Are you having trouble with falling asleep at the time that you want to go to bed? Are you looking for an answer to the question of how do I fall asleep fast? Does it frustrate you that you can’t seem to stick to a regular sleep schedule?
Not being able to sleep early can be frustrating. In this guide, we’ll teach you some methods on how to fall asleep earlier and faster. Take note that this can mean changing your lifestyle to adopt a new sleeping schedule.
Keep reading to learn what you need to do so you can sleep better, earlier, and faster.
1. Importance of a Regular Sleep Schedule
Sleep and rest is a rather important part of our day-to-day routine. Think of it as gas to your car or battery to a device. You survive longer without food than without sleep.
Your body’s internal clock needs a regular sleep schedule to help you fall asleep and wake up with more ease. Having a routine time of sleeping and waking also has a lot of health benefits. It’ll keep you feeling energized throughout the day, increase metabolism, and more.
Sticking to a regular sleep schedule also keeps illnesses at bay. You have lower risks of developing hypertension, diabetes, stroke, and obesity. Below, we’ll take a closer look at the health effects of having an inconsistent sleep schedule.
Effects of Sleep Deprivation
Did you know that not having enough sleep can affect your mental health? A night of sleep loss can bump up your anxiety levels by 30%, a study says. It explains why you feel more anxious about an important event if you can’t sleep well the night before.
Lack of sleep also causes your blood pressure to rise and create more levels of chemicals in the heart. The fact that sleep deprivation can cause high blood pressure is already alarming. You’re also at a higher risk of heart disease.
People who sleep less have higher chances of gaining weight. Your brain doesn’t recognize that you’re full because the chemicals that tell you are off-balance. The result is that you tend to eat more because you don’t feel that you’re full at the right time.
A certain type of insomnia can even kill you because it causes extreme sleep deprivation. The good news is that it’s a rare genetic disease. Scientists know that fewer than 100 people in the world have the disease.
2. Learning the Right Amount of Sleep You Need
Our sleeping hours change as we age. A good rule of thumb is to get at least 7 hours of sleep each day. However, some age groups may need more sleep than others.
Babies 0-3 months sleep 14-17 hours a day. When they’re 4-11 months old, they sleep less at 12-15 hours a day. Kids 1-2 years old need 11-14 hours while those aged 3-5 need 10-13 hours of sleep.
At ages 6-13, the hours of rest a kid needs become 9-11 hours. Adolescents aged 14-17 will need 8-10 hours per day. From 18 to 64, a person’s standard sleeping hours become 7-9 per day. When you grow older, it goes down to 7-8 hours.
Depending on your health condition and the amount of labor or exercise you do, you may need more. You can use this how much sleep do I need calculator to check your sleep needs.
3. Why You’re Having a Hard Time Falling Asleep Early
There are a lot of intentional and unintentional reasons you may have for not being able to sleep. It may be difficult for you to try to fall asleep because you haven’t conditioned your body to sleep at that time. If you can’t make it a habit to sleep early, it’ll feel that way no matter how hard you try.
Others feel that they still have too many things to do. You may bring your work home to finish it before tomorrow’s deadline. When it comes time to sleep early for a meeting the next morning, you’ll have difficulty doing so.
It’s better to finish your work while it’s early and become more time-wise. If that’s not the problem, you may be taking on more work than you can do, which is unhealthy in many other ways.
Lack of time awareness is another issue. This is the effect of indulging yourself or focusing too much on one thing. It’s easy to think “one last episode” or get lost in your work, and before you know it, it’s late.
Some people like to think they’re entitled to some extra time before bed. They worked hard in the day, and so they deserve an hour for TV or surfing the internet for their pleasure. This is only okay if you aren’t sacrificing hours of sleep.
4. Pre-Sleep Preparations
Let’s discuss what you can do before you go to bed that will help you sleep better. First, finish everything you need to do before the day ends. Smart time management is the secret to this.
Also, avoid ingesting any stimulants once dusk hits. Stay away from anything that contains caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine in the evening. That includes chocolate desserts, certain pain relievers, and even tea.
Before you can start your “put me to sleep” routine, try to look at your sleeping area first. Is the room an environment that will encourage a good rest? Does the mattress support your body so that you’re not having a hard time lying down?
If you prefer sleeping in total darkness, make sure the windows in your bedroom have heavy curtains on them. If you like to sleep with a nightlight, get one with a light that helps you feel more relaxed. Blue-tinted or warm yellow nightlights are good choices.
If you feel uneasy being in a quiet room, consider getting a white noise machine. If you dislike white noise, use the sounds of the river, rain, or beach waves instead. The sound of natural water does wonders in helping you fall asleep faster.
With that said, let’s move on to the methods on how to fall asleep earlier.
5. Methods on How to Fall Asleep Earlier
If you want to learn how to fall asleep earlier, start by keeping a sleep schedule. It won’t be easy to follow this schedule at first. Continue to follow it anyway and never break from your schedule.
Waking also affects your sleeping schedule. Set an alarm for your ideal waking time. In time, you will get used to it and it’ll be normal for you to sleep and wake at set times.
If you’re looking for ways to fall asleep fast without medicine, try learning meditation techniques. Breathe with your body and let your breathing ease your thoughts. You won’t know it, but the next thing you know, it’s already morning and you’ve fallen asleep.
Sometimes, your thoughts are more distracting than your smartphone at night. One way to get out of your rumination is to imagine something else. Feel free to daydream when you sleep.
Think about a calming scene like a quiet beach or a sleepy forest. You can also visualize yourself doing something repetitive but positive. It can be anything from shooting free throws or playing tennis with a wall.
Another trick to getting your body used to a sleeping schedule is to dim the lights at a set time. This will kick your circadian rhythm into motion and the body will recognize that it’s time to get rest. You may also notice that it’s easier to sleep when the temperatures are cooler.
6. Things to Consider When Changing Your Sleep Schedule
Developing a steady sleep routine doesn’t happen overnight. You want to keep your sleep and wake times constant for at least a month until it becomes natural for you.
If there is one good thing that the pandemic brings, it’s more time for you to rest. The lockdowns and temporary closing of businesses are giving people more time to sleep. Take this time to recover and practice a regular sleeping schedule.
Do you often get distracted by your smartphone or other devices? Artificial lighting from electronics can disrupt your body clock. Turn your smartphone, TV, and computer off at night. Let them rest as you get yours.
If you’re looking to raise your child’s grades at school, encourage them to sleep earlier. A study found that students who had more time to sleep had higher averages in their grades. Employees who also get more sleep are more productive and creative at work.
Is the evening your usual time to exercise or work out? Make sure you do it at least four hours before bedtime. The interval is enough for your body to recognize that it’s feeling tired and help you drift off faster.
You can also try doing gentle stretches or yoga in the evening. Stretching can loosen up your body and make it easier to relax. Try to focus on gentle spine and hip stretches.
Get the Rest You Need
Now you know how to fall asleep earlier. We hope you picked up something valuable and worth trying the next time you bed down for the night.
If you want to see other content on improving your lifestyle, check out our other guides now. Discover how to live a healthy and fit life with our other tips and tricks, right here!