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9 Scientific Ways To Fall Asleep Much Faster

9 Scientific Ways To Fall Asleep Much Faster

If I were a superhero, my power would be falling asleep quickly. I’ve always been lucky in the sense that I can fall asleep within minutes of my head hitting the pillow. Although it would make a lame superpower, it’s darn handy in day-to-day life.

So here’s my secret: I’m always tired. Kidding, of course. Although being a dad of two young kids does leave me wiped out, I’ve been able to falling asleep quickly well before they came along. If you want to learn to fall asleep much faster, there are tricks and skills you can learn. Here are 9 scientifically explained ways to fall asleep much faster.

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1. Write about your day in a journal

Like a partner who talks your ear off the moment you want to relax, our brains wait until bedtime to think about impending bills, the upcoming visit from the in-laws, or the chores you’ve been putting off. Writing in a journal allows you to get those thoughts out earlier, so your mind can relax and let you go to sleep.

2. Keep the bedroom for sleeping and having sex

For many of us, our bed is the most comfortable piece of furniture we have. Why not work on your laptop or watch TV while laying in your comfy bed? Well, research has shown that even browsing your phone in bed is enough to ruin your sleep. Keep your bed for the things it was built for: sleep and sex.

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3. Sleep in total darkness

From the blinking alarm clock to the phone beside your bed, modern bedrooms are full of light. Exposure to light interrupts the production of melatonin, a hormone that makes you tired. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much light to interrupt melatonin production. Ditch the electronics at night and put a thick dark sheet over your window. Motion-sensor nightlights are useful for you’re apt to trip over furniture in the dark.

4. Keep your room at the optimal temperature

Use 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 Celsius for those of us on metric) as a starting point for finding your optimal sleep temperature. If you feel like hypothermia is starting to set in, don’t be afraid to turn up the thermostat by a couple degrees. Personally, I sleep with a second blanket nearby, in case there’s a late-night martial dispute over temperature.

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5. Practice mindful breathing

Not only is breathing essential to survival, it’s also relaxing. Mindful breathing involves consciously taking a deep breath (2 seconds in), holding it (4 seconds), and slowly exhaling (8 seconds). Not only does this deeply relax your body, it’s difficult to focus on anything else. There aren’t many better ways to fall asleep fast than mindful breathing.

6. Take a natural sleep aid, such as valerian

You can pick up this medicinal root at the health food store. Valerian comes in several different forms, including pill, liquid, or even a tea, and is consumed 30 minutes before you go to bed. Before you know it, you’ll be dragging yourself to bed. As with any supplement, make sure to read the bottle, in case any warnings apply to you.

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7. Practice progressive relaxation

Mindful breathing and progressive relaxation make a great combination. Progressive relaxation involves consciously relaxing all your muscles, starting with your toes and working your way up to your neck. It should only take a couple minutes and just like mindful breathing, it keeps your mind off occupied as you drift into la la land.

8. Avoid stimulants before bed

Smoking is bad news if you’re trying to sleep. Nicotine is a powerful stimulant and will happily keep your brain buzzing well into the night. Drinking coffee, even in early afternoon is too much for many people, but energy drinks and soda somehow gets a free pass. Here’s a chart showing how much caffeine is in popular drinks, giving you an idea of what to avoid.

9. Read a book

We’ve all had the experience of trying not to fall asleep in class while the teacher/professor drones on and on. Reading a book before bed can give the same effect. As long as your reading material isn’t too stimulating (think non-fiction), reading relaxes you and let’s your body’s natural fatigue take over. Just remember: devices ,like phones or tablets, emit light that keeps you awake. Old-fashioned books or a Kindle (minus the back-lighting) are the way to go.

Featured photo credit: Woman Sleeping with Jane Austen – Timothy Krause via media.lifehack.org

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Last Updated on January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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