There are a few lucky people out there who have no trouble falling asleep at night. The minute their head hits the pillow, they’re out. The rest of us lie in bed staring at the ceiling, tossing and turning, waiting for the mercy of blessed sleep to come.
Lack of sufficient and good quality sleep takes a toll on nearly every aspect of our lives, everything from health, to mood, to safety, to job performance. But with a bit of knowledge, a bit of planning, everyone can learn how to fall asleep fast.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to do since morning in order to fall asleep faster at night:
What to prepare during daytime
1. Wake up at the same time every day (don’t wake up later on weekends)
Your body follows a circadian rhythm, which sets you up to do the same sorts of activities at the same time every day.
Having a waking time that doesn’t change helps your body establish a pattern. Your body prepares to wake up 1-2 hours before you rise, and if it doesn’t know when you should wake up, you’ll have poor quality sleep.
2. Eat breakfast
When you first wake up, your body has been fasting since the night before. When it comes to food, our brains and bodies share many characteristics with early hominids. Eating breakfast tells our inner cave person that our basic needs for survival are being met.
3. Don’t press the snooze button
Even though silencing your alarm for a few minutes can make you feel like you have some control over your day, hitting the snooze button can leave you feeling more tired than if you had just gotten up.
When your alarm jolts you from your sleep and you commit to having 5 to 10 minutes of less-restful snooze-button sleep, you start your day off feeling sluggish.
4. Expose yourself to sunlight
The sun gets a lot of bad press, but we need to be exposed to few minutes of natural light every day.
Thirty to sixty minutes of natural outdoor light can help our bodies create a sleep schedule. This is critical for us since our bodies may be inundated with confusing signals from artificial light. Enjoying the sun’s rays in moderation is like hitting the reset button for us.
5. Have enough protein and reach for complex carbs
Eating simple sugars (like those found in candy bars and processed foods) may give you a temporary energy boost, but the inevitable crash isn’t worth the momentary relief.
Complex carbohydrates and proteins take longer to digest. Unlike simple carbohydrates, which cause your blood sugar to spike, complex carbs and protein contribute to stable blood sugar. You’ll be less likely to feel sleepy in the afternoon, which means you’ll be less likely to take a long afternoon nap or consume too much caffeine, both of which have a negative impact on your sleep.
6. Don’t eat too little or too much
You know that it is miserable to go to bed with your stomach growling, but eating too much can also make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
Many people eat too little throughout the day and gorge on a big meal at dinner time. Your digestive system has to work harder when you do this, which can lead to a restless night of discomfort and indigestion.
7. Avoid naps
Try not to nap if you possibly can. Sleeping during the day makes it difficult to fall sleep at night.
If you absolutely must, limit naps to a power nap of 20 minutes.
8. Limit beverages that interfere
We all know that caffeine makes it difficult to fall asleep, but we may not be aware that alcohol interferes as well, as does drinking too much water right before bedtime.
9. Mind what you eat.
Have a light dinner. Heavy meals may be difficult to digest and indigestion may make it difficult to fall asleep, but don’t go to bed hungry.
Hunger keeps you awake. Eat a light snack shortly before bedtime. Snacks like bananas, Greek yogurt and hummus will help you sleep better.
10. Don’t make yourself able to see and check the clock
Feeling that you’re running out of time to get enough sleep fuels insomnia. Turn the clock away from you, and refrain from checking the time on your phone or watch after you’ve set your alarm.
The lights from electronic devices including your alarm clock can hinder melatonin production, a hormone which helps you fall asleep and feel rested.
11. Keep the alarm clock out of sight yet within reach
Just because you have the alarm clock out of sight doesn’t mean you need to banish it to some far off corner of your bedroom.
Place your clock within easy reach so that you don’t have to deal with the pressure chasing down a screeching alarm on the other side of the room first thing in the morning.
12. Keep the room cool
You fall asleep faster and sleep better if the bedroom is cooler. A lower room temperature lowers core body temperature, and helps you go to sleep. The ideal temperature for sleep is 65 degrees.
13. Watch your posture
Sleep position matters too. Find a comfortable sleep position that supports good sleep posture. Make sure every part of your body is comfortable.
Buy a good quality pillow that supports your neck and properly aligns your body.
Side positions are usually better, especially on your left side. But if back works for you that’s fine. Lie in the same position every night, so your body becomes accustomed to falling asleep in the same way.