Need some ways to fall asleep faster or almost instantly? If you’re like most people, you’ve probably had many nights where you just couldn’t get to sleep. The feeling of lying in your bed and not being able to drift off into sleep land can be quite uncomfortable. This is especially true for those who suffer from some form of anxiety.
Did you know that man is the only mammal on Earth that willingly delays the act of sleep? For those of you who live in the mountains – it’s a fact that it’s harder to sleep in higher altitudes, such as altitudes above 13,000 feet. Changes in respiration and diminished oxygen levels are believed to be the culprits.
Another interesting fact – regular exercise makes it easier to fall asleep, and it lets you enjoy a much deeper sleep than you would without it.
The fact of the matter is that sleep is incredibly important, and you cannot live without it. Now, the only question is how to fall asleep faster? Since your life is probably very busy, as is the case with most people, the sooner you fall asleep – the more shuteye you’ll get overall!
40 Ways to Fall Asleep Faster
1. Enjoy a Warm Shower or Bath
Did you know that a lot of people take warm showers even when they’re not dirty? It’s really not as weird or uncommon as you might think! Once you exit the bath or shower, your body temperature begins to drop rapidly.
According to sleep science, this rapid cool down can cause your body to become overwhelmed by a sleep sensation. The sleepiness is believed to be caused by the slowing of your body’s metabolic processes, digestion and heart rate.
The resulting sleepiness feeling can make it that much easier for your brain to power down as well, making it easier to get that rejuvenating sleep that you need.
2. Eliminate the Noise
In the world that we live in, we’re constantly bombarded by noise, and it can come from virtually every direction imaginable.
Maybe it’s the delivery truck outside your home. It could even be a snoring spouse. Your television, radio or even your kids could be producing the noise that won’t let you sleep.
Fortunately, this problem is easier to solve than you might think. It’s really about cancelling out the bad noise. Depending on your preferences, maybe you enjoy listening to soft music before bed, and in this case, this is the noise that is beneficial.
About 30 minutes before you want to be asleep, eliminate all of the bad noise. There is even a special headband that you can buy, and it has thin speaker strips that allow you to listen to soft, comforting music as you drift off into sleep land.
3. Learn To Wind Down
You’ve probably been moving around and doing things all day. After all – that’s what we do in our lives. If you’re the type of person who is constantly active right up until it’s time to go to bed, and then you can fall asleep faster by learning how to wind down.
How long should you wind down before going to bed? Experts say the ideal time for most people is 60 minutes. It’s up to you to decide what you want to do to wind down, but it should be a simple, relaxing activity, such as reading. Taking the time to wind down can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
4. Prepping Your Body
We’re not talking about prepping for the zombie apocalypse or anything like that! Before your body can sync with your mind to allow you to sleep, you need to prep it.
You can use a progressive relaxation technique to get the job done. This technique consists of curling your toes tightly for about 7 seconds and working your way up your body doing the same thing.
Continue performing this technique for as long as it takes you to get comfortable enough to fall asleep. This is one of those methods that will shock you when you actually try it.
5. Write Down Some Notes
Did you know that your daily routine actually affects how well you’re able to fall asleep? You can actually create a sleep log and keep track of your caffeine intake, food you eat, exercise and more.
Record what times you go to sleep and wake up and how long you actually slept for. All of this is important information, and you can meet with a sleep specialist to come up with a customized sleep schedule that is suitable for your life.
6. Wear Socks
Who would’ve ever thought that socks can help you fall asleep faster? While taking a warm shower can certainly help, you can also put on a pair of socks.
The goal is to make your extremities warm while keeping your core as cool as possible. Wearing a pair of socks actually dilates your blood vessels, which can increase blood blow and optimize your body temperature for sleep.
7. The 4-7-8 Technique
When it comes to using techniques like this, your mileage will vary, but they tend to be at least a little bit effective for most people.
The way you breathe has a profound impact on what is going on inside of your body. By using this technique to alter the way you exhale and inhale, you’re able to alter your blood pressure and heart rate, which are directly linked to how sleepy you feel.
