How would you like to wake up feeling refreshed and full of energy and fall asleep instantly?
Unfortunately, half the population isn’t getting enough quality sleep. I’ve struggled with insomnia and this motivated me to research how to get quality sleep every night.
I’ve read several books and dozens of articles to find the best simple sleeping tips. The key to falling asleep is relaxing your mind and body before bed and being active early in the day.
Your day starts and ends with sleep. Once you wake up, it’s too late to change the quality of your sleep the night before. Every decision you make depends on your energy, mood, memory, willpower, and concentration at that moment.
Sleep is when your body heals and regenerates itself, but poor sleep negatively affects your body and mind.
Once you master quality sleep, you will have the tools to improve all areas of your life.
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How to Fall Asleep Instantly: 35 Natural Sleep Aids and Remedies
Table of Contents
- Reduce stress for better sleep
- Sleep in a cool room
- Get more sunlight For Quality Sleep
- Get vitamin D for quality sleep
- Sleep in total darkness
- Keep electronics out of your bedroom
- Put your phone on airplane mode
- Sleep in silence
- Invest in a quality mattress
- Invest in a quality pillow and sheets
- Practice grounding
- Improve your air quality
- Keep plants in your room
- Read and journal before bed
- Create a bedtime routine
- Practice prayer or meditation
- Try the 4-7-8 breathing exercise
- Forgive and let go
- Reprogram your mind
- Nap wisely
- Respect caffeine
- Avoid the night shift
- Drink water at the right times
- Supplement with Magnesium
- Consider sleep supplements
- Exercise early in the day
- Eat earlier
- Try music or art for sleep
- Go to bed early to stay young
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule
- Make progress on your goals
- Be generous For Sleep
- Start the day off right
- Forget about sleeping pills
- Tips for working the night shift
1. Reduce Stress For Better Sleep
Stress is not only the enemy of sleep, but it is also the cause of almost every disease. Dr. Hans Selye received a Nobel Prize for showing how stress interferes with the body’s healing process.
There are three principal stresses: physical, emotional, and biochemical. Physical stresses stem from poor sleep quality, nerve imbalances, overwork, electronics (EMF), and energy imbalance.
Biochemical stress is caused by sickness, infection, toxins, drugs and alcohol, allergies, inflammation, and dehydration.
And emotional stresses include divorce, toxic relationships, depression, financial difficulties, fear, worry, deaths, and loss.
Each stress has the same effect on your body. And stress may be preventing you from getting quality sleep and the proper healing you need. Learn how to identify these stresses and eliminate them or overcome them.
There is good stress and bad stress. Good stress, like exercise or learning, are helpful for sleep. Chronic stress, stress that never goes away, will keep you up at night. Chronic stress keeps your body in the sympathetic response, the flight or fight.
- Identify and eliminate or manage your chronic stressors.
- Save stressful activities for early in the day and unwind with relaxing activities in the evening.
2. Sleep in a Cool Room
Your body regulates temperature through the process of “thermoregulation” (1). When your temperature rises, your body produces sweat. Whereby your body cools down as the sweat evaporates from your skin. If you are under many layers or your room is humid, it will be difficult for your body to cool off.
Conversely, when your temperature lowers, your body shivers. During this process, your muscles contract and expand quickly to produce heat.
At either temperature extreme, this automatic process can make for restless sleep. Therefore, keep your room in the ideal temperature range for the best sleep, 60 to 68´F (2).
How to Stay Cool On Summer Nights
Close your blinds to block the sun during the day to keep your living space cool. And keep your windows closed when it is hotter outside than inside.
Open your windows after sunset and keep them open during the night. Use a ceiling fan and window fan to bring fresh air into the room. A window fan is excellent for bringing in cool outside air or pushing out warm inside air out. If you have to windows, you can use two fans, one pulling in and one pushing out, to create a cross breeze.
Your body’s temperature regulation stops working temporarily in REM sleep. And this can cause your body temperature to rise during the night. Dress light, your body is better warming itself than cooling itself. Wear breathable cotton pajamas and don’t wear socks on warm nights.
