What’s the one thing that all of us need- but some of us (ok, make that many of us) don’t get nearly enough of? A good night’s sleep. And not being able to nod off – that’s the first roadblock on the way to a peaceful slumber. But before you’ve even hit the bed, there are easy ways to help you fall asleep faster (and ensure you’ll get some quality shut-eye too).
Lots of factors can invariably keep us awake: anxiety, stress, noise, and even how you’re preparing for bed. But there is a solution (make that 8 of them) to get you to fall asleep – and do it faster. It might mean incorporating a new behavior at bedtime or simply trying out a solution that’s backed by science*. But one thing is for sure – whatever step you take, you’ll definitely be on your way to sound sleep.
Keep scrolling to see our best tips for getting to sleep (and a few items to help you out).
Want even more ideas to get some zzzzzs? Check out our posts 7 Simple Ways To Improve Your Sleep (Without Replacing Your Mattress) and Design a Better Bedtime: 4 Ways To Help You Sleep More Soundly
* The methods listed are based on the advice of medical experts and scientific-based studies that have been shown to improve the ability to fall asleep.
1. Try The 4-7-8 Breathing Method
A better bedtime can actually start with simply taking a breath. This method uses a series of timed inhales and exhales to get you into a state of deep relaxation. Start by exhaling through your mouth slowly, then closing your mouth and inhaling through your nose for 4 seconds. Hold that breath for 7 seconds, and then deeply exhale through the mouth (making a whoosh sound) for 8 seconds. Continue cycle 4 times. With a few weeks of practice, you should start to nod off in no time (or about 60 seconds).
2. Switch To A Silk Pillowcase
While we love a classic cotton or linen pillowcase, there’s definitely a case to be made for swapping to a silk version. The natural temperature regulating qualities of silk helps you stay cool (or warm up) – and keep your body nice and comfortable (not to mention sound asleep). And there are even more added benefits! The smooth surface of silk can help eliminate acne, reduce fine lines on your face over time and keep your hair tangle-free.
Shop all our favorite bedding HERE.
3. Visualize Your Way To Soothing Sleep
Want to fall asleep fast? Find your happy place! Image Distraction is a method for visualizing a calming environment that can help you slide into a gentle slumber. Just close your eyes and transport yourself to a relaxing landscape that makes you feel good. And when anxiety or stress pop back into your head, push all those waking worries aside and slide right back into serenity.
4. Keep Your Toes Toasty
One solution for sleep is as easy as keeping your socks ON in bed. That’s right, toasty toes mean increased blood flow to your feet which in turn lowers your body temperature (and gets you drowsy). So try keeping your feet fully insulated the next time hop into bed, and you’ll toe-tally fall asleep faster.
5. Choose The Right Foods
Another proven way to get your body ready for rest – choosing the right food and drink for those late-night snacks. Morsels that are high in melatonin and tryptophan- like almonds, cherries, and bananas, are all ideal for aiding the process of getting you drowsy. While a chamomile or passionfruit tea is the perfect pre-sleep beverage to sip (since they function as an all-natural sedative). Just make sure you’ve snacking at least 2 hours before bedtime to ensure ample time for digestion.
6. Try A Soothing, Hot Shower
A hot shower feels good at any hour. But it’s especially effective before bedtime. By warming your body up with hot water (and then cooling it down as you dry off) you engage the process of thermoregulation – the fancy term for raising and lowering your body temperature. And a lower temperature means a higher chance that you’ll be out like a light when you hit the hay.
Want even more way to make your bedroom sleep-friendly? Check out our post: How To Spend $50, $100, $500 Or $1000 In Your Bedroom
7. Get Tense To Get Tranquil
Tranquil sleep can also start from a tense situation (or tense muscles, that is). Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a practice of engaging muscles to help relieve tension – and leave you totally relaxed. Starting with your face, raise your eyebrows for 5 seconds, then release (allowing tension to drop) and wait 10 seconds. Move onto your eyes, mouth, and neck, holding tension for 5 seconds and then releasing for 10. Make your way down your body, focusing on how each area feels relaxed. By the time you’ve hit your toe, you should be tension-free and falling asleep.
8. Lower The Thermostat
Most of us want to be nice and snuggly at bedtime. But resisting the urge to crank up the heat is the smarter way to sleep. A bedroom that’s too warm can actually cause fatigue- and keep you from falling asleep. Instead, try setting the thermostat to around 65 degrees for an optimal environment to keep you drowsy.
The breathing technique is actually 4-7-8, with holding breath for 7 seconds and exhale for 8. Please update this as the longer exhale is important!
Thanks for pointing that out. It’s been updated. xx -B
LOVE the painting in #4, “Keep your Toes Toasty”.
Artist? Is it available?
Never miss a day away from you… always fun!!
Love that piece too! You can shop that artwork here. Thanks for reading! xx -B
My problem is waking between 2am – 4am and not being able to go back to sleep. It takes about an hour. I don’t read or look at my phone. Just lay there. I have a Fitbit that verifies that I’m more awake than asleep during that time. Many of my friends say the same thing. It seems to start with women over 50. Help.
I know that can be so frustrating! Check out these tips to help you fall back asleep. xx -B