Advertising

Last Updated on January 11, 2021

How to Fall Asleep Fast and Have a Restful Sleep (The Definitive Guide)

Advertising
How to Fall Asleep Fast and Have a Restful Sleep (The Definitive Guide)

There are a few lucky people out there who have no trouble falling asleep at night. The minute their head hits the pillow, they’re out. The rest of us lie in bed staring at the ceiling, tossing and turning, waiting for the mercy of blessed sleep to come.

Lack of sufficient and good quality sleep takes a toll on nearly every aspect of our lives, everything from health, to mood, to safety, to job performance. But with a bit of knowledge, a bit of planning, everyone can learn how to fall asleep fast.

In this article, you will learn everything you need to do since morning in order to fall asleep faster at night:

What to prepare during daytime

1. Wake up at the same time every day (don’t wake up later on weekends)

Your body follows a circadian rhythm,[1] which sets you up to do the same sorts of activities at the same time every day.

Having a waking time that doesn’t change helps your body establish a pattern. Your body prepares to wake up 1-2 hours before you rise, and if it doesn’t know when you should wake up, you’ll have poor quality sleep.

2. Eat breakfast

When you first wake up, your body has been fasting since the night before. When it comes to food, our brains and bodies share many characteristics with early hominids. Eating breakfast tells our inner cave person that our basic needs for survival are being met.[2]

To make your day more energetic, eat healthy breakfast. Here’s a list of simple and tasty ideas for you: 31 Healthy Breakfast Recipes That Will Super Boost Your Energy

3. Don’t press the snooze button

Even though silencing your alarm for a few minutes can make you feel like you have some control over your day, hitting the snooze button can leave you feeling more tired than if you had just gotten up.[3]

When your alarm jolts you from your sleep and you commit to having 5 to 10 minutes of less-restful snooze-button sleep, you start your day off feeling sluggish.

4. Expose yourself to sunlight

The sun gets a lot of bad press, but we need to be exposed to few minutes of natural light every day.[4]

Thirty to sixty minutes of natural outdoor light can help our bodies create a sleep schedule. This is critical for us since our bodies may be inundated with confusing signals from artificial light. Enjoying the sun’s rays in moderation is like hitting the reset button for us.

5. Have enough protein and reach for complex carbs

Eating simple sugars (like those found in candy bars and processed foods) may give you a temporary energy boost, but the inevitable crash isn’t worth the momentary relief. Find out how sugar affects your performance in this article: 5 Ways Sugar Affects Your Mental Performance

Complex carbohydrates and proteins take longer to digest.[5] Unlike simple carbohydrates, which cause your blood sugar to spike, complex carbs and protein contribute to stable blood sugar. You’ll be less likely to feel sleepy in the afternoon, which means you’ll be less likely to take a long afternoon nap or consume too much caffeine, both of which have a negative impact on your sleep.

Advertising

I know carbs can be addictive, but here’s how you can deal with it: Are Carbs More Addictive Than Cocaine? (And How to Get Good Carbs)

6. Don’t eat too little or too much

You know that it is miserable to go to bed with your stomach growling, but eating too much can also make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

Many people eat too little throughout the day and gorge on a big meal at dinner time.[6] Your digestive system has to work harder when you do this, which can lead to a restless night of discomfort and indigestion.

7. Avoid naps

Try not to nap if you possibly can. Sleeping during the day makes it difficult to fall sleep at night.

If you absolutely must, limit naps to a power nap of 20 minutes.

8. Limit beverages that interfere

We all know that caffeine makes it difficult to fall asleep, but we may not be aware that alcohol interferes as well, as does drinking too much water right before bedtime.

9. Exercise during the day

Exercise improves our health and also improves our sleep by reducing stress.

The caveat: don’t exercise within 3 hours before bedtime. The adrenaline will keep you awake. Check out the tips to get yourself moving here.

What to do in the evening

10. Mind what you eat.

Have a light dinner. Heavy meals may be difficult to digest and indigestion may make it difficult to fall asleep, but don’t go to bed hungry.