Take a hot shower or bath an hour before bed, warm water relaxes your muscles, and when you get out of the water, your body temperature drops below where it was before you got in the water. I use a BedJet which cools your bed by blowing cool air under the sheet
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It is more effective than a fan as it cools you from under the sheet and dries up moisture. It is a little pricey, but it can make those hot or cold nights more bearable. Also, There’s a heat setting for winter.
- Stay Cool: Take a hot shower or bath one hour before bed and keep your room temperature between 60 and 68´F. Use a window fan, ceiling fan, air conditioner, or bed jet to stay cool.
3. Get More Sunlight For Quality Sleep
You have a natural time-keeping biological clock called the circadian rhythm (3, 4). It affects your brain, body, and hormones, helping you stay awake during the day and fall asleep when it is night time.
Most indoor lighting isn’t bright enough to affect circadian rhythms. Because indoor lighting is about 100 times less bright than outdoor light on a sunny day, or 10 times less bright on a cloudy day.
In one study, people with insomnia exposed to bright light during the day improved their sleep quality and duration. Thereby reducing the time that it took them to fall asleep by 83% (8).
Your body is most responsive to light between 6 AM and 8:30 AM. If you want to maximize your time, morning sunlight is the most effective way of setting your circadian rhythm.
- Turn on the lights, open the blinds, and go for a walk in the morning sun.
4. Get Vitamin D for Quality Sleep
Vitamin D plays a vital role in health and sleep. You absorb vitamin D from sunlight, but only when the sun is high enough in the sky for your shadow to be shorter than you are.
UVB, the light wavelength responsible for Vitamin D production, cannot penetrate glass, clouds, or pollution. Spend 20 minutes in the direct sun during midday to maximize Vitamin D production. If you live in the North or work the night shift, you should consider a Vitamin D3 supplement during the winter months.
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- Get sunlight during midday and consider a vitamin D3 supplement during winter.
5. Sleep in Total Darkness
Why do you need to sleep in total darkness?
At the end of most sleep cycles, your eyes open slightly to check for light or stimulus. If there is enough light, you will awaken and may need to use the bathroom.
It is often understood that you are awakened by the urge to use the bathroom. Most of the time you only have to use the bathroom if you are first aroused.
Eye masks prevent your eyes from sensing light during the night. Any light sources in your room at night, however, can disrupt your sleep. Your skin has photoreceptors similar to your retinas that can absorb light even when your eyes are covered.
The room should be dark enough so that you can’t see your hand in front of your face. Blackout curtains keep most light from coming through windows. They also muffle noises coming from outside as well.
- Keep clocks, chargers, and all electronics with lights out of your bedroom. At the very least cover them or turn them off to keep the room dark.
- Using a bright light before bed or during the night can make it harder to fall asleep. Keep a red spectrum light near your bed. For example, use a Himalayan salt lamp with a pinkish tint.
6. Keep Electronics Out of Your Bedroom
Our bodies are not designed to live in a 24-hour world. Before electricity, the body was only exposed to light for 12 hours a day, allowing the body to release melatonin at the right time for sleep.
Over the last few decades, even the color of light has changed from the ambient red glow of the incandescent light bulb to the predominantly blue light.
Blue spectrum light, along with full spectrum sunlight, reduces melatonin production. Phones, tablets, TVs, and computers emit blue spectrum light which signals your body to produce more daytime hormones and decrease (11) melatonin production.
Further, one study found that evening exposure to LED-lit computer screens affects (12) both the quality of sleep and cognitive performance.
Electronic devices emit both electric and magnetic fields (EMFs). Magnetic waves can pass through your body and disrupt cell communication and melatonin production. Your body needs this time to heal and rebuild. Magnetic fields can also pass through walls, so keep all electronic devices and appliances at least six feet from where you sleep.
- Turn off all devices at least one hour before bed, the earlier, the better. If sleep is important to you, remove all screens from your bedroom.
- Wear blue light filter glasses for unavoidable late-night computer use.
- Keep all electronic devices several feet away from your bed while you sleep.
7. Put Your Phone On Airplane Mode
Smartphones keep us connected to the world 24/7 if we let them. If you have notifications on, you can be awakened during the night by anyone who doesn’t value sleep as much as you.
Keep your phone away from your bed to avoid the temptation to use it during the night. Better yet, keep your phone in another room. Make it difficult to check in the middle of the night.
