How to Fall to Sleep Fast
Author: Jonathan Warren
There’s nothing worse than waiting for sleep to come – it always seems as though the more you try to fall asleep, the more awake you feel!
For those who struggle to drop off come nighttime, or worse, suffer with more frequent bouts of insomnia, discovering the secret for how to fall asleep fast would feel like a dream come true. And while there's no one quick and easy fix that guarantees you nod off in 10 seconds flat everytime, there are many proven methods to induce sleep that can help you on your way to a lifetime of restful sleep if you’re willing to put some practice in.
In this blog, we take a look at some of the most popular tips and tricks to help you fall asleep quickly. From mindfulness to bans on technology, here’s everything you need to know.
How Do You Fall Asleep in 5 Minutes?
The average time it takes most adults to drift off to sleep at night (known as “sleep latency”) is between 10 to 20 minutes. So, if you’re already within this window, you can rest assured that you’re achieving a healthy sleep. However, many experts have stated that if you are dropping off considerably before or after this typical 10 to 20 minute period, it may be a sign that something is amiss and your sleep quality is being affected.
The key to falling asleep faster is relaxation – full stop. In fact, studies have shown that the relaxation response is a physiological process that benefits both the mind and body as it reduces stress and anxiety and helps you to fall asleep more quickly as a result. Set aside some time before bed to practise some relaxation techniques such as time off technology, reading, listening to calming music or engaging in some deep breathing techniques. And make sure your bedroom is a calming environment too! Is it too hot? Too cold? Is your mattress comfortable and supportive? Putting in the effort to ensure all of your sleep conditions are just right before you hit the hay will give you the best chance to start falling asleep quickly more consistently.
What Should You Do When You Can’t Sleep?
If you find yourself staring at the ceiling with racing thoughts and no sign of dropping off, the worst thing you can do is continue to lie still and try to force sleep to come – you’ll only get more agitated and be awake for longer.
Instead, experts suggest you switch things up! For example, you could try leaving your bedroom for half an hour to reset in another room in your house to do a relaxing activity such as reading or writing in a journal. Other sleep experts recommend sleeping solo for a while if you usually share a bed with a partner – not only will it make you a little cooler but you can also stretch out fully and be undisturbed by their breathing and movements. Or, why not give a new sleep position a go? Sometimes a simple repositioning could be all you need to find the sleeping sweet spot!
Time4Sleep’s 5 Top Tips on How to Fall Asleep Quickly
As we mentioned above, relaxation is the secret ingredient when it comes to falling asleep fast. If you’re struggling to nod off, here are our top tips for improving your sleep latency and achieving an all round healthier and more satisfying sleep.
1 – Keep Things Cool and Comfortable
Temperature can be a huge contributing factor toward a restless night, so make sure your room is cool, dark and comfortable. Optimal temperatures for sleep range between 15 to 19 degrees Celsius so if your home tends to retain a lot of heat, buy a sturdy fan or air conditioner to keep things cool. Or you could opt for a lighter tog duvet and invest in a comfortable and supportive mattress or cooling technology memory pillow that can regulate body temperature throughout the night.
Need to upgrade your sleep sanctuary to keep you cool at night? Explore our range of incredibly supportive mattresses.
2 – Try Breathing Techniques
Forget counting sheep, breathing techniques are the way forward when it comes to sleep-inducing meditative exercises. One of the most famous is the “4-7-8” breathing method which, with practice, is a great way to relax your body, focus on your breathing and take your mind off desperately seeking sleep. For this method, get into a comfy position, close your lips and inhale through your nose for a count of four before holding your breath for 7 seconds and then exhaling from your mouth with a “whooshing” sound for 8 seconds. Repeat for 4 cycles of full breaths but let yourself drift off if you feel sleep coming sooner.
3 – Perfect Your Sleeping Schedule
Obviously life can get in the way sometimes, but sticking to a regular and consistent sleep schedule is incredibly important to achieve a restful sleep. This is because our bodies are controlled by a circadian rhythm – colloquially known as a “body clock” – which helps us to know when to naturally wake up and fall asleep. So, in order to get your body to work for you, it’s crucial you start sticking to a regular sleep routine and try to get a good 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.
4 – Tuck Technology Away
If you need to scroll, do it at least an hour before bedtime – you’ve been warned! Using technology is proven to negatively impact sleep quality due to the blue light emitted and the activity it requires from our brains. Speaking of stimulants, it’s also crucial to stop ingesting caffeine, alcohol and nicotine close to bedtime as these can keep your mind whirring late into the night and lead to lots of sleep disturbances meaning you’ll not only struggle to drop off, but your sleep quality will suffer too when you eventually do!
5 – Master the Military Method
If it’s good enough for US Navy pilots, it’s good enough for us civvies! Said to even work for those who need to try and fall asleep sitting up, the military method requires a good few weeks of practise to be effective and combines breathing and muscle relaxation techniques. Firstly, make sure you are comfortable in bed before relaxing your entire face, including your tongue inside your mouth. Then, let your arms lie to the side of your body and drop your shoulders to release any tension build up. Exhale to relax your chest and then work down your body, focusing on relaxing your bum, thighs, calves and feet. Clear your mind for 10 seconds and picture a calming setting and if this doesn’t work, repeat the phrase “don’t think” for another 10 seconds. At ease, soldier!
Searching more for advice on how to improve your sleep quality?
Explore our blog for more tips on how to achieve a healthy sleep. From advice on how to keep cool at night in summer, to relaxation techniques and much, much more, you’re sure to find a dreamy solution to your nighttime woes! Or, if you’re really struggling to fall to sleep fast, why not visit our Relaxation Zone for some calming inspiration?