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Good sleep is necessary for optimal health and can affect hormone levels, mood and weight.

If you have trouble falling asleep at night, you are not alone. About 35 to 50 percent of adults worldwide regularly experience insomnia symptoms.

Being unable to fall asleep can be frustrating and have consequences for the next day. However, people can learn to fall asleep faster using some simple, natural tips and tricks.

Establish Good Daytime Habits

Good nighttime habits start with good daytime habits. 

For starters, you want to avoid taking long naps during the day. Napping can throw off your sleep schedule and make it harder for you to sleep in the evening.

If you have to take a nap, try to limit it to no longer than 30 minutes, and make sure you do not take it too late in the day.

It is also essential to pay attention to what you eat and drink daily. Eating poorly can upset your stomach later on when trying to sleep.

Caffeine and complex sugars can also keep you awake longer than you intended. 

Finally, most people will find it much easier to fall asleep after engaging in some physical activity during the day. Exercise is good for your overall health, but it can also lead to better sleep in the evenings!

Set a Sleep Schedule  

Setting a sleep schedule is essential to good sleep. 

Our bodies work in rhythms tied to our 24-hour clock. The circadian rhythm is the regulatory system that helps control our daily schedules for sleep and wakefulness.

It is influenced by our exposure to light and darkness, and other factors. 

It would be best if you tried to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. This is the optimal sleep duration for adults.

Waking up and going to bed simultaneously every day will be easier to fall asleep and wake up around the same time every day.

Turn Down the Lights (and the Temperature)

Darkness is an important external factor that cues our mind and body to be ready for bed.

Research has shown that being in a fully lit room before sleeping results in delayed and decreased melatonin production.

While bright light is excellent at stimulating a sense of alertness, dimming the lights before bed can help your body gradually relax into a sleep-ready state. 

Being too hot or too cold can significantly impact a person’s ability to sleep.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends a bedroom temperature of 60–67°F. While it might feel too cold for comfort during the day, your internal temperature drops at night as an internal signal that it’s time to sleep.

Therefore, a cooler room should provide the ideal environment for better quality sleep. 

Taking a warm bath or shower could also help speed up the body’s temperature changes. As your body cools down afterward, this can signal your brain to go to sleep.

Make Your Bed as Comfortable as Possible

A comfortable mattress and bedding can have a remarkable effect on the depth and quality of sleep. It can make the difference between falling asleep comfortably and waking up refreshed.

There are many types of mattresses: memory foam, innerspring, latex, air, and water. Whatever your preference, your mattress should be firm enough to support your back and sleep position but soft enough to contour to the shape of your body.

The pillow and sheets you put on your mattress are also important. The wrong pillow can cause neck pain and general discomfort, making it hard to fall asleep. A good pillow should keep its shape and support your sleep position.

Look for bedding that is soft and breathable. At night, our body expends heat, and it is essential to choose bedding that does not trap it. Also, make sure to keep them fresh by washing them once every week.

Many people also find comfort in weighted blankets. These are heavy blankets used as a form of pressure therapy to create a calming effect and help stimulate the release of serotonin in your brain.

Look for one that applies enough pressure that you are calm and relaxed without feeling too restricted. 

Try Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and meditation may help you sleep better. As relaxation techniques, they can quiet the mind and body while enhancing inner peace.

When done before bedtime, yoga and meditation can help reduce insomnia and sleep troubles by promoting overall calmness.

When you hear the word “yoga,” you might think of the fast-paced fitness classes at your gym.

However, there are many different types of yoga. For example, yoga Nidra is a form of guided meditation that allows you to scan the body and tap into a state of relaxed consciousness as the mind settles between wakefulness and sleep. 

The gentleness of yoga Nidra makes it a great, natural tool for helping you sleep better. 

Meditation can increase melatonin and serotonin production, reduce heart rate and blood pressure, and activate parts of the brain that control sleep. 

Your body experiences similar changes in the early stages of sleep. As a result, meditation can promote sleep by initiating these changes.

Becoming skilled in meditation may help you control or redirect the racing or runaway thoughts that often lead to insomnia.

Listen to Relaxing Music

Music is a powerful universal language. It can amp you up for your workouts and help you relax after a stressful day.

Music has been scientifically proven to calm the autonomic nervous system, the endocrine, and psychological stress response. Ambient and classical music and sounds of nature seem to be particularly effective.

