How to Fall Asleep in Under 5 Minutes

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For most people, it can be frustrating to try falling asleep at night. It’s easier to fall asleep on some nights, while on others (particularly when you have something important going on the next day), it’s more complicated. 

The human body can be confusing, so it can be challenging to master how to fall asleep quickly and what changes you need to make. Worry not. We’ve put together a few things you can try to help you fall asleep faster in this article. 

Adjusting your sleep hygiene regime can enhance the sleep onset latency — which means you’ll fall asleep faster. Additionally, you can incorporate some relaxation techniques in your bedtime regime to help you sleep sooner. 

Never get into bed if you aren’t sleepy. This is an essential recommendation if you want to fall asleep faster. Ideally, you shouldn’t get into bed and start struggling to put yourself to sleep. This makes drifting off more challenging and frustrating. Make it a habit to only get into bed if you’re close to sleep or feel sleepy. 

Come Up With A Sleep Schedule

Come Up With A Sleep Schedule

Having an inconsistent sleep schedule is hard on the body, and it interferes with the body’s circadian rhythm (internal clock)., You can correct your sleeping schedule and ultimately make it simpler for you to drift off faster by regularly sleeping and waking up at a specific time consistently. 

Bearing this in mind, don’t take long naps during the day as they disrupt your schedule by delaying sleep further into the night. This can result in sleep inertia, which is the feeling of being groggy after sleeping. 

If you must take a nap during the day, limit it to thirty minutes and take it earlier in the day instead of in the evening. 

Try Some Breathing Exercises

Try Some Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises are a simple way to control your body, relax, and reduce stress or anxiety. You can use controlled breathing techniques to practice, eventually making the exercises easier since you won’t have to focus as much. 

One technique you can try is the 4-7-8 breathing exercise.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Begin by putting your tongue’s tip on your mouth’s roof, directly after the front teeth — ensure your tongue remains in this position throughout the exercise 
  • Breath out wholly via the mouth and make a loud whooshing sound
  • Close your mouth and breath in via your nose for four seconds
  • Hold your breath for seven seconds
  • Breath out while making a loud whooshing sound for eight seconds 
  • Repeat the above four times 
  • Once your body starts relaxing, you can let yourself drift off 

When you breathe in for long durations and hold your breath, you allow more oxygen into the bloodstream. Consequently, your heart rate slows down, and you’ll likely start feeling lightheaded, which brings about natural sedative effects that help you relax. 

Practise PMR ( Progressive Muscle Relaxation)

Practise PMR ( Progressive Muscle Relaxation)

PMR, also referred to as deep muscle relaxation, aids in relaxing your body before sleeping. The technique’s concept involves tensing your muscles for a short period before relaxing them. By doing this, you’ll be able to note any tension in your body and consciously relax it. 

Here’s how to do it:

  • Close your eyes and breathe slowly
  • Tense your jaw, eyes, lips, nose, and mouth for about ten seconds, then breath deeply and release your muscles
  • Tense your shoulders for ten seconds, then release
  • Keep on tensing and relaxing all the muscles in your body from your arms and shoulders to your back, thighs, calves, stomach, and eventually your feet 
  • As you ease your tense muscles, you’ll feel heavy first, then relaxed enough to fall asleep after a short while 

This technique ensures you don’t tense your muscles to the extent that you strain them. If you experience discomfort while doing the exercise, skip that particular body part. 

Cool Off

Cool Off

When sleeping, your body’s temperature decreases naturally before heating back up when you wake up. People who struggle to fall asleep usually tend to stay warm during the night, contributing to their inability to fall asleep. 

The perfect room temperature to help you drift off quickly is between 60-67℉. To ensure you’re not too hot at night, get rid of some layers of beddings and use light covers, particularly on warmer nights. 

Alternatively, take a warm bath or shower before going to bed. While heating up to cool down may sound absurd, your body temperature will drop when you leave the shower, promoting sleep. A nice bath or shower is also an excellent way to unwind before sleeping. 

Try Visualizing Positive Images

Try Visualizing Positive Images

Most people who have difficulty falling asleep could be struggling because of overthinking. Instead of sleeping, they may be up all night worrying about an upcoming event, remembering something embarrassing that happened in their childhood, or recalling things during the day. 

Try focusing on peaceful, positive images rather than delaying sleep with anxiety or negative thoughts. 

While lying in a comfortable position, picture a calming place where you’re relaxed, like a quiet library, a nature trail, or the beach. Similarly, you could picture yourself finishing something positive and repetitive, like counting sheep. If you find your mind straying, don’t worry; simply lead it back to the original image.

By training your mind to focus on things other than stressors, you can relax and get some much-needed rest. 

Buy New Bedding

Buy New Bedding

Your struggles with sleep can be a result of discomfort in bed. Your mattress could be too old, soft, or firm. The same goes for rough sheets, heavy blankets, and unsupportive pillows

An uncomfortable bed is unpleasant for anyone. If the bedding is too warm, it can lead to hot sleeping, making it more difficult to get cozy at night. 

Consider getting a new high-quality mattress. The ideal mattress you’ll require depends on the sleeping position and body type. 

Firm mattresses are great for back, plus-size, and stomach sleepers. A solid mattress offers light cushioning while preventing sinking. 

