5 Habits You Need to Change to Fall Asleep Faster
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to give yourself the opportunity to get a solid eight hours of sleep, only to toss and turn all night willing your body to relax and your brain to shut off.
Sadly it takes more than good intentions to get a restful sleep, so if you’re struggling to doze off (and stay that way), here are a few habits that may see you snoozing a whole lot better.
Cut the caffeine early
There’s nothing better than a morning coffee to get your day going, but hitting the café for another flat white at 3 pm is a bad idea – especially if you’re sensitive to caffeine or a notoriously bad sleeper. Caffeine is a stimulant that can stick around in your system for up to eight hours, so if it’s still kicking around by the time you’re trying to hit the hay, you’re going to be watching the clock for most of the night. Try not to indulge in a caffeine hit beyond midday, and don’t forget, coffee isn’t the only culprit – some teas, soft drinks, chocolate, and energy drinks can be just as bad.
Pick your bed sheets wisely
Did you know that if your body exceeds a certain temperature it’ll keep you up? And that some materials are better than others for keeping your body cooler and at the ideal temperature for sleeping? Synthetic fabrics tend to trap heat and leave you feeling hotter, whereas natural fibres, like the 100% pure French flax linen found in Bed Threads sheets, help regulate your body temperature better no matter the season, ensuring you can stay asleep for longer.
Relax your mind and body
If you’ve never made the effort to try calm your mind and body at the end of a long day, now might be the time to try. Proper relaxation techniques – like deep breathing exercises or a hot bath with some lavender bath salts – can help get your body ready for bedtime, making falling (and staying) asleep a whole lot easier.
An easy deep breathing technique you can try while in bed is the Box Breathing method – inhale for four seconds, hold for four seconds, breathe out for four seconds, hold for four seconds, and repeat for a few minutes.
Stop scrolling before bed
Watching TV and scrolling through your phone mindlessly before bed are not included in the list of recommended relaxation exercises. Exposure to the blue light can impact your circadian rhythm, which will keep you more alert than you’d like when you’re trying to fall into a deep sleep. Try logging off a couple of hours before bedtime, or looking into blue light blocking devices or phone settings.
Another downside to scrolling through Instagram while in bed? Some experts believe that your bed is for sleeping and resting, so to indulge in any other activity (like watching TV, eating, or working) can impact your ability to fully relax and sleep.
Block out the light
Just like you need an optimum temperature to fall and stay asleep, you also need to be in an ideal lighting situation, i.e. total darkness. If outside streetlights or hallway lights filter into your room, try a sleeping mask. The padded silk masks are super comfortable on the eyes, and block out any unwanted light.
If you are concerned about your health, wellbeing or sleep, your first port of call should be your GP, who will advise a correct treatment plan.