A basic technique involves inhaling through your nose for about 4 seconds and exhaling for about 8 seconds through your mouth. The 4-7-8 technique consists of inhaling for 4 seconds, holding your breathe for 7 seconds and exhaling for 8 seconds.
These techniques play on your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The sympathetic nervous systems activates when you inhale and stimulates the body’s fight-or-flight response – the part that will make it harder to sleep.
The technique causes your body to activate the parasympathetic nervous system – the part that counters the flight-or-flight response – and it basically relaxes you and will make it easier to fall asleep.
8. Wait until you’re actually tired
If you’re trying to go to sleep as quickly as possible, then it only makes sense that you should wait to go to bed until you’re actually tired.
A lot of people decide they want to get more sleep, so they make the mistake of going to bed earlier. Without getting into circadian rhythms, this just doesn’t work for most people.
Instead of going and lying in your bed for an additional two hours or longer, you should continue on with daily activity until you actually start to feel sleepy.
9. Make Your Environment Cool
According to sleep science, it’s easier to fall asleep when your environment is a certain temperature. Most people will have far less trouble getting to sleep quickly when their room is cooler.
You should aim to make your room about 65 degrees or cooler. If you have trouble with hot flashes or night sweats, you might want to try to use a cooling mattress pad. You could also try breathable cotton pajamas or moisture-wicking sheets.
10. Calm Yourself during the Day
Progressive muscle relaxation and visualization are techniques that can help you relax. There are many designated relaxation techniques that you can use. However, you don’t want to wait until bed to try these techniques out the first time you’re using them.
It’s better to try the techniques during the day and try to get proficient with them. Once you have some experience with the techniques and have used them somewhat effectively, then you can start using them before bed.
11. Relaxing the Right Way
If you’re like most people, your brain probably starts to go a little bit crazy when you go to bed. You start thinking about all of the day’s events and thinking about all sorts of other things.
To relax the right way, consider journaling the biggest events that occurred during the day at least two hours before you’re planning to go to sleep.
The journaling will help you to get those thoughts out onto paper, so you won’t have to sit in bed thinking about them constantly. You can also use a relaxing imagery exercise. All you have to do is imagine a tranquil scene inside of your head, like a relaxing beach.
12. Get Out Of Bed
It’s hard to imagine how getting out of bed would help you get to sleep faster, but there is a lot of truth to this recommendation.
When we can’t get to sleep, we have the tendency to lie in our bed and think about it. You’ll end up obsessing over the fact that you can’t seem to get to sleep, which will make it even harder to sleep. The moment you recognize this happening, get up and walk into another room.
Stay in this room until you start to feel sleepy. It’s crucial to force your brain to associate your bed with sleeping and nothing else. When a person feels frustrated, it produces a stress response, which causes the body to produce adrenaline.
Eventually, this creates a negative feedback loop, which causes your body to continue producing adrenaline and preventing you from falling asleep.
To fight back against this issue, just get out of bed and make some tea, knit, complete crossword puzzles or perform similar, relaxing activities until you feel sleepy.
13. Hide the Alarm Clock
Have you ever tried to fall asleep and found yourself constantly staring at the alarm clock? What happens when you can’t sleep and start staring at the clock?
It should be obvious that this is only going to make your more frustrated at the fact that you can’t seem to fall asleep, which makes the problem even worse!
Regularly checking the time will cause you to place stress on yourself, making it that much harder to drift off into slumber. If you’re constantly checking the time on your phone, this can be 10 times as stressful as staring at the alarm clock.
All you need to do is turn your clock around or place your phone somewhere where you cannot obsess over the time. This tip can really help you to get to sleep much faster.
14. Vent Your Stressors
In our digitized world, we’ve long forgotten the power of writing our thoughts onto paper. A large percentage of people who seem to have trouble falling asleep say they experience this issue because they have racing thoughts before bed.
