11 Sleeping Tips That'll Help You Get To Sleep Faster
Given that sleeping is something we naturally do and naturally need, you’d think that our bodies would, well, naturally do it.
However, a Consumer Reports study shows that at least 27 percent of Americans struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Almost 70 percent have struggled with sleep at least once a week. If you struggle to get eight hours of shut-eye each night, you might need to try any of the following things.
Stop drinking caffeine late
We all know just how many benefits caffeine has. It can improve your sports performance, give you more energy, and improve your focus.
But these are all things you don’t need when you’re trying to fall asleep. Try consuming caffeine in any form no later than six to eight hours before bed.
You may notice you feel much sleepier and better able to sleep as a result. If you don’t think you can give up your afternoon or evening coffee fix, try drinking decaffeinated coffee instead.
Stop drinking full stop
We don’t mean that you should stop drinking fluids full stop, but we do think that you may be able to improve your sleep quality by avoiding drinking at least one or two hours before bed.
You may then be less likely to wake up during the night needing to use the bathroom.
Get plenty of sun during the day
Because our bodies have a circadian rhythm to know when to be awake and asleep, it’s essential to make sure you provide differences in day and night for your body to notice.
Exposing yourself to plenty of bright light or sunlight during the day can keep your natural time-keeping clock as healthy as possible.
Studies show that people who experience insomnia and improved their bright light exposure were able to sleep better and longer.
Make sure you exercise
Exercise is an ideal way to improve your overall health, but did you know it can also improve your sleep?
There have been plenty of studies to back up this statement. Older adults who struggled to fall asleep and stay asleep benefited from 41 more minutes of sleep per night and halved the amount of time it took to fall asleep.
This was all achievable just by exercising during the day. People with severe insomnia were even able to benefit more from exercise for sleep than they did from drugs.
They fell asleep 55 percent faster, reduced wakefulness by 30 percent, and increased their total sleep time by about 18 percent.
Because exercise can make you alert, you may see the value in exercising during the day rather than before you go to bed.
Reduce blue exposure
Even though a tip we’ve mentioned above is to make sure you get plenty of light exposure during the day, you’re going to want to avoid it at night.
When you expose yourself to blue light at night, you’re making your brain think it’s daytime. Your melatonin hormone levels reduce, and you may be unlikely to relax or enjoy a deep sleep as quickly.
Fortunately, reducing your exposure is easier than you might think. If you are using a computer at night, use a blue light-blocking feature or app.
You can also install apps on your smartphone to do the same thing. You may also see the value in wearing blue light-blocking glasses and refraining from watching TV with bright lights within a couple of hours before bed.
Upgrade your pillow, mattress and bed
Most of us will likely admit that we have used a pillow, bed, or mattress long past its used-by date.
Not only is this not doing your body any favors, but it’s also not helping your sleep. Studies show that a new bed can reduce back stiffness, back pain, and shoulder pain by a considerable amount.
So, it’s probably not all that surprising that you can also improve your sleep quality by as much as 60 percent!
Reconsider nap time
While some people can take regular daytime naps and still enjoy a whole night’s sleep, not everyone can.
If you find that you’re unable to fall asleep at night and you nap during the day, it might be time to change up your daytime habits.
Short naps can help improve your brain function during the day, but long naps are not so beneficial.
In fact, they may make it harder for you to fall asleep and stay asleep. If you still need to nap during the day, consider shortening them and seeing if that small change impacts your sleep quality.
See your doctor
Even though things you do during the day may affect your ability to sleep well, there could also be underlying causes.
For example, you may suffer from sleep apnea, which is a condition that causes your breathing to be inconsistent or even interrupted.
Both men and women can have this condition. Sleep/wake disorders and sleep movement disorders may also be to blame. So, if you aren’t having any luck with other changes like reducing caffeine and exercising, a trip to your doctor could be in order.
Have a shower or bath
A hot bath or shower may be an ideal way to help you fall asleep better – and stay asleep for longer.
Studies have shown that older adults were able to fall asleep faster after taking a hot bath. Another showed that a hot bath for an hour and a half improved sleep quality and depth.
If you feel like you have exhausted all options or simply want to give your body the best chance of helping you sleep, consider taking supplements.
There is an abundance of options on the market that are designed to aid sleep, stress, and relaxation. Even though some studies can be weak on supplements’ efficacy, there’s likely no harm in giving them a try.
If you are unsure, check with a medical professional. Some of the most popular options include lavender, valerian root, magnesium, and glycine.