Having Trouble Falling Asleep?

by Bri Larson

Raise your hand if you would like to fall asleep faster!

Of course, you would. Good sleep is paramount if you want to lead a happier life and it has an array of positive health benefits that help avoid obesity, heart disease, and lowers illness length.

And since everybody wishes they could be one of those people who shut their eyes for a brief moment and falls asleep quickly, for most, falling asleep fast can feel like a problem. 

To help turn that around, here are 14 tips for overcoming sleep loss, how to gain a higher quality sleep, and how to fall asleep much faster. 

1. Join The Millions Who Use ASMR To Help Them Fall Asleep Faster

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is the calming ‘brain tingles’ encountered by certain people in response to particular stimuli, such as whispering, tapping, and slow hand gestures. 

Although the videos can seem snoozy, they are quite popular, garnering millions of views.  Viewers are not coming for the spectacular cinematography, rather, the millions of views on the videos are being attributed to the videos’ ability to stimulate something called an autonomous sensory meridian response, or ASMR.

These tingles are most often experienced around the head and spine and create a feeling of profound relief or euphoria and according to new studies, may have benefits for both mental and physical wellbeing.

2. Develop a Really Good Bedtime Routine

When we were younger, our parents generally said goodnight to us and then we usually had no choice but to fall asleep.

These days, it’s all up to us to maintain a grown-up way of going to bed and the best way to do that is by developing a really great night time routine.

Whether that’s enjoying a nightly cup of decaf tea such as peppermint or chamomile or lighting soft candles paired with relaxing breathing techniques, having a calming bedtime routine will make you fall asleep sooner and much more comfortably.

3. If Stress Keeps You Up Late, Try Journaling Your Stressful Thoughts Away

Whether today’s and tomorrow’s issues are hindering your opportunity to sleep soundly, a very quick and fast hack is to start capturing those nightly thoughts before bedtime. Because, chances are, if you can’t fall asleep fast, you may have a lot on your mind. 

Store all of your thoughts and emotions in a journal or notebook, so you are not left thinking about them when you’re supposed to be falling asleep.

It only takes a few minutes to jot it all down, plus, once you get the hang of this, this little night ritual will clear up any anxiety that is building up and you’ll soon feel relieved, wound down, and ready to fall asleep fast. 

4. Take A Hot Bath Or Shower Right Before You Jump Into Bed

Having a bath is another great way to cause drowsiness. It makes you fall asleep even more easily because your body temperature rises during your bath (which is hot) and the sudden drop of temperature as you get out of the bath is close to the drop you feel when you fall asleep. Try it and find it out yourself, but this can be one of the fastest ways to fall asleep fast (and my personal favourite!)

5. Try White Noise With Sleeping Apps

Studies have shown that using white noise as a backdrop when falling asleep speeds up the process. In fact, because it’s so well-received, there are so many sleep apps on the market today with endless noise-canceling solutions.

Whether you prefer soothing instrumental soundtracks or basic white noise playing, sleep apps make falling asleep much better than earplugs. Try looking up rain sounds too. Rainy days are one of the most calming, soothing sounds which, when listened to, cause feelings of relaxation and sleepiness.

6. Make Sure To Sleep In A Cool Bedroom

If you really want to fall asleep on a whim then you must set your thermostat between 65 and 72 degrees F. (18 - 22 degrees C)

Cool temperatures improve the quality of sleep and allow sleep to be controlled more efficiently. According to Harvard medical school, our bodies decrease in temperature before we fall asleep. When we sleep, our bodies cool down by a slight degree, in order to conserve energy. Sleeping in a cooler environment can result in the process happening faster, promoting deeper sleep.

7. Press On Your Third Eye With Jasmine Oil

This strategy might be an old wives’ tale, but it may help you fall asleep quicker if you dab some jasmine oil on your forehead in a unique spot. In fact, there is a particular pressure point on our foreheads, which is known as the third eye. By pressing this pressure point you may remove anxiety, fear, depression, and insomnia.