Hunger keeps you awake. Eat a light snack shortly before bedtime. Snacks like bananas, Greek yogurt and hummus will help you sleep better.

11. Turn off the TV and computer.

This kind of stimulation tells the brain to be alert when it’s supposed to be winding down and has been proven to reduce sleep quality.

How to prepare your bedroom atmosphere

12. Don’t make yourself able to see and check the clock

Feeling that you’re running out of time to get enough sleep fuels insomnia. Turn the clock away from you, and refrain from checking the time on your phone or watch after you’ve set your alarm.

The lights from electronic devices including your alarm clock can hinder melatonin production, a hormone which helps you fall asleep and feel rested.

Advertising

13. Keep the alarm clock out of sight yet within reach

Just because you have the alarm clock out of sight doesn’t mean you need to banish it to some far off corner of your bedroom.

Place your clock within easy reach so that you don’t have to deal with the pressure chasing down a screeching alarm on the other side of the room first thing in the morning.

14. Don’t consume chocolate or ice cream

Most of us know better than to drink a soda or coffee before bed, but ice cream and chocolate are hidden sources of caffeine.

Darker chocolate, which is healthier for you, has a higher amount of caffeine than milk chocolate.

Coffee-flavored and chocolate ice cream also contain sleep-disrupting caffeine.

15. Remove the electronics

Make your bedroom a no-gadget-zone. Shut off the TV and remove computers and other electronic devices from your bedroom. They tempt you to engage in non-restful activities and keep you awake.

The bedroom is for sleep, not work and surfing the internet.

16. Keep the room cool

You fall asleep faster and sleep better if the bedroom is cooler. A lower room temperature lowers core body temperature, and helps you go to sleep. The ideal temperature for sleep is 65 degrees.

Find out more about what you can do to keep yourself at an optimal temperature for sleep here: How to Keep Your Body Temperature Low to Sleep Better

17. Sleep with a weighted blanket

A weighted blanket molds to your body like a warm hug. The pressure helps relax the nervous system and promotes deep, restful sleep. Typically the weight in the blanket is 15 to 30 pounds for adults.

18. Do quality bedding

Get a comfortable and supportive mattress. It’s worth the investment as you spend one-third of your life in bed.

Use comfortable soft sheets and comforter. Smooth, clean and quality bedding helps sooth and relax your body to fall asleep faster.

Here’s a simple infographic to help you find the mattress you need:

Advertising

    19. Dim the lights

    Light, even a small amount interferes with sleep hormones and stimulates the brain.

    Wear an eye mask if necessary or turn the alarm clock around.

    20. Turn it down

    Eliminate noise, or alternatively if you find noise soothing or need to block noise you can’t control, choose calming sounds such as white noise or ocean sounds.

    Try not to use your phone or computer to play those sounds though, you may be tempted to use the devices!

    Wearing earplugs can also help block unwanted noise.

    21. Try aromatherapy

    Aromatherapy soothes the body and has a calming effect. There are many scents available that can help you to relax and prepare for sleep. Vanilla, lavender, marjoram, sandalwood are just a few examples. Use these on your pillow, in the air, or in the bath.

    Find out what different scents do to you here: Olfactory Life Hacks: Scents That Increase Brain Power

    The fall-asleep-fast bedtime routine

    22. Sleep and wake up at the same time every day

    Start your bedtime routine at the same time each day and maintain a regular sleep time. It helps condition your body to fall asleep faster by creating a sleep habit and setting your circadian rhythm.

    23. Try a warm bath

    A warm bath can help you relax by raising your body temperature. When you get out of the bath, you’ll cool yourself in a low temperature room, which helps you fall asleep faster.

    24. Drink a soothing beverage

    Herbal tea or a glass of milk also relax the body and help you wind down.

    25. Read anything that’s not thought-provoking

    Read an entertaining or boring book. It helps to get your mind of worries and your to-do list.

    Stay away from stimulating or self-help books though; they rev up your brain.

    Advertising

    26. Stretch and relax your body

    Try yoga or gentle stretching. Do progressive relaxation; tighten each muscle for a count of ten and then release. It will relax your body and minimize muscle aches and pains.

