A good night’s sleep may sound like a luxury, but it can have a significant impact on your health and mental well-being. In this article, you will learn some things you can do to fall asleep faster and sleep better.
Table of Contents
- How Much Sleep Is Enough
- Benefits Of A Good Night Of Sleep
- How To Fall Asleep Faster and Sleep Better
- Final Thoughts
How Much Sleep Is Enough
Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but many don’t get it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 70 million U.S. adults sleep less than seven hours a night. About 50% report experiencing symptoms of insomnia. The consequences can be serious: Insufficient sleep can lead to weight gain and obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and depression.
Benefits Of A Good Night Of Sleep
Sleep allows your mind to relax, so you’ll be less stressed out during the day. It helps reduce the effects of stress on your mind and body. This is because it helps restore chemicals like cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Which help control physiological responses to stress, including heart rate and blood pressure. It can also help you regain a sense of control over your life after facing stressful situations during the day.
Decreased Risk of Health Issues
If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re putting yourself at risk for serious health problems. Some of the most common illnesses that a lack of sleep cause or exacerbate, include:
Heart disease – Studies show that consistently sleeping five hours or less each night increases the chance of heart attack and stroke.
Sleep apnea – Sleep apnea is a condition in which you stop breathing for short periods while you sleep. It’s caused by the muscles relaxing during sleep, which block your airways. If left untreated, it can increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and it may cause memory problems and mood disorders.
Depression – Sleep deprivation is also linked to depression, obesity, and early-onset dementia.
Improved Brain Function
Have you ever went to bed with a problem, only to wake up with a new solution? I have many times. A new study from researchers at Korea University found that sleep helps the brain generate new ideas. This finding suggests that a lack of sleep impairs our ability to be creative. Causing us to become fixated on less creative solutions to problems we’re facing.
A good night’s sleep not only improves your ability to problem-solve, but also improves memory, concentration, and your ability to learn new things. Sleep helps your brain to work properly by giving it time to rest and repair itself.
Have you ever pulled an all-nighter? If you have, I bet you weren’t in the greatest mood the next day. You don’t even have to be up all night for it to affect your mood. If you don’t get a good night’s sleep, it can lead to irritability.
How To Fall Asleep Faster and Sleep Better
Have a Sleep Routine
Your sleep routine should be the same every night. It should include the same place to sleep, the same time of day, and the same habits before bed.
Try to go to bed around the same time every night. Pick a time when you know you can get to sleep.
Create a sleep ritual. Go through the same steps every night to get ready for bed, so your body can get ready for sleep. Take a warm shower or bath, do yoga, read a book, or listen to calming music.
4-7-8 Breathing Method
The 4-7-8 Breathing Method is a unique technique created by Dr. Andrew Weil. It can help you fall asleep faster and improve your quality of sleep. The steps are simple:
1. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth. Keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.
2. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
3. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
4. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
5. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
6. This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
7. Continue this cycle for up to ten minutes or until you feel relaxed enough to sleep. When you reach the point when you can’t think of anything else but the breathing exercise, you may stop if you wish. Or continue with another 10 breaths or so to increase the sense of relaxation further. It is important to remain in bed awake after completing the exercise.
A cool bedroom is key to helping you fall asleep faster. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation recommends keeping the temperature in your bedroom between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
The human body naturally begins to feel sleepy when its core temperature drops. During sleep, your body’s core temperature will naturally drop a few degrees. This is why most people find themselves feeling tired after a long day of lounging around in a cool room.
An ideal sleeping environment is slightly cooler than the rest of the house. This allows for that slight dip in core temperature when you climb into bed at night. You can also try cooling down your bedroom by using a fan or air conditioner.
Avoid Daytime Naps
Daytime naps may seem like a good way to feel refreshed, but they can make it more difficult to fall asleep at nighttime. During the day, your circadian rhythm is trying to keep you alert, so you can perform the tasks required of you during the day.
Also, some people are sensitive to sunlight and even some indoor light. Taking a nap in an artificially lit room, might not provide enough stimulus to tell your body that it’s time to wake up.
Finally, there’s another reason why taking a daytime nap can make falling asleep at night difficult: it increases fatigue! There’s something called “sleep inertia” which occurs right after you wake up from sleep. This feeling of grogginess or disorientation makes it harder to fall back asleep. So if you feel groggy after waking up from a daytime nap, it can cause more trouble going back to sleep at night.
If you want to fall asleep faster and sleep better, you need to do two things: get rid of the lights and avoid electronics.
The blue light emitted from electronic devices like cell phones, laptops and TVs interferes with the production of melatonin (your body’s sleep hormone). The less melatonin you produce, the harder it is for you to fall asleep.
If you’re having trouble getting to sleep, try turning off your TV and phone at least 1 hour before bedtime. If you must use your computer, consider using a program such as Flux. Flux removes much of the blue light from your screen when the sun goes down.
Sleep in a Dark Room
Sleep experts recommend a dark bedroom, complete darkness, for optimal sleep. If you can’t achieve that, minimize light as much as possible. When you’re ready to go to bed, turn off the lights and any electronics that might emit light. Invest in room-darkening shades if you need them. If your room is still too bright, consider using black-out curtains or an eye mask to block out even more light.
