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5 Easy Tips to Fall Asleep Faster

  • Category: LiveSmart
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Instead of tossing and turning while watching the clock, try these tips to get a good night's sleep.

Finding it hard to get enough shut-eye night after night? For some people, falling asleep – and staying asleep – can be difficult to do. There are many factors that contribute to how well or poorly you sleep. On any given night, any of these factors may cause you to spend the night tossing and turning or staring at the clock on your bedside table.

Getting a good night's sleep is more important than you may realize, so it is worth doing what you can to sleep well. Not only will you wake up more rested in the morning, but you'll protect yourself from health issues that may arise if you consistently don't sleep well. Poor sleep may increase your risk of developing serious health conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, obesity and even some cancers. It also makes you more prone to accidents while driving or working.

Here are 5 tips to help you fall asleep faster:

  1. Set a sleep schedule – It's best to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This trains your body's internal clock to be ready for sleep at a certain time. It's also a good idea to create a regular pre-bedtime ritual that gets your body and mind ready for slumber.
  2. Spend time outside – Exposure to daylight helps to regulate your internal clock. Research also suggests that it may increase evening fatigue, sleep duration and sleep quality. Limit outdoor light in the evenings as it may hinder the production of melatonin, making it harder to fall asleep. Blackout curtains can help.
  3. Avoid daytime naps – Although short daytime naps may increase alertness and productivity, some people find that it makes it harder for them to fall asleep at night. If you do nap, do it early in the day and keep it to 30 minutes or less.
  4. Write down your thoughts – Many people struggle with falling asleep because they have too much on their mind. Whether you're running through your to-do list or something is causing you to worry, jot it down. The act of putting thoughts into words on paper often makes it easier to ease your mind so you can drift off to sleep.
  5. Practice deep breathing – One way to ease stress and anxiety before bed is to do some deep breathing. The 4-7-8 technique is a cyclical breathing method that helps promote calmness. Repeat the following at least 3 – 4 times: (1) Place the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth. (2) Exhale completely through your mouth, making a "whoosh" sound. (3) Close your mouth and inhale through your nose to a count of 4. (4) Hold your breath to a count of 7. (5) Open your mouth and exhale completely, making a "whoosh" sound, to a count of 8.

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Date Last Reviewed: November 17, 2023

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

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