A medium mattress suits back sleepers and combination sleepers. It is also ideal for couples that need a mattress that isn’t too soft or firm.

Softer mattresses come with additional cushioning for side sleepers, who usually experience pressure build-up in their shoulders and hips. The soft mattress’s extra cushioning also suits petite sleepers since they are too light to sleep on firmer mattresses comfortably. 

Don’t overlook other beddings when you’re buying a new mattress. Go for soft, breathable sheets, blankets, and supportive pillows to boost your comfort and doze off quicker. 

Keep Electronics Out Of The Bedroom

Keep Electronics Out Of The Bedroom

Avoid using electronic devices in the bedroom, especially if you plan to sleep. Laptops, televisions, and smartphones produce a blue light that can disrupt your circadian rhythm and impede sleep. 

Even though most people love browsing through social media or watching television before bed, the night mode settings on the electronic devices don’t eliminate the artificial light from the screens. 

Put your phone across the room if you use it as an alarm clock but are always tempted to scroll through social media when it’s by your bed. If you put the phone far from your bed, you’ll reduce the temptations of using it, and when the alarm goes off, you’ll need to get up to switch it off. 

You can do a crossword puzzle, complete a skincare routine, or read instead of using your devices before sleeping. These activities are engaging and relaxing, yet not highly stimulating ways to conclude your day. 

Take Carbohydrates At Night

Take Carbohydrates At Night

It’s not wrong to eat before sleeping, but taking overly spicy, salty or fatty foods late in the night can lead to heartburn and acid reflux when you go to bed. It’s advisable to eat sleep-promoting vegetables and fruits like cherries and bananas if you’re famished at night. 

A better alternative is taking complex carbohydrates 4 hours before you go to bed — this will shorten the duration you take before falling asleep. Although planning mealtimes can be hectic, it will be worth it to include healthy carbohydrates into your dinner as many individuals take dinner approximately four hours before bedtime. 

Don’t Check The Clock

Don’t Check The Clock

It’s normal to get up in the middle of the night, but you can sometimes have a hard time going back to sleep, ruining your good night’s nap. 

Most people who get up in the middle of the night may be curious to look on their clocks to figure out how much more sleeping time they have left. However, thinking about the duration you have left to sleep might make you anxious and prevent you from going back to sleep.

Since most people need clocks in their bedrooms to use as alarms, put the clock away from the bed at night so you can’t regularly look at it. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What meals should I take to fall asleep quickly?

There are no meals guaranteed to make you sleep better, but some are likely to help you fall asleep quickly. 

Tart cherries and walnuts contain melatonin, which is the hormone that causes exhaustion. Fish like salmon rich in omega-3 fatty acids are linked to better naps. Other foods perfect for inducing sleep are warm milk, cashews, carrots, eggs, and white rice.

What if I’m still unable to doze off after trying these methods?

What if I’m still unable to doze off after trying these methods

Get out of bed if you still can’t fall asleep thirty minutes after practising positive imagery, PMR, and deep breathing. You can sit upright in the dark, drink water, or wash your face and hands using cold water. 

Alternatively, you can do pleasant activities that aren’t physically or mentally stimulating. Once you feel exhausted, head back to bed and try sleeping again. According to Dr Alicia Roth, a behavioural sleep expert, an essential strategy for falling asleep fast is staying away from your bed till you’re sleepy. 

Nevertheless, suppose you’ve tried practising good sleep hygiene and have implemented positive lifestyle changes but still can’t sleep. In that case, you should contact your doctor since you may have an undiagnosed sleep disorder. 

Should I stay up throughout the night if I can’t sleep?

No, a bit of sleep is way better than no sleep since it gives your brain and body time to recover from the day’s strenuous activities.

You can get out of bed if you’ve been awake and then go back to bed when you feel sleepy again. Remaining in bed when you’re unable to sleep makes your brain associate the bed with being awake.  

Why can’t I doze off at night?

Causes of insomnia include medications, health conditions, sleep disorders, caffeine consumption, stress, and jet lag. Insomnia can be chronic for some people, but it may last for only a night or many days for others. 

Changing your sleep routine can help you sleep fast, but consulting a doctor is the best alternative if your insomnia worsens. 

Is lying in bed with eyes closed considered as sleep?

Is lying in bed with eyes closed considered as sleep

Even though relaxing in bed with eyes closed is amazing, it doesn’t count as sleep. It’s also not considered the required seven to nine hours of sleep since your brain is active.

When asleep, your muscles relax, your body temperature drops, and some brain parts slow down. According to Dr Roth, when you’re sleeping, your brain and body restore themselves in ways they can’t do when you’re awake. 

Quality sleep gives your brain and body time to refresh and get rid of waste. On the other hand, poor sleep is associated with different diseases and health conditions like heart disease, obesity, early death, and diabetes. 

Bottom Line

To fall asleep quickly, you need to improve your sleep hygiene and adopt habits that can make you sleep better, like sleeping on a cosy bed, observing a sleep schedule, and adhering to a bedtime routine. Additionally, you can practise relaxation and breathing techniques to calm your body and help you sleep quickly.  

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Sarah Williams

Sarah Williams

We help customers with the latest and up to date sleep health information. If you are interesting in picking the best products for your home to assist with sleep we have you covered.

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