Switching off all your lights also helps your body produce melatonin, the hormone that signals your brain that it’s time for sleep.
Watch What You Eat Before Bed
What you eat before bed really does affect your sleep. The best foods to eat before bed, according to experts, are foods that digest slowly and promote relaxation.
This includes bananas, whole-grain breads, yogurt, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, and oatmeal. Foods that are high in sugar can cause a sudden burst of energy right before bed. Which is not good for your ability to unwind. If you have trouble sleeping at night, you should avoid eating a large meal within two to three hours of going to bed.
Exercise During The Day
Exercising during the day has a positive effect on sleep in several ways. It helps to stimulate hormone production, which helps to fight against the build-up of cortisol levels. If you’re not exercising, you’re more likely to have high levels of cortisol in your body during the day. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can cause your body to produce adrenaline, which can interrupt your sleep cycle.
Exercising during the day also helps wake you up. It boosts your energy level during the day. So that when it’s time for bed, you’ll feel ready to fall asleep quickly without having to resort to using sleeping pills.
Try Relaxing Scents
If you are looking for an effective way to fall asleep, try using aromatherapy. This natural therapy will help you to relax, fall asleep faster, and sleep better.
Aromatherapy is one of the most popular techniques used today by both professional and amateur massage therapists. It has been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety as well as treat depression and insomnia. Aromatherapy also uses scents like peppermint and lavender that may improve your mood and aid in relaxation.
There is a wide variety of products containing essential oils targeted towards those who suffer from insomnia due to stress, depression, or anxiety. These products include candles, sprays, lotions, and diffusers among others.
Consuming caffeine in the afternoon or evening is a common no-no when it comes to falling asleep. Caffeine can stay in your system anywhere from six to nine hours after you drink it. When you have a cup of coffee or tea late in the day, expect to feel its effects at night. In addition, caffeine is a stimulant, so it revs up your brain and body, which can prevent you from falling asleep.
Find the Right Position
If you want to fall asleep faster and sleep better, an essential step is finding the right position. If you have back problems, sleeping on your stomach might not be a good idea. It can cause you to snore and even stop breathing.
Try lying on your back and placing a pillow under your knees to help take pressure off your lower back. This will give you a comfortable position for sleeping.
If you wake up in the middle of the night, don’t toss and turn. Get up and do something relaxing in another room, such as reading a book or listening to music. Going back to sleep right away reduces sleep quality because it interrupts your sleep cycle.
Get the Right Mattress
When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, most people don’t realize that they may be sleeping on the wrong mattress. A mattress is a key factor in determining your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
A mattress that is too firm or too soft can cause you to wake up with back pain and lead to an uneasy sleep. Having the right mattress for your body type and sleeping habits is essential to ensuring a good night’s rest.
If you find yourself tossing and turning throughout the night, it may be time for a new mattress. The following information will help you choose the right mattress for your needs.
The first step to picking the right mattress is to determine your preferred sleeping position. You can always try out different positions, but it’s best to start with your normal one. If you’re not sure what that is, ask someone who sleeps with you. Or spend a few nights sleeping on your stomach and your back to see which one feels most natural.
As for firmness, firmer mattresses are more supportive for back sleepers, while softer ones tend to be better suited for side sleepers. Stomach sleepers usually do just fine with the softer options.
Read Before Bed
Before bedtime reading is a relaxing habit that can help you fall asleep faster, sleep more soundly and improve your overall health. Here are some tips to make your bedtime reading as effective as possible.
Many people who read before bed say it helps them relax, which is crucial for falling asleep easily. This is because focusing on one task, like reading, allows you to turn off your mind. Instead of thinking about the problems of the day or things that need to be done tomorrow.
The act of reading is also soothing. As you read, your eyes move back and forth over the page in a steady rhythm, similar to how they move when you’re dreaming. This may be why many people consider reading one of their favorite bedtime habits.
Reading can also be a distraction from worrying about insomnia or having trouble sleeping. If you find yourself worrying about falling asleep, you can start this relaxing activity right away instead of lying in bed worrying.
Get a Good Pillow
Pillows are very important to getting the right kind of sleep. This is because they support the head and neck, keeping them in an upright position. This reduces strain on the muscles and ligaments of the neck, so they don’t have to work as hard to keep your head up.
For some people, their current pillow is just too flat. As you lie on your back, there isn’t enough support under your neck, so your head ends up falling forward onto your chest. This can cause muscle strain, stiff necks, and sore shoulders.
A good pillow will help prevent these problems by providing the right amount of support for your head and neck. Selecting a new pillow can be difficult because there are so many types available. The first step to finding the right pillow is to determine what kind of sleeper you are:
Back sleeper – If you sleep on your back, you need a firm pillow that supports your neck. Without pushing it forward or down into an awkward position.
Side sleeper – Side sleepers need a medium-firm or firm pillow that’s wide enough to support their shoulders and hips. Without pushing them into the mattress.
Stomach sleeper – Stomach sleepers need a very soft pillow that conforms to their body.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your performance on everything suffers. That’s why it’s so important to aim for 8 hours of sleep a night.
Follow the tips in this article to boost your ability to fall asleep faster and sleep better. When your sleep improves, many aspects of your life improve. One of the most important things you can do is believe that you are capable of good sleep. It might take a little time, but you can do it.
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