We all struggle with insomnia from time to time. Luckily, there are simple, time-tested tools to lean on when this sleep-stealer pays a visit. Read on for five ways to fall asleep fast when restlessness rears its ugly head.
Did you know a healthy sleeper’s body temperature naturally lowers about two hours before sleep? To simulate this dip and piggyback on its benefits, soak in a warm bath for 20 minutes in the evening. When you get out, your internal temperature will plunge, signaling to your brain that it’s time for sleep. To maintain your cool throughout the night, set the thermostat to 68, invest in breathable cotton sheets, and experiment with cooling sleep products.
Have a Sleep Snack
A few hours before bed, try a snack loaded with tryptophan, a known sleep-inducer. Bananas, dairy, honey and walnuts are all good sources. Why it works: The brain converts tryptophan into serotonin, which in turn becomes melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep.
Can’t stop thinking about tomorrow’s early morning meeting, that bill you need to pay or the class project you promised to help with? If stressful thoughts make it difficult for you to wind down, visualization may help. Experts suggest imagining an environment where you feel at peace (sitting on a warm beach or wandering through a lush forest). Pay attention to each detail: the time of day, temperature, sounds and smells. This calming visual exercise can help you set aside your stress long enough to get some rest.
Source: University of Nevada, Reno
Set a Routine
It works for children, and it works for adults: a nighttime routine can get you in the right mindset to doze off fast. You routine can be as simple as reading a few pages of a book, brushing your teeth, and flipping off the light. As long as it’s consistent and doesn’t include over-stimulating activities like checking email or watching TV, a nighttime routine is a great go-to tool for transitioning into restful sleep.
Clear the Clutter
You may have heard that a cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind. When it comes to sleep, this is especially true. Having clutter lying around, especially work papers, mail or bills, can cause subconscious stress. Invest in some attractive bins or baskets, and tuck away the nonessentials. By creating a clean visual landscape, you help your mind let go of the details of the day. Do your best to make the bed each morning, too, so when it’s time to hit the hay, you’re greeted with a neat, welcoming sleep space.