Do you have difficulty getting to sleep when you need to? This comprehensive article provides 25 practical tips on how to sleep fast, naturally. Reading this article takes time. But the benefits to be gained will surely be yours to get rid of that sleepy feeling.
Once an insomniac myself, I discovered many ways on how to sleep fast, naturally. I share these 25 tips as they worked for me. I am saying, “as it worked for me” because many factors affect sleep quality. Find one, two, or many approaches that may work for you. Your preference on how to sleep fast may differ from that of another person.
Some people sleep effortlessly, while some struggle to get some sleep. That’s what we call individual difference.
Of course, there are ways on how to sleep fast that may work not only for a single person, but everyone in general.
Some of these tips on how to sleep fast will work at times, while another approach will work as the situation warrants it.
No single cure-all approach works. Judge for yourself what is appropriate for you.
Why Can’t You Sleep Fast?
Inability to sleep fast may be due to internet addiction (Alimoradi et al., 2019), sickness such as stroke (Karaca, 2016), nature of work (Gao et al., 2019), a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea (Patil et al., 2019), among others. Many reasons cause the inability to sleep fast.
How do you know what prevents you from getting to sleep fast? In many cases, you already know the cause of your inability to sleep fast if you think about it. I such is the case, then there is no question that you can readily resolve your sleep problem.
For example, you cannot sleep because your neighbor has a barking dog at night, or perhaps it’s your dog making the noise. That’s easy, do something about the situation. Tell your neighbor if they can do something to keep their dog from barking. If not, then perhaps you would consider soundproofing your sleeping room.
Alright. Let’s go to the different approaches on how to sleep fast. I researched each of the natural approaches to better sleep, so rest assured that these tips work. That is, if you apply any, a combination, or all of them. Theory remains a theory until you put that theory to work.
Please note that I arrange the following tips on how to sleep fast according to potency, meaning, the best ones that work for me are listed first. But that doesn’t mean that the other tips on how to sleep fast do not work. Again, it depends on the individual. Your requirements and specific case is different from mine.
25 Natural Tips on How to Sleep Fast
Eliminating ambient noise in my bedroom gets first place in my list. After so many years of difficulty getting to sleep, I realized that noise is the main culprit. I am a very noise sensitive individual. A slight noise will wake me up.
What level of noise can I tolerate and keep me asleep? The sound of the aircon at 45 to 50 decibels can wake me up in the middle of the night! The articles I have read say that the sound produced by the aircon is white noise or background noise that cancels other noise sources. I disagree.
The box aircon that cools my room emits enough noise to wake me up.
I did a little experiment. I alternated sleep with aircon and sleep without aircon. On those times that the aircon is off, I slept better. Aha, that’s the reason. I was so sensitive to sound that I discounted the effect of the sound emitted by the aircon to my sleep.
So what I did is I bought a ceiling fan, the long bladed one, not the circular noisy fan, just to find out. I did slept better and felt well rested since then.
The ceiling fan generates less than 30 decibels of noise. And I was able to sleep soundly. Perhaps I will invest on a quieter split-type air conditioner later.
Yes. Monitoring your sleep progress is key on how to sleep fast. How should you know it you did sleep fast if you don’t measure your sleeping performance.
Monitor your progress
How did I measure the noise level during my sleep? I used a sleep monitoring app. There are so many of these apps in Google Play.
I tried the free version of Sleep Monitor. It measures the noise level using some sort of algorithm that I need not understand.
Again, a sleep monitor app is handy for this purpose. Sleep monitor shows the number of minutes it took for you to get to sleep. Instead of spending a large sum of money in a sleep clinic, invest a little on this nifty app.
I discovered sleep monitor apps while thinking about how to measure my sleep progress without breaking the bank. I thought creative people might have found a way to detect sleep patterns in Google Play. And I did found one that suits me.
Find yours. Buy if you think it’s useful. I am content with the free app. I can see my sleep performance each day and make corrections on my approach on how to sleep fast if I see the need.
Use blockout curtains
Any hint of light at night triggers my consciousness. My eyes are so sensitive to light and prevents me from sleeping soundly. So I make sure that I sleep in total darkness.
Blockout curtains insulate me from any source of light that hinders my desire to sleep fast. The curtains also minimizes disturbing noise outside of the house.
Though a little bit pricey than ordinary curtains, blockout curtains can help you sleep fast. It is a good investment to get much needed rest.
Subject yourself to bright light when awake
Upon waking up, get yourself exposed to bright light. Doing so signals your body that it’s time to be active. Allow as much light to illuminate your place of work or activity areas in your home.
Pull down the curtains, let light enter your room to enliven it, and find something to occupy you. You are drawing a definite line between sleeping and waking time. It invigorates you and gets rid of that sleepy feeling. It normalizes circadian timing.
