Many of us struggle to fall asleep at night, and one of the most common sleep related questions asked is, “how to fall asleep faster?” Whether it be contemplating the day’s problems in your head, or staying up late to watch one more episode of Game of Thrones, we must find a way to sleep more efficiently so we can be recharged and ready to face the challenges of the next day. Below are some of the tried and true strategies for quickly falling asleep at night.
Disconnect from all electronic devices an hour before bed
So many people still don’t realize it, but your electronic devices could be ruining your sleep. One of the main reasons why so many of us have trouble falling asleep and sleeping well is the intense cognitive stimulation we get from using our electronic devices before bed. Whether it be watching Netflix, YouTube, playing video games, or simply scrolling through our Facebook feeds, this keeps your brain stimulated to the point where it is difficult to fall asleep quickly.
Aside from overstimulating the brain, all of those screens on our devices emit blue LED light that tricks the brain into thinking that it is daylight, which makes it even more difficult to fall asleep. What’s worse is that the blue light also limits the production of the very important chemical in the body, Melatonin, which naturally relaxes your body and allows you to fall into and maintain deep sleep. This is so important because without deep sleep you will not get the restorative REM sleep cycles.
Fully disconnecting from your electronic devices before bed may be the most important strategy to falling asleep quickly as it prevents the compound effect of the cognitive stimulation of the brain and the effect of the blue LED light.
Read a printed book before bed
Instead of staring into your electronic devices before bed, try reading a physical, non-digital book. I recommend going for a biography or some other light reading, as books that provoke deep though may keep your brain too stimulated for sleep.
Wear blue light blocking glasses
If you really insist on watching television or scrolling through news feeds on your phone, you should heavily consider trying blue light blocking glasses. These are glasses that are scientifically proven to block the harmful blue light that is preventing you from falling asleep and sleeping well.
Exercise every morning
Multiple studies have shown that consistently exercising in the morning helps the body and mind relax better by bedtime. Some may feel that exercising in the evening or before bed will make you tired and therefore fall asleep faster and sleep better, but actually studies have shown that it has the opposite effect as exercise greatly stimulates the brain and this is not what you want before bed.
Avoid caffeine and sugar before bedtime
This may seem like common sense, but even having coffee or caffeinated tea in the afternoon can make it more difficult to fall asleep at night, so it’s best to limit coffee to only in the morning. It’s also important to avoid all sugars before bed including fruit, nature’s sugar.
Keep the same sleep schedule every night, even on weekends
This is a very important one, although it could seem very challenging, especially on the weekends with the pressure to go out with friends a night. However, if you can maintain the same sleep schedule throughout the week including weekends, then your body will automatically begin to wind down before bedtime, and become a well-oiled machine at it. Having a consistent sleep schedule during the week and then staying up hours later on the weekends is like having to deal with jet lag once every week. Your body and mind has to go through the trouble of adjusting again for the next week, and can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule.
Play white noise or nature sounds
Biologically humans never evolved to sleep alone in a completely quiet room. As a matter of fact humans spent thousands of years sleeping in small groups and much closer to nature. For this reason many people fall asleep faster and sleep much better with some sort of background noise in the room, whether it be a fan of some sort, or you can even use an app on your phone that plays white noise or nature sounds. To some this may sound even more distracting, but give it a try and I’m sure you will be surprised.
To fall asleep quickly, consider fallowing all tips above, but most of all, make sure to block the blue light at night before bed. Don't forget to grab your pair of Swannies Blue-Light Blocking Glasses
By Dan Fugate