With the demands of our modern lives, it can be difficult to find time to unwind and get our mental health needs met. Between work, school, social commitments and family life, it’s no wonder many of us struggle to carve out the time we need for ourselves.
When you add an active nightlife and an abundance of digital noise, it’s no wonder so many of us feel anxious and exhausted. Helping yourself unwind and fall asleep is an important part of feeling well rested.
If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, you are not alone. Getting a good night’s rest is crucial to feeling well mentally, emotionally, and physically. The right amount of sleep is a key part of feeling rested and refreshed.
How Long Does It Take To Fall Asleep?
It’s not uncommon for it to take you a while to fall asleep at night—it’s perfectly normal. But if it’s a regular occurrence, it could be indicative of an underlying problem such as insomnia or sleep deprivation.
Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes for most people to fall asleep, though this varies from person to person. Factors that can influence how long it takes you to fall asleep include stress levels, caffeine intake, exercise, your sleeping environment and your diet.
To improve your chances of falling asleep quickly and efficiently, it is important to establish good sleeping habits such as going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, avoiding caffeine and other stimulating substances late in the evening, and exercising regularly.
Relaxing activities before bed such as reading a book, taking a hot bath or meditating can also help you to fall asleep faster. Taking steps to regulate your sleeping habits can help ensure you fall asleep quickly and easily each night.
What Can Affect How Quickly We Fall Asleep?
How quickly we fall asleep can be affected by a myriad of factors. Firstly, our lifestyle and habits play a large role in how quickly we can fall asleep.
For example, if you consume caffeine or alcohol close to bedtime, it may make it more difficult to fall asleep. Exercise can help regulate sleep as well, however, if done too close to bedtime (especially if it’s vigorous) it can result in being awake for a longer period.
Secondly, our environment can also influence how quickly we fall asleep. A dark, cool room is most conducive for sleep, so dimming the lights and keeping the room temperature comfortable can help us to drift off sooner.
Activities like reading or watching TV in bed can stimulate us and make it harder to fall asleep. Finally, our mental and emotional state can also have an impact on how quickly we fall asleep.
Anxiety, worry and stress can all disrupt our sleep patterns, meaning that it may take us longer to drift off to sleep. Therefore, handling our mental health before bedtime is vital for good sleep hygiene.
Make Sure You Don’t Have Any Issues With Your Sleep
If you’re having trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep, you may want to address any issues with your sleep first. Making sure you’re getting a good night’s sleep is the first step to feeling better.
However, there are a few other areas you can focus on to help improve this further. First, make sure your bedroom is cool and dark. If your room is too warm or too bright, you’re likely to wake up in the middle of the night.
Keeping your room cool and dark will help you sleep better, and keep you from waking up too early. A good sleep routine is also important. Try to stick to a regular sleep schedule. This should include going to bed at the same time each night, and keeping your bedroom quiet and dark.
What Is Progressive Muscle Relaxation & How Can It Help Your Sleep?
Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) is an effective technique for reducing stress and improving sleep. It works by systematically tensing and relaxing each major muscle group in the body.
The process helps to decrease muscle tension, reduce anxiety and improve circulation. PMR can be done either in a sitting or lying down position, as long as you are comfortable. It is essential to perform the exercise slowly and with proper technique to obtain its full benefit.
When doing progressive relaxation, it is helpful to start with the feet and work up to the head. Start by tensing the muscles in your feet for about 5-10 seconds, then release the tension and relax for another 30 seconds.
As you move through this process, use your breathing to help focus on the tension and relaxation of each muscle group. This can help reduce feelings of anxiety and create a sense of tranquility.
PMR can be a powerful tool for improving sleep quality. It helps to reduce muscle tension and anxiety, allowing the body and mind to relax more deeply.
When practiced regularly, it can help put you in a relaxed state of body and mind, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Regular practice of this technique can lead to an overall decrease in stress and an improved sense of wellbeing.
Exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality and help people fall asleep faster. If you struggle to fall asleep, regular exercise may be beneficial for you. Try to keep your physical activity to 30-60 minutes before bed, as this may help you fall asleep faster.
Don’t Watch TV In The Hour Before Bed
The blue light emitted from many digital devices, including TVs, computers, and phones, is believed to be sleep-disrupting. This blue light can keep you up longer, and make it harder for you to fall asleep.
If possible, try to avoid looking at digital screens for two hours before bed. Try to avoid using any electronics, including TVs, computers, or phones, two hours before bed, to ensure you have a good quality of sleep at night.
This may help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. If you find it hard to follow this rule, you can try using blue light filters on your devices, or wearing blue light glasses.
Give The 4-7-8 Method A Try
If you suffer from difficulty falling asleep, you may want to give the 4-7-8 method a try. This method of breathing was developed by Dr. Andrew Weil, an integrative medicine practitioner.
It consists of slowly counting and breathing in, holding your breath for 7 seconds, then exhaling slowly and counting again for 8 seconds. This process is repeated for 4 rounds. It is believed that this type of controlled breathing helps to relax the body and mind, leading to a better night’s sleep.
