Knowing how to fall asleep faster is vital to obtain longer rest cycles and be more effective during the day.
If you are anything like me, falling asleep can often be a massive challenge.
You try to calm your mind, relax your body, and unwind for the night, but nothing works.
You lay down only to find yourself thinking about anything and everything.
As a result, you toss/turn around all night for a better, more comfortable position.
After half an hour, you feel no closer to sleep than when you first close your eyes.
It’s an issue millions of people face every day, including me.
Over the years, I’ve found many strategies that have helped me get a good night’s rest.
In all, I have over 50 tips you can apply to improve the speed and quality of your sleep.
You don’t need to try them all. Instead, use self-diagnosis to determine your primary reasons for staying awake.
Then apply the appropriate tips to help you unwind and fall asleep faster.
A Quick Note Before We Start
Believe it or not, everything we do, from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed, impacts our sleep.
As a result, diagnosing what keeps you awake will be easier if you consider how your entire day affects your sleep habits.
Everything affects your sleep, from that first coffee cup to the list of goals/tasks you put off tomorrow.
Physical pain, electronic devices, and nightly distractions also impact sleep effectiveness.
Not all of these things will affect your sleep, and the things that keep you up may differ from those that keep someone else up.
Therefore, choose the things you want to try, and hopefully, you’ll find something that works for you.
To help you pinpoint what’s keeping you up at night and provide advice on falling asleep, here are 50+ tips and strategies you can apply to your morning, noon and night to help you de-stress, de-clutter your mind and fall asleep faster and more peacefully.
Morning routines focus on the rituals and habits you perform before noon.
As a result, these routines significantly impact your mental state and prepare you for the rest of the day.
Wake Up Earlier
One of the best ways to develop a sleeping schedule and fall asleep earlier is to wake up earlier in the day.
If you usually go to bed late, you will also get up reasonably late in the day.
However, if you fall asleep late, force yourself to wake up early for several days, and your body will most likely correct your late-night sleeping habits as the body demands a good restful sleep and always finds a way to catch up with you.
Complete Important Goals Early
When it comes to falling asleep, our mind often finds itself thinking about the things we didn’t do throughout the day and how we can catch up tomorrow with the ever-increasing stack of tasks/responsibilities.
It creates stress and makes it difficult for the mind to shut down and fall asleep.
By completing your tasks earlier in the day, you give yourself more time to relax and settle down during the evening and remove some of the thoughts and stress your mind focuses on when you try to sleep later that day.
Make Your Bed
Creating morning rituals that give you an easy goal to complete, such as making your bed, can help prepare you for the day and give you a sense of accomplishment.
Making your bed also helps keep the mind organized and prepared for what’s next.
In addition, simple wins early in the day help you deal with the more difficult tasks you’ll face later on and can reduce your stress throughout the day.
Create A Morning Ritual
Morning rituals are a great way to prepare you for your day and help you manage the stresses you may face later.
You can create simple morning rituals such as taking a warm shower, preparing tea, meditating, making your bed, and eating breakfast to help you get a few early wins before your day starts and help prepare your mind/body for the work that is to follow.
In addition, creating a good morning ritual can reduce your stress throughout the day, positively affecting your sleep at night, especially when combined with a relaxing nighttime routine.
Cut Down On The Caffeine
Everyone knows that caffeine is a stimulant that helps wake the body up in the morning when you are tired.
However, it also affects our natural wake/sleep cycles and can damage sleep if taken in large quantities or late during the evening.
Limiting your coffee intake to one or two cups in the morning and eliminating caffeine after 4 p.m. can significantly enhance your sleep quality.
Also, try to reduce or eliminate soda from your diet if possible.
If you tend to drink coffee in the morning, make sure you consume decent water quantities throughout the day to keep you hydrated, regulate your hormones, and remove toxins from the body.
Even if you are the type of person who can sleep for 8 hours after drinking a large caffeinated beverage, you should stay away as it can significantly reduce the quality of your sleep and leave you feeling groggy and tired when you wake up.
Evening routines occur between noon and six to eight pm.
