If you’re having trouble falling asleep, we have seven easy tips to help you get that needed good night’s rest!
Sleep is crucial for the optimal functioning of your body and mind. It boosts your immune system, your mental health, and helps regulate your weight. You spend around one-third of your life asleep or trying to fall asleep. If you are unable to doze off quickly, lack of sleep can be detrimental to your health.
The American Sleep Association suggests 50–70 million US adults suffer from a sleep disorder of some kind. This includes snoring, sleep apnea, and as well as falling asleep during the day. While some people can fall asleep no problem, others find it difficult to nod off and stay asleep throughout the night.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep, here are seven easy tips to help:
- Lower the temperature of the room
- Take a hot shower or bath before bed
- Practice yoga and meditation
- Avoid napping during the day
- Use the “4-7-8” breathing method
- Wind down before bed
- Watch what you eat
Good sleep promotes good health. The majority of adults need 7–9 hours of sleep every night. In general, people aren’t getting the hours of sleep they need on a regular basis. With the need to work longer hours, increased stress, and the availability of electronic devices 24/7, you can see why some people have trouble getting off to sleep.
What Can You Do that Will Help You Fall Asleep?
Lower the Temperature of the Room
Your internal body temperature is vital in regulating your body clock and in turn your sleep. When you fall asleep, your core temperature actually drops slightly, and researchers believe this helps the process and initiates sleep. The National Sleep Foundation suggests a bedroom temperature of between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
Keeping your room at a cooler temperature can actually help to facilitate this core temperature drop. If your room is colder rather than warmer, it should be easier to fall asleep. Beginning to create a sleep-friendly environment is a step forward in helping you to fall asleep more easily.
Take a Hot Shower or Bath before Bed
Warming your body up with a hot shower or bath around an hour before bed is an easy way to set yourself up for a good night’s sleep. After you step out the shower, your temperature naturally dips, signifying to your body that it’s ready to go to sleep.
Research has shown that warming your body by taking a bath can help to induce sleep as long as there is enough time to cool off afterward. Taking a shower or bath is a natural method to help you fall asleep and is easy to incorporate into your bedtime routine. Finding natural sleep aids that work for you is essential to better quality sleep.
Check out Natural Sleep Aids
Practice Yoga and Mediation
When you’re feeling stressed, it can be difficult to switch off your mind-chatter and fall asleep. Yoga and meditation are tools you can use to help calm the body and mind, therefore making you feel relaxed and more likely to fall asleep.
Yoga has been found to improve sleep quality by encouraging body movements and breathing patterns that help release the stress and tension that builds up in your body. Meditation can play a big role in helping the brain to achieve a state in where sleeping is much easier.
Start by practicing yoga two to three times a week for 30 minutes and meditation for five minutes each day and build up from there. Getting to sleep naturally is a process, and there are plenty of methods to help you.
Check out Tips for Getting Sleep Naturally
Avoid Napping During the Day
Force yourself to stay awake and try to avoid napping during the day. While some naps of short duration have been linked to positive effects, not all naps should be seen the same. Just 20 minutes is all you need to receive the benefits of napping such as improved performance and alertness.
One study has shown that frequent, long (two hours or more) and late nappers may have a higher risk of poor nighttime sleep and sleep deprivation. Try to avoid napping during the day or limit yourself to a short nap earlier in the day.
Use the “4-7-8” Breathing Method
The “4-7-8” breathing method, created by Dr. Andrew Well, is a technique to help you fall asleep in under a minute. Its aim is to give you control over your breathing in order to help you drift off quickly. The practice can be compared to alternate nostril breathing and mindfulness meditation.
First completely exhale through your mouth before inhaling through your nose for four counts. Hold your breath for seven seconds then exhale through the mouth for eight seconds. To encourage sleep, lying down is the best position. This is just one method to help you fall asleep fast, try to find the one that works for you.
Wind Down Before Bed
Before you jump straight into bed, create a relaxing space and start to wind down. Dim down the lights, put on some candles (the non-flame kind, since you don’t want to fall asleep with open flame candles) and listen to music. Classical music or music that has a rhythm of 60 to 80 beats per minute can help you to fall asleep. Students who listened to classical music 45 minutes before bed showed significant improvement in sleep quality.
Try switching off all electronics at least 30 minutes before bed, the earlier, the better. Electronic devices can act as a stimulant rather than setting you up for a good night’s sleep. Reading a book is a good alternative. A study published in PLoS One found that using a phone or tablet around bedtime was associated with taking longer to fall asleep and poor sleep quality.
Check out How to Get Better Quality Sleep
Watch What You Eat
What you consume can affect your sleep. A study involving 26 adults showed that greater fiber intake was associated with more time spent in slow wave sleep. Whereas a diet in higher saturated fat was associated with less slow wave sleep. Greater sugar intake also resulted in more sleep interruptions.
Several foods are known to promote sleeping and are easy to incorporate into your diet. Almonds are an excellent source of magnesium. Magnesium is thought to reduce inflammation, helping to promote sleep. To get everything you need at one time, smoothies are a great way to bring on a restful night’s sleep.
Check out a Go to Sleep Smoothie
STARTING YOUR PATH TO HEALTHY LIVING
There is so much more to a holistic lifestyle than getting good quality sleep. When you start your journey to healthier living, there seems to be so much information to weed through. It can be confusing and difficult to determine what you should focus on first.
That’s why we developed a short 15 Point Guide to Essential Health. Take charge of your own health. With a little help, you’ll be living a healthier, more fulfilling life in no time.