Researchers have found white noise can also help people get to sleep and stay asleep through the night.

This is because white noise can create a buffer between outside noise and your eardrums so you can keep sleeping peacefully, despite what might be going on around you.

This masking effect helps block out other sounds so you can sleep.

Although white noise is commonly recommended for sleep troubles, it is not the only noise that can help. Other sonic hues, like pink noise, may also improve your sleep.

Turn Off Your Electronics

A 2011 sleep study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that roughly four in 10 Americans bring their cell phone into bed when trying to fall asleep. It is safe to assume that this number has only increased ten years later.

Using electronics before bed can make it more challenging to sleep because of the light these devices emit.

Blue light is a portion of the visible light spectrum that can have unique effects on alertness, hormone production, and sleep cycles.

For example, because this light simulates sunlight, exposure to this type of light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, which might make it harder to get to sleep.

You should limit or avoid using computers, smartphones, and other blue light-emitting devices in the hours leading up to bedtime. 

Try Breathing Techniques

Breathing exercises are a prevalent relaxation technique. Practicing deep breathing or making specific breathing patterns can help you destress and take your mind off restless thoughts.

In addition, these techniques can be a powerful tool for how to fall asleep quickly.

A standard option is 4-7-8 breathing. This method can help destress you before sleep and help you relax. You should make sure to focus on counting for this technique.

  • While laying down in bed, allow your tongue to relax behind your front teeth, resting on the roof of your mouth. 
  • Slowly exhale all of your breath through your mouth, completely emptying your lungs. 
  • Breath in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, then exhale for 8 seconds.
  • Repeat this process at least four times. 

Box breathing is another sleep technique, also known as square breathing. It is a method that can help you slow your breathing and can be done anywhere.

  • Breathe in for 4 seconds.
  • Hold your breath for 4 seconds.
  • Breathe out for 4 seconds.
  • Wait 4 seconds and repeat. 
  • Do this every day for a few minutes.

Take Natural Sleep Aids & Supplements

Some people may need a little extra help to get a good night’s sleep and wish to avoid using medication in favor of a more natural alternative.

Chamomile, Passionflower, and Valerian are gentle herbs with a calming effect. They are widely available as teas and capsules and have been known to promote relaxation and sleep for hundreds of years.

Melatonin supplements are another popular sleeping aid, particularly when the melatonin cycle is disrupted.

Studies also show that magnesium is another helpful supplement for sleep disorders. Magnesium is known to relax muscles and induce sleep, partly due to its ability to regulate melatonin production. 

Finally, a relative newcomer to the sleep aid scene is CBD. CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a compound found in marijuana and hemp plants.

While it does not get you high, it may help you get a better night’s sleep since it has been shown to have a calming effect on the nervous system.

More research is necessary. However, preliminary research suggests CBD can help with several sleep disorders.

PureKana offers a wide range of products designed to help you get to sleep and stay asleep.

Our CBD gummies, capsules, tinctures, and beverage enhancers, together with the power of melatonin, offer the chance to transform your nightly sleep habits.

Before using any sleep aid product, consult your doctor. Let your doctor know of any medications, herbs, or supplements you are taking, so they can help you avoid any negative interactions.

The Bottom Line.

A good night’s sleep does wonders for you. But if you are having trouble falling and staying asleep, it is frustrating, but it can also affect your mental and physical health.

If you are wondering how to fall asleep or sleep fast, the changes must begin with your sleep habits and your daily activities.

Using the techniques above can help you go to sleep fast and easily and improve the quality of your sleep, so you have more energy to take on the day.

References

Self-Regulation of Breathing as an Adjunctive Treatment of Insomnia

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6361823/

Exposure to room light before bedtime suppresses melatonin onset and shortens melatonin duration in humans

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21193540/

12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-benefits-of-meditation

Effects of Relaxing Music on Healthy Sleep

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6591240/

Environmental noise and sleep disturbances: A threat to health?

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1984006314000601

What Is Pink Noise and How Does It Compare with Other Sonic Hues?

https://www.healthline.com/health/pink-noise-sleep#_noHeaderPrefixedContent

2011 Sleep in America Poll

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/SIAP_2011_Summary_of_Findings.pdf?x14342

The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3703169/

Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30624194/

CBD as a Sleep Aid

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/cbd-and-sleep

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