- Lower your room temperature.
By using airconditioners or taking a warm bath or shower.
- Use the “4-7-8” breathing method.
The “4-7-8” method is a simple but powerful breathing method that promotes calmness and relaxation.
Here are the steps:
a. First, place the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth.
b. Exhale completely through your mouth and make a whoosh sound.
c. Close your mouth and inhale through your nose while mentally counting to four.
d. Hold your breath and mentally count to seven.
e. Open your mouth and exhale completely, making a whoosh sound and mentally counting to eight.
f. Repeat this cycle at least three more times. This technique can relax you and help you fall asleep quickly.
- Get on a schedule
Your body has its own regulatory system called the circadian rhythm. This internal clock cues your body to feel alert during the day but sleepy at night.
Waking up and going to bed at the same times each day can help your internal clock keep a regular schedule. Once your body adjusts to this schedule, it will be easier to fall asleep and wake up around the same time every day.
- Experience both daylight and darkness.
During the day, exposing your body to bright light tells it to stay alert. At night, darkness promotes feelings of sleepiness. It has been found that darkness boosts the production of melatonin, an essential hormone for sleep. Use blackout curtains to make your room dark at night if possible.
- Practice Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness
Yoga encourages the practice of breathing patterns and body movements that release stress and tension that accumulated in your body.
Meditation can enhance melatonin levels and assist the brain in achieving a specific state where sleep is easily achieved.
Mindfulness can help you maintain focus on the present and worry less while falling asleep.
- Do not look at your clock
“Clock-watching” is common among people suffering from insomnia. This behavior may cause anxiety about sleeplessness.
If possible, it is best to remove the clock from your room. If you need an alarm in the room, you can turn your clock and avoid watching it when you wake up in the middle of the night.
- Avoid naps during the day
Avoiding naps or limiting it to max of 30mins during the day will make you sleepy at night.
- Watch what and when you eat before bed.
A high carbohydrate and low fat dinner will make you fall asleep faster but the quality of sleep won’t be as good as that of high fat and low carbohydrate dinner even when the total calories in both dinner are same. If you must eat high carbohydrate dinner, give at least 4hrs digestion gap before bed.
- Listen to relaxing music.
Use relaxing music but if it’s not available, blocking all noise could also help you fall asleep faster and promote uninterrupted sleep.
- Exercise during the day.
It has been found that an early morning moderate-intensity exercise routine can increase the duration and quality of sleep by boosting the production of serotonin in the brain and decreasing levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
- Get comfortable.
It has been found that having a comfortable mattress and beddings can have a remarkable effect on the depth and quality of your sleep. The mattress, pillows, bed spreads, duvets and the fabrics of your PJ are all vital to your sleep quality. Chose what makes you comfortable and relaxed.
- Turn off all electronics.
It is recommended that you disconnect all electronics and put away computers and mobile phones so you can ensure a quiet place, free of distractions. You will be able to fall asleep much faster.
- Try Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils that helps relaxation like lavender oils etc.
- Practice Journaling
Some people have difficulty falling asleep because their thoughts keep running in circles. Research has shown that this can produce anxiety and stress, which can generate negative emotions and disturb sleep. So journaling (writing down) and focusing on positive thoughts about things that happened during the day usually bring sense of happiness and gratitude that can calm the mind and help you sleep better.
- Limit caffeine and drink a soothing beverage.
The use of caffeine is essential in some people to help them maintain their strength throughout the day. And the effect vary from person to person. But it can also disturb sleep and to avoid that, it is adviced that you don’t take caffeine within 6hrs of your bedtime. Instead, you could drink a soothing tea like chamomile tea, which has been shown to promote sleep and relaxation.
- Adjust your sleep position.
There are three main sleeping positions: back, stomach or side. The side sleeping has been found to be the best, however, choose the position that is most comfortable for you.
- Read something.
Reading a physical book can help you wind down and relaxed enough to fall asleep. Electronic books on the other hand will not because the electronic device emits the kind of light that reduces melatonin secretion, thereby affecting your ability to fall asleep.
- Focus on trying to stay awake
Forcing yourself to fall asleep sometimes can creat anxiety and stress and prevent sleep. Therefore, try “paradoxical intention.” force yourself to stay awake and you’ll find yourself sleeping off.
- Visualize things that make you happy.
Visualize a place that makes you feel happy and calm, instead of lying in bed worrying and thinking about stressful things.
- Try sleep-enhancing supplements.
The underlisted supplements can help you fall asleep faster, by either promoting the production of sleep enhancing hormones or by relaxing your brain:
- 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan).
- Theanine. (an amino acid with sedative properties found in some tea)
- GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid).
- Cottage cheese
Health is wealth.