Sleep is just as important as eating and exercise. Good quality sleep does more than prepare you for the next day, it:
- Reenergizes the body
- Promotes healing
- Regulates bodily functions like metabolism, immunity, and oxygen circulation
- Minimizes inflammation
- Moderates stress levels, improving your mood
- Supports physical and mental performance
Unfortunately, while some people have no trouble falling and staying asleep throughout the night, there are others who often struggle to do so. Because of its role in your overall health, sleep deprivation can negatively affect your body in more ways than one.
Do you find yourself tossing and turning more than actually getting some rest? If that’s the case, here are a few tips to help you fall asleep quickly:
- Perform Workouts During the Day
There are multiple benefits to exercising; one of them is getting a good night’s rest. Exercising decreases cortisol, a stress hormone, while increasing the production of serotonin, a happy hormone. Serotonin stimulates the parts of your brain that control both sleep and waking, giving it the ability to improve the duration and quality of your sleep.
You don’t need to lift massive weights or perform high-intensity activities; excessive exercise can be detrimental to sleep quality. Moderate exercise will do. Work out early in the morning for maximum effect.
Effective exercises include:
- Set a Sleeping Schedule
It can be difficult for you to fall asleep quickly when you sleep at different times each night. It can affect your body’s circadian rhythm, also known as your internal clock. It’s responsible for making you feel awake and alert at day and become sleepy at night.
Set and follow a sleeping schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day can help maintain a regular schedule for your body. Once your body gets used to it, you’ll find it easier to fall asleep and wake up around the same time.
Don’t forget to give yourself enough time to wind down before getting into your bed. Give yourself around 30-45 minutes and allow your mind and body to relax and prepare to go to sleep.
- Keep It Cool
Fall asleep faster by keeping your body and bedroom at a lower temperature. If your bedroom is too warm, it can be uncomfortable, making it harder to fall asleep. Adjust your thermostat to a cooler temperature between 15.6°C and 19.4°C.
To cool your body down, take a warm shower or bath 1 or 2 hours before bedtime. It speeds up the temperature changes your body needs to undergo. The water temperature should measure between 40.0°C and 42.5°C. Once your body cools, this can send a signal to your brain and prepare your body for sleep.
- Take Power Naps Earlier in the Day
While naps can help regain alertness during the day, they can have an impact on your nighttime sleep. It depends on the length of the naps you take and at what time. One study shows that college students who took 3 or more naps per week, who took long naps (minimum of 2 hours), and who napped late (between 6 and 9 in the evening) showed poor nighttime sleep quality.
So your naps don’t affect your sleep at night, take a power nap, which is no more than 30 minutes long, no later than 3 in the afternoon.
- Make Sure You’re Comfortable
Comfort is crucial when it comes to sleeping. Using the right mattress can help you sleep more comfortably throughout the night. Choosing a medium-firm mattress generally prevents sleep disturbances while encouraging better sleep quality. However, if you have certain conditions, like lower back pain or sciatica, you may need a more specific type of mattress, like memory foam.
Additionally, use the right pillows. These can affect your comfort, body temperature, and the support on your neck curve receives as you sleep.
What you wear can also have an impact. Wearing comfortable clothing can regulate the temperature and helps you fall asleep faster.
- Put All Electronics Away
Do you find yourself scrolling through your phone at 4 in the morning? As helpful and entertaining as they generally are, electronic devices are also notorious for keeping people awake at night.
Playing video games, being on social media, and watching TV keep your mind engaged, so you’re still awake. These devices also emit blue light, which can suppress melatonin, a hormone that regulates your sleep cycle.
To fall asleep faster, keep your bedroom free from any possible distractions. Put away your phone, turn off your laptop, and disconnect all other electronic devices. If you need to use your device, use a screen filter or wear eyeglasses that can block blue light.
- Eyes off the Clock
If you wake up in the middle of the night, you’ll likely check your phone or clock to see how many hours you have left before you need to get up. You’re also just as likely to not be able to fall asleep again, affecting your sleep cycle.
While you may think checking the time is necessary, it can, unfortunately, stress you out, so you overthink and end up watching the clock. If this happens to you often, the best way to deal with this predicament is to keep your phone and your clock far out of reach so you are not tempted to take a peak.
- Limit Caffeine Intake
Caffeine is a useful stimulant for when you need to be alert and awake. You can find this in your morning coffee, energy drinks, and sodas. However, if you want to fall asleep fast, you must limit your caffeine intake.
Caffeine affects sleep duration and quality. Even though its effects can vary from one person to another, don’t consume any drinks with caffeine at least 6 hours before you go to bed. Otherwise, you’ll end up staying awake.
Instead of coffee, try drinking teas that can help you fall asleep. Soothing teas like chamomile tea, magnolia tea, and lemon balm tea promote relaxation and sleep.
- Try Writing Before Bed
Your thoughts can keep your mind busy and prevent you from sleeping. It can cause stress and anxiety, both of which can disturb your sleep. To help you calm down, set 15 minutes every night and write about your day in a journal.
Rather than writing what’s stressing you out, write down the positive things you experienced that day. Taking note of the positive things can make you feel happy and more relaxed. In effect, it reduces stress so you can sleep better.
Everyone deserves a good night’s rest, but not everyone gets it. If you constantly have trouble falling or staying asleep, try out these tips and tricks so you and your body can get that much-needed rest.
Because the type of mattress you have is a major contributor to your sleep pattern and quality, make sure you get a mattress that’s top of the line. Sleep Masters Canada provides some excellent-quality mattresses to help address sleep issues. We have a wide selection so you can choose what suits your needs. For inquiries, contact us at (416) 781-7441, or email us at [email protected].