In order to be able to fall sleep faster and sleep better at night you can follow techniques, which promotes relaxation and restful sleep. In addition, to improve sleep quality and prevent sleepiness the next day, it’s important that people who suffer from insomnia or have trouble sleeping to follow habits, such as having a schedule, practicing physical exercises and avoiding caffeinated drinks after 5 pm.
But if it you still find it hard to fall sleep, follow these techniques and exercises of how to fall asleep faster and sleep better.
1. Control breathing
Deeper, longer breathing helps your body to relax and slows down your heart rate, sending a signal to brain to understand that it’s time to slow down, helping you to fall asleep faster.
Exercise: Practice method 4-7-8, which consists of inhaling through the nose for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and letting the air through the mouth for 8 seconds.
2. Relax the muscles
Stress and anxiety makes muscles to contract, even though we do not realize it. So, a great way to relax and fall asleep faster is to practice a muscle relaxation technique.
Exercise: Find a comfortable position, preferably with the belly up and arms and legs apart, and then inhale deeply. When exhaling you should imagine that the muscles are loosening and relaxing. Repeat 5-10 times.
An important cause of insomnia are excessive worries and thoughts, which creates more and more anxiety and, as a consequence, alertness. To avoid this, it’s possible to find a way to distract your minds, which would help to relax and sleep.
Exercise: Spend about 10 to 15 minutes doing a recap of the day that has gone by or planning the next day. Imagine what you should do to have a perfect day, which will help to distract your mind and calm down. This training is not recommended if you are going through some stressful situations
4. Listen to relaxing music
Playing relaxing music, or soothing sounds can be a good alternative to help falling asleep faster.
Exercise: Buy a CD or download a playlist of songs to relax, soothe or meditate, which may contain quiet songs or sounds of nature. Preferably, don’t use headphones as they may cause discomfort or hurt your ears during sleep. As you listen, try to apply the other breathing or relaxation of muscles technique.
5. Focus on something
Focusing on a goal, a place or some object, and imagining them in detail, are good ways to distract and calm your thoughts, making sleep come faster.
Exercise: Focus on a beautiful landscape, such as a beach or forest and imagine the details like sound of water, animal noises, textures or smells. Do this together with a deep breathing technique.
6. Try to keep your eyes open
Sometimes the fact that you are forcing yourself to fall asleep can cause too much anxiety, so try to avoid this.
Exercise: If you can’t fall asleep for a long period of time, try to keep your eyes open. If this doesn’t help, get up and do some other activity instead of staying in bed, because being with eyes closed and unable to sleep can make insomnia worse.
7. Rearrange your bedroom
Anything that is bothering your body increases stress level and keeps sleep away, so having a supportive environment to sleep is crucial. Proper room temperature, dimmed lights and unwanted noise elimination are essential to enable quick sleep.
Exercise: prepare your bedroom for a good night sleep with these simple 5 steps:
- Adjust room temperature, especially if it’s very hot and invest in a fan or air conditioner.
- Adjust lighting by turning off bright lights and lamps. If it’s necessary to have some type of light 90 minutes before sleep, it’s preferable to switch on the orange light, which stimulates the production and melatonin, the sleep hormone. Avoid electronic devices as much as possible.
- Eliminate any noises that may bother you, but if that’s not possible, use a white noise cancelling device. Fan or recorded sounds from nature might work as well.
- Keep your body comfortable by investing in a good mattress and pillows. It’s recommended to have a medium support pillow to support neck.
- Use a few drops of lavender essential oil on the pillow or pillowcase.
- Take a hot bath which helps to relax.
8. Have a hot drink
Eat a small snack or have a hot drink before you go to bed. For example: glass of hot milk with honey or a sweet biscuit, chamomile tea and etc., that increases the levels of tryptophan or melatonin, hormones that helps to regulate the sleep.
In addition, there are some natural supplements, such as melatonin or valerian, which can also help you to fall asleep faster. Taking medicines, such as diazepam or clonazepam, is not a good idea, as they cause addiction and lead to health problems.