Many people dread the nighttime because it takes them so long to fall asleep. This tedious waiting is only exacerbated by the surrounding darkness and silence, which makes the hours creep by even slower.
Taking a while to fall asleep can also undermine the quality of our sleep, as we are likely to spend the intervening hours ruminating and examining our anxieties. Which can stress us out and interfere with the depth of sleep we experience.
Additionally, if we have to wake up early the next day. Then spending so long falling asleep can lead to sleep deprivation, insomnia, depression, and daytime fatigue. This creates a vicious cycle that makes it even harder to fall asleep quickly the next night.
Below We Will Discuss How to Fall Asleep Faster
In this article, we discuss 3 tips for how to fall asleep faster, emphasizing easy lifestyle changes that anyone can make.
Many breathing techniques exist to help tranquilize our nervous system before bed.
The calming states that are induced reduce stress and help prepare us for entering our unconscious, which is specifically a state of minimized limits.
When we are anxious, we are particularly concerned with setting limits, which can be antagonistic to the states we are about to enter.
The 4-7-8 Method
The 4-7-8 breathing technique is one of the most effective ways of regulating your breathing. Teaching your body how to make yourself fall asleep.
It is named after the seconds that are recommended during inhalation, holding the breath, and exhalation.
It is recommended that you exhale first, and then inhale for 4 seconds through your nose with your mouth closed. Then you hold the breath for 7 seconds, followed by exhaling through your mouth for 8 seconds. Specifically around your tongue which is situated just behind the tissue on your upper teeth.
This ratio of time spent inhaling, holding, and exhaling is important for calming our nerves. Can set the stage for an extended meditation session.
Meditation has been proven to potentiate melatonin secretion, which is critical for regulating our circadian rhythm and thus how fast we fall asleep.
On a more simplistic level, this technique forces you to pay attention to details, specifically those associated with counting and breathing.
This is a very grounding exercise that many people find comforting. Sometimes, a simple routine is all you need to disconnect from the worries of the day. Before you know it, you’ll be dozing off.
Invent Your Own Solution
Each person is completely unique in how their sleep is induced. Some people find it easier to doze off with light background noise, like the sounds from the television, while others require perfect silence.
While electronics have been criticized in recent years due to the harmful effects of blue light, we think ultimately that you are the best determinant of your sleep habits, not science. Science offers information, perhaps even a model, but should never be dogmatically followed.
Some people spend years trying out the various remedies that are advertised by sleep gurus, only to go back to the techniques they once utilized in childhood.
We don’t mean that you have to regress, only that you should be empirical in your approach to falling asleep faster. Experiment with your own solutions. Be creative with your approach. Consider it an extension of your personality.
Use Your Imagination
Additionally, sleeping, especially dreaming, represents a deep state of imagination, so engaging your imagination can be a good way of transitioning into sleep.
Consider it a form of stretching prior to the marathon of the night. Many people spend all day doing egotistical, superficial activities required for their career. Then they expect to just enter sleep mode instantly.
Alternatively, some people spend all day doing highly stimulating activities. But expect to not burn out and to continue these states throughout the night. Even though sleep is restorative, it is far from unstimulating or lifeless. Try tiptoeing into your unconscious, not sprinting.
It’s also best to avoid imagining stressful situations if you want to fall asleep faster. Additionally, as this will only lead to more anxiety and difficulty sleeping. Instead, try imagining your dream vacation or ideal superhero power. Allow your mind to wander from there.
As long as the subject you choose is rich enough, it will lead you to the doors of your unconscious.
Our Final Thoughts on How to Fall Asleep Faster
Many people also wonder how to sleep faster in general, which entails not only shortening the time spent falling asleep but also shortening the amount of time spent sleeping.
This is important for daytime napping when we need a short break to energize us for the rest of the day. However, we do not recommend napping too much, as it can impair the quality of your nighttime sleep.
Whether you are merely napping or passing out after a hard day’s work, breathing and using your imagination are critical tools for falling asleep faster.
Feature image via BBC