These routines help you relieve stress, wind down and prepare for the night more effectively.
Hang Upside Down
Hanging upside down using a prop such as an inversion table has been proven to improve blood flow, alleviate back pain, and reduce stress.
It’s also a great way to increase relaxation as it stretches the back and temporarily elongates the spine.
The many benefits of hanging upside down (including better sleep) can significantly enhance various aspects of your life.
Before hanging upside down or purchasing such a product, consult your doctor to ensure you can use it safely.
Avoid Mid-day Naps (If Necessary)
Some people can fall asleep at any time and place.
However, if you’re like me, taking a nap before bed will make it more difficult to fall asleep when the time comes.
If you can take a rest and fall are step at night without a problem, then you can ignore this advice, and chances are you probably don’t need this article.
Nevertheless, if you frequently take naps and can’t fall asleep when necessary, try to reduce your naps or eliminate them.
Spend More Time Outside
Spending more time outside allow your body to receive natural health benefits such as vitamin day, healthier air for your lungs, and natural, soothing sounds (depending on where you live).
You also help your mind/body adjust to the correct time of day.
During the morning, you’ll feel more awake and rejuvenated while being outside, and during the evening/night, you’ll feel more relaxed and ready to unwind/rest.
If you have a hammock and good weather, try lying outside during the evening/night and staring at the staring.
It might just put you to sleep 🙂
Night routines focus on calming the mind to enable you to fall asleep more quickly and effectively.
Light Some Candles
Candles have been used for many centuries as a way to rent and focus.
They limit the light the eyes take in, and the natural soothing fire helps calm the mind as it prepares for rest.
In addition, scented candles may help elevate your relaxation with mellowing aromas that can further invoke your sense of calm and help you slow down so you can get ready for a comfortable evening or restful sleep.
Light Incense Or Other Aromas
As mentioned previously, relaxing aromas are a great way to help the mind disconnect from stress.
If you’ve ever walked into your home after a long stressful day and smelled something relaxing and calming, then you know the benefits of having pleasant scents in the house.
Conversely, garbage or other foul odors would likely create more stress, or at the very least, discomfort, and you want to be as comfortable as possible when coming home or getting ready to go to sleep.
Sleep In Complete Darkness
Artificial lights (to any degree) can wreak havoc on your ability to fall asleep.
If you’re someone who needs the T.V. on to fall asleep, be sure to put it on a timer, as even when your sleep, the flashing lights of the television can have an impact on your sleep quality if you’re like me.
However, any lights (including the alarm clock) can make it difficult to fall asleep as the brain can observe even small amounts of light, even when your eyelids are closed.
Stretch Before Going To Sleep
Stretching is a great way to help the body wake up or (in this case) prepare for bed.
Stretching limbers up the body, improves blood flow, and removes discomfort from the body to be in a more comfortable position, regardless of what you plan to do next.
Stretching also helps focus the mind and body and removes tension/distractions to better concentrate or relax based on what you’re doing next.
Listen To Ambient Sounds
Falling asleep is all about finding out what works for you.
For some people, complete silence is the best way to fall asleep.
However, other ambient sounds such as whispering, quiet train track sounds (yes, that works for some people), coffee shop ambiance, and different sounds work best.
To find out what works best, you’ll have to experiment with different sounds and determine which sounds shut your mind off the best.
For example, train track sounds may work well for someone who grew up in the city listening to those sounds every night.
In contrast, someone who’s spent a lot of time at coffee shops or school campuses may be used to ambient sounds closer to those environments.
As a side note, set a timer to turn off the sounds at a specified time, as these sounds can affect the quality of your sleep if left on all night.
Listen to Soft Music/Melodies
Soft music and bedtime melodies like the ones you grew up listening to as a kid (if you grew up that way) can help put the mind at rest and prepare you for slumber.
When listening to soft music, avoid lots of highs and lows such as drums, trumpets, or other sounds that can jolt you out of a restful state.
Also, avoid music with words as it can cause your mind to focus on what’s being said rather than rest.
