If you struggle to fall asleep easily at bedtime, you are not alone!
Luckily, we suggest effective and guaranteed methods to help you fall asleep really fast.
But first, let’s take a look at why it is important to sleep and dream, and the process that takes place in our brains each night.
While your body rests and recovers, your mind takes you into numerous weird and wonderful situations. But it also gives you some important information that you have lost or didn’t pay attention to during the day.
Through these messages, your dream can explore and express the inner emotions, deepest desires and thoughts of your conscious mind.
The unconscious mind plays endless tricks and games in order to force a message through to your waking self. The hidden message is often conveyed in a kind of pictorial code.
While most dream analysts believe that dreams are tools for psychological development, there are some scientists who stae that dreams are nothing more than the systematic clearing out of your brain’s memory bank.
Naturally, the brain produces two chemicals, serotonin and noradrenaline, that help to transmit nerve impulses within, and to the brain. It is also believed that these two chemicals might be involved in controlling both body temperature and brain functions such as learning and focused attention.
The levels of these chemicals decrease significantly during sleep, particularly during the REM sleep cycle. This means that the body is less able to transmit any external signals to the brain. And since the brain doesn’t have to produce these chemicals in quantity, it is has the opportunity to rest and repair itself.
As you can see, having a good, deep sleep has many health benefits for our body and mind. That’s why it is crucial to have a proper rest at night so we can function well the next day and battle everything that life throws upon us with ease.
However, easier said than done when you’re actually trying but cannot sleep properly. Many people often go to bed hoping to drift off as soon as their heads hit the pillow, then find themselves hours later wide awake, staring at the ceiling.
So what can you do to fall asleep fast, even when you are not tired?
Here are some of the best solutions and natural hacks you might find helpful:
⨳ Switch off all electronic devices
In order to get to sleep, your body needs to increase levels of melatonin, which is a hormone that controls the sleep and wake cycles. Melatonin induces sleepiness as soon as it gets dark outside.
If you stay on your computer, or smartphone, or watching TV late, you are inhibiting the creation of melatonin and thus, disrupting your circadian rhythm. A circadian rhythm is a body’s natural process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle on a daily basis. The bright light coming from your electronic devices prevents your body to know if it’s time to sleep or wake up.
Besides, the blue light from the screen causes stress and raises anxiety levels. It could be also useful to get yourself a pair of blue light blocking glasses.
For this reasons, turn off all electronics with bright screens at least one hour before bedtime so it’s easier for your body to get sleepy.
⨳ Keep your bedroom as dark as possible
Bright lights can also be an obstacle when trying to be asleep. They trick your body into thinking it is too early in the day for sleep, and prevent an increase in melatonin, causing a problem for your circadian rhythm.
That’s why, switch off all lamps and night lights, close the curtains and shut the blinds to be able to fall asleep faster.
⨳ Take a bath right before bedtime
Take a long, relaxing, hot bath or shower shortly before heading off to bed. This will raise the temperature of your body which will increase those feelings of sleepiness and make your journey to deep sleep happen much faster.
⨳ Manage noise and sounds
Turn on a white noise generator or a recording of sound effects from nature such as ocean waves or rain drops. This constant, low-level sound will eliminate other disturbing noises which don’t allow you to fall to sleep.
You could also listen to soft, quiet, relaxing and peaceful music. Use a music playing device with a self-timer which will turn off automatically after a certain period of time. However, if you’re using regular headphones, be careful not to fall asleep with them in your ears, as they may slip around and become painful or hurt your ears and face when you sleep.
It is a good idea to use earplugs to get rid of any annoying sounds or loud background noises.
⨳ Consider aromatherapy
Lavender essential oil is known to promote sleep in people of all ages. Smelling the lovely lavender aroma will help your body to relax and create a comfortable surrounding for sleep.
Therefore, scent your bedroom with lavender. You may also sprinkle a few drops of the oil on your pillowcase, or massage it directly on your temples.
Additionally, it has been proven that the scent of this flowering herb has beneficial effects on anxiety and depression, it can decrease stress, provide relief from fatigue, lower blood pressure, and put you in a relaxed, calm state.
⨳ Visualize your favorite place
Stop counting sheep but rather visualize a tranquil environment that makes you feel happy and relaxed. The most effective technique is visualization meditation when you imagine a scene that’s so appealing that it will distract you from your thoughts and worries.
So picture yourself in beautiful surroundings of nature, such as tropical paradise, a beach, forest, fields, mountains or a waterfall.
