How to Fall Asleep

A person sleeping alone in bed

Are you tired of tossing and turning in bed for hours every night, waiting for sleep to come? Well, you are not alone. A lot of people struggle to fall asleep at night, which is not only frustrating but also unhealthy. Poor sleep or lack of sleep can have negative effects on the body, including the brain. It has a direct impact on learning abilities, mood, memory, emotion, and biological functions. It is also detrimental to your mental health. Research shows that the quality and quantity of sleep are essential for optimal health and good quality of life. For all these reasons, it is essential to learn how to fall asleep quickly and easily.

The good news is that there are multiple tips and tricks that can help you fall asleep within seconds without taking any sort of sleeping pill. Keeping in mind that good sleep is incredibly important, let’s see how you can fall asleep quickly.

How to Fall Asleep: 5 Tips and Tricks to Fall Asleep Quickly 

1. The Military Method

The military method works in less than two minutes! It is one of the most popular and highly effective methods of falling asleep. Plus, it comes with a bit of a backstory. In World War II, the US military realized that its pilots were making avoidable mistakes and their performance had significantly decreased simply because they were unable to sleep properly, which resulted in unmanageable stress and fatigue. To tackle the problem, the U.S. Navy Pre-Flight School came up with a scientific method that enabled the pilots to fall asleep on cue!  It took a few months of practice but the results were extremely impressive.

If this incredible method can help super fatigued and stressed pilots fall asleep on cue, it can work like a charm for you. So, give the military method a chance and learn how to fall asleep in as little as 120 seconds! Here’s how to practice the military method in 7 steps.

  1. Start by relaxing your entire face, focusing on one area of the face at a time.
  2. Take deep breaths and release the tension in your shoulders. Let your hands rest on your side.
  3. Exhale slowly to relax your chest.
  4. Move south, focusing on one body part at a time. Release tension in your legs, calves, and thighs.
  5. Imagine a relaxing scene to clear your mind from any troubling thoughts that might keep you up.
  6. If you find it hard to imagine a relaxing scene and keep your mind from thinking, say the word “don’t think” repeatedly in your mind for at least 10 seconds.
  7. While the entire practice takes about 120 seconds, the last 10 seconds are the most important. That’s when you finally snooze off!

2. Trick Yourself to Sleep through Paradoxical Intention

For some people, especially those who struggle with insomnia, trying to sleep can lead to performance anxiety. The more you think about sleeping, the higher your stress level will rise. So, the act of trying to fall asleep keeps you up at night! This can easily turn into a cycle of anxious energy that keeps your mind from resting. However, not all is lost if you are struggling with sleep time anxiety. We have the perfect method for you that will make you fall asleep within seconds – paradoxical intention.

Paradoxical intention involves telling yourself NOT to sleep. All you have to do is get in bed and tell yourself to stay awake. The pressure to fall asleep takes the back seat as you focus on staying awake. It tricks your brain and you no longer feel anxious about falling asleep. Once you get rid of the performance anxiety, which was the underlying issue keeping you up, you will fall asleep without any trouble.   

The effectiveness of the paradoxical intention for insomnia is backed by research. So, if you often feel stressed out about going to bed and wonder how to fall asleep, this method may be your best bet. It is likely to be more effective than traditional methods that focus on breathing and relaxing techniques.

3. Imagery Distraction

The “Counting Sheep” is a classic and perhaps the most well-known method when it comes to falling asleep. However, research suggests that imagery distraction may work better than a general distraction. Imagery distraction refers to engaging your imagination to visualize a relaxing scene. The reason why this is a better option for managing pre-sleep thoughts is that counting may activate your brain too much. So, instead of helping you fall asleep, it may actually keep you up. On the other hand, visualizing a peaceful scene can help you relax and fall asleep quickly. To try imagery distraction, get in bed, choose a relaxing sleeping position, and imagine a serene setting. Don’t forget to visualize the sounds and feelings that go with the setting. For instance, you can imagine a beautiful countryside scene with a rushing lake. Imagine the soothing sound of the gushing water, the feel of the grass under your feet, the breeze blowing through your hair, and so on. The trick is to focus on the image and let it take up space in your mind. This will keep the intrusive, troubling thoughts from crossing your mind. In the absence of these pre-sleep thoughts, you are likely to fall asleep within a few minutes. The comforting imagery will also help you relax, which will also encourage quality sleep.

4. Optimize Your Bedroom

External factors like the atmosphere in your bedroom may play a vital role in determining the quality and quantity of your sleep. Therefore, if you are facing trouble falling asleep, first take the time to optimize your bedroom to make sure it encourages sound sleep instead of keeping you up at night. Here are a few things that you can try.

· Optimize the Light

Darkness is essential for good quality sleep. It sends a signal to your mind and body, preparing you for sleep. Insufficient darkness can also lead to prolonged awakenings during the night, which is why it is essential to either dim the lights or turn them off completely if you want to get some sleep. Adjust the lighting in your room to create a dark yet peaceful environment that promotes sound sleep. If your room lights up during the night because of an external light source, say a street light, it is best to invest in blackout curtains to keep the light out.  

· Lower the Temperature

For most people, higher room temperatures can make it hard to fall asleep at night. This is because the temperature of the body changes as you fall asleep. Research shows that the core temperature of the body increases. For a lot of people, maintaining the room temperature between 60 – 70° F can help with falling asleep quickly. However, keep in mind that personal preferences vary from person to person. So, ultimately, it is up to you to find the perfect temperature that helps you fall asleep quickly and easily.  

· Block Out Unwanted Sounds

Everyone will agree that distracting sounds or noise can make it hard to fall asleep at night. So, whether you live in a noisy neighborhood or your partner snores loudly at night, it is essential to block out any sounds that may be keeping you up. One of the easiest ways of dealing with unwanted sounds during the night is to use a pair of earplugs. You can also opt for noise-cancelling earbuds if you are comfortable wearing them during the night. 

5. Keep a Check on Your Diet

The food you eat at night before going to bed can impact your sleep. From the quality and quantity of sleep to how long it takes you to fall asleep – the food you eat affects everything. Therefore, make sure you maintain a healthy diet and eat the right foods before hitting the bed. Research shows that consuming a high-carb diet may help you fall asleep quickly; however, the catch is that it is detrimental to the quality of sleep. If you must consume a high-carb dinner, it is best to eat at least 4 hours before you go to bed.

On the other hand, multiple foods possess sleep-promoting properties. If you are wondering how to fall asleep quickly by eating the right foods, here’s a list of foods that you should try eating before bed.

  • Almonds and walnuts
  • Chamomile tea
  • Passionflower tea
  • Kiwi
  • Turkey
  • Fatty fish
  • White rice 

Getting an adequate amount of sleep every night is extremely important for your overall health. Apart from that, a restless night can make you slow and drowsy in the morning and you are likely to feel tired throughout the day. However, now that you know how to fall asleep quickly, you can finally stop tossing and turning in bed at night and sleep as soon as you hit the pillow!    

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