We’ve all been there, trying to fall asleep at night but remaining wide awake and staring at the ceiling for hours. This can be one of the most frustrating feelings to endure, but luckily there are solutions you can try. We’ve compiled a list of our five favourite tried and true techniques for falling asleep within minutes of placing your head upon the pillow.
1. Breathe Deeply
Before you can fall asleep, your body needs to slow your heart rate and breathing in preparation. Doing this purposefully can help you fall asleep faster, which is why we recommend the 4-7-8 method. To try this, inhale for a count of four to take in more oxygen. Allow the air to fully enter your bloodstream by holding your breath for seven seconds. And finally, exhale the carbon dioxide steadily for eight seconds. Repeat these steps until you have drifted off to sleep.
2. Try Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is proven to help you relax. Different scents will help you relax in different ways, but our favourites are lavender and vanilla! Lavender is found to relieve anxiety, and helps you enter a deep sleep faster. Meanwhile, vanilla helps to ease your worries before bed as it has anti-depressant properties. It also reduces the human startle reflex, further showing how it puts you in a calmer state of mind. Spritz either of these scents on your pillow, or burn a scented candle before bed, to let them soothe you to sleep.
3. Change your Bedding
Your bed is the biggest influence on your sleep, so you need to make sure it’s comfortable in order to be able to fall asleep quickly. Replace your mattress every seven years to maintain spinal support, and choose the right option for your sleeping position for the comfiest sleep possible. Plus, make sure your pillow supports your head and neck comfortably, and that your bed sheets are made of a natural material to avoid them retaining heat while you rest.
4. Remove Electronics
The glow of your phone screen can be strangely addictive at night, but unfortunately it also keeps you awake for longer. Essentially, the blue light it emits keeps your body alert at a time when it should be winding down. Banish the electronics from the bedroom, in favour of books or other forms of relaxation to fall asleep within minutes of laying your head in the pillow.
5. Relax Your Mind
According to our recent sleep survey, a racing mind keeps 56% of us awake at night. Instead of staring at the ceiling in frustration, try distract your mind from its worries! Read a book, play Sudoku, or close your eyes and try recount what exactly is in your room and where. If distracting yourself doesn’t work, try journaling your thoughts to get them out of your head, and onto paper.
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