Are you always counting sheep? Do you often lie in bed and stare at the ceiling, waiting for sleep to overtake you? Are you often frustrated by how long it takes you fall asleep each night? Good sleep is incredibly important for your physical and mental well-being, and the longer it takes you to fall asleep, the more likely you are to lose precious snoozing time. Use the tips below if you’re wondering how to fall asleep faster.
How to Fall Asleep Faster
1. Keep cool.
Did you know that your body temperature changes as you fall asleep? Your core temperature decreases, but your hands and feet become hotter. Although individual preferences vary, most people fall asleep faster in a cooler room, with a temperature between about 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have trouble falling asleep, lower your thermostat and consider turning on a fan for a cooling breeze.
2. Stick to a schedule.
Your body’s circadian rhythms help determine when you wake and when you sleep. If you want to keep your internal clock consistent, it’s helpful to wake up and go to bed at around the same time every day – even on the weekends. If you know that it takes you a little while to wind down and fall asleep, start preparing for bed about 30 minutes ahead of time so that your body and mind can relax and prepare for sleep.
3. Embrace both daylight and darkness.
Light has a major influence on your body’s internal clock. So throughout the day, expose your body to sunlight by going outside or sitting near a window so that your body knows to remain alert. Then, after the sun sets, dim the lights in your home and consider using blackout curtains to make your bedroom very dark.
4. Avoid naps.
We know it can be tempting to squeeze an afternoon nap into your day, especially if you’ve had trouble sleeping lately, but regular napping often leads to poor sleep quality at night. In some cases, it can even lead to sleep deprivation. Try to limit the frequency of your naps, only nap for 20-30 minutes at a time, and avoid napping in the late afternoon and evening.
5. Exercise during the day.
Exercise boosts the body’s production of serotonin and decreases cortisol levels, which can improve sleep quality. Aim to maintain a moderate-intensity exercise routine, ideally exercising in the morning versus later in the day. Exercising late in the day may keep you up at night (source).
6. Steer clear of electronics before bed.
If you often watch TV, play video games, or use your phone before bedtime, you may have a harder time falling asleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, using electronic devices before bedtime “can be physiologically and psychologically stimulating in ways that can adversely affect your sleep.” Create a “digital curfew” for yourself, so that you have at least 30 minutes of electronic-free time before bed.
7. Create a comfortable, inviting sleeping space.
Your mattress and bedding can have a major impact on your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Choose a pillow that supports the curve of your neck and feels comfy and cool. If you have to scrunch and fold your worn-out pillow to make it semi-comfortable, it’s probably time for an update. According to The Sleep Doctor, you should also replace your pillow if it has sweat stains, tears in the fabric, or an odor.
When it comes to bedding, the choice is yours. What do you find most comfortable? You might like a fluffy duvet, a simple quilt, a warm comforter, or even a weighted blanket and temperature-regulating sheets.
Finally, look for a supportive mattress that cushions your body and reduces pressure points. Some people prefer softer or firmer mattresses than others, so be sure that you find the ideal mattress for your body and preferences. Don’t be afraid to visit a mattress store and take a little 10- to 20-minute nap on your top contenders. After all, you wouldn’t buy a car without test-driving it!
Are you looking for a new mattress? Visit Beautyrest Sleep Gallery. At our locations in Springfield and Branson, Missouri, we provide an extensive selection of top-quality mattresses, including Beautyrest®, Serta iComfort®, Tempur-Pedic®, and Scandinavian Sleep Systems. A family-owned and -operated business that supports local charities, Beautyrest Sleep Gallery offers free local delivery and setup as well as a Best Price Guarantee. Shopping for a new mattress can be overwhelming, but with our wide variety of mattresses and expert sales staff, we can put your worries to rest. To get started, please visit us in store or explore our mattress selection online.