To remedy this issue, just keep a piece of paper and pen on your nightstand, and when you feel your mind start to race, grab the paper and write down your thoughts. The act of writing, itself, can cause your body to move into a relaxed state, which will make it easier to fall asleep.
Note: We all know that life isn’t fair. Some people are born with beauty and riches while others are born broke and…well… you get the point. The same concept applies when it comes to sleep. You probably know at least one person who can almost instantly fall asleep as soon as his or her head hits the pillow. For those of us who have trouble with this, it might even seem as if these individuals were born with some miraculous gift. However, don’t let this get you down because there is still plenty of hope for us!
15. Reduce Disruptive Beverages
Doctors tell you to avoid caffeine intake before bed, but this isn’t the whole story. You really need to avoid these drinks far before you’re planning on hitting the sack.
In today’s world, MANY beverages contain caffeine. The problem is that a lot of people don’t realize how long this drug stays active in the body. If you don’t want caffeine making it nearly impossible for you to fall asleep, the sweet spot for caffeine consumption is between 6 and 8 AM.
While caffeine can be troublesome, consuming alcohol and even too much water before bed can make it very difficult to get some sleep.
16. Avoid Taking a Nap
You’ve probably read that naps can be great for your health, and it’s true that there is some science to prove this. However, you might want to avoid taking naps if you want to fall asleep faster.
Taking naps during the day can make it that much harder for you to hit the sack at night. If you absolutely cannot avoid a daytime nap, make sure to limit it to a 20-minute power nap.
17. Consider What You’re Eating
If you really want to fall asleep faster, then you need to watch what you eat. Consider eating a light dinner. The body must devote more resources to digest heavy meals, so you should avoid eating these types of meals before bed.
On the flipside, you don’t want to go to sleep hungry. The problem is that hunger can keep you awake nearly as much as eating too much. For optimal results, try to eat a light snack before bed.
18. Turn Off Electronics
In today’s world, this is one of the biggest problems that we face when trying to get to sleep. Electronics are all around us. The computer and TV are two of the biggest culprits.
The light from these electronics tells the brain that it should keep itself stimulated, which is a disaster for those of us who’re trying to sleep. There are many studies to show that trying to sleep with your electronics on can greatly reduce the quality of sleep that you get.
19. Dim the Bedroom Lights
Not everyone has dimmable lights in their bedroom. If you don’t, you can purchase a dimmable lamp fairly inexpensively. This will be an asset to your sleep routine.
Did you know that even a little bit of light stimulates the brain and causes interference with the hormones your body uses to induce sleep?
It might even be a good idea to try an eye mask. Dimming the lights gradually until you’re ready to go to sleep will help your brain to gradually wind down enough until it’s time to turn off the lights completely.
20. Eliminate Disruptive Noise
Not all noise is created equally. The soothing noise produced from a natural waterfall or river can actually induce sleep for many people.
However, the noise from radio commercials has the potential to keep you awake. For disruptive noise that you cannot control, you’ll need a way to block it out.
You can use some noise cancelling headphones or similar. A pair of earplugs might even do the trick. Figure out what disruptive noises are most responsible for keeping you awake at night and eliminate them.
21. Use Aromatherapy
You know – it’s called therapy because it soothes your body and mind. Aromatherapy is known for having a calming effect on the body. In case you don’t know – aromatherapy is the use of scents to induce relaxation.
There are countless scents to choose from, with some of the most popular being sandalwood, marjoram, lavender, and vanilla. You can add these scents to a bath, into the air or apply them to your pillow.
22. Create a Routine
Whether you realize it or not, you’re almost always creating routines. Whatever you do each day is creating a routine that your body gets used to.
If you want to fall asleep faster, try to go to bed at the same time every day. This conditions your body and sets your circadian rhythm.
23. Drink a Soothing Beverage
It should be obvious that drinks containing caffeine are off the table; however, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have any beverages before bed.
In fact, if you want to fall asleep faster, you should consider drinking a soothing beverage before your head hits the pillow. Some great examples of soothing beverages are milk and herbal tea. These drinks will help your body to wind down and make it that much easier for you to fall asleep.