If you use your phone as an alarm clock turn on airplane mode to avoid interruptions. In case you need to use your cellphone late, download a free blue light filter app for your phone. You can set it to activate in the evening automatically.
Also, download an app that allows only specified people to get through to you in an emergency.
- Keep your phone on airplane mode or use an app to filter out notifications while you sleep.
8. Sleep in Silence
The most critical time for silence during your sleep is during the first sleep cycle. Until you reach deep sleep, you can still be awakened easily.
When staying at a hotel, request a room away from the elevators, stairs, or other entryways. People come and go all night long without any regard to your sleep. If you want to enjoy your vacation, you will want to sleep well.
Most hotel rooms have air conditioners with a fan setting. The fan setting emits a steady sound, blocking out other noises.
Before bed, turn off the lights and cover up any appliance in the room that emits light.
- >Use a white noise machine to cancel out other sounds. Other options are fans, mini waterfalls, and nature sounds.
- Earplugs are another option and can be great for travel.
- Share these tips with your roommates so they will value sleep as much as you.
9. Invest in a Quality Mattress
Your mattress is one of the most important investments you will make.
Most mattresses sag 25% in the first couple of years so you may want to start with a firm mattress. Plus, a firm mattress should last longer and provide better spine support. Try different types until you find one that is comfortable and evenly supports your weight.
Ideally, find an organic mattress as most mattresses outgas toxic fumes their entire life. You may be spending a third of your life breathing in these toxic fumes.
Recently, I replaced my five-year-old low-quality mattress. My new mattress is very supportive, but I wish I thought to research organic options. Because I’ve found quality organic mattresses that cost less than traditional mattresses. I will update with a recommendation.
Mattresses last around eight years, but the quality degrades much faster. Check your mattress for lumps or weak spots and evaluate your sleep quality.
Think about replacing your mattress sooner if its quality starts to interfere with your sleep.
- Test and track the quality of your mattress and your sleep. And consider replacing your mattress if it fails to give you proper support.
10. Invest in a Quality Pillow and Sheets
When looking for a new pillow, find one that supports your head enough to stay aligned with your spine. The softness or firmness of your pillow, however, is a matter of preference.
Pillows should be replaced every couple of years. But consider replacing your pillow sooner if you consistently wake up with a stiff or achy neck.
Again, think about organic bedding options to reduce your toxic load. And read the book Killer Clothes by Dr. Brian Clemente and Dr. Anne Marie Clemente to learn more about the importance of organic fabrics.
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If bedroom temperature is affecting your sleep quality, use breathable cotton sheets and pillowcases to prevent overheating at night.
Wash your sheets, and pillowcases at least once a week. Wash them twice a week if you are frequently sweating. Wash your mattress cover in hot water. My best sleep happens on nights I use fresh bedding.
Pillows also absorb moisture and toxins through regular use. Wash your pillow once a month or as needed. If you can’t wash your pillow, run it through the dryer to kill dust mites.
Strongly scented laundry detergents and fabric softeners may make it difficult to fall asleep. Clear or unscented is your best option for your bedding and night clothes.
- Invest in a supportive pillow
- Wash your bedding at least once a week, and your pillow once a month.
11. Practice Grounding
Grounding, or Earthing, is physically connecting to the Earth. For grounding, all you need to do is walk barefoot outside, swim in a natural body of water, or even hold your hands on a tree.
The Earth’s surface has an infinite number of free electrons that come from the sun and lightning strikes. These free electrons have an anti-inflammatory effect when you connect with the ground.
Grounding results in decreased inflammation, stress relief, and improved circulation.
Grounding shifts the body from the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) to the parasympathetic (rest, digest, and repair), allowing you to get quality deep sleep.
You can get the benefits of grounding while you sleep by using a grounding sheet or pillowcase which connect to the Earth through grounded three-prong outlets.
- Walk barefoot in the grass and use a grounding sheet.
12. Improve Your Air Quality
Keep the air in your bedroom from becoming stagnant. If it is warm enough outside, keep your window open. Keep your window slightly open most nights if you can.
Plants, ionizers, and flowing water create negative ions which promote health and quality sleep. Mini waterfalls or fountains create negative ions, and the sound of running water can be relaxing.
