Sleeplessness

5 Tips To Help You Fall Asleep Fast

Getting good sleep is important for your health, happiness and productivity, but it’s not always an easy task to do. Isn’t it frustrating when you decide to take charge of your daily routine and go to bed early, only to find yourself tossing and turning for hours after that? While frustration doesn’t help (if anything, it’ll make you stay awake longer), here some things that do.

RELATED: Tips To Get A Good Night’s Sleep

1. Turn off screens an hour or two before bed time.

The blue light from our devices suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin and tricks our minds into believing that it’s still day time.

2. Avoid caffeine in the second half of the day.

It takes 5-7 hours for half of the caffeine to leave your body. It takes even longer to eliminate all the caffeine from your system, so if you have a cup of coffee in the afternoon or at night, it can affect your sleep.

3. Read a non-fiction book.

Do you love reading before bed? A good fiction book can easily keep you awake all night. Change it to non-fiction and notice your eyes starting to close only a few minutes later.

4. Listen to a podcast or meditation.

Meditation can help you relax, but if you find your mind wandering back to your worries too often, listening to a podcast can be a better idea. If it’s engaging enough, it will distract you from your own thoughts just enough to help you drift off to sleep.

5. Count your blessings.

Research has found that having a gratitude practice helps get more sleep and better quality of sleep. If you practice counting your blessings at bed time, it can also help you fall asleep faster. Instead of counting sheep, challenge yourself to find ten things in your day that you’re grateful for. Don’t be surprised if you’re asleep long before you get to ten!

Image by AlexVan via pixabay.com

How To Stop Screens From Stealing Your Sleep

Not only we stay up late, glued to our computers, phones or TV, but once we get to bed we find that falling asleep is not that easy. Our brains keep on running at high speed, going over everything that we’ve just seen and designing our plan for the next day.

I used to blame the horror scenes from the news for my sleeplessness. I’d toss and turn for hours and when I finally fell asleep, I’d have nightmares about what I’d seen. I stopped watching the news and the nightmares were gone, but falling asleep didn’t get any easier. Then I recently found out that screens affect us not only on psychological, but even on chemical level. The screen is a source of light and when you’re looking at it, the body gets the message that it’s day time – time to stay awake. Your brain suppresses the production of melatonin, which is the hormone we need to relax and get ready for sleep. The most melatonin-suppressive light is the blue light, which is what our devices usually emit.

How can you reclaim your sleep?

  • Don’t use technology in the last hour or two before going to bed. Give your body and your mind the opportunity to wind down.
  • Use f.lux, a program designed to adjust the brightness and the colour of your screen depending on the time of the day. This software makes your screen look like sunlight during the day and it displays warmer colours at night.
  • Make your bedroom a screen-free zone. It can be hard to resist checking your iPhone one last time, if it’s right there next to you.
  • Monitor your sleep. You can make it a conscious focus to pay attention to your habits or you can use a monitor like Fitbit to tell you exactly how much sleep you’re getting. Sometimes, just being more aware gives you the motivation to change.
  • If you’re finding that the promise of a good night’s sleep is not enough to drag you away from your screen, enlist someone in your family to help you or a friend to call you at a certain time to give you a nudge.

Image by JESHOOTS via Pixabay.com

By Tatiana Apostolova

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