Well-sleeping has a direct effect on your physical and mental health. Falls short and your daytime energy productivity, emotional balance and even your weight will take a serious toll. Yet a lot of us toss and turn constantly at night, unable to get the sleep we deserve. Getting a good night’s sleep may seem like an impossible goal when you’re wide awake at 3 a.m. but you have more control over your sleep quality than you probably realize. Just as the way you feel during your waking hours often depends on how well you sleep at night, so your daily routine often provides the solution for sleep problems.
Here are simple ways to sleep as fast as possible:
Creating a consistent sleeping pattern
Going to bed every night at different times is a common habit for many.
An irregular sleep cycle may interfere with sleep, as it affects the circadian rhythm of the body.
The circadian rhythm refers to a series of behavioral, physical, and mental changes following a process of 24 hours. A primary function of circadian rhythm is determining whether or not the body is ready to sleep.
A biological clock that releases hormones to induce sleep or wakefulness is strongly influencing this.
Going to bed every night at the same time helps the body clock determine when to induce sleep.
Lower the Room Temperature
As you fall asleep your body temperature changes. Core temperature drops as the hands and feet increase in temperature. If your bed is too warm you can find it difficult to fall asleep. It could help to set your thermostat to a cool temperature of between 60-75 ° F (15-23 ° C). Individual preferences will vary so find the best temperature for you.
Daytime naps can also disrupt the circadian rhythm, especially those which are longer than 2 hours or near the evening.
One study found students who napped for more than 2 hours at least three days a week or napped in the evening had poorer sleep quality than their peers.
It is tempting to take a long nap after a bad night’s sleep, especially close to the evening. Yet try to avoid this, as a healthy sleep period can be adversely affected.
Trying meditation or mindfulness
Meditation and mindfulness can help to reduce anxiety which often affects sleep. A study of sleeping problems in older adults showed that meditation on mindfulness improved the quality of sleep compared to people who did not practice mindfulness.
Use the “4-7-8” Breathing Method
This technique of breathing, incorporating the forces of meditation and imagination, becomes more effective with practice. If you have a respiratory condition, such as asthma or COPD, consider checking with your doctor before you start, as this may make your symptoms worse.
Place your tongue tip on the roof of your mouth, between your two front teeth, to plan. Keep your tongue in there all the time and pinch your lips if necessary. Here are the steps:
- First, put your upper front teeth behind the tip of your tongue.
- Exhale through your mouth completely, and make a whoosh sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale through your nose, while counting to four mentally
- Hold your breath, and count to seven mentally.
- Open your mouth and completely exhale, making a whoosh sound, and counting to eight mentally.
- Repeat at least 3 more times this cycle.
This method will help you relax, and quickly fall asleep.
Aromatherapy has long been used by people to stimulate sensations of relaxation and sleep.
Lavender oil is a popular choice for sleep aids. A study of 31 young adults found that the use of lavender oil before bed had a positive effect on the quality of the sleep. After waking up, the participants reported feeling more energy too.
Listening to music
While this may not work for everyone, some people will benefit from listening to music that relaxes before going to bed.
The response of an individual to the music will depend on their personal preferences. Music can be too stimulating at times, and can induce anxiety and sleeplessness.
Finding a comfortable position
Sleeping in a comfortable sleeping position is essential. Changing positions can be uncomfortable sometimes, but finding the right spot can make a big difference to the onset of sleep. Many people find it is the best position to sleep on their side for a good night’s sleep.
Caffeine serves as a stimulant. It stimulates wakefulness and may interfere with sleep patterns. It is best to avoid caffeine at least four hours before bedtime. Consuming caffeine at any time of the day could have a detrimental effect on the quality of the sleep in some cases. It is best for these people to avoid caffeine altogether.
Turn Off All Electronics
Late-night use of electronic devices is terrible for sleep.
Watching TV, playing video games, using a mobile phone and social networking will make it considerably more difficult for you to fall asleep.
It is suggested that you disconnect all electronics and put away computers and mobile phones so that you can have a peaceful, distraction-free place. You will fall asleep even faster.
Physical exercise has been known to have a beneficial effect on the quality of sleep.
One study that looked at 305 people over the age of 40, with sleep problems, found that exercise programs of moderate or high intensity led to improvements in sleep quality. The study also found participants taking their sleep medication less often.
It is currently unclear whether exercise has an impact on sleep at different times of the day.
The military method
The popular military method, first reported by Sharon Ackerman, comes from a book titled “Relax and Win: Championship Performance.” According to Ackerman, a routine was developed by the United States Navy Pre-Flight School to help pilots fall asleep in 2 minutes or less. It took pilots about six weeks of practice but it worked — even after drinking coffee and in the area of shooting noises
This practice is even said to work for people who need to sit up and sleep! This is the method:
- Relax your entire face, including the muscles inside your mouth.
- Drop your shoulders to release the tension and let your hands drop to the side of your body.
- Exhale, relaxing your chest.
- Relax your legs, thighs, and calves.
- Clear your mind for 10 seconds by imagining a relaxing scene.
- If this doesn’t work, try saying the words “don’t think” over and over for 10 seconds.
- Within 10 seconds, you should fall asleep!
(source: healthline.com, medicalnewstoday.com, helpguide.org)