- vacuum out under your bed, use an air purifier, use an ionizer, a fan, and keep plants in your bedroom.
13. Keep Plants in Your Bedroom
English Ivy, snake plant, aloe, and jasmine are all good for improving indoor air quality.
- English Ivy is one of the best air-filtering houseplants. They are effortles to grow in either hanging baskets or small containers.
- Snake plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen at night, while most plants do the opposite.
- Aloe is also a good oxygen producer and is very easy to maintain.
- Jasmine plants are more difficult to find, but their flower’s scent is known to help improve the quality of sleep.
- Start with a small English Ivy or aloe, which is easy to grow, and then experiment with other plants.
14. Reading and Journaling
Read an actual (paper) book 15 minutes before bed to take your mind off of your day. Further, Reading a fiction book can help you escape reality.
If you write down what is on your mind (journaling) you relieve your brain of this burden, allowing you to reach deep sleep. While you are sleeping, your subconscious mind will work on the problem. And you may wake up with an idea or a solution.
- Read a fiction book before bed.
- Write down your dominant thoughts in a journal and keep it near your bed.
15. Create a Bedtime Routine
Your brain is hardwired for efficiency. It recognizes repeated actions as important and creates a dominant neuronal pathway for them. Your nerves transmit impulses between your brain and the rest of your body.
Myelin, a fatty substance that insulates and protects your nerves, grows every time you repeat an action. With each repetition, the signal becomes faster and more efficient.
Certain cues, such as climbing into bed, signal your brain to produce a specific action, this is also called muscle memory. Repeated actions become habits. Thereby if you change your actions you can change your habits.
If you want to fall asleep quickly when you go to bed you need to save your time in bed for sleep or other relaxing activities.
During the day it is difficult to avoid multitasking. As your day winds down, focus on only one thing at a time. Create a series of cues leading up to bedtime. You want your brain to know its time to fall asleep.
Don’t make your brain guess what time it is by working in bed or watching TV.
- Develop a consistent bedtime routine that relaxes you and ends with you climbing into bed and falling asleep.
16. Practice Prayer or Meditation
Start and end the day with prayer and/or gratitude. Emily Silva’s book Moonlight Gratitude 365 Nighttime Meditations for Deep, Tranquil Sleep All Year Long, has 365 short daily passages to relax your mind for sleep.
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Practicing meditation moves you from the sympathetic state (fight or flight) to the parasympathetic state (rest, digest and repair). Meditation can be as easy as relaxing and concentrating on your breathing.
Breathe deeply through your nose for several seconds, hold, and then breathe out through your mouth for longer than you breathed in. Exhaling is more relaxing as it slows your heart rate.
Meditation has a cumulative effect, use mini-meditations throughout the day. Meditation gives you the ability to focus on the present, and at night you want to be able to focus on relaxing for sleep.
- Pray or think about what you are grateful for at the start and end of your day.
- Meditate throughout the day even if it is just for a few seconds.
Learn a quick meditation from Deepak Chopra.
17. Try the 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise
4-7-8 breathing exercise is one of the simplest ways to relax and fall asleep. This breathing technique is a natural tranquilizer. But unlike most tranquilizers, it starts off subtle and becomes more powerful the more you use it (13).
When you are stressed your heart beats faster and your breathing becomes quick and shallow. By slowing your breathing your body is forced to lower your heart rate.
Learn more about how to lower your heart rate naturally in What is a Good Resting Heart Rate for My age?
- Exhale completely through your mouth.
- Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
- Hold your breath for seven seconds.
- Exhale completely through your mouth to a count of eight.
- This is one breath. Breath in normally and repeat the steps three more times for a total of four.
- Do this exercise twice a day or whenever you need to relax.
Learn more about the 4-7-8 exercise and more from Dr. Weil in Three Breathing Exercises and Techniques or watch this short video.
18. Forgive and Let Go
This is one of the most important but overlooked steps as what keeps you up at night is mostly in your mind.
If you want to get good sleep you must forgive others as well as yourself. Whatever you hate owns you, your attention, your energy, and your thoughts. Hating keeps you in a stressful state, forgive and you can relax.
Your brain uses about a quarter of your energy, save your energy for what is good. Free yourself by letting go.