The contrast between daytime and nightime is clearly defined. Melatonin production commences when darkness sets in at dusk. You don’t want this to happen while actively doing your activities during the day.
Use the dark mode in your computer’s display
Related to the previous tip on how to sleep fast, setting your laptop or desktop computer’s display to dark mode significantly helps in preventing eye fatigue due to bright light. The light coming from the computer screen causes sleeplessness. Blue light from the computer screen inhibits the production of melatonin, a sleep hormone. Thus, spending several hours using your digital gadgets disrupts your sleep pattern.
Have a regular exercise that fits your schedule
I run three to four times a week before the pandemic began. Recognizing the benefits of exercise, I allocate time for it in the early part of the day. Running at 6 pm is a non-issue for me. It takes me roughly 30 minutes to finish my two-mile intensive running session.
I start slowly by walking for five minutes to prevent injury. Do an intense two-mile run in 20 to 23 minutes, then cool off for five to 10 minutes. I never had exercise-related injuries in almost nine years of regular running. I even joined and finished a 21 K half-marathon last 2019.
I still look forward to having this regular exercise routine, especially now that I have completed the two vaccine doses required for maximum efficacy against COVID-19.
When you exercise, your body releases the happy hormone called endorphin. I love that positive feeling after doing my regular exercise. That energizing feeling is known as “runner’s high.”
Endorphins also serve as sedatives. It works like a drug taken for its calming or sleep-inducing effect without the undesirable addictive effect or drug dependence.
Stretch or do yoga
Yoga is known to cure a lot of illnesses naturally, including sleeplessness or insomnia. Sleep fast after a relaxing yoga exercise. The video below shows an easy-to-do demonstration of yoga to induce relaxation and help you sleep fast.
What does yoga do to your body that enables you to sleep fast?
Slow movements and deep breathing increase blood flow and warm up muscles, while holding a pose can build strength, among others (Johns Hopkins Medicine). Yoga releases tension and relaxes your body, thus facilitates sleep.
Chances are, you might fall asleep before finishing that 20-minute session. Performing that portion where you place your hands on your bosom and stretching your back a little might be enough to put you to sleep. I do find that relaxing. Just make sure your bed is ready when sleep takes over. Make yourself comfortable.
Go to bed when it starts to get dark
With artificial light available to us in this advanced human civilization, the darkness that signals your brain to sleep is almost non-existent. Set a definite time to sleep at night. The best time to do so is that time when dusk sets in.
Without the lightbulbs and sleep disruptive light-emitting diode (LED) lights to keep you awake, your body naturally eases itself to sleep when darkness sets in. That’s because our body naturally produces melatonin, a sleep hormone, when the eyes detect the shift from daytime to nighttime.
This natural phenomenon occurs when you take a vacation somewhere in a log cabin in the middle of the woods without electricity to keep the lights on. A rustic environment facilitates sleep. Going back to the way of life a few hundred years ago with just the campfire on to extend activities at night can lull you to sleep.
Drink blue ternate
Blue ternate (Clitorea ternatea) is known for ages as a natural sleep remedy. Collect six to seven flowers of blue ternate, pierce the flowers together with a fork to keep them from floating, pour in newly boiled water (watch the liquid turn to blue), steep for 15 minutes, and drink the extract. You can add honey if you want to make your drink tasty.
Piercing the flowers with a fork is my device to keep flowers from floating and maximize the extraction of the active ingredients in the flower. Drinking the extract just before bedtime will help you sleep fast.
Blue ternate not only helps you sleep but provides a range of other benefits because of its antioxidant properties.
Eat dinner at 6 pm
Eat dinner when the sun sets. This habit matches your body’s biorhythm of sleeping at around 7:30 to 8 pm to complete the required number of hours that refreshes your body.
You need not follow the commonly suggested 8 hours of sleep as requirements vary for each individual. Most people can get the benefits of sleep from 7 to 8 hours. If you feel rested after 7 hours of sleep, do so.
The ultimate goal here is to determine the number of sleep hours that make you feel energized. Your requirements may vary as there are times you are able to take a nap. Getting a nap that day may reduce your body’s need to repair itself through sleep.
Remember the sleep monitor I mentioned in the first few tips on how to sleep fast. Record the number of hours that you slept well in your judgment. Take a one-week record and average them so you will have an idea of your specific requirement.
Have a warm bath before bed
A warm bath at night relaxes and helps you sleep fast. You have that clean feeling after rubbing off your body of sweat and dirt. Imagine that warm water washes away your day’s cares, including your worries of getting infected by COVID-19. Anything you touched that day are washed off, relieving you of that persistent virus worry during the pandemic.
