· Bright Ideas · 16 Easy Ways To Overcome Your Sleep Struggles

16 Easy Ways To Overcome Your Sleep Struggles

Overcome sleep troubles and fall asleep faster by taking an epsom salt bath, wearing socks to bed, and keeping it dark.

How To Fall Asleep Quickly And Other Sleep Tips

Sleep is one of our most fundamental human needs, and every system in our bodies can suffer if we aren’t able to fall asleep quickly or sleep soundly through the night. I’ve personally struggled to fall asleep quickly for the majority of my life, so I’m always looking for easy ways to fall asleep faster!

And since I know that sleep problems are common, I wanted to share some of my best sleep tips with you here in this post. I’ve got 9 quick ways to fall asleep, 3 sleep tips for staying asleep, and 4 tips that can help you wake up more easily. (After all, sleep problems aren’t limited to falling asleep!)

My hope is that these tips can help you learn how to sleep better at night naturally, regardless of which aspect of sleep you struggle with the most. And if you try one tip that doesn’t work for you, try another —you never know what’s going to work until it does!

Related: This Is The Only Thing That Helps Me Sleep Without Feeling Groggy

9 Easy Ways To Fall Asleep Faster

Slumber Blend is a blend of essential oils that can help you fall asleep faster -- rub it on your feet or use a diffuser.

1. Use Essential Oils

Calming essential oils like those in Slumber blend can help you fall asleep, and even experience more restful sleep too. In a 2005 study at Wesleyan University, participants who smelled lavender oil before going to sleep experienced a higher percentage of deep, “slow-wave” sleep than those who didn’t. Lavender features prominently in Slumber blend, along with cedarwood, lime, bergamot, marjoram, and other oils that help to relieve stress and promote peaceful feelings.

One of my favorite ways to use my Slumber ready-to-apply roll-on is swiping it onto the bottoms of my feet at bedtime. It’s quick and easy way to unwind after a stressful day at work, or to kickstart a good night’s sleep.

Fall Asleep Faster by making sure you are comfortable and using 4-7-8 breathing.

2. Try 4-7-8 Breathing

The breathing practice often referred to as “4-7-8 breathing” is based on pranayama, an ancient Indian practice meaning “regulation of breath.” It takes a little getting used to, but many people who use it say it helps them fall asleep within just a minute or two!

To do it, inhale for 4 seconds through your nose, then hold your breath for 7 seconds, then exhale steadily through your mouth for 8 seconds. Repeat the cycle at least 3 times.

Fall Asleep Faster by reciting information in your head that isn't mentally taxing - like counting backwards from 100.

3. Recite Information

When I’m trying to fall asleep, I find it helpful to count backwards from 100. Something about this activity keeps my mind from running amok, but it isn’t so mentally taxing that it makes me feel more stressed. Reciting other information can be useful as well!

For instance, you can make it a bit more challenging by counting down from 99 by 3s (“99, 96, 93, 90…”) Or you can avoid numbers altogether and simply repeat a restful mantra instead.

Related: 7 Memory Tricks That Make Things Easy To Remember

A warm bath or shower an hour before bed can help you fall asleep faster.

4. Take A Warm Shower

Taking a warm shower or bath an hour before bed can help prepare your body for sleep, but it isn’t just the shower itself that makes you sleepy. It’s actually the temperature drop between the warm shower and the cooler air that does the trick! The temperature drop helps slow your metabolism, signaling to your body that it’s time to get ready for sleep.

Related: 7 Super Fast Skin Treatments You Can Do In The Shower

Wearing socks to bed may actually help you fall asleep more quickly.

5. Wear Socks To Sleep

I recently wrote a post about the benefits of wearing socks when you go to sleep. One of the potential benefits of wearing socks to bed is that it may help you fall asleep faster! Find out more by checking out the full post at the link below.

Related: This Is Why You Should Start Sleeping With Socks On

An epsom salt bath can help you fall asleep faster by providing magnesium.

6. Take An Epsom Salt Bath

There are few things more relaxing than a warm soak in the tub — it’s a great way to wind down before turning in for the night! And adding Epsom salt or magnesium flakes is an easy way to increase your magnesium intake. Magnesium plays a crucial role in hundreds of our bodily functions, so getting enough of it is vital! Read more about the benefits of magnesium at the link below.

Related: 3 Remarkable Benefits Of Magnesium You’re Missing Out On

A warm cup of banana tea helps a lot of people get to sleep faster.

7. Drink Banana Tea

Drinking warm milk before bed is a classic pre-sleep ritual. But you can get even more relaxing benefits from drinking a warm cup of banana tea instead! Get all the details about how banana tea works, plus how to make it, at the link below.

Related: How To Make Banana Tea For Insomnia

Listening to white or brown noise or recordings designed to help you sleep can make you fall asleep faster.

8. Listen To Something

I personally find it very difficult to fall asleep in a completely silent environment. I need some sort of noise in the background or I’ll lie awake for hours! (Some anthropologists suspect this is an evolutionary quirk, given that our ancestors may have found it easier to sleep if they could hear that someone else was awake and keeping an eye out for predators and other threats.)

Looking for something to listen to lull you to sleep? The options are virtually endless, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Podcasts, like Sleep With Me
  • Audiobooks
  • Soothing music
  • ASMR videos or recordings
  • Guided meditations on YouTube
  • Sleep sounds
If restless energy is your problem, take a walk or do some yoga to feel more relaxed and get to sleep more quickly.

9. Do Something Active

If restless energy is keeping you awake, it can help to do something active around an hour before bedtime. Do some gentle yoga poses to feel more relaxed, or go for a short walk. You’ll be sleeping like a baby in no time!