Let go of the Past
Your past is like a fading shadow. But on a cloudy day, even your shadow abandons you. For when you rest on your laurels you are holding on to a vanishing mist. And if you let your past haunt you, you are losing to a dying beast. Forget your past, if you learn from it, your past can be gone forever. Face the future and your past will stay behind you.
- Forgive yourself and everyone that has wronged you whenever you remember something.
- Let go of today’s and yesterday’s mistakes and focus on what you can do right now.
19. Reprogram Your Mind
The moments just before you fall asleep are perfect for reprogramming your subconscious mind. In this state you will believe the words you speak, your subconscious mind will take them as true.
About 95% of your actions are performed subconsciously. Therefore, it is vital to replace any negative programming. Use positive affirmations in the present tense, starting with “I am…” Describe the person you want to become as if you already were that person.
Do this every night and you will be surprised how much you can improve in every area of your life. And when you improve your life, quality sleep will follow.
- Just before you fall asleep, think about the person you want to become.
20. Nap Wisely
The best time to take a nap is in the mid-afternoon when your sleep-wake cycle tends to dip after lunch. Keep naps short, 15 to 20 minutes, so as not to interfere with your nighttime rhythms.
Sleeping during the day can confuse your internal clock making it harder to sleep fall asleep at night (14). And one study found that participants who napped were sleepier during the day Sleeping in the daytime can confuse your internal clock, meaning that you may struggle to sleep at night (15).
One study, however, found that napping for 30 minutes or less can improve daytime brain function while longer naps can negatively affect health and sleep quality (16).
Planning naps in advance allow your brain to prepare, making it easier to fall asleep. Even micro naps as short as a couple of minutes are refreshing. Sometimes that’s all you need.
Avoid napping in the early evening or trying to nap when you are not sleepy.
- Plan a short nap at times when you usually get sleepy.
21. Respect Caffeine For Better Sleep
Nevertheless, consuming caffeine late in the day can make it difficult to fall asleep, making you more tired the next day. Thereby causing you to consume more caffeine.
When you are awake, neurons in your brain are constantly firing and produce a by-product called adenosine. Your nervous system constantly monitors adenosine levels, once they reach a certain point, it signals your body that it needs to sleep.
Caffeine fits into adenosine receptors, thereby blocking adenosine. Meanwhile, your body continues to produce adenosine which can’t get adequately metabolized.
Caffeine also promotes the production of adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline stimulates your sympathetic (fight-or-flight) response. So save your caffeine use for when you need it the most.
Caffeine has a half-life of about 5 to 8 hours, meaning half of the caffeine you consume is still in your system 5 to 8 hours later. Consuming caffeine up to six hours before bed can significantly disrupt sleep, especially for those sensitive to caffeine ((23, 24).
Set an unbreakable caffeine curfew. And if you use caffeine, consume 200 milligrams or less a day.
Cruciferous vegetables have been shown to help clear out caffeine more quickly. Try adding broccoli, kale, or brussels sprouts to your last meal of the day.
- Set an unbreakable caffeine curfew.
- Consume less than 200 milligrams of caffeine a day.
22. Avoid the Night Shift
The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies working the night shift as a Group 2A carcinogen (25). Studies of night shift workers show a 70 percent increased risk of breast cancer in women and a 40% increase in prostate cancer in men.
Night shift workers also have a greater risk of developing diabetes. One night of poor sleep can make a person as insulin resistant as someone with type 2 diabetes.
If you have a history of cancer or other serious health issues you should avoid the night shift at all costs. A job can be replaced, your body and health cannot. Remember, that your body can only work with or against nature. It doesn’t care what reason you have.
Unfortunately, we need doctors, nurses, firefighters, military, and law enforcement to be available 24 hours a day. I am not saying that you shouldn’t work the night shift.
Maybe you have an important goal, opportunity or you are out of options. Just make sure the reason isn’t to make someone else rich at your expense. Don’t work all night to build someone else’s dream. Nevertheless, If you must work the night shift there are ways that your body can adapt.
- If you have health problems, a history of cancer, or want quality sleep, avoid the night shift.
- Keep a consistent schedule, stay on nights while you are on nights.
- Learn more in the section Tips For Working the Night Shift.