Use a pain relieving rub
Keeping a pain-relieving rub comes in handy, especially if you have a slight headache due to the long hours you spent online. Nowadays, we spend a lot of time trying to keep track of our emails, lessons to make and study, create graphics and videos, chat with friends, read updates about the new COVID-19 variant, the latest political battles, among others.
We live in a digital world, so we virtually cannot live a day without looking at our laptops, desktops, tablets, and mobile phones. This habit keeps our eyes on one spot and can cause eyestrain. Your eye muscles do not move that much. Hence, your eye muscles strain to make out the letters on your computer screen, leading to that emerging health problem called computer vision syndrome (CVS). If you spend more than two hours a day in front of your computer, you will most likely experience this problem.
You can reduce the effect of the CVS by moving your eyes away from the screen occasionally. A high contrast setting in your desktop, cell phone, tablet, or laptop can help a lot.
I use Dark Reader or Super Dark Mode, both Chrome extensions, to get a high contrast screen on my laptop or desktop as I spend a lot of time online. I can readily feel the benefits of sleep using these viewing modes.
Bright background with black text causes so much eyestrain that can affect your sleep.
There is no question that massage can lull you to sleep quickly. A 30-minute to one hour of massage can work wonders for your body. It relaxes your muscles and nerves.
Request for a moderate massage from a professional masseur or a member of your family. Identify the best masseur you can find and find the best pressure that soothes you.
Having a massage during the pandemic may prove to be a challenge. But easy-to-follow youtube videos can help a member of the family learn the basics. Just make sure you don’t overdo putting in pressure. There are sensitive body areas that can cause problems. If you are unsure of how you do it, do it tenderly for a while and build confidence.
Tips from Christ Roberts, a massage therapist in Carrington College, shows a simple figure 8 back massage technique that will not tire a partner or a member of the family who’s willing to learn a new trade.
Don’t use cool white LED bulbs
Avoid using light-emitting diode (LED) as a source of light. This disruptive technology has its externalities. Blue light from LED affects the quality of our sleep.
A recent study by Ishizawa, et al. (2021) noted that blue-light exposure affects sleep quality by reducing the ratio of deep sleep. Deep sleep is the stage of sleep you need to feel refreshed when you wake up in the morning.
I went to a hardware store to change the LED back to an incandescent lamp. But I could not find any. My refuge is to buy one where the label says the light emitted is warm white. It’s because I feel better and get better sleep despite spending several minutes at my computer screen before sleeping. It seemed that using a warm white lamp overhead while using the laptop cancels the effects of blue light.
On a personal note, whenever I switch on the LED light overhead me when I prepare to sleep, I get that queer feeling of uneasiness. The bright LED light causes eyestrain. It does not only affect my eyes but my body for some reason. I don’t have that kind of feeling when exposed to warm white bulbs.
At this writing, I looked for references on why this happens. Indeed, switching the brighter cool white LED bulb makes a difference as Arthur recommends. There are benefits to be gained from switching cool white LED bulbs into warm white bulbs. I confirm it. Warm white LED bulbs produce reduced blue light wavelengths. Thus, they are easier on the eyes and help you sleep fast.
Stop drinking caffeinated drinks hours before sleeping
I start the day drinking Jasmine tea, Mint, or plain green tea for its antioxidant properties. If you like to drink coffee, do so as it also has antioxidants. Drinking caffeinated drinks also complements your active lifestyle during the day.
But do it at least 4-6 hours before bedtime (WebMd). You don’t want the stimulants during bedtime.
I could sleep well when I exceed the recommended number of hours of taking caffeinated drinks before bedtime. I stop drinking tea at noontime. People have different tolerance to caffeine. It stays longer in my system.
This tip on how to sleep fast works for people who have a low tolerance for caffeine in their bodies like me.
Also, related to the previous tip on how to sleep fast, I made the mistake of eating chocolates a few months back. I realized it’s one of the culprits that prevent me from sleeping well.
Chocolate has caffeine. We know that caffeine is a stimulant. So I ditched it upon realization of its effects on my sleep.
Perhaps I can eat dark chocolate again if I do it in the morning. I thought about that today.
However, I subconsciously forgot to buy chocolates when I did my grocery yesterday. I used to eat it before bedtime and knew the sleep-inhibiting effects caused my inability to get enough sleep.
Avoid drinking water after 8 pm
Another tip on how to sleep fast that’s widely known is to stop drinking water late at night. It’s easy to figure out why we should avoid drinking water, particularly cold water, before sleeping. Drinking water late in the day will wake you up in the middle of the night to urinate.
Dress in such a way that you feel cool and comfortable. Thin clothing works best in a hot climate. But cold temperatures require thick clothing to prevent you from chilling. Invest in a comforter if you find the temperature too cold for you to tolerate.
Cotton is favored as the best material for sleeping because it is lightweight, soft, and comfortable. It absorbs sweat and cools your body without the greasy feeling. It allows your skin to breathe, thus prevent irritation or rashes.
