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!
9 Easy Ways To Fall Asleep Faster
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
- Soothing music
- ASMR videos or recordings
- Guided meditations on YouTube
- Sleep sounds
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
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.
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!
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
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.)
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!
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.
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?