23. Drink Water At the Right Times
Even mild dehydration before bed can affect your sleep. Dehydration can lead to dry mouth and nasal passages thereby causing shallow breathing and snoring.
Dehydration weakens your nighttime circulation. Blood circulation is responsible for oxygen flow, nutrient transportation, and waste removal.
Sleep is when the body does most of its healing making proper bedtime hydration essential to health. Poor nighttime hydration can compromise daytime energy, alertness, and cognitive function.
Start the morning with two to three cups of water to hydrate and help flush out all the waste that the body cleansed out of your cells during the night. Drink water consistently during the day so that you meet your recommended amount before it is time to go to sleep.
Nocturia, or excessive urination overnight, affects sleep quality and daytime energy (26, 27). So cut back on the water in the last hour before bed so that your body can relax for sleep and you can avoid night-time bathroom trips.
Take a couple of sips of water right before bed to keep your mouth and throat from getting dry.
Related Post: How Much Water Should I Drink a Day in Ounces?
- Drink water first thing in the morning and consistently throughout the day.
- Drink a couple of sips of water before bed.
24. Supplement With Magnesium
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for sleep but it is usually the most deficient. Magnesium is involved in over 600 enzyme reactions in your body, therefore, it gets used up quickly (28).
If you want to fall asleep and stay asleep, you need to relax your body and mind. And magnesium activates your parasympathetic nervous system (the rest, digest, and repair) and helps regulate (29) melatonin production. Melatonin helps regulate sleep-wake cycles.
Magnesium also binds to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, the neurotransmitter that calms down nerve activity (30).
Eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods like green leafy vegetables, nuts, cereals, meat, fish, and fruit (31). Meat and fish may not be your best option as they promote cortisol production.
Magnesium supplements are not easily absorbed and may have side effects. There is little evidence that magnesium supplements help with insomnia but the upper limit considered safe for magnesium supplements is 350 mg per day (32). Nevertheless, consult with your health care provider before taking supplements.
Magnesium absorbs easily through the skin. I use Ease Magnesium, a topical magnesium spray before bed to help relax my muscles.
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Alternatively, take a warm bath with Epsom salts, which naturally have magnesium. It is less convenient but has the added benefit of relaxation.
- Eat magnesium-rich foods and consider a magnesium supplement.
- Use a magnesium topical spray or take a relaxing Epsom salt bath.
25. Consider Sleep Supplements
Many supplements can help you relax and induce sleep, these include:
- Ginko Biloba: a natural herb that may support relaxation, sleep, and stress reduction (33).
- Glycine: an amino acid that can improve sleep quality (34, 35, 36)
- Valerian root: Valeria root has shown to help in falling asleep and improving sleep quality (37, 38, 39)
- L-theanine: an amino acid that can support relaxation and sleep (40, 41)
- Lavender: a calming herb that can improve sleep quality (42)
- Magnesium: See Above
Melatonin and Sleep
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates wakefulness and may be the key to falling asleep (43). And melatonin is often used to treat insomnia.
In one study, volunteers given 2 mg of melatonin before fell asleep faster, had better sleep quality, and more energy the next day (44). And in another study, half of those who used melatonin fell asleep faster and had better sleep quality (45). And no withdrawal effects were reported in either study.
Melatonin supplements are not the best long-term solution as eventually, your body may produce less melatonin naturally. Start with a low dose to see what works for you and save melatonin supplements for when you need it the most.
- Learn about and try only one supplement at a time at a low dose to learn how your body reacts.
- As always, consult with your medical provider before taking any supplements.
26. Exercise Early in the Day
Tire yourself out during the day. Stimulate your senses and observe your environment because your brain requires stimulation. Add new exercises to your routine so that your body has to adapt.
Exercise raises your core body temperature and it takes about five hours for your body temperature to come back down again. So plan to stop intense or moderate exercise at least five hours before you plan to go to bed.
Morning workouts are ideal for restful sleep, your body has increased cortisol levels in the morning for the purpose of being active. Further, morning exercise encourages natural cortisol production in the morning and not at night when you are trying to fall asleep.
Practice High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which involves doing an exercise as hard as you can for 30 seconds then rest. First, warm up for a few minutes and then pick one exercise to do for 30 seconds for as fast and safely as you can.
