Ways to Fall Asleep: Tips and Tricks

Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Jess Foami

Everyone has trouble sleeping sometimes. With these few simple ways to fall asleep, you can learn how to relax, quiet your mind, and drift off to sleep naturally.

Tips to Fall Asleep: Eating Properly

Avoid eating any food starting around two hours prior to bedtime. If your stomach is still working, your body can’t rest, which makes getting to sleep more difficult. As one of many possible ways to fall asleep more easily, try eating only a light dinner, and err on the side of eating too little as opposed to too much. 

It’s also important to be conscious of your caffeine consumption throughout the day. Instead of coffee, black tea, or green tea, choose to drink herbal or fruit tea. Stay far away from alcohol and nicotine in the evening; while it might be true that they help you fall asleep more quickly, the quality of your sleep will be diminished considerably.  

Ways to Fall Asleep: Fresh Air

ways to fall asleep: getting fresh air
An evening stroll before bed is one of several ways to fall asleep faster. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Coco Parisienne)

Before you go to bed, take a little evening stroll. While you’re at it, try out some mindfulness meditation exercises to relax your mind as you walk.  But don’t get carried away: avoid more vigorous physical activity, as the adrenaline released during exercise will stimulate your body and make you feel more awake. 

Another way to fall asleep faster is letting the fresh air in: open the windows in your bedroom and allow the air to circulate for at least five minutes before going to sleep. Houseplants are also an effective and beautiful way to increase the quality of air in your home. 

Tricks to Fall Asleep: Creating A Comfortable Environment

Do you toss and turn at night? When you are asleep, your body temperature decreases. For this reason, you don’t need the room temperature to be as warm as you normally would during the day. Turning your heater down before going to bed and making sure your comforter isn’t too thick can be an effective trick to fall asleep. If you are sweating at night, your body can’t get the rest it needs. 

Give your mattress a quick once-over. How old is the bed? How clean? How soft? Dust under and on the bed can easily get into the air and make it more difficult to breathe, which will lower the quality of your sleep. Old mattresses are often worn out and uncomfortable because they are no longer capable of providing any support. And if your mattress is too hard or too soft, it may well be that you have found the reason that you can’t sleep. 

How to Make Yourself Sleep: Avoid Blue Light Before Bed

It turns out that it is no coincidence that people feel energized when the sun is out. The sun is the largest source of blue light for us humans, and that blue light increases our attention, improves our reaction times, and even puts us in better moods (there’ss a reason why seasonal affective disorder is a thing). The problem is, artificial florescent light also emits blue light. That means that looking at your computer screen, television, or phone at night confuses your body and interferes with your circadian rhythm. As a way to fall asleep faster, shut off all unnecessary electronic devices and expose yourself only to warm light in the hours leading up to bedtime.

And even though it might not be easy, a digital detox can be incredibly helpful in resetting your biological clock: As soon as it starts to get dark outside, stay completely away from all electronic devices – it may help you fall asleep more easily. If you absolutely have to use your phone, check to see if it has a night shift mode, which will reduce the amount blue light it emits.  

Trick to Fall Asleep: Write Down Your Thoughts

ways to fall asleep
Let go of your worries and sleep like a baby again. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Dagon)

When you are stressed and your mind is racing, falling asleep is nearly impossible. Here’s a way to fall asleep: If you have a thousand things in the back of your mind that you know need to get done, try making a to-do list. By putting your tasks on paper, you help get them out of your head, and seeing everything written down will reassure you that you’ve got it all under control.

Another trick to help you sleep is trying to avoid any tasks that are psychologically demanding before sleeping. Instead, relax by reading a book, listening to music, or meditating. Try to make sure you are sleeping far away from any sources of loud noise: even if the sounds don’t wake you up during the night, they will still reduce the quality of your sleep. If you live near a busy street or have loud roommates, try using ear plugs. 

Ways to Fall Asleep: Keep a Sleep Journal

If all else fails, keeping a sleep journal can help you figure out what the problem is. Write down everything you did in the two hours before bed: what you ate, any activities you did, what was on your mind, how well you were able to fall asleep (or not) and how you felt the following morning. Keeping track of all the variables like this might help you see a pattern and could help you finding better ways to fall asleep. It will also be very helpful in case you decide to see a doctor about your sleep problem. 

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This article has been translated from German to English by Christie Sacco. You can view the original here: Tipps zum Einschlafen: Praktische Einschlafhilfen

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