Use your senses as well. Smell the flowers, feel the sand under your bare feet, hear water flowing in a rushing river… This will help you loosen up and will put you to sleep before you know it.
⨳ Wear socks to bed
There’s no chance of falling asleep if you have cold feet, literally. Warm feet and hands will make you feel cozy and will allow your body to drift off much sooner.
Put on your favorite thick socks or place a hot water bottle at your feet. This will warm up your skin and prevent heat loss from your bed. The melatonin hormone will also kick in.
⨳ Drink tea at bedtime
Sipping a tea in the evening is a great natural solution for your sleep troubles. Examples of favorite sleep time teas include chamomile tea, ginger tea and magnolia bark tea.
Chamomile tea for sleep disorders
Have a cup of hot chamomile tea after your dinner. Chamomile is commonly known to help with insomnia and is the best natural remedy for all sleep problems out there.
There is evidence that chamomile helps to relieve stress and anxiety, relax muscles, or decrease symptoms of depression, among others. It’s also a great comfort drink when you’re having a cold or not feeling well.
If you’re having persistent issues with falling asleep, try drinking chamomile tea for a quick fix.
Drinking ginger tea at night for sleep benefits
Ginger is a popular remedy for sleep difficulties and naturally contains no caffeine so it’s a prefect bedtime drink. Many people love consuming ginger tea because it makes them sleepy. Ginger extract has that warming effect which will make you feel warm, relaxed and cozy, which will help you fall asleep in no time.
Additionally, ginger has been proven to effectively treat conditions such as nausea, poor digestion, dizziness and morning sickness. Due to the fact that ginger contains high levels of antioxidants, regularly drinking ginger tea will strengthen your immune system. As it has calming properties, ginger tea might help with reducing stress and tension.
Slice a ginger root and brew it for 15 min, or use ginger tea bags for convenience. You may also add some honey and lemon, if you wish, or drink as it is.
Magnolia bark tea will make you sleepy
Magnolia bark tea can also improve your sleep and medical studies have shown that this herb is an effective sleep aid as well as a great herb to promote relaxation, reduce stress, lower depression and ease anxiety.
Magnolol, which is the dominant ingredient of magnolia bark, acts as a mild sedative and facilitates falling into a deep and peaceful sleep.
Before going to bed, you may take magnolia bark supplements directly or mix your magnolia tea with ginger or chamomile tea for the extra effect.
⨳ Take advantage of apps and gadgets
There are lots of sleep gadgets and tracking applications out there to assist you to unwind and get a solid sleep at night. Here’s a quick review of just a couple of them. (We are not affiliated with the following companies)
• White Noise app
A great and very cheap app containing more than 40 different, repetitive and consistent sounds from beach waves and heavy rain through to the sound of a fan or static, which will help you fall to sleep in the wink of an eye. Possibility to create your own combinations and sound settings (like fading out after a certain period of time) are helpful features of this app as well.
• Misfit Shine
This all-round activity and sleep tracker automatically detects when you’ve gone to sleep and measures how long and how deep you were sleeping. It also includes an alarm to strategically wake you up at the time you’re in your lightest sleep so you can feel well-rested.
• Calm app
This free mindfulness and sleep app features a series of guided meditation sessions that can help you clear your mind before going to sleep.
A sleep monitor with ultra-thin sensors that fit under your bed sheets. It monitors your total sleep time as well as your heart rate and breathing rate throughout the night, and will use the data to figure out the quality of your sleep. Also, it provides an overall sleep score and tips for a better sleep.
• Philips Wake-up light
It’s particularly useful in the dark winter months as it mimics the sunrise so that you wake up more naturally. It will slowly get brighter before an audio alarm goes off.
• Whithings Aura
It is a whole sleep system that combines a lamp with a sensor which you put under your bed sheets. The lamp emits different wavelengths of light depending on whether you are trying to fall asleep or wake up. In the morning, it will show your heart rate, breaths per minute and movements made throughout the night.
⨳ Don’t work out in the evening
As you’re still full of energy and adrenaline, you will find it difficult to fall asleep. The physical activity will make you wired at night and will definitely disrupt your sleep cycle.
⨳ Don’t eat late at night
It’s a bad idea to eat late at night, as well. You shouldn’t be eating later than 2 hours before going to sleep. Eating a heavy meal just before bedtime puts on a big burden on your digestive system and this will prevent you from having a restful sleep.