Follow this with 90 seconds of rest. Then start another 30-second high-intensity exercise. It could be the same exercise or another. Start with one or two intervals on the first day. Wait a few days and add another interval until. HIIT will help you clear your mind and give your brain the stimulation it needs for sleep.
Food gives you energy, if you have energy, that energy has to go somewhere. Take a walk after every meal to burn off excess energy that will keep you up late.
- Be active physically and mentally every day for the best sleep.
- Walk after dinner to burn off excess energy.
27. Eat Early
Stop eating at least 90 minutes before you go to bed. Four hours is ideal for allowing your body to properly digest and relax for sleep. If you must eat something before bed fruit digests quickly.
Human growth hormone (HGH) is released at its highest level within the first four hours of sleep. And insulin halts HGH production. So If you eat just before bed your insulin levels are still high, thereby preventing HGH production.
Eating late can also give you crazy dreams, multiple awakenings, and restlessness.
- Having an eating curfew. Or if you have to eat late eat light
28. Music and Art for Sleep
Drawing, painting, and knitting are all forms of active meditation that can promote better sleep.
Listening to music can help you relax. And learning or attempting to learn a musical instrument exercises both hemispheres of your brain. Further, exercising both hemispheres of your brain simultaneously relaxes the mind.
Your brain will want to rest to consolidate what you’ve learned. Your brain requires deep sleep when you learn something new. Keep learning.
- Learn a musical instrument
- Take up drawing, painting, or knitting
- Keep learning
29. Go to Bed Early to Stay Young
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and other beneficial hormones are released at their highest levels between 10 PM and 2 AM. And antioxidant hormones are also produced at this time to protect our DNA, brain, and other organs from free radicals built up during the day. Loss of sleep, however, depletes our antioxidant reserves.
If you are still awake at 10 PM these timed hormone releases will result in increased energy, making it harder to fall asleep. This is your body’s natural time to repair and rejuvenate. You need to be in deep sleep in order to maximize these hormones. We are designed to follow the sun, wake up when it is light and go to bed when it is dark.
Change your wake up time by 15 minutes (or less) a day until you reach your ideal wake-up time. A good target is to go to bed at 10 PM and wake up at 6 AM.
Alternatively, try waking up at your desired time on the first day and stay awake until your desired time to go to bed. You will feel tired during the day. But after a few days, your body will adjust to the new time.
The method you choose depends on whether you like gradual or dramatic changes.
- Set a goal to go to wake up earlier and go to bed earlier either gradually or abruptly.
30. Keep a Consistent sleep schedule
Wake up around the same time every day, sleeping in on weekends makes it harder to adjust on workdays. Rather than sleeping in, take an early afternoon nap.
How to wake up early on the weekend? Get motivated to maximize your time off, plan something you enjoy every day that will get you out of bed.
- Plan something you enjoy to do during the day
- Wake up and go to bed around the same time every day
31. Make Progress On Your Goals
Feeling unfulfilled can keep anyone awake at night.
Take some time to think about and write down your goals. Start with your long-term goals, where you want to go. This is your compass. Write down in the present tense that you are already are you want to be, “I am…” Choose a goal for every area of your life.
Next, plan small action steps every day. Each day will be a small victory giving you momentum for the next day. You will become more confident.
Focus on one day at a time. Think about crossing a creek. Each day is like a stepping stone, you can only use one at a time. The last stone is out of reach. Even two stones away seem impossible. Do not focus on any stone but the one you are stepping on.
Upon landing, you will see how easy it is to reach the next. Take one day at a time. Give today all your attention and you will win the day! The next day you will start closer than before.
Each day you will feel motivated to wake up and at night you will feel fulfilled enough to fall asleep.
- Make short and long-term goals. And with that in mind, focus on what you can do today.
32. Be Generous and Fall Asleep
Giving frees you. It unlocks positive energy for all parties.
Give what you have. The 10% rule is perfect. If you have a lot, you give a lot. If you have a little, give a little. Those who wait until they are rich to give, usually never become up rich or generous.
Don’t overextend yourself, that will keep you up at night as well. And never go into debt to give what you don’t have.
Give your time. Those who volunteer or help others, are happier and live longer.
Give something free. Share a smile to someone who needs it. Give sincere compliments. What you give out, you attract to yourself.
