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Are you finding it difficult to sleep? Are you asking yourself in vain, how to fall asleep faster? You have probably tried the sheep counting trick to no avail. So what should you really do to transport yourself into la la land as soon as your head hits the pillow?
Unless you are diagnosed with a disease or are on potent medication, the root cause of most sleep problems is anxiety. This happens more when you have been having a tough time falling asleep for several days. Anxiety hits you all the more harder, prompting you to spend wakeful nights, unable to make your eyelids meet.
A good 7-8 hours of sleep can do wonderful things to your body, causing you to feel rested, which enables you to feel rejuvenated and fresh, in addition to having other benefits. We all know that sleep is essential, but exactly how essential, is what we’re about to find out in this article.
Why Sleep is Absolutely Vital for You
There cannot be anything worse than trying to coerce yourself to sleep, that too in vain. Even the 1000th sheep may not help you to fall asleep, if you have been counting sheep, that is.
Spending your time on gadgets and gizmos is just one of the things that can keep you up and give you sleepless nights. So before trying things to help you sleep, try to understand why those 8 hours of snooze-time are absolutely vital for you.
1. It will make you fat
Are you eating right and spending quality time at the local gym, yet don’t seem to inch closer to your goal? Check your snooze cycles. Yes, more and more studies are coming forth, proving that skimping on sleep can make you fat.
It also points to the potent fact that well-rested people tend to eat lesser calories and also don’t compromise on their exercise schedules. If you have stayed up late spending hours on social media, chances are that you are more likely to miss your morning jog, than otherwise.
Once your sleep cycles get disrupted, you are much more likely to make bad food choices throughout the day. So, you get the point, just missing those few hours of sleep; can impact your health negatively.
2. Adequate hours of sleep can make you feel more productive at your home and workplace
Sleep enhances your brain’s cognitive function, productivity, performance and concentration powers.
So now you can put two and two together and conclude why things go horribly wrong at work, especially those days when you sacrifice sleep the night before. If you have been trying to stifle a yawn at that all important meeting or are feeling fatigued and listless all through the day, it just proves that you are definitely not doing it right as far as sleep is concerned.
3. Poor sleep often leads to depression
People with sleep problems like sleep apnea often complain of their lack of quality sleep.
People with poor sleeping patterns do feel more down in the dumps, and if it continues for a longer period of time, your mental health will definitely get affected.
4. Your immunity gets severely impaired if sleep eludes you
More and more studies have confirmed the fact that your immunity is much more likely to get affected if you sleep for a lesser number of hours.
In fact, it has been found that people who sleep for less than seven hours are much more likely to suffer from common cold. On the other hand, people who sleep for eight hours or so are less likely to get affected by common cold frequently.
5. Poor sleep can lead to inflammation
People who sleep poorly also suffer from diseases resulting from long time inflammation, like inflammatory bowel diseases.
Your doctor may recommend evaluating your sleep cycles if you are suffering from long-term inflammatory problems.
6. Less sleep can up your risk of getting strokes and heart diseases
Paying less importance to your sleep patterns can prove to be fatal.
Yes, more and more studies are confirming the fact that less sleep is indeed hurtling you towards heart diseases and other chronic ailments. This should prove to be a warning in itself, that you need to take stock of your sleep patterns.
7. Sleep problems can increase insulin sensitivity
Yes; if you sacrifice sleep, you are much more likely to increase your chances of suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes.
Even if you sacrifice sleep for as less as two to three days, your chance of hitting the pre-diabetic zone rises up several notches. So, you can imagine what several months of sleep deprivation can do to your health in the long term.
It is an established fact that poor sleeping habits can cause unmitigated damage to your health. But what if you are trying to put yourself to sleep with no avail? You may be trying your best to court sleep, but sleep just does not seem to be interested! Sound familiar? Then follow the below-mentioned tips to fall asleep. Yes, it is possible to fall on the bed and go to sleep in minutes, just trying these will definitely help!
12 Ways to Fall Asleep Faster
The first thought to hit you is probably, “will doing all this help me sleep faster”? And you’re probably also thinking of whether you can get rid of medication, aren’t you? The simple answer is yes; but make sure you give yourself time.
You just need to be patient and persistent, and your sleep problems will be gradually solved. Barring of course, if you suffer from an underlying disease for which you might need to consult your doctor.
1. Get up and do something rather than trying to put yourself to sleep
The worst part of sleeplessness is that you feel like the inmates of the whole house have fallen asleep except you, and you keep trying, but don’t succeed. That constant trying and failing makes you feel distressed.
Stop putting yourself to sleep, so instead of trying and failing, how about not trying at all for some time? The trick is to avoid associating your bed with wakefulness. If you cannot sleep, instead of banking on your gizmos which disrupt your sleep cycle, get up do something.
