There’s nothing more frustrating than getting into bed, only to find yourself lying awake for minutes or even hours on end. This is all too familiar for some of us and is becoming an increasing problem in our society. We go to bed stressed, wired, anxious, excited and maybe even tired, but can’t fall asleep as fast as we’d like to or don’t get quality sleep. So, how do we alleviate or reduce this phenomenon?
Here are some helpful suggestions for falling asleep fast and naturally:
- Take a hot bath or shower 60 – 75 minutes prior to going to bed. Think of it as washing the day away and a way to unwind, calm the mind and warm the body. According to Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist and author of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan, once you get out of the bath and your body starts to cool, it sends a signal to your brain to release melatonin.
- Choose a relaxing activity before bedtime such as reading, knitting or journaling. Even if you don’t feel tired, doing something relaxing can trigger the switch in your brain and before you know it, your head is hitting the pillow. Also, be sure to avoid computer and electronic usage at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine after 2 p.m. or better yet, after 12 p.m. whenever possible. Caffeine can stay with you for up to eight hours, impacting your ability to fall asleep and get restful sleep.
- Keep the room as dark as possible. Cover up the glow from the alarm clock, close the blinds, use blackout curtains, remove any nightlights in or near the room, and maybe even use an eye mask. Light, even in the smallest quantity, can interfere with your body’s circadian rhythm and effect your body’s ability to get a good night’s sleep.
- Practice deep breathing. In bed, lie on your back and place your hands on your belly. Take five deep and slow belly breaths. Inhale and exhale through the nose, and try to maintain a six second inhale and 10 -12 second exhale. Additionally, the NightWave Sleep Assistant is a helpful tool to aid in relaxation and deep breathing.
Do you have any other strategies or natural remedies that work for you?