3 Tips For Staying Asleep

When you can't sleep, don't watch the clock -- point it away from you bed so you can fall asleep.

1. Don’t Check The Clock

Worrying about what time it is or how long you have left to sleep is a surefire way to keep yourself awake. If you have a digital clock, point it away from your bed so you don’t keep staring at the time.

Keeping the room dark or wearing an eye mask will help you stay asleep.

2. Keep The Room Dark

Invest in some blackout curtains if street lamps or other outdoor lights are keeping you awake. You can also use an eye mask to block out light, no matter where you’re sleeping!

Related: How To Block Those Bright LEDs So You Can Actually Sleep

Keep sleep sounds going throughout the night to help you stay asleep.

3. Keep Sleep Sounds Going

If you rely on sleep sounds or white noise to fall asleep, it can be helpful to keep those sounds playing throughout the night. If they stop after just an hour or two, it could be enough to pull you out of sleep and keep you awake.

4 Tips For Waking Up

Using light or sound that gradually wakes you from sleep will help you wake up without a shock.

1. Wake Up Gradually

Waking up gradually can help you feel more rested when it’s time to get up, as opposed to getting roused out of a deep sleep. One way to wake up gradually is to program an alarm that will start playing soft white noise about 45 minutes before you need to get up. The soft noise will trigger a more gradual awakening, and you’ll feel more well-rested when your “real” alarm goes off.

Another option is to use a daylight alarm, which gradually turns on a bright, sun-like light when it’s time for you to wake up. My daughter-in-law Kaitlyn uses the Philips Wake-Up Light and raves about how much she loves it. (They also offer a less expensive version here.)

Hitting snooze won't help you sleep better, and it will make it harder to wake up.

2. Don’t Snooze

Once your alarm goes off, your REM cycle is pretty much over. So hitting the Snooze button and going back to sleep won’t give you the benefits of another sleep cycle. It will just make you sleepier, so resist the urge to hit that Snooze button!

To sleep better and wake up more easily, be consistent in your sleep times.

3. Be Consistent

Make it a goal to wake up at the same time every day. It can be hard, but being consistent about waking up makes it much easier to get out of bed when your alarm goes off.

Make waking up easier by doing as much the night before as you can -- like choosing your outfit for the day.

4. Make It Easy

Make your morning routine as easy as possible for yourself. Set out your outfit the night before, set up the coffee maker, and set everything you need to take with you by the front door. You’ll find it much easier to get out of bed if your morning routine is quick and easy!

What’s your best tip for getting a good night’s sleep?

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Bright Ideas

  • If you are prone to pink eye stay away from sleep masks. I tried sleep masks and kept getting pink eye, once I stopped using the masks I stopped getting pink eye. The pressure of the mask was making my eyes too irritated and grinding the “sand” into my eyes.

  • sleep is the very important part of our life and health is a very essential important way of relaxing giving rest to our …but nowadays many people have this problem…for this taking, every time pills is not the good way to get out this problem.
    that’s why your blog on fall asleep in a natural way very good and useful information.
    Thanks for sharing such a good natural remedy…keep sharing such good and result oriented remedies.

  • On nights when I simply cannot get to sleep, I take 1/2 of a generic Benedryl tablet and within 15 minutes, I’m snoozing away. You can also take melatonin. I don’t suggest using these on a regular basis, but on occasion, when you absolutely can’t get to sleep and you absolutely need to be rested the next morning, these things work for me.

    • Please read up on the effects of Benadryl and subsequent dementia. It doesn’t sound like you are using enough to be a problem, but in case you don’t know about that link, you should have all the facts available to you!

  • I use a sleep salve from Vick’s.,It’s called. Zzzs to help me sleep. My mom has taken baths at night for years. She says it helps her to go to sleep. My main problem is naturally waking up very early even on my days off., I can blame it on working an early shift for years. It can be hard to get my body to tune this out.

    • I’ve used Benadryl occasionally as a sleeping add.The main ingredient is what’s in all the sleeping pills.,It’s great if it’s that time of year and my allergy mess itchy sore eyes are making it hard to go to,sleep. If I were to use the full dose I’d feel very tired, so I just use one capsule. I use it occasionally, not all the time.

  • On your hint of reciting numbers, etc., a friend told me a nice one that I use; I go through all my neighbors, friends, with “God bless Ann, God bless Mike, God bless….” truly works.

    • That is what I do. I also wear a sleep mask that blocks the morning sun. If I get up to use the bathroom, I will sit on the side of my bed and pray God to bless my friends, family, neighbors. The “yawns” hit me eventually and I lay down and get right back to sleep. I am retired, so I’m able to have this luxury. When I was working, this was not the case! A magnesium supplement helped me sleep and have wonderful dreams!

  • My favorite sound to go to sleep to is…a THUNDER STORM!!! I sometimes play a YouTube video of the sounds of a raging thunderstorm! You can get them from an hour long to 12 hours long. I only wish the speaker on my tablet was louder!

  • You left out no screens before bedtime and no screen if you wake up in the night. This is one of my downfalls. Also, CBD oil is very helpful if you live in a state where that’s legal.

  • I’ve been taking a Melatonin supplement with a low dose for several years. I also about a year ago found an amazing sleep spray- Dr Teal’s sleep spray, it has Lavender and Melatonin in the spray. I usually take the Melatonin and use the spray while I’m getting ready for bed. It really helps.

  • I like to recite a recipe. Kind of like making a YouTube video, except I’m the one talking. I go through step by step and why those steps are important. Rarely do I get to the part where I put it in the oven before I’m fast asleep, LOL

  • I sleep okay. I’m naturally awake at a certain time because of my shift l worked for years. My other main sleep issue is waking up because of having to go to the bathroom. If I could just get my bladder to cooperate and calm down at night.

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