5 ways to fall asleep faster
Let’s face it… There are few things worse than tossing and turning, and being unable to fall asleep. This isn’t a new problem, although our modern lifestyles can make matters worse. Here, a few tips to set the stage for a good night’s sleep—and help yourself fall asleep faster.
1.Exercise early in the day.
Studies have shown that 150 minutes of exercise per week can help improve your quality of sleep, but timing that workout is important. Researchers have found that morning exercise does more than alleviate stress and improve your mood. Working out earlier in the day means potential exposure to outdoor sunlight, which helps reinforce the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle and make it easier to fall asleep.
Meditation can take many forms, but the goal is always the same: To calm the mind. If you have problems falling asleep, you’re likely thinking about work, bills and other stresses. With practice, meditation can help clear these things from your mind. Meditation slows the heart rate, decreases blood pressure, increases circulation, reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and makes brain-wave patterns mimic those seen in a deep state of relaxation.
3. Soak away your stress.
Taking a long bath is more than an indulgence—it helps prepare your body for bedtime. When you step out of a warm bath (or shower) into a cool room, your body temperature begins to drop, which is an essential part of falling asleep. You can boost the sleep-inducing benefits of a bath with aromatherapy. The scent of lavender has been proven to improve sleep quality by promoting relaxation and calming the nervous system. (You can also reap the benefits with an oil diffuser, body products and lavender sachets or pillows.)
4. Rethink your bedding.
To fall asleep quickly, it’s important to create the ideal environment. In addition to lowering your thermostat, skip synthetic fabrics that don’t “breathe” and opt for sheets and blankets made of natural fibers like cotton. If you mattress is lumpy, bumpy, sagging in spots or just plain uncomfortable, it’s time to get a new one for the sake of your sleep.
5.Turn off the electronics.
Who doesn’t take one last look at their phone before bed? Studies have shown that the “glow” emitted from your phone, tablet and even TV stimulates your brain—just when you should be winding down. Scientifically, light emitted from your devices passes through your eyes’ retinas into the area of the brain that controls sleep and delays the release of the naturally occurring “sleep” hormone melatonin. If you can’t get into bed and turn off the lights right away, opt for a good old-fashioned book instead.