Listen to Nature Sounds
Natural sounds can help you quickly relax and unwind as they help put the mind in a more natural environment.
Waterfalls, blowing wind, thunderstorms, and ocean waves are popular sounds that people listen to de-stress and loosen up before/during bedtime.
Distract Your Senses
Distracting your sense from everything that’s going on around you can help you fall asleep quicker.
For example, if a specific unpleasant odor keeps you awake, try lighting incense or invoking a pleasant scent to mask/eliminate the bad smell.
If house noises or people talking keeps you awake, try drowning out the noise with white noise or natural sounds.
Stare At A Single Point In The Room
One of the most valuable techniques I’ve found for falling asleep faster is to keep your eyes open and stare at a single point in the room (even when the room is pitch black).
Keeping your eyes open in a dark room and focusing on a single point gives your mind something to focus on.
It can help stop some of the thoughts or visualizations keeping you awake.
The darkness you stare into also makes you more tired as your eyes/mind realizes it’s nighttime and you should fall asleep.
In fact, after a few minutes, your eyes may struggle to stay open, which triggers a stronger sense of tiredness and a need to sleep.
Turn Off Anything Noisy
This is self-explanatory, but if something in your house is noisy and distracting, turn it off.
For example, turn it off if a T.V. is on in the other room and keeps you awake.
If your faucet is dripping and distracting, you turn it off.
If your computer fan interferes with your relaxation, turn it off.
Develop A Sleep Schedule
One of the most notorious culprits of people’s numerous sleeping problems is a lack of sleep schedule/time.
If you’re someone who goes to sleep at 10 p.m. one day and 2 a.m. another day, then you’re probably aware of your inability to fall asleep at a set time.
Setting a sleep schedule and sticking to it for 30 days can help remedy your bad sleeping habits.
After all, when you sleep at different times each night, your brain says, “why should I fall asleep now when I can fall asleep later.
The first few days may be difficult as you lie restless in bed, but eventually, you’ll begin to fall asleep faster as you adjust to your schedule.
The other half of a sleep schedule is setting a time to wake up.
Force yourself to get up early; even if you fell asleep at 3 p.m., get up at 8 a.m. Sure, you’ll be tired all day, but you’ll find it much easier to fall asleep earlier the following night.
Use A Rocking Chair
I’ve never used a rocking chair, but some tell you it helps them sleep like babies.
Maybe it’s because rocking chairs are said to simulate a mother rocking her child to sleep, or maybe it’s because rocking chairs help you create a soothing rhythm.
If you have a rocking chair and want to test its ability to help you fall asleep, go for it!
Read A Book
The read-a-book strategy is an oldie but goodie for falling asleep.
Reading books before going to sleep is an excellent way to disconnect from everything you’ve experienced throughout the day.
Books help you stop thinking about the things that keep you up at night.
It’s also distinct from the T.V. and other technologies that stimulate the mind rather than help it rest.
So try reading a few engaging and boring books to see which put you to sleep the fastest.
Take A Hot Bath
Hot baths are a great way to relax the muscles and remove tension before bed.
Incorporating a hot bath a couple of times a week can be a good ritual for preparing your mind/body for bed.
Also, add lavender scents to the bathwater for an even more relaxing and exfoliating experience.
Take A Cold / Ice Bath
Ice baths induce thermogenesis.
Accordingly, it impacts hormones throughout the body, some of which improve sleep quality and speed.
Many top athletes have also used ice baths to enhance muscle recovery and increase fat loss.
The trick with an ice bath is to ensure it is ice cold and take it at least one hour before bed.
It allows the body to recover from the ice water’s initial shock.
Acupressure focuses on applying pressure to various body points such as the neck, face, wrists, elbows, and arms (among others) to relax the muscles and clear blockages.
It has several benefits, including reduced stress, managing nausea, improving sleep, and decreasing physical pain.
Listen To A Boring Audio Book
Listening to a boring audiobook with a monotone voice can be an effective way to tune out of the world and induce a tired state.
Try listening to a boring audiobook an hour before sleep to allow your mind and sense to become desensitized to everything around you.