    Watch this video and learn some simple stretching for better sleep:

    27. Write out your thoughts

    Write out your thoughts or try doodling. This will help to let go of your worries and busy thoughts.

    28. Wear comfortable clothing

    Wear loose, light and cool pajamas. Cotton works best as it minimizes nighttime sweating. Alternatively, sleep without pajamas if it makes you more comfortable. Sleeping naked actually brings you more benefits than you thought.

    Binding or hot PJs make for restless and uncomfortable sleep.

    29. Watch your posture

    Sleep position matters too. Find a comfortable sleep position that supports good sleep posture. Make sure every part of your body is comfortable.

    Buy a good quality pillow that supports your neck and properly aligns your body.

    Side positions are usually better, especially on your left side. But if back works for you that’s fine. Lie in the same position every night, so your body becomes accustomed to falling asleep in the same way.

    Here’s a recommendation for which sleeping position is the best:

      Stick to habits that help you sleep better

      Falling asleep fast requires a bit of preparation, following a regular routine and paying attention to sleep comfort.

      If you’re looking for tips to build a night routine, don’t miss this article: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

      All these sleep tips can help you make a difference and help you to sleep fast and get a restful night’s sleep.

      Advertising

      Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

      Reference

      More by this author

      Royale Scuderi

      A creative strategist, consultant and writer who specializes in cultivating human potential for happiness, health and fulfillment.

      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want 3 Simple Ways to Invest in Yourself and Change Your Life 50 Unique and Really Fun Date Ideas for Couples Why You Need to Say No! More Often How to Fall Asleep Fast and Have a Restful Sleep (The Definitive Guide)

      Trending in Sleep & Rest

      1 Poor Sleep Quality Comes from All the Things You Do Since Morning 2 Revenge of the Lack of Sleep 3 Why You Can’t Pay off a Sleep Debt You’ve Accumulated Over the Week 4 Is It Possible to Repay Your Sleep Debt? Why Being Well Rested Matters 5 How a Power Nap Can Boost Your Energy And Productivity

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on August 25, 2021

      Under the Weather? 13 Immune Boosting Foods for a Quick Recovery

      Advertising
      Under the Weather? 13 Immune Boosting Foods for a Quick Recovery

      Immunity truly does encapsulate the entire physiology of a person.

      When you target your immunity by eating a variety of immune boosting foods, then you really can improve your entire body, both physically and mentally.

      The immune system of a human being involves all aspects of one’s physiology and one’s daily experience. Eating certain foods can boost your health in a variety of ways. Below I outline several foods that will get you back on track if you’re feeling under the weather.

      Be sure to stock up on these foods if you’re in need of a boost.

      Immunity Boosting Superfoods

      In order to even broach the topic of foods good for one’s immune system, it’s important to consider all aspects of the human body and experience.

      What I mean by the human experience is one’s day to day mood, energy levels, and many other factors that signify how one engages with themselves and the world around them.

      Before indulging in these foods below, I suggest striving for consistency with diet, activity levels, rest, and incorporating the practice of meditation or spending time in nature as part of your daily routine as well.

      If you’re ready to feel better, not just when you’re under the weather but all the time incorporate these foods in your diet regularly.

      1. Water is a Wise Choice

      Yes I know I’m starting things seemingly simple, but one of my most popular YouTube videos discusses the importance of water!

      When I ask people how much water they drink a day, the majority of time the answer begins with ‘not enough’.

      So if you know you don’t drink enough water, why continue this pattern of behavior?

      Now if you’re one that does hit that 5+ and more (pending activity levels) 8oz glasses a day – good for you! Water is life, and that’s where I’ll leave it.

      2. Eggs: The Most Complete Protein

      Widely regarded as the universally most complete nutritional protein source, eggs are packed with Omega-3 Fatty Acids and 9 essential amino acids.

      Egg whites are rich in Vitamins D/E/K, B2, B5, B6, B12, and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper.

      Advertising

      Meanwhile, egg yolks pack the calories and fats along with cholesterol, fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and lecithin.

