Thanks to Brandon for the great post about sleep. I know it’s something I’ll be taking notice of over the next few months as I begin shift work:
Getting a good night sleep is crucial to proper brain function, as well as maintaining strong physical and mental health. Some people have no problem falling asleep, while the process is a little more difficult for others. If you are someone who struggles to fall asleep at night, you’re not alone. According to a new Consumer Reports survey of adults living in the U.S., over 27% claimed to experience trouble falling asleep or staying asleep most nights, and 68% struggled with sleep at least once per week – that’s an estimated 164 million adults! So, what can you do to help fall asleep faster? Here are a few things you can try to help speed up the process!
Your body temperature fluctuates as you transition into sleep. If your room is too warm, it could be affecting your ability to fall asleep. Try setting your thermostat to a temperature somewhere between 62–73°F. Everyone has their own preferences, so try to find the right temperature that works for you! As your body cools down, it can help send a signal to your brain to go to sleep.Studies have found that sedative music promotes deeper sleep. Guided meditation can also be very helpful in helping you transition into a state of sleep. Here is a link to a video that has helped over 6 million people fall asleep faster! Just listen with your eyes closed and you’ll be fast asleep before you know it. Give it a try!You may unknowingly be struggling to fall asleep because you’re distracted. Browsing social media or keeping the TV on can make it significantly harder to fall asleep. This could be because your mind is stimulated by these distractions. When it’s time to sleep, make sure that you are in a quiet, comfortable place that is free from distraction. Doing so will help you fall asleep much faster.Many people find that setting a sleep schedule helps them fall asleep easier. Waking up and going to bed at the same time each day can help your internal clock keep a regular schedule. This will help your body know intuitively when it is time to go to bed and when it is time to wake up. When you’re setting your sleep schedule, plan for 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night and make sure you allot for the time it takes to fall asleep.Certain natural supplements can help you fall asleep faster. They have been shown to encourage sleep either by boosting the production of sleep-promoting hormones or by calming brain activity. Supplements that can help you fall asleep include:
Magnesium which helps to activate the neurotransmitters responsible for sleep.
Melatonin which is a hormone naturally produced by the body, but can also be taken as a supplement to help regulate your sleep. Melatonin taken 30 minutes before bed can help to improve sleep quality in some cases.
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid)which is a compound produced in the brain that inhibits certain transmitters and can help the central nervous system relax.
6. Try a Talk Therapy Session
Talk therapy can be a very effective approach to treating insomnia. Many times, insomnia is caused by underlying stress or anxiety which keeps an individual awake. People who suffer from lack of sleep or difficulties falling asleep worry about the impact that it will have on their functioning the next day. This thought pattern keeps people awake and becomes a repeating cycle every night. Talk therapy is effective because it addresses the root of the problem: why you can’t sleep. It turns out that it’s also been backed by science, studies show that a single talk therapy session helped 60% of those with short term insomnia sleep better and fall asleep 20 minutes more quickly.