Sleep, an imperative human need, an epic journey to the nothingness that nourishes you and heals your body. It is essential to us, yet many people struggle with sleep every day. And so they ask how to fall asleep quickly? It doesn’t come as a surprise since we are so pre-occupied with the evolving daily distractions. Sleep is not a mere physical act; it depends greatly on biological and psychological factors. Two key players in having a quality sleep are melatonin hormone and circadian rhythm. For those who don’t know, the melatonin hormone helps you fall asleep and circadian rhythm is the internal body system that regulates the wake-sleep cycle based on the 24-hours rotation of the earth. Both of these can get disrupted very easily. A major contributor to melatonin excretion is darkness. It is the reason we tend to sleep better with lights off. Thus, when the light in a room is too bright, it alerts our brain and hinders melatonin release in the brain. In addition to room light, today, we have extra light coming out of digital screens. Using laptops, tablets, and smartphones on bed exposes us to unwanted light at bedtime leading to abnormalities in sleeping patterns.
The second important factor, which is the circadian cycle, is a major driver of sleep. Every human has their own circadian cycle based on which they go to sleep and wake up. When we upset this cycle over long periods, our sleep gets disturbed a great deal. If you haven’t figured out your circadian cycle, just leave your alarm for one day and observe the time you fall asleep and the time you wake up by yourself. It is your circadian cycle. It can be reset or changed if you find a suitable schedule and stick with it over a few days. But then make sure to follow it with consistency; otherwise, your sleep quality, as well as quantity, will suffer. Now you know both the fundamental factors, and you might already be taking care of all the things mentioned above yet struggling.
I recently learned about some interestingly easy methods to trick your mind into falling asleep faster. So if you were looking for how to fall asleep quickly guide, you are at the right place. Most of these techniques come from healthline.com.
How to fall asleep immediately
- Military Methods
Sharon Ackerman’s popular title “Relax & Win: Championship Performance” introduces 10, 60, and 120 seconds techniques. All of these require some practice to be performed correctly. For 10 seconds method, relax your facial muscles, let your hands drop on the sides, exhale and relax your chest, then proceed to relax your thighs, legs, and calves. Now imagine a beautiful scene or say, “don’t think” for 10 seconds continuously. By the end, you should fall asleep.
The 60 seconds method is the 4-7-8 method of falling asleep. Make a whooshing sound from your mouth as you exhale, slightly parting your lips for 4 seconds. Then inhale through your nose for 7 seconds, followed by an exhale of 8 seconds. Do this for four breaths, and don’t be too alert by the end of each cycle; let your brain lose its grip on the method. It will also help you are wondering how to fall asleep when anxious.
How to sleep in 2 minutes? 120 seconds method, also known as the paradoxical intention, is the act of applying reverse psychology technique on one’s own self. You basically have to tell yourself that staying up is a good way to sleep faster.
- No Cellphones in Bed
You know this one was going to be on the list. I know how hard it is to go to bed without binging YouTube for an hour; trust me I have been there. But during this time, you unintentionally block melatonin from making your brain sleepy. As a result, when you eventually put your phone down, all that sleepy feeling is gone, and you lay restless. Thus, you need to leave your cellphone behind when you go to bed.
- Set a Schedule
The reason I mentioned the circadian cycle in detail was to bring you to this point. Make a sleeping schedule and stick with it every day. Your mind is the first to fall asleep; your body follows next. When you follow a schedule, your mind sends signals to your body to feel asleep automatically. It will ensure you will never have to force yourself to sleep.
- A Little Exercise
Spend some of your 24 hours working out. It doesn’t have to be a proper session; take 10 minutes to exercise, just make sure to fully exhaust your body by the end of it. It will improve your sleep quality.
- No Daytime Naps
Yes, daytime naps might help you charge up for a quiz the next day, but it will affect your night time sleep adversely. It has been reported in the “Napping in college students and its relationship with nighttime sleep” by Stacey Hutton Johnson that students who nap for two or more hours every day have the poorest quality of night-time sleep.
Daylight & Darkness
Both daytime light and darkness are important players in your sleep cycle. Daylight keeps your mind attentive so you can expend energy during the day. Darkness at night induces melatonin secretion at night. Melatonin, combined with your exhaustion from daytime, leads you to fall asleep.
Darkness and lower temperatures both lead to quality sleep at night. If you don’t have a cold room, there is another trick. Take a warm shower; when you will come out, your body will try to regulate its temperature by cooling down, inducing a sleepy effect.
These are seven of the best tips on how to fall asleep quickly. Sleep is extremely important to live a healthy life. If you wish to improve your sleep quality, try following these techniques, and hopefully you will snooze better!