There’s almost nothing more frustrating than when you can’t fall asleep.
You spend your entire day yawning and struggling to stay awake. And then, the moment you’ve been waiting for finally arrives. But you’re wide awake.
It’s incredibly irritating.
And the lack of sleep can also cause health problems if it continues. It’s more than a mere annoyance. Sleep is crucial to your overall health.
So, if you aren’t sleeping, it’s time to get a handle on your sleep patterns.
Here are 7 ways to help you fall asleep easier at night.
- Turn down the heat
When you fall asleep, your core body temperature decreases and the temperature of your hands and feet increases. Maybe that’s why the thought of wearing socks to bed is so unappealing. Knowing this, it makes sense that you wouldn’t want to fall asleep in a warm room.
If you want to fall asleep quickly, the first and easiest thing you can do is to lower the room temperature. The ideal temperature for sleep is between 60- and 75-degrees Fahrenheit.
Play around with different temperatures to find out which works best for you.
- Set a sleep schedule
Your body is probably more primitive than you realize. It works best on a schedule that’s as close to the natural circadian rhythm as possible. And your work schedule may not always allow sleep at night and wakefulness during the day, but nonetheless, a schedule can help train your body to know when it’s time for sleep.
To to get enough sleep, set your bedtime for at least 8 hours before you must wake up. Go to bed at the same time every night and your body will get to know when it’s time to go to sleep.
- Practice yoga and mindfulness
This tip is especially beneficial for people who struggle with anxiety or depression. Yoga and mindfulness can help reduce overall anxiety and promote a sense of peace.
And if you have trouble sleeping, you’ve probably experienced the mind racing phenomenon. This is when you’ve been exhausted all day, but when your head hits the pillow, your mind starts racing.
Yoga and meditation have been shown to calm this anxiety and help you get better sleep.
If you have trouble meditating, start with yoga. Yoga focuses on breathing techniques and mindfulness, and you can get many of the same benefits of meditating.
- Stop napping
No matter how tired you are, avoid the urge to take a nap. Naps work well for some people, but if you’re already having trouble sleeping, don’t risk it with a nap.
It’s true that you need to get sleep somewhere, but it’s better to get a full night’s rest than sleep in small stretches. This is because you’re not going to slip into deep, REM sleep when you’re only sleeping for short stretches.
So, if you’re napping during the day and having trouble sleeping at night, it’s time to quit the napping habit. At the very least, you’ll learn whether napping is getting in the way of your sleep.
- Quit alcohol
If you’re in the habit of drinking alcohol before bed, it probably seemed helpful at one time. You had a glass of wine and fell asleep almost instantly. But if you’re drinking regularly, your friend alcohol may be turning on you.
Studies have shown that drinking alcohol before bed can interfere with your ability to get a deep, restful REM sleep. And over time, this is likely to interfere with your ability to get to sleep.
Once you’ve disrupted healthy sleep patterns, sleep will become more elusive.
- Rely on cannabis
If cannabis is legal in your state, you may want to consider this sleep aid. It’s not a stretch to think about cannabis as a sleep aid because it’s known for its calming abilities. The research into cannabis is limited, but there are some studies that show promise.
If you’re having trouble sleeping and cannabis is legal where you are, it’s worth a shot.
- Avoid technology
If you’re having trouble drifting off to dreamland, technology may be to blame. Or, at least, it may play a role. The blue light from computer screens, smartphones and televisions disrupt the natural circadian rhythm that tells the body when it’s time for sleep.
Try shutting down your devices an hour before bed if you want to fall asleep faster.
We don’t often appreciate sleep until it’s hard to come by. But usually, when you’re not sleeping, there are reasons. Try these seven ways to get to sleep faster, and if you’re still having trouble, talk to your doctor about your sleep troubles.