How to Fall Asleep Faster (and Get Better Rest)
Sweet dreams are made of this
#1: Follow This Timeline
#2: Use Essential Oils
Switch on a room diffuser 30 to 40 minutes beforer bedtime. If you don’t have one at home, simply add two drops of your essential oil of choice into the palm of your hand, warm the oil up by rubbing your hands together, cup them around your nose and breathe in deeply.
Your best candidates? Lavender, Sweet Marjoram, Roman Chamomile and Valerian. The aromas of these essential oils are known to induce sleep and they’re readily available in stores like Healthy Options and Milea Bath and Body Wellness.
#3: Cap off Your Day With a Warm Shower
Read: warm, not hot. Using hot water for your daily shower isn’t ideal since it dehydrates your skin, but a warm shower from time to time, especially when you’re looking to get good shut-eye, is the way to end a stressful day. Warm showers relieve tension in the body, lower any swelling in the muscle and reduce anxiety—the recipe for a well-rested body and good sleep.
#4: Down A Glass of Water
Your body undergoes repair when you sleep and drinking a glass of water beforehand gives it that boost. A glass of water helps balance out your energy levels and hormones, and replenishes fluids used up during the day.
#5: Try A Natural Sleep Aid
Melatonin, a hormone naturally produced by the body, helps control your sleep and wake cycles; supplements of this are perfect for those dealing with occasional sleep troubles such as jet lag. Light has a lot to do with the production of melatonin, so make sure the lights are out so it works!
There are foods, however, that boost melatonin production (pineapples, sweet corn, tomatoes and walnuts) for those who prefer doing it the natural way.
#6: Turn the Lights out (and Mean It)
That means no picking up your phone for a quick scroll through Facebook when you’re already in bed. It has become practically second nature for us to scroll through our phones before sleeping, but all this does is knock off our natural sleeping patterns
The blue light emitted by electronic gadgets affects the regular production of melatonin in our bodies and signals them to stay alert and awake longer. "We think that the advent of electric lighting has significantly impacted upon sleep-wake patterns," says Professor Shantha Rajaratnam of the Monash University's School of Psychology and Psychiatry. "But with the proliferation of electronic devices that emit light, we are expecting that these problems will increase."
#7: Leave Your Phone Across the Room
Yes, you’re a strong, independent, busy person. But going to bed with your phone is still a bad habit though.
Not only will this keep you from reaching for it when you can’t fall asleep, but if you set your morning alarm on your phone, you have no choice but to get up and walk over to shut it off. That short walk is enough to wake your body up. Now ready to start your day!
#8: Try Dr. Andrew Weil’s “4-7-8” Breathing Technique
#9: Develop the Habit of Sleeping on Your Back
It’s all about supporting your spine, and avoiding future backaches and neck pains. A bonus: it prevents the formation of wrinkles on your face since it isn’t pushed against a pillow all night.
#10: Find out Your Chronotype
Clinical psychologist and sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus has discovered that people have different chronotypes or body clocks; and every body clock is tackled differently. His book The Power of When helps people determine whether they’re a morning person or an evening person, or if they fall somewhere in between. You could either be a bear (generally a good sleeper), wolf (night person), lion (classic morning person) or dolphin (light sleeper). After finding out your type, you can switch to a new daily routine that fits your chronotype.
Take the quiz here: What’s Your Chronotype?