Reduce Your Usage Of Electronics
Reducing your use of electronics such as your T.V., phone, and tablet 1 – 3 hours before bed has been proven to help reduce brain stimulation during late hours and improve sleep time and restfulness.
Rather than watching the television or playing on your phone or tablet, try reading a book, laying on a hammock and listening to music, talking to your spouse or friends under candlelight, or something else equally soothing and less sensory-stimulating.
In addition to being less stimulating, these activities also help prime the brain to relax.
Of course, turning off electronics means doing nothing.
One exception may be using your phone to talk to a friend or family member.
Just try to avoid using it to watch movies or play games.
Visualizations can help relax the mind and focus on something pleasant and soothing rather than distracting or stimulating.
For example, while practicing visualizations, you can imagine watching yourself in the third person, falling asleep comfortably on your bed as your body unwinds and loosens up, or walking on a beautiful beach as the waves splash and the fading sunbathes your body.
By visualizing yourself doing something pleasant, your actual body and mind can calm down and fall into a more peaceful state, which is often essential for falling asleep quickly.
Don’t Try To Fall Asleep
In some cases, the very act of trying to fall asleep can stress you out and keep you up.
Thinking about everything you haven’t done or need to do when you wake up and stressing about how you can’t fall asleep and need to get up in a few hours won’t help you lose asleep any faster.
Instead, accept that you may not fall asleep quickly and use this time to think about the things that are on your mind (not related to what you have to do tomorrow) or, better yet, use visualizations or one of the many other tips provided here to help you relax.
The less you worry about not falling asleep, the faster you can relax and remove that as a reason for being unable to pass out.
Practice Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises are an excellent way to focus the mind and body, allow oxygen to flow through the body, and increase your ability to relax.
Some breathing practices can be very therapeutic and even meditative.
Try practicing breathing exercises several times throughout the day to develop a state of calm whenever you need to.
Practicing throughout the day and night, just when going to bed, you train your mind to relax when you want it to reduce stress throughout the day, improving your sleep time and state.
A quick tip: One popular breathing exercise for sleep is the 4-7-8 breathing exercise.
It involves counting your inhale, breath-hold, and exhale cycles to relax the mind and improve oxygen/blood flow.
Create a bedtime ritual
A bedtime ritual is a set of habits or activities you perform before bed.
These activities may be performed 1 – 2 hours before sleep and help prime the mind to get ready to rest.
For example, some rituals may include drinking tea, performing self-acupressure, taking a bath, stretching, reading a book, or talking to a loved one.
Practicing several of these rituals on a nightly basis teaches the mind to transition into a particular state automatically and habitually shut off from everything else that went on earlier in the day.
Go For A Walk
If you can safely and comfortably walk during the evening/night, it may help clear the mind by focusing your body and sense on a pleasant activity.
Walking outside under a dimly light sky also informs the mind of the time of day and the state it should be prepared for, which is rest.
Before electricity and lighting, nighttime often signaled that it was time to prepare for bed.
Now that we can have light 24/7, the mind often finds it more challenging to set a sleep schedule.
Walking outside at night can train the brain to follow a more natural sleep cycle.
Drink Sleepy Time Tea
Herbal sleep teas have been around for many years and have been proven to help decrease the time it takes to fall asleep.
These are often sold in several soothing flavors and are caffeine-free to prevent unnecessary stimulation.
Quality sleep teas have also been mentioned to improve relaxation, assist the metabolism, and cleanse the body of waste.
Use A Body Pillow
Body pillows can be beneficial to sleep in several ways.
These large soft pillows are great for propping your legs and arms up in a comfortable position, and they also help keep the body cool when you are feeling warm/hot.
In addition, a soft body pillow can provide additional support, improve air and blood circulation, and assist you with specific medical conditions such as back pain.
Specially made body pillows are also designed to provide pregnant mothers with comfortable and supported assistance.
Reduce the Bedroom Temperature
Sleeping in a cool room can significantly help improve sleep quality and comfort.
Our body temperature fluctuates from warm to cool as we increase or decrease our activities and consume food throughout the day.