Give anonymously when you can and never criticize someone who doesn’t give, because you don’t know their story.
The subconscious guilt of feeling selfish may be keeping you from getting sleep. You will be able to fall asleep knowing you made an impact.
- Be generous with what you have.
33. Start the Day Off Right
Keep your alarm clock across the room, if you use one. Soon after waking, drink one to two glasses of water to cleanse, hydrate, and stimulate your body.
If you are feeling sleepy, one way to wake up is to jump into a cold shower. Alternate between cold water for 30 seconds to hot water for 30 seconds several times to get your blood flowing. Now you will be ready for anything.
Practice prayer and meditation early so you will be ready for the stresses of the day.
While it is still early, get outdoors to get some sunlight.
- Get up and get active and get some sunlight.
- Prepare for the day with prayer or meditation.
34. Forget About Sleeping Pills
Dr. Daniel F. Kripke, the author of The Dark Side of Sleeping Pills, researched the health effects of sleeping pills for over 35 years.
One study compared 10,000 patients who took sleeping pills with 20,000 patients who did not. The groups were matched for age, sex, smoking history, and other health measures, in order to make a fair comparison.
Patients taking sleeping pills were 4.6 times more likely to die than those who did not within an average follow up of 2.5 years. In the same study, those patients who took over 132 sleeping pills a year were 35% more likely to develop cancer (49).
They concluded that even with the possibility of confounding biases, that even a small increased chance of death makes sleeping pills too dangerous to use. More studies revealed that sleeping pills increased the risk of cancer, addiction, and depression.
Studies also find that sleeping pills provide little or no benefit to show for the increased risks. Sleeping pills may be able to increase sleep duration, but no better than a placebo. The quality of sleep may even be worse for those using sleeping pills, showing no improvement in daytime function.
- Don’t start taking sleeping pills or work with your health care provider to get off of them safely.
35. Tips For Working The Night Shift
If you work the night shift, use a consistent sleep schedule.
Do not try to rotate shifts frequently, your body never has time to adjust. Sleeping days during the week and nights on the weekend can disrupt your circadian rhythm, meaning you never get sufficient deep sleep.
Take a break from the night shift. Try a schedule like two months on nights followed by 10 months on days. Discuss the health risks with your manager and suggest a shift schedule that can benefit everyone. The potential benefits are healthier workers and increased productivity.
Light, noise, and other distractions may be interfering with your sleep. Use an eye mask and blackout curtains to reduce the amount of light coming in from outside. Blackout curtains are also good for muffling outside noises. Use earplugs, a fan, or a white noise machine to avoid being wakened unnecessarily. Turn off your phone or keep it on airplane mode while you sleep.
Avoid long commutes as they take time takes away from your much-needed sleep preparation. You may be spending more time in the morning sun. You need this time to start winding down for sleep.
Take frequent breaks and move around as much as you can during your shift.
You still need sunlight. Bedtime melatonin production depends on early light exposure. If you can, get some sun before or during your shift. Use a light box to simulate the full spectrum light of the sun. Consider supplementing with Vitamin D3.
The key is to develop a consistent sleep routine, getting sunlight, while not working the night shift longer than your body can handle.
Make sleep a priority on your off days.
How Big of A Problem is Sleep Loss?
Scientific surveys reveal that half the population experiences difficulty sleeping or daytime fatigue during any one year. While 5-10% of the population suffers from chronic insomnia.
Sleeping difficulty is the third most frequently reported medical problem. The CDC reports that the number one medical problem is stress. Stress is harmful to both health and sleep. Solving sleep loss could potentially help billions of people live more happy, healthy, and productive lives. How much would more energy and focus help you?
- The reasons we can’t fall asleep at night are many, but they all have to do with relaxing your mind and body.
- Learn what stresses you, manage or eliminate what you can, and choose your reaction to them.
- Stay active, mentally and physically, during the day and give your body what it needs and your body will be ready for sleep.
- Be in harmony with nature and wake up with the sun and go to bed early.
- Establish a nightly routine that relaxes you and clears your mind for sleep.
- Let go of the day, it is over, your only priority is to fall asleep.
What new tips did you learn and what did you want to know more about? What tips work for you? Please leave them in the comments.
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