Human beings spend a third of their life sleeping. Resting is essential for good health yet going to sleep is not always quick and easy. Below are some tricks to help set aside worries, stress and overcome obstacles to falling asleep quickly.
Tricks to fall asleep fast
Most experts agree that adults need about eight hours of sleep a day. However, studies show that almost half of us get under six hours of rest and can’t fall asleep quickly. Here are some tips for obtaining a quality night’s rest:
1. Small dinners
Our body prefers to digest the bulk of our daily food during the day. Having large dinners makes it harder to fall asleep.
Alcohol and caffeine also impede sleep, whereas foods rich in tryptophan (such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, egg whites, chicken, cheese or milk) help induce sleep.
2. Stick to a routine
Going to bed at a different time every night disorientates our internal body clock. We are creatures of habit and going to bed on schedule is a healthy routine.
3. Avoid blue light
Among the visible light spectrum, blue wavelengths have the most powerful effect on our sleep-wake internal body clock. Too much of it may keep us awake when our body needs to wind down. Blue light confuses our nervous system into thinking it is daylight, and hence to produce melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep.
Indoor sources of blue light include televisions, smartphones and computer monitors. It is difficult to avoid electronic screens in today’s digital age, yet doing so 2-hours before bedtime helps obtain a good quality night’s sleep.
4. Bedroom environment
Mattresses and pillows don’t last forever. When we continue employing them beyond their intended lifespans, they take an incremental toll on our sleep quality and overall health.
In addition, several studies have shown that lowering the body temperature just before bedtime facilitates sleep.
Nicotine is a stimulant and its consumption often leads to sleep complications.
6. The 4-7-8 breathing method
Breathe through the nose with your mouth closed and count to 4. Hold your breath for 7 seconds and then release for 8 seconds. Repeat a couple of times, and you should feel oxygenated and relaxed.
This well-known sleeping technique was developed by Professor Andrew Weil at Harvard University. Like other exercises in mindfulness, it helps us to relax by focusing on our breathing.
7. Happy thoughts
Finally, instead of trying to let our minds go blank, it is preferable to think happy or peaceful thoughts while we lay in bed waiting to fall asleep. Studies show that people fall asleep faster if they focus on peaceful or paradisiacal places like beaches or waterfalls.
There is no point, and it is in fact detrimental to our sleep, to rehash past misfortunes or worrisome issues while we lay in bed.