This rhythmic breathing creates a sense of calmness, which can help to reduce any anxiety or stress that can contribute to difficulty sleeping. It is advisable to practice the 4-7-8 method in a comfortable position, such as lying down or sitting up in bed.
Make sure that you are not in an uncomfortable posture or distracted with outside noise or light sources. If practiced regularly, the 4-7-8 method can be an effective tool for improving your ability to fall asleep.
Create A Sleep Friendly Atmosphere In Your Bedroom
Creating a relaxing environment may be helpful for some people. You can do this in a number of ways. Try creating a calming soundtrack, and dimming all lights in your room.
You can also try meditating before bed or doing some deep breathing exercises. You can also try keeping your bedroom cool and dark and turning off any bright lights.
These activities may help you relax and fall asleep faster. Make sure you don’t overextend yourself, though, as you also need to unwind before bed.
Have A ‘Set’ Bed Time Schedule
When you’re fighting insomnia, it’s important to follow a consistent sleep schedule according to your internal clock. Try to go to bed at the same time every day, and keep your bedroom as quiet and dark as possible.
This will help you get to sleep, and help you stay asleep. If you have trouble falling asleep at the same time, you may want to try experimenting with going to bed earlier the following day.
You can use this time to relax and unwind, before you go to sleep again at the usual time. If you find that you can’t fall asleep at the usual time, try staying up as late as you can and then going to bed as usual the next morning.
Avoid Alcohol In The Evening
I know how tempting it can be to unwind with a glass of wine in the evening, but alcohol can actually hinder your sleep. Firstly, it increases the risk of needing the loo in the night.
It prevents you from falling into a deep sleep and affects your body clock. Your body may fall asleep quickly after drinking alcohol, but the body builds up a tolerance to alcohol quickly, so you’ll need more and more alcohol in order to sleep.
See A Sleep Specialist
If you are having trouble sleeping, it is important to understand the underlying causes and to find solutions. A Sleep Specialist can help you identify and address any issues you may have with your sleep.
They are highly trained professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating sleep disorders. They can help you create a routine for yourself that will help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up feeling more refreshed.
They can also help you identify any lifestyle changes that could be contributing to your sleep issues and recommend solutions, to get your body clock working correctly.
Avoid Using Your Phone Before Trying To Sleep
We spend a huge amount of our time using our digital devices, including phones and computers. If possible, try to avoid using these two hours before bed.
This may help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. It’s also important to avoid any stimulating or exciting activity two hours before bed. Try something like white noise instead, to encourage a more relaxed state.
Limit Your Caffeine Intake
This is such a simple yet somewhat obvious one, but give yourself a cut-off time for consuming caffeine. Caffeine can help to improve energy, focus and sports performance.
However, it’s a stimulant, so it’s likely to keep you away when trying to sleep if you’ve had caffeine late in the day. Believe it or not, caffeine can last in your blood stream for upto eight hours.
So I give myself a cut-off of 5pm where I won’t allow myself to consume caffeine based products, and it’s definitely made a difference.
Listen To Your Body
If you suffer with any sleep disorders, it’s a good idea to listen to your body, and when it’s telling you it’s time for sleep. There’s nothing worse than tossing and turning endlessly, because your mind is busy and full of thoughts.
Relax and Unwind Before Trying To Fall Asleep
It’s said that half the UK population suffers from stress-induced sleep problems, so it’s important that you give your body and mind time to relax before trying to sleep.
This could be watching TV, reading a book, listening to music or burning a scented candle – anything that will help relax your mind and body, so it’s ready for sleep. Try some relaxation techniques before trying to go to bed, after a warm bath, and that could help you achieve restful sleep.
Keep Your Bedroom Cool
For my last of sleep tips, it’s temperature. When you’re lying in bed trying to go to sleep, your body temperature decreases to try and initiate falling asleep.
When the temperature in your bedroom is hot, it’ll be harder to fall asleep than it would be when trying to sleep in a cooler bedroom. The optimal sleeping temperature is said to be between 15 and 20 degrees centigrade.
Tips For Staying Asleep
If you have difficulty staying asleep once you have managed to fall asleep it can be extremely frustrating and disruptive to your life and lifestyle. Here are some helpful tips that may help you to stay asleep. First, get into a consistent sleep routine and try to follow it as closely as possible.
Ensure that you relax and unwind before bed. This could include stretching, reading a book or listening to calming music. Also, make sure that the bedroom is set up for sleep – darken the room, keep the temperature lower, and turn off any distracting electronics like TVs, computers and phones.
If you wake up at night and can’t fall back asleep try not to worry about it too much. Get up and do something that will help to relax you like reading or doing a craft as this can help you to ease back into sleep.
If your sleep is disturbed, try using ear plugs to block out any noise while you sleep. You can also try to avoid sleeping in an uncomfortable position, as this may make it harder for you to sleep.
Good sleep is critical for feeling well and getting the most out of your day. Help yourself fall asleep faster by keeping your room cool and dark, avoiding stimulating content before bed, and making sure you get enough sleep each day.
Hi! My name is Gemma, and welcome to Miss Makeup Magpie. I share helpful articles to help you with beauty tips, tricks and tutorials.