      It’s important to note that the average medium egg contains 76 calories, 7.5g protein, 5.1g fat, 1.4g sat fat – so consider this while integrating this near perfect super food in your next dish!

      3. Raw Spinach Supports Immunity

      This leafy green is a personal favorite of mine due to its versatility and great taste!

      Spinach is loaded with vitamin C which helps fight cold, flu, and reinforce the immune system.

      It’s also quite high in antioxidants and beta-carotene, which supports our immune system in fighting infection and viruses.

      When enjoying this plentiful plant, do so raw. Its nutrients are best absorbed when the vegetable is raw; consider adding spinach as a fresh salad, rather than to a cooked dish, to reap the most immune system rewards.

      4. Turmerics Benefit on T-Cells

      Gaining popularity for its delicious taste, this powerful spice is also gaining notoriety for its anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin (which also creates the vibrant orange-yellow color).

      A study published in the Journal of Clinical Immunology notes that curcumin activates the production of T-cells, which are of the primary cells fighting on behalf of your systems immunity. [1]

      5. Garlic is Really Good for You

      This popular food not only tastes great but packs quite a punch.

      Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which boasts a variety of medicinal properties. Garlic is also not very calorie dense; 1 ounce yields about 42 calories with 1.8g protein and 9g carbs.

      Garlic also boasts Vitamin C, B6, Fiber, and Manganese.

      The properties mentioned above helps maintain healthy bones, prevent diabetes and epileptic seizures, regulate thyroid, combat osteoporosis, reduce inflammation, boost metabolism, improve cognitive function, and regulate glucose metabolism!

      So, forget about garlic breath–eat this food in abundance!

      6. Wild Salmon is Wonderful

      A personal favorite of mine, wild Alaskan salmon is one of those super foods that covers all your nutrient bases!

      Advertising

      Salmon can be cooked a variety of delicious ways, and yields some of the highest immune system boosting benefits.

      Salmon contains fish oil Omega-3’s, which protect against developing heart disease and heart attack. Oils contained within such fish are quite unique in that they have Omega-3 fatty acids that are not present in any other food.

      Also consider that wild salmon contains (per 4oz) 128% Vitamin D, 95% Vitamin B12, 94% tryptophan, 62% selenium, 53% protein, 53% omega 3’s, 45% Vitamin B3, 37% phosphorus, 32% Vitamin B6, 19% choline, 14% potassium, and 8%(157) calories.

      This is one of those super foods that you could stand to have in your diet several times per week. Beyond the incredible taste, its nutritional benefits make it well worth seeking out.

      7. Essential Extra Virgin Olive Oil

      Many home cooks consider this an essential ingredient in preparing dinner. But it’s also quite good for you!

      Extra virgin olive oil is widely regarded as being a healthy addition to any kitchen, with modest amounts of Vitamins E and K and plenty of beneficial fatty acids.

      Per 100g of olive oil you can expect 14% saturated fat, 73% Monounsaturated fat, 10% Omega-6, 1% Omega-3, 72%, and 75% Vitamin K.

      It also boasts an impressive antioxidant profile. This includes the anti-inflammatory oleocanthal, as well as oleuropein, a substance that protects LDL cholesterol from oxidation.

      8. Natural Greek Yogurt Has Many Benefits

      When I talk about natural Greek yogurt, I mean the type that is not flavored in any way. Those added sugars won’t help boost immunity.

      Many people have convoluted the immunity and health benefits of natural yogurt with the all too popular sugary treats that flood grocery stores. But it’s the plain stuff that’s the best to include in your diet.

      Natural Greek yogurt not only goes great with many dishes, but it contains vast amounts of protein which will leave you feeling satisfied.

      The reason why I’ve specified ‘Greek yogurt’ is because one cup of plain, low-fat conventional yogurt typically has 5 to 10 grams of protein, where Greek yogurt averages about 13 to 20 grams of protein.

      Greek yogurt also contains essential probiotics (live microorganisms). These are bacteria microbes that help improve digestive function, the immune system, and overall gut health.

      Add natural Greek yogurt to your diet, whether as a breakfast food, a substitute for sour cream, or as an addition to a healthy smoothie.