A cool room can signal comfort and relaxation to the body and help prepare it for a good night’s rest.
On the other hand, sleeping in a hot room can lead to discomfort, tossing and turning, sweating, and poor sleep.
Besides providing you with better sleep, cool air is denser and can more easily fill the lungs, improving your breathing.
A quick tip: You should set your room temperature to 65 – 68 degrees before sleep for the best results.
Find Your Best Sleep Position
We all have different body types and different physical conditions.
Finding an appropriate sleeping position for your particular needs can improve the speed at which you can fall asleep and the quality of your rest once you sleep.
Investing in a good book recommending sleeping positions or \ Googling the best positions can give you a quick reference for positions you should try.
If you have a particular medical condition or discomfort, you may be able to find sleeping positions aimed at alleviating your specific ailment.
The half-military crawl position is one of the most popular and recommended sleeping positions for sleep quality and speed.
Upgrade Your Head/Neck Pillow
One of the most common culprits of poor sleep and snoring is using a poor-quality pillow.
Suppose you find yourself constantly in an uncomfortable head/neck position and using multiple pillows to prop your head up into a slightly less awkward position.
In that case, it may be time to invest in a new pillow.
There are several great styles, such as memory foam pillows and ones made with goose feathers.
These pillows are often designed to retain their shape for long periods and may be shaped in a position that cradles the head and neck so that you can sleep more easily and effortlessly.
Not only are quality pillows an excellent quick fix, but they also improve your sleep quality and posture for a reasonable price.
Use Sleeping Aids
Sleeping aids such as sound machines, sleeping masks, and air plugs can work wonders for individuals who travel or sleep in bright/noisy environments.
These devices help tune the senses out from the rest of the world and allow the mind to rest and find peace.
If you know that the primary thing keeping you up is noise or light, it may be worth picking up a sleeping aid to block distractions and improve the quality/speed of your sleep.
Use A Cooling Mattress Pad
Your sleep quality can be significantly affected by your room and the body’s temperature, as mentioned earlier.
A more relaxed environment promotes comfort and restful sleep, while a warmer/hot climate leads to sweating, tossing and turning, bad dreams, and discomfort.
A cooling mattress pad can positively affect your sleep quality by keeping your body cool, even under the covers in a warm room.
The cool temperature will signal to the body that it is time for rest, as is often the case with nature.
The earth cools when the sun goes down, and the mind prepares for sleep. At least for most animals (humans included).
Get Up And Do Something
If you’ve tried everything imaginable to go to sleep but can’t find it in you to pass out, get up and do something after a specified amount of time.
It allows the brain to refocus and center itself with an activity, which will hopefully calm it down and help you get some rest.
While it may be beneficial to get up and do something, stay away from electronics and stimulants that might over-activate the brain and stick with activities such as playing a crossword game, getting some fresh air, and going for a short walk in your neighborhood, or reading a book.
Wear Comfortable Clothing
While this is pretty self-explanatory, it should not be overlooked.
Choosing comfortable bedtime attire can significantly impact your sleep/rest comfort and allow you to rest more easily.
Avoid clothing that makes you feel hot or itchy; choose underwear or a bedtime outfit that creates a smooth, comfortable experience.
Freshly washed clothing can also provide a soothing, relaxing scent, reducing stress and preparing the mind for sleep.
You can even use your bedtime attire as part of your sleeping ritual before you go to sleep as an unconscious mental suggestion that you will soon be ready to go to bed.
Dim The Lights
A light dimmer can be a handy tool for helping you unwind before going to bed.
Reducing your light by 50% – 90% an hour or two before sleep is a great way to help the mind get into a restful state and prep itself for sleep, much like nature does when the sun goes down.
Provide yourself with enough light to comfortably do what you need, but not so much light that it keeps your mind and senses on high alert.
For example, if you need to use your phone, computer, or tablet 2 hours before bed, try dimming the screen as low as possible to keep your mind from being overly stimulated with light and color.
Also, reduce the sound of any electronics to give the mind a more silent and less jarring experience.