10 Tips That Can Help You Fall Asleep Faster
When we were kids, sleep was always just a matter of minutes away. After losing so much energy during the day from running around with our friends, we drifted off to the land of dreams as easy as 1,2,3. Before we knew it, it was time to wake up for school!
As we get older, though, sleep can be harder to come by. Often, we are are plagued by stressful thoughts, worries and anxieties. Because of this, over 10million prescriptions for sleeping pills are written in ENGLAND each year alone. For such a small island nation, that’s a lot!
Taking too long to sleep can take its toll on your mental and physical health. Lying in your bed, tossing and turning, checking the clock and nipping to the toilet; it’s all so frustrating. So let’s take a look at 10 top tips that can help you fall asleep faster.
Stop Checking The Clock
Whether you check your clock or your phone for the time, it’s time to stop. When we can’t sleep, it’s natural for us to check the time to see how late it is already. We then get really frustrated when we find that it’s ALREADY 2am!
This just makes us more frustrated and annoyed, and it increases our levels of stress. So while checking the time seems like a good strategy, it’s actually counter-productive. Once you realise how late it actually is, you become more desperate in your pursuit of sleep. And this can keep you awake longer. Instead, you should just ignore the time and focus on trying to sleep.
Listen To Music
This is actually really sage advice, despite the fact that we’re telling you to listen to something other than the sweet sounds of silence in your bid to sleep.
Well, this is because the reality is that you’re not often listening to the sweet sounds of silence in the middle of the night. Instead, you’re disturbed by your partners snoring or the noises next door or the garbage men at 5am. It is these niggling little noises that we often involuntarily tune into, and they can prevent us from sleeping. Try listening to relaxing music of your choice instead.
You won’t be sleeping anytime soon if your body temperature is sky-high. Nor will you be dozing if your room temperature is enough to make you sweat. To sleep earlier, your core body temperature needs to be nice and cool. To ensure that you lower it, you could take a cool shower before bed, and you could take precautionary measures in your room by opening a window slightly, or turning off the thermostat.
And you probably should sleep naked if you’re too hot.
Drink Milk Before Bed
Milk is high in calcium and an element called l-tryptophan, both of which are awesome for allowing your body to cool down and get into the right frame of “mind” for sleep.
You could even take a glass of milk upstairs with you and leave it by your bed. Don’t drink too much though, as explained in the tip below!
Don’t Drink Too Much Before Bed
It’s a common myth that only people with prostrate problems find themselves constantly getting out of bed during the night to nip to the toilet. If you’ve had a little too much to drink before bed time (and this includes soft drinks and alcoholic drinks), you might find that your heavy bladder is keeping you preoccupied.
During the day, a semi-full bladder is easier to ignore. But as you lie in bed with nothing to do but close your eyes and think, your bladder can often become your centre of attention. You could try to ignore it, but it will always win in the end. Before you know it, you’re dashing to the toilet at 1am and you STILL haven’t been to sleep!
Stop Checking Your Emails
Your parents didn’t have to worry about checking their emails at 2am. All they had to worry about was weather they’d turned the oven off and that they weren’t going to burn the house down. Ah, such carefree times!
In 2015, many of us are going to bed with our phones by our side. As the minutes tick by, we get tempted to check our emails to see if anyone connected with work has been in touch. This just makes us more awake, especially if someone has sent us an important email that raises our heartbeats.
Cut The Caffeine
Yes, you probably love a few cups of Joe throughout the day; who doesn’t? But caffeine has a natural half-life of up to five hours, which means that after five hours it’s still in your system.
If you’re a big coffee drinker and have a cup three hours before bed, this ultimately means that you’re hitting the sack with caffeine still in your blood. Looks like another night of counting sheep for you!
Unless you cut the caffeine earlier anyway.
Like caffeine, nicotine is a stimulant. This means that it can keep you alert – and awake.
A study carried out in 2008 found that non-smokers are four times less likely to wake up feeling tired than smokers.
Quitting can be extremely difficult, but perhaps you could try to alter your routine so that you smoke less during the evening.
Have Downtime An Hour Before Bed
You need to wind down before you go to bed. This is important. Going to bed with stressful thoughts will mean that it will take you at least an hour to wind down while in bed.
By winding down before bed, you’re using a bit of nous. Winding down means switching off your laptop, enjoying a glass of wine or a good book. It means leaving your phone alone and getting away from negativity. Be positive during this period and relax. Perhaps have a bath.
Cut Down The Alcohol
Alcohol can keep us awake for longer. If you habitually drink alcohol before bed, it could be this that is the prime reason you’re not getting to sleep quicker.
Cut down on your alcohol intake before bed and see what happens.