceful Music: Peaceful music may help you fall asleep by slowing your breathing and heart rate. Listening to peaceful music will lower your body pressure, lowering your anxiety and stress levels.

  4. Reading: Reading before bed can help you relax, but this depends on the book you’re reading. Avoid violent and stressful books that can speed up your heart rate and breathing. Instead, look for peaceful stories that will help you calm and relax.

  5. Yoga: Yoga helps with mindfulness that can increase melatonin levels. Regular yoga practice reduces nighttime sleep disturbances and increases breathing awareness. Doing yoga before bed will help your mind relax and calm to reduce sleep anxiety and stress.

  6. Meditation: Meditation works similarly to yoga. Regular meditation during the day or before bed can help you relax. Meditation can help with muscle tension, breathing, and anxiety.

  7. Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment otherwise known as essential oil therapy. The method involves using natural plant extracts to improve your mind, body, and spirit. Essential oils that promote better sleep are lavender, chamomile, and peppermint oils.

How Long Should It Take to Fall Asleep?

It should take 15 to 20 minutes to fall asleep for most people. Depending on their mood and circumstances, some people can take much longer to fall asleep. You may experience trouble falling asleep at times, even if you don't usually have this problem. You shouldn’t worry about how long it should take to fall asleep when you’re worried or excited because it usually takes longer in this case. If you have trouble falling asleep regularly, it's best to consult your doctor.

Which Sleep Disorders Prevent You From Sleeping Fast?

Sleep disorders that prevent you from sleeping fast include insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome. All sleep disorders have different symptoms and causes. Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder. Insomnia is characterized by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing during sleep. Restless leg syndrome is a sleep disorder that causes an irresistible urge to move your legs. If you have any of these disorders, it's best to consult your doctor to find the appropriate treatment.

Content Writer

Jill Zwarensteyn is a content writer for Sleep Advisor and is enthusiastic about providing helpful and engaging information on all things sleep and wellness.

Based in Los Angeles, she is an experienced writer and journalist who enjoys spending her free time at the beach, hiking, reading, or exploring new places around town.

She’s also an avid traveler who has a personal goal of being able to successfully sleep on an airplane someday.

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