24. Read a Book
One of the best, proven ways to get to sleep faster is reading a book. You should aim to read a book that is boring or entertaining. You don’t want to read something that is going to get your brain fired up and thinking like crazy.
By reading, you’re actually distracting your brain from the thoughts that are likely to keep you lying in bed awake, such as worries. Self-help and stimulating books should be reserved from the daytime because they can stimulate the brain and rev it up.
25. Relaxing Stretches
If you want to drift off into slumber much faster than you ever thought possible, consider performing some relaxing stretches before bed. Ideally, you’ll want to perform some gentle stretching or even yoga.
You can also practice some progressive relaxation during these activities. Progressive relaxation consists of tightly contracting muscle groups in your body for 10 seconds and releasing them.
While helping to reduce aches and pains, these activities can also make it that much easier for you to get to sleep.
26. Invest In Your Bedding
You hear a lot of people talking about stretching, beverages and other ways to make it easier to fall asleep, but something that is rarely mentioned is quality bedding.
It’s true that high quality bedding can give you a much higher quality of sleep – but it can also make it that much easier for you to fall asleep in the first place.
The bulk of your investment will be in your mattress. This is understandable since it’s the main piece that will support you. You’ll want to invest as much as you can afford into a supportive, comfortable mattress.
The technology behind mattresses has increased dramatically over time, so if you’re currently sleeping on an older bed, you should seriously consider getting a modern, supportive mattress.
After all – we do spend a third of our entire lives lying on a bed. If your bed is acceptable, consider buying a soft comforter and sheets. Quality, smooth bedding is what helps to soothe and relax your body, which is exactly what you need to fall asleep quicker.
27. Check Your Posture
You should always check to see if your posture is holding you back from falling asleep faster. According to recent studies, your sleep posture REALLY matters.
Ideally, you’ll want to use a posture that is both health and sleep promoting. Put simply – you should sleep in a position that is comfortable and consists of good posture.
You can purchase some quality pillows to keep your neck in the perfect alignment. Science says that side sleeping positions are generally better than the alternatives.
However, there isn’t really anything wrong with sleeping on your bed or stomach. You should try to sleep in the same position every night because it will cause your body to become accustomed to that position.
28. Inhale with Your Left Nostril
You probably just read that and thought to yourself, “how does that work?” It’s actually a yoga method, and it’s believed to reduce blood pressure and calm the body. First, lie on your left side while in bed.
Use a finger to cover your right nostril and breathe slowly and deeply through the left nostril. According to Peter Smith, a Holistic sleep therapist, this technique works particularly well for those who’re suffering from hot flushes or menopausal.
29. Relax and Squeeze
Did you know that simply relaxing all of your body’s muscles prepares it for sleep? This will make it easier to fall asleep faster.
Just lie on your back, take a slow, deep breath through your nose and squeeze your toes tightly. Act like you’re trying to curl your toes under your feet.
Next, release the squeeze. Contracting your muscles like this while breathing slowly can make it much easier to fall asleep quickly.
30. Stay Awake If You Can’t Sleep
If you find yourself lying in bed, and you don’t feel the slightest bit sleepy, then keep yourself awake. It’s best to get up and walk into another room and do something that will relax you.
Eventually, you will get sleepy. The alternative to this is to lay in bed with your eyes wide open and repeat to yourself the words “I will not sleep.”
Since the brain doesn’t process negatives very well, it will actually do the opposite and cause you to get really sleepy. Imagine how quickly you’ll be able to get to sleep now.
31. Hit the Rewind Button on Your Day
While this isn’t the best idea for everyone, especially those who have anxiety, it can work well. All you need to do is rewind your day from finish to start. Make sure to move through every little detail.
This technique distracts the brain and eliminates the worries that can keep you up at night. It promotes a state of mind that is very beneficial for drifting off to sleep.