Give more time to sleep
It takes time to teach your body to sleep longer than the last one you have not slept well. Giving more time to sleep helps reestablish your ideal sleeping time.
If it takes you hours to get to dreamland, spending more time in bed gives you more time to rest even without actually sleeping. If insomnia bothers you, lying in bed for 10 hours or more gives you a chance to rest with incremental sleep.
I did this technique on how to sleep fast in those times I couldn’t afford to sleep because of work demands. It just works.
Go to bed early
Going to bed early regularly can work wonders. Eating early at around 6 pm and hitting the bed at 8 pm appears ideal for me. That’s the time I start to yawn, signaling the time has come to rest my mind.
Upon waking at 5 am, I take a quick bath then run my two miles. I’ve got 9 hours of sleep if I doze at 8 pm. That sleep time enabled me to run my 9:30 minute per mile personal best in running before the pandemic began. I’m unusually running fast at my age.
Cool your sleep environment
Cooling your body helps you sleep fast. During sleep, the body cools down. A cool but not too cold room help maintain sleep throughout the night.
In hot climates, cooling the bedroom with an air conditioner to 18 to 20 degrees Centigrade (64.4 to 68 degress Fahrenheit) is ideal. If you can’t afford an air conditioner, cool your bedroom by installing an exhaust fan. At night, it brings in the cooler air outside your home.
Cheaper evaporative coolers are good alternatives to electricity-hungry air conditioners. Allegedly, evaporative coolers are better for hot and dry climates. It consumes less electricity than air conditioners.
A room full of clutter can be a distraction from falling asleep. Sleep fast in a well-organized, clutter-free bedroom. If it’s dark though, it doesn’t matter much. This tip on how to sleep fast makes sense if you are easily distracted by clutter before bed and triggers you to think about it before sleeping.
Keep peace with yourself and others
Resolve any issue you had during the day. Peace of mind before sleeping relieves you of anxiety due to a quarrel or misunderstanding with somebody. Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath.
Remember when you were small and taught by your parents to pray. Why pray? Prayer provides you comfort that all is well if you give up all your concerns to the most powerful God who controls everything. You need not worry about things not under your control.
Just reciting the following verse will take your cares away:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11: 28-30
Having a mind of surrender relieves you of all anxiety that prevents you from getting that much-needed sleep.
Why worry about things beyond your control. Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life (Matthew 6:27)?
Remove source of anxiety
If you are anxious whatever is the cause, it’s time to get rid of it. Address the cause and achieve better sleep.
If you are anxious that many of your friends or relatives are suffering from the effects of COVID-19, maybe it’s time for you to get yourself vaccinated. That will somehow allay your fears that the virus will wear your body’s immune system out.
Take time to deal with anxiety. Be creative. Condition yourself to take things lightly.
After all, what we only need to live is at least to make sure that we can eat every day. As long as you do something about your plight, there’s no way you won’t succeed.
By the way, this is my last tip as anxiety is the last thing that disturbs me. I avoid and don’t spend time worrying about things beyond my control.
Final Thoughts on How to Sleep Fast
One or more of these tips on how to sleep fast should work for you. In my experience, a combination of these techniques usually works.
Although there may be occasional periods where sleepless nights occur due to work or study demands, you can always find a way to doze off when the opportunity comes.
You may find yourself helpless at times due to insomnia, but knowing the causes would help a lot. You know what is at issue in many instances. You hold the key.
Doing something about sleeplessness is the first step. Be creative and find the best remedy bearing in mind the 25 tips on how to sleep fast in this article. Find one, two, three, or a combination that works for you.
Alimoradi, Z., Lin, C. Y., Broström, A., Bülow, P. H., Bajalan, Z., Griffiths, M. D., … & Pakpour, A. H. (2019). Internet addiction and sleep problems: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep medicine reviews, 47, 51-61.
Gao, C., Chapagain, N. Y., & Scullin, M. K. (2019). Sleep duration and sleep quality in caregivers of patients with dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA network open, 2(8), e199891-e199891.
Ishizawa, M., Uchiumi, T., Takahata, M., Yamaki, M., & Sato, T. (2021). Effects of pre-bedtime blue-light exposure on ratio of deep sleep in healthy young men. Sleep Medicine.
Karaca, B. (2016). Factors affecting poststroke sleep disorders. Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases, 25(3), 727-732.
Patil, S. P., Ayappa, I. A., Caples, S. M., Kimoff, R. J., Patel, S. R., & Harrod, C. G. (2019). Treatment of adult obstructive sleep apnea with positive airway pressure: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine systematic review, meta-analysis, and GRADE assessment. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 15(2), 301-334.
© P. A. Regoniel 18 July 2021