      Advertising

      9. Ginseng Tea: Chock Full of Ginsenosides

      Ginseng tea’s primary health benefits are due to the naturally occurring chemicals called ginsenosides present in the root.

      One of ginseng’s most widely understood benefits include it’s rich anti-cancer properties. [2]

      Studies also indicate that people who drink ginseng tea have a lower risk of developing cancer.

      Ginseng tea can also help relieve menstrual cramps, lower blood pressure, and improve brain function; and it has also been shown to help with sexual (erectile) dysfunction in men.

      10. Green Tea Fights Aging

      Just as powerful as ginseng tea, this extremely popular tea is rich in polyphenols that have effects like reducing inflammation and aiding in the fight against cancer.

      Green tea is in fact 30% polyphenols, including large amounts of a catechin called EGCG. Catechins are natural antioxidants that aid in the prevention of cell damage and provide several other benefits.

      EGCG, and substances like it can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, helping protect cells and molecules from damage.

      Free radicals such as these are commonly known to play a role in aging and all sorts of other diseases.

      This wonderful also tea contains small quantities of minerals that are important for overall health, so it may be worth picking up some green tea when visiting your next local tea shop.

      11. Dark Chocolate: The Delicious Superfood

      Don’t get too excited with this one – everything in moderation, of course!

      And I’m not just referring to any chocolate — I’m talking specifically about dark chocolate and cacoa nibs, which are both immune system boosting super foods.

      We’ve already covered free radicals in this article, and dark chocolate is one of those wonderful super foods that helps fight against such free radicals.

      It does this with its high antioxidant profile which is believed to neutralize free radicals and protect the body from their damage.

      Dark chocolate’s antioxidants include vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals – helpful plant compounds. Much like other immune boosting foods on this list dark chocolate will also help balance cholesterol, blood pressure, and improve heart health, and cognitive function.

      Advertising

      You now have a healthy excuse to eat some dark chocolate; but, go for the lowest sugar and highest cocoa content varieties you can find to reap the most rewards.

      12. Frozen Blueberries for All!

      Personally I love adding frozen blueberries to smoothies; however, sometimes I’ll pop over to the freezer just to grab a small handful as a treat!

      Frozen blueberries are loaded with antioxidants, which come from compounds called anthocyanins; these give blueberries their purple hue.

      One really neat fact about the ice crystals that form when the berries are frozen is that they disrupt the structure of the plant tissue and make anthocyanins even more available – how cool is that? Talk about hacking blueberries!

      Even if not frozen, blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits. They have been known to boost memory, cardiovascular system, and eyesight. The fruit also encourages a process called authophagy, or ‘cell clean-up’.

      Berries in general (raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries) are extremely high on the ORAC scale. This means they contain some of the highest levels of antioxidants, which help to fight free radicals.

      Frozen blueberries in particular may aid in defending colds and flu, as they are high in pterostilbene.

      Next time you visit your local grocery store, consider how ideal blueberries are for your immune system and general health.

      13. Raw Honey: A Natural Antioxidant

      Saving the sweetest for last!

      Pure natural raw honey follows the rest of this super food list with its antioxidant profile, however it also contains antibacterial and anti fungal properties.

      Raw honey contains antioxidants called phenolic compounds, and certain types contain just as many antioxidants as fruits and vegetables.

      Raw honey can help the body kill-off unwanted bacteria and fungus as it naturally contains hydrogen peroxide, which is a strong antiseptic. Raw honey also contains phytonutrients, commonly found in plants, which provides both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

      Aside from these wonderful benefits, raw honey can also aid with digestive issues, however this typically varies person to person.

      Indulge in Better Health

      But also, don’t forget to rest! When considering one’s overall health, it’s important to not only incorporate these immune boosting foods, but also to ensure adequate sleep, and take efforts to reduce stress.

      Advertising

      Eating these immunity boosting foods will enable you to take back control of your health and prevent illness… all while satisfying your cravings!

      Reference

      [1] Journal of Immunology: Curcumin
      [2] NCBI: Ginseng for Fatigue

      Read Next