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Don’t you wish that as soon as your head hits the pillow you could fall asleep instantly? Tips for falling asleep are especially helpful for the nights where sleep seems evasive. Nothing is more frustrating than feeling exhausted and lying in bed unable to fall asleep.
Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder. Over 30 percent of adults reported short-term issues, while 10 percent of adults suffer chronically from insomnia. Although it’s important to consult a medical professional if you suspect you have a sleep disorder, certain tips to fall asleep can prevent insomnia and help you get a better night’s sleep.
“If you’re anxious and worried, it’s very difficult to relax and fall asleep,” says Lisa Meltzer, an education scholar for the National Sleep Foundation. “When you’re not sleeping well, you’ll be more anxious and you’ll have a harder time regulating emotion. It feeds on itself.”
If you’re wondering how to fall asleep when not tired, these scientifically supported sleep suggestions will help you get to bed quicker. By following these tips for falling asleep, you can achieve more REM sleep and avoid risks of disrupting your circadian rhythm.
How To Fall Asleep When You’re Not Tired
Of course, there isn’t a magical sleep ritual to perform that instantly teleports you into dreamland, but there are several activities you can perform that are conducive to sleep. A consistent lack of rejuvenating sleep can take a significant toll on your health, so it’s important to learn how to fall asleep when you’re not tired.
4-7-8 Breathing Exercise
If anxiety is the source of your sleep woes, try this breathing exercise. The nervous system, circulatory system, and respiratory system affect one another. Feeling relaxed, fearful, or excited can change heart rate and rapid, shallow breaths can spur anxiety. However, slow, deep breaths can lower the heart rate, which is crucial to falling asleep.
One breathing technique is the 4-7-8 method developed by Dr. Andrew Weil. Some people swear by this method, claiming it’s the key to how to fall asleep instantly.
The 4-7-8 technique:
- Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge behind your upper teeth throughout the exercise (inhaling and exhaling).
- Breathe out your mouth loudly, making a “whooshing” sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale through your nose to a count of four.
- Hold your breath for seven counts.
- Exhale slowly out of your mouth for eight seconds, making the “whooshing” sound (pucker your lips if it feels awkward).
Dr. Weil recommends sitting down with your spine straightened while practicing this technique before trying it lying down. Repeat the cycle four times to completely calm your nervous system and slow your breathing.
Adjust the Temperature
Scientists have discovered that cooler temperatures prepare our bodies for sleep, so turning the temperature down helps us fall asleep faster. In fact, 80 percent of individuals say that they sleep better in cool weather rather than warmer temperatures.
As our circadian rhythms approach the sleep phase, our body temperature drops slightly and stays lower until a couple of hours before we normally wake up. That’s why it’s difficult to sleep in hot weather.
One Australian study found that insomniacs tend to feel warmer in the evenings due to the inability to maintain their core internal body temperature, which may play a role in their inability to fall asleep.
The ideal bedroom temperature is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on personal preference, clothing and your mattress.In order to fall asleep instantly try programming your thermostat to drop to 65 degrees Fahrenheit around your usual bedtime.
Another tip to fall asleep instantly is to run a warm bath about two hours before bedtime and soak in it for at least 15 minutes. This trick amplifies the temperature drop as your body attempts to self-regulate and cool your body off.
Trick Your Brain
If you’re laying wide awake in bed trying to force yourself to sleep, it might be easier to do the opposite to achieve sleep. It sounds counterproductive, but if your brain is being stubborn then try to apply the principle of paradoxical intention, which is a cognitive technique that involves acting a certain way that seems to contradict what you should be doing.
The clinical use of paradoxical intention resulted in reduced sleep effort and anxiety for insomniacs compared to doing nothing, according to one Scottish study. To validate these findings, a different study found that high intention to fall asleep actually resulted in lower quality sleep.
If you cannot fall asleep, go do another activity in another room like reading or preparing for your morning routine instead of just lying in bed. “Giving up” on falling asleep can have the reverse effect and make you feel sleepy.
If your sleep system isn’t your assistant, sleep will never be instant!
Before asking yourself how to fall asleep instantly, take a look at your sleep system. Mattress Warehouse can help you fall asleep when not tired by providing sleep accessories that promote sleep. Approximately one-third of your life is spent in bed, so it’s important to have sleep equipment that is unique for your sleep style.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your pillow, mattress topper, sheets, or mattress, our team of sleep experts will be able to provide you with recommendations ideal for you. Visit your local Mattress Warehouse today or visit us online to shop our extensive list of sleep accessories from top brands like TEMPUR-Pedic ®, Bedgear ®, Serta ® and more.