Of course, this tip is very mysterious and could be a myth but, if you try it, it could drift you off to dreamland all the faster!

8. Avoid Blue Light 2 Hours Before Bed

There are so many contributing factors to why one can’t sleep, and light from electronics could also be one of them. The blue light produced by smartphones, tablets, and computers is proven to hinder our ability to fall asleep because it depletes melatonin.

The body needs melatonin to fall asleep quickly, so if mobile devices are completely avoided (at least an hour or two before bed), the body has enough time to relax and promote melatonin production in the brain. Restricting exposure to blue light as far in advance as possible is a smart idea.

Now if going without a device is not for you, then you must avoid blue light as much as you can. Switch your phone on the night shift mode so you can adjust the screen to emit less blue light. You can do that by going to your settings and changing your display to ‘night shift’ mode. Invest in a pair of blue light glasses. This special coating on the lenses blocks only the blue light emitted by electronics which is a great alternative if you simply cannot go without electronics or screens an hour or so before bed.

9. Drink Warm Milk

Milk has the best nutrients, which can be effective in initiating sleep. It contains tryptophan, a natural amino acid that relaxes the body without drugs, and melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone found in the body that helps you feel sleepy.

And don’t be bothered if you don’t like cow’s milk, you can still enjoy this process for falling asleep quickly, as soy milk also has the same level of tryptophan as a cup of cow's milk. Or check your local pharmacy or natural remedies store for natural tryptophan supplements. 

10. Avoid TV In Bed

Not only is a television in the bedroom a threat to overnight sleep patterns, but it can also interrupt sleep cycles by inducing insomnia. Taking the TV out of your bedroom lets you get more sleep, which leaves you more rested and productive for the next day.

Try reading a book or magazine rather than watching TV in bed. You will find that reading will make your eyes heavier and will eventually make you feel sleepy a lot more quickly. Your bedroom should ideally be optimized for sleep. Watching TV while in bed actually does the opposite. Which brings me to my next point...

11. Only Use Your Bed For Sleep

When you get into bed give yourself nothing else to do but sleep. All too often, people forget the value of a bedroom in having great sleep.

Around 30% of our time is spent sleeping in a bedroom, so it’s best to avoid exciting attention-grabbing activities like eating or doing your work, that way you can allow your mind and body to both settle down. This also creates a subconscious association for your brain over time that the bedroom is for sleeping and when you enter the bedroom your brain should begin the process of preparing for sleep.

12. Try Sleeping On Your Left Side For Your Gut Health & To Reduce Acid Reflux

If falling asleep fast is not your thing try sleeping on your left side. When lying on the left, it allows for a few specific things. Firstly, It lets the body eliminate inflammation and plaque from the brain. This brain cleansing act acts as a preventative measure to prevent the occurrence of neurological disorders developing such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurological diseases.

It also reduces snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, as studies also support that sleeping on your right side can lead to acid reflux and gastrointestinal issues which can interfere with a good night’s sleep. 

13. Take Magnesium For An Overall Better Sleep Cycle

If you have a deficiency of Magnesium, that’s a surefire way of developing insomnia over time. Magnesium has a natural calming effect on the body which is an important building block for Melatonin.

Magnesium is critical for the body’s stress response function as well. Since Magnesium also raises GABA, which helps induce relaxation and brings on sleep, low GABA levels in the body may trigger a person to become easily stressed and agitated making you fall asleep a lot slower. You should check with your General Practitioner before taking loads of magnesium, but it’s one of the best supplements you can take for a better night’s rest. 

14. Try Essential Oils On Your Pillows & Temples For Extra Relaxation

When you can’t sleep and you are stuck tossing and turning all night long, try a few drops of essential oils on your pillow, such as lavender oil, and dab it on your temples for a good night’s rest too. 

Doing this has been shown to reduce racing thoughts, aid in calming the mind, and help you fall asleep just that much faster! 

There you have it! Next time you’re stuck tossing and turning, try to implement some of these sleep hacks and see how they work out for you!