We know your next question will be what can you possibly do at night. It’s simple, engage your brain with a jigsaw puzzle, listen to soothing music, write down some of the things you would want to do the next day, or write a food journal to keep a tab on what are the wrong things you ate. Just keep your mind off sleep for some time, and you will be surprised to see that sleep will envelop you after a while. We aren’t asking you to believe us, just try it!
2. Try to keep yourself awake
Well, this trick is weird but we wouldn’t ask you to try it if it did not work. This is based on reverse psychology; when you lie down on your bed, you are expected to sleep, right? Now, instead of trying to sleep, keep your eyes open.
When it comes to sleep, the harder you try, the more it eludes you. So stop trying and you might be rewarded with sleep.
3. Do not eat a heavy dinner
Now we have discussed time and time again, that an early dinner is not only great for weight loss but also helps you sleep better. But don’t you need to sleep full and satisfied?
The answer to that is a resounding no! Your stomach needs time to digest all that food, and if you sleep on a full stomach, not only will you gain fat, but you will also find it much harder to sleep.
4. Avoid watching TV and other gadgets and gizmos
Switch off your TV, mobiles and tabs at least 1-2 hours before you hit the sack. It may seem difficult for you to accept, but practice makes perfect.
Start abstaining from these gadgets as you inch closer to sleep time. The blue light emanating from these gadgets interferes with melatonin, which is a sleep-inducing hormone. So make your bedroom a gadget-free zone and reap its benefits.
5. Make your bedroom a sanctuary
Yes; the atmosphere of the bedroom is instrumental in inducing sleep, so dim the lights. In fact, studies, say that you need to make your bedroom pitch dark, to woo sleep. Make it as noise-free as far as possible. It will help you sleep faster.
Try wearing an eye mask or ear plugs to switch off from the world, in the real sense. The more detached you are from the happenings of the outside world, the easier it will be to go to sleep.
6. Try Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is known to eliminate stress, and hence calm the body. There are a plethora of scents to help you calm down and sleep. A few popular scents are vanilla, lavender, marjoram and so on.
Spray it on the pillow, in the air, or in the bath and the pleasant fragrance will put you to sleep.
7. Take a warm shower before bed
If you are in the habit of taking a shower right before you hit the snooze button, don’t stop it, but remember to take a warm shower.
If you take a warm shower, it not only helps you relax but also coerces your body to sleep as you enter the cool bedroom. Try it! It worked for us.
8. Stop looking at your clock
We have a tendency to continuously look at the clock when we lie down our bed trying to get some sleep. Try to avoid doing that, it stresses you more, and as you become more aware of the ticking clock in the silent room, you find it that much more difficult to sleep.
9. Do some stretching exercises
A few stretching exercises can help you sleep faster. Try yoga and gentle stretching. Tighten your muscles for few seconds and then release. This not only induces sleep but also helps you get rid of pains and niggles.
Also, remember to exercise during the day and not before your sleep time, the adrenaline rush keeps you awake and impacts your sleep cycle.
10. Don’t take caffeine after 4 pm
This will seem difficult for some, but caffeine interferes with your sleep cycles. So abstain from drinking tea, coffee and also alcohol before bedtime. This is something you should practice if you want to know how to fall asleep instantly.
11. Don’t take unnecessary naps
Many people who cannot sleep at night think they can make that up by sleeping during the day time. But, when you sleep for long hours during the day time, you will again face problems sleeping at night. So avoid taking long naps. A power nap of 20 minutes is usually deemed okay, but not more than that.
12. Weil’s Technique to Help you sleep quickly
Dr. Weil’s technique is a really simple method to put you to sleep. It does not take a major chunk of your time. This is one exercise which you ought to do sitting straight. Dr. Weil asks you to place the tip of your tongue right against the ridge of tissue behind your upper front teeth and just keep it there right through the entire length of the exercise. You will be breathing through your mouth around your tongue; try to purse your lips slightly if you find it awkward. Try and follow these methods to induce sleep effortlessly.
Breathe out completely through your mouth, trying to make a whoosh sound.
Snap your mouth shut and breathe in quietly through your nose while you count to four in your head.
Hold your breath for a count of seven.
Breathe out gradually through your mouth. Try to make a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
This completes one breath cycle. Now breathe again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
Dr. Weil insists that the most important part of this entire process is holding your breath for a count of eight seconds. This is mainly because keeping the breath in will allow the oxygen to fill your lungs and enable it to circulate throughout the body. This process helps relax your body and ease you into sleep.
These simple tips to fall asleep can do the trick for you. Make sure you do not work yourself up to a sweat, because you cannot sleep. Here, persistence is key. Do practice the above-mentioned methods for some time and you will surely get great results.