32. Rolling Your Eyes
This technique is as easy as it gets. All you need to do is close your eyes and roll them upwards slowly about three times.
This is actually what your eyes do naturally when you fall asleep, so when you do this while still awake, it can help to signal the brain to produce melatonin, which is a natural sleep chemical produced by the body.
33. Calming Visualization
One of the best techniques that can make you fall asleep faster is calming visualization. If you use at least three senses, this technique works best.
Just imagine yourself in a situation where you feel content. For many, this could be a tropical beach. For others, this could be in the embrace of a loved one.
Some people might even do well to imagine walking through a flower field. Imagine yourself doing all sorts of things that normally cause you to relax, like smelling flowers or sailing on a boat. It shouldn’t take long before you start to drift off to sleep.
34. Start Humming
There is a yoga meditation method that involves humming. It will actually cause your body to be overwhelmed by a sense of calm.
First, you need to sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and drop your shoulders. Relax your jaw but make sure your mouth is gently closed.
Take deep breaths in through your nose and make sure to not use your chest. It should be your abdomen that rises. Start humming as you breathe slowly out of your mouth.
35. Poke Yourself
This obviously doesn’t mean to poke yourself in an annoying, stimulating way. According to science, there are special points on the body.
When pressed firmly but gently, these points will induce relaxation and cause you to fall asleep faster. One of the points is just above your nose between your eyebrows.
This is the point where there is a small indent. Hold your finger on the point for about 20 seconds and release briefly. Repeat this technique two or more times for optimal results.
Another point is between your big toe and second toe. You can sit on the end of your bed and place your right leg over your left knee to comfortably press this point.
36. Choose a Sleep Habit
Most people have unknowingly developed a sleep habit. This is an activity that you engage in right before you drift off to sleep land.
For a lot of people, this activity is something simple, like reading. For others, it could be a self-massage or something similar. Only you know what your current sleep habit is.
If you don’t really have one, though, you can create one. A tried and true sleep habit that works for most people is reading.
37. Get Up Immediately After Waking
Maybe you’re wondering what this has to do with falling asleep faster. You should make a habit of getting out of bed in the morning immediately after you wake.
Don’t lounge around in your bed during this time. In fact, ideally, you should get up and immediately go outside into sunshine.
Bright lights signal your body’s biological clock to wake you up. It’s this clock that will signal your body to go to sleep about 14 to 16 hours later. It’s as simple as setting your biological clock.
38. Get Intense Exercise
While light exercise is certainly important, it’s the really intense exercise that will yield the greatest benefits for those who want to fall asleep quickly.
Intense exercise should make you feel exhausted after you’re finished performing the exercise. In fact, many experts say that getting this type of exercise could be the single most effective technique to get that deep, restorative sleep that our bodies need. Intense is a relative term.
What one person finds intense might not be even moderately intense for another individual. You should perform exercise at a level that is intense for you.
39. Improve Your Physical Health
This might seem vague, but you can fall asleep faster by improving your overall health. A lot of people suffer from aches and pains, which prevent them from falling asleep quickly.
There are many different aspects of physical health. Generally, avoiding beverages that contain caffeine and making sure you have comfortable; quality bedding can go a long way towards this goal.
40. Why Sleep Is SO Important
For someone who is trying to fall asleep faster, these are some of the best tips available. You hear about people running on two or four hours of sleep and staying healthy.
The fact is that sleep is incredibly important to your overall health. The amount of sleep that you get is just as important as your diet and exercise.
Depending on your unique body chemistry, you could need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Did you know that shift workers are at a greater risk for gastrointestinal and cardiovascular diseases?
While people will say your body gets used to shift work, the reality is that it doesn’t. Roughly 90 million adults suffer from snoring, which can be a major cause of sleep disruption.
Studies show that people who get an adequate amount of sleep every night perform better in virtually every aspects of life when compared with people who don’t get enough sleep.
Falling asleep faster is crucial to making sure you get enough sleep; start using these tips right away to fall asleep faster than you’d ever dreamed possible!