How to Fall Asleep Fast: 7 Tips to Break the Sleep Code

Sometimes, counting sheep just won’t do the trick, and you wonder if you should just become a shepherd instead of going to work the next day, all groggy from your lack of sleep.
Insomnia is a genuine concern nowadays more than ever, with studies showing that it occurs to at least 10% to 30% of the population and even 50% to 60% in some studies. This is especially true in females, older adults, and those with physical or mental illnesses.
But the toll that not getting enough sleep has on your mood, performance, and overall well-being is impossible to ignore. And if you’ve been struggling with insomnia lately, here are some tips and tricks to help you overcome the issue.

How to Fall Asleep Fast

Not being able to fall asleep as soon as you get into bed can be very frustrating, especially if it’s frequent. So, what are some things you can do to avoid tossing and turning so much? Let’s delve into it.

Don’t Spend Time Stressing Over Inability to Sleep

While it’s easier said than done, it’s important to learn how to take it easy when you can’t fall asleep. The anxiety you get when you have difficulty sleeping makes you alert, making it even harder to fall asleep.
That’s why it’s recommended to get out of bed for 30 minutes and do a quiet, relaxing activity instead. You can read a chapter of your favorite book or meditate. You can even play some calming music while you sit and do nothing, take a quick relaxing bath, or do any quiet activity you can think of.
Then, try hitting the sack again. Not only does this routine give you the space to let off some steam and get in a sleepy mood, but it’s also practice for your body to associate your bed with falling asleep. This brings us to the next point.

Create a Sleeping Environment and Schedule

Our bodies can be trained to follow patterns and respond to cues, just like Pavlov’s dog. That’s why only getting into your bed, and better yet, in your room when you’re going to sleep, will help you sleep faster after getting your body used to it.
Moreover, sleeping and waking up at consistent times, even on weekends, will further instill the pattern into your brain and body.

Avoid Screens Before Bed

All the devices we use daily, like TVs, tablets, mobile phones, and laptops, have an impact on our sleep. Of course, the blue light emitted by these screens has a substantial negative impact on how fast you fall asleep and even how long you stay asleep.
Not only that, but you have to bear in mind that the content that you consume can also affect your sleep. This is especially true if you consume stressful media throughout the day.
That’s why it’s highly advised to stay clear of any screen an hour or two before you go to bed, and avoid scrolling through your phone in bed.
You might even want to invest in a 3D contoured sleeping mask that completely blocks out light while you're trying to fall asleep.

Avoid Stress

One of the top reasons for insomnia is racing thoughts that are caused by stress and anxiety. That’s why following relaxation habits while reducing external sources of stress can go a long way.
Not to mention, countless studies have shown that mindfulness and meditation can help reduce insomnia and enhance sleep quality as well as overall well-being. You can try guided imagery or progressive muscle relaxation techniques.
You can also try white noise like a relaxing soundtrack, a small fan, a white noise machine, or even one of the white noise apps out there.

Mind What You Eat

What you eat throughout the day can have an impact on your sleep quality. For example, if you eat spicy foods, you might struggle to fall asleep due to the resulting heartburn and acid reflux that happens when you lie down.
The typical culprit, of course, is caffeine, which can be found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and apples. Ideally, you want to stop consuming caffeine around five to seven hours before bed. In other words, avoid caffeine starting in the early afternoon.
Moreover, foods that contain processed carbs, saturated fats, and high amounts of sugar can also disrupt your sleep, while sticking with fibers, plants, and unsaturated fats work in your sleep pattern’s favor.

Experiment with Melatonin

Melatonin is the natural hormone your body secretes through the pineal gland to help us fall asleep, and it’s a light-sensitive hormone. This brings us back to avoiding screens before bed, but it also means that trying to manage your melatonin levels can help you fall and stay asleep.
Options that are high in melatonin include tart cherries, goji berries, eggs, milk, fish, and nuts.
If all else fails, you might want to opt for supplements that include melatonin. They can help you when you’re first starting to develop and reinforce a sleeping pattern, and it’s a good option for those with delayed circadian rhythm.

How Long Should I Take to Fall Asleep?

The average time it takes for people to fall asleep is between 10 to 20 minutes. While some people’s norm is around 45 minutes, so it depends on how naturally sleep comes to you.
However, if you find yourself having difficulties falling asleep three or more times per week and that it’s leading to daytime performance impairment, consult a professional on this issue.

Conclusion

A huge part of forming a healthy sleeping pattern is to focus on the pattern aspect. Creating sleep environments, minding your diet, and having a solid sleep schedule can go a long way in helping you sleep better.
While it’s tempting to try to compensate for your lack of sleep by taking a nap or drinking more coffee, these temporary solutions lead to making the issue worse in the long run. So make sure you put effort into forming sleeping habits that teach you how to fall asleep fast instead of building ones that only exacerbate the problem.