HOW TO FALL ASLEEP FAST
I won't be telling you to meditate, drink less coffee or try to not to look at your phone an hour before you go to bed. Although these things might work, they don't work fast enough. I wanted to share things I have tried personally, that have worked for me, and that have done so fast. Below you'll find different ways to fall asleep, which will hopefully help you.
1.a hot eye mask
If you're reading this, chances are you're either using a computer, a smartphone or a tablet. You're staring at a screen. Chances are that you've probably also stared at that same screen for a lengthy period of time throughout your day: this activity puts a strain on your brain, but also your eyes, which are the target of this first tip. A heated eye mask induces relaxation and relieves tension in the eye and surrounding area which consequently helps you to fall asleep. I originally tried one when I was on a 10 hours flight and I slept for 8 hours because I was so relaxed. I also gave my friend (who can almost never fall asleep easily) one to try and he fell asleep in 10 minutes and slept like a baby. Now it's important to note that the mask I gave him was infused with lavender oil (you'll see why in the last tip), so the quick induction of sleep might have been due to that, but I personally tried the other masks with other oils (Rose, Chamomile, Yuzu) as well as the unscented one and although they might have worked less efficiently, they worked nonetheless and relaxed me. I haven't tried any other eye masks than the Kao Megurism ones [(If you use my code: DEWILDE you can get up to 5% off on any yesstyle purchase at checkout)], so these are the only ones I recommend as I can attest to them really helping me fall asleep easily and quickly. The mask is designed to provide maximum coverage and also has ear straps to prevent it from slipping, the material that touches your skin is very thin and made out of cotton and warms up as soon as you open the pouch (to around 40℃). The instructions mention that it will stay warm for about 10mins but the mask can actually stay warm for much longer ( a couple of hours in my experience), and I usually unconsciously remove it from my eyes at some point during the night ( My guess is it gets to warm for my body, since I don't do that with light-blocking eye masks). The ingredients used in the warming technology and the constituents of the mask itself are all very safe and non-toxic to the body. The packs aren't expensive but using them regularly will end up costing you a bit, so I recommend them for stressful periods when falling asleep get significantly harder, or if you're just fed up with not being able to fall asleep and you're willing to pay the extra price. Anyway, this really worked for me, so give it a try!
2.exercise to kill anxiety and get tired
Most people that can't fall asleep easily have increased levels of hormones in their blood which keep them chronically hyper-aroused and thus awake. At the beginning of an exercise, your stress hormones initially increase due to the sudden physical input of effort, but the level then drops and continues to do so, reaching a lower level than the initial one and maintaining that low level for several hours after you finish working out. This is why exercising is great if you have trouble sleeping, it basically kills your stress hormones and makes you more relaxed, which makes you fall asleep more easily. Now, even if you're not particularly stressed, exercise also tires you out (depending on the level of intensity of your workout), so if the problem is that you simply have too much energy to spend, or you're not tired enough when its time to sleep, exercising is also the solution to your problem. Concerning the time of the day during which you should work out, I did some research and turns out that the optimal time varies from person to person: some people feel like working out during the night gets them too excited and they actually have a harder time sleeping afterwards, so for them exercising during the day would be a better option, personally exercising at night exhausts me so that works better, try both and see which time works best for you. As for which type of exercise you should do, this also varies from person to person, people have found that yoga or long distance running makes them fall asleep more easily, others have found that high-intensity workouts like MMA or Crossfit work better for them, again, try both and see which one works best for you, as for me, I do both yoga and boxing.
Check all embedded links for studies.
3.reach higher temperatures and cool down
The hypothalamus (a part in your brain) is responsible for regulating your body temperature, which varies from 36°C (96.8°F) and 38°C (100.4 ) over each full day. During a healthy normal circadian rhythm, sleep takes place when your core temperature is dropping, as the rate of change and body heat loss is maximal. Hence, trying to fall asleep in a room that's too hot or not cold enough is actually going to be detrimental to your efforts. I did some research and tested out the suggestions proposed and this is what I found works best: warming your body up before going to bed by (for example) taking a warm hot bath (but not too hot) is going got help induce sleep since, after the bath, your body is going to start cooling itself down, this can work even better if you have the room in which you're sleeping set to a lower temperature. The general consensus seems to be that the ideal room temperature for falling asleep falls anywhere between 15.5°C(60°F) and 19.4°C (67°F), personally 16°C works best for me, but you should find the temperature that helps you fall asleep efficiently without making you wake up due to your shivering later on.
Check 2 last embedded links for studies.
4.read or listen to something boring (not tv)
I love reading, I read almost every day and can read up to 20 books per month. But I'd be lying if I said that I find something interesting in every single book I read. There are books that I know I should read because they're classics, or others because they will make me understand a certain topic that's useful to know (economy for example... bluh), but they just bore me to death as I read them. These are the perfect arsenal for a good night of sleep. What I used to do was to read in my bed just before I go to sleep, the book/chapter I would be reading would be so boring that I would start yawning midway into it and quickly fall asleep as soon as I closed it. I would still understand what I read and remember it the next day so this isn't just a waste of books. What I do now is a bit more sleep-inducing: I have Audible, so all I do is buy an audiobook whose subject I know is going to induce sleep and play it on my phone, there's even an option where you can put a sleep timer, I usually schedule 15 mins and would be either sleeping or so sleepy that I pause the book and directly go to sleep by the 10th minute. Think about a topic you're not really interested in, or something challenging that you know your brain is going to get tired from trying to concentrate on it, for me, it's usually something like Economy, Physics, Accounting, or Finance.
5.Lavender oil : the ultimate weapon
It has been proven that Aromatherapy significantly lowers anxiety and thus improves sleep quality. Several studies have added value to that statement and here are a few:
Effects of Aromatherapy on the Anxiety, Vital Signs, and Sleep Quality of Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Patients in Intensive Care Units // A blend of lavender, roman chamomile, and neroli with a 6 : 2 : 0.5 ratio was used 'inhaled through 10 deep breaths', and an aroma stone of these oils was placed under the participants pillows. Effects on participants included: significant lower anxiety, improved sleep quality, and lower blood pressure.
A Single-Blinded, Randomized Pilot Study Evaluating the Aroma of Lavandula augustifolia as a Treatment for Mild Insomnia // lavender oil was administered through an Aroma Stream diffuser. Effects on participants: improved sleep quality, decreased insomnia
Effect of aromatherapy on the quality of sleep in ischemic heart disease patients hospitalized in intensive care units of heart hospitals of the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences // 2 drops of lavender oil were dropped on a piece of cotton placed in a small box near participants pillows. effects: Reduced sleeplessness, improved quality of life, a significant difference in sleep quality.
I also found an amazing review article that does a great job at summarizing a lot of different studies made on lavender oil, you could also read some of the articles mentioned in the Reference part of it concerning insomnia and sleep quality: Lavender and the Nervous System. The point is, Lavender oil isn't just an old wives tale, science backs it up, its effects are real, and there is a lot of consistency found in the results of different studies. What is usually recommended is to put the oil somewhere in your room on a piece of clothing (or on your skin), and go to sleep, a diffuser could also work if you have one or want to invest in one.