6 Ways to Fall Asleep Earlier for a Good Night’s Rest
Do you ever find yourself tossing and turning in bed, unable to fall asleep despite being exhausted? We have all been there, especially right before a big day.
It can be so frustrating to want to sleep but not be able to. Unfortunately, with a lot of us being night owls, our bodies have become accustomed to being awake and alert until the early hours of the morn’.
We then proceed to not get the required 8 hours of sleep and wake up disgruntled and grumpy – still yawning wide as we missed out on some major snooze hours. Not only does it leave us tired out before the day has even begun, but it also has other negative effects on our overall physical and mental health like:
- Slower brain processing
- Heart diseases
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk of stroke
- Depleted sex drive
However sleeping early, or even just getting more than 4-5 hours of sleep a night, can be quite difficult for us night owls that thrive on the productivity that the dark brings us. Fortunately, there are many different tips you can incorporate into your daily routine, helping you fall asleep earlier and wake up fresh and ready to conquer the world.
We have listed the more effective and easy-to-follow ones below.
Decide Upon a Single Curfew
If you’re an adult, self-discipline is a must if you want to live a more productive life. In this discipline comes giving yourself a curfew and sticking to it.
Before you can start to sleep earlier, you will need to get your bedtime under control. If you’re used to staying up past the a.m., you should start with a later time and slowly bring it down to help your body adjust to the shift.
You could start with 11:00 pm initially. Turn off all your devices at least half an hour before the clock strikes 11 and start preparing for bed. This preparation is basically to ensure a smooth transition into the dream world so get into your comfiest pajamas, brush your hair gently and tuck yourself in for the night.
A good practice to tightening your curfew is by decreasing 15 minutes each week – until you get to your ideal bedtime.
Wake Up at the Same Time Everyday
Waking up at the right time is just as important for earlier sleep.
By waking up at a particular time every morning, you allow your body’s circadian rhythm to stabilize to a particular sleep cycle. This will help you start to get sleepy at the right time to put you in bed early.
This extra time you now have early in the morning can be used to get a good workout done to start your day off feeling refreshed and alive!
Reduce Exposure to Light
To be able to fall asleep earlier, you will need to limit the amount of blue light emitted on your face (usually through cell phones) before bedtime.
How does this work? Well, the retinas in your eyes house sensors that detect high and low daylight hours. This sets your body’s internal clock to a 24-hour cycle which is mostly controlled by the hormone melatonin. When melatonin is produced at night, it indicates to your body that it is time to go to bed.
But, the problem arises when your retinas take in blue light from our phone, laptop, and iPad screens. This light disrupts the production of melatonin in the body as it is confused for daylight. The reduced melatonin production makes it difficult to sleep.
A great practice is to set your alarms and keep aside all your digital devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime. However, if you need to use them; adjust the settings to minimize the amount of blue light being radiated.
Create a Sleep-friendly Atmosphere
Your room should be made into a sleep-friendly environment right before bedtime to help you sleep earlier. Make sure your bed is comfortable, the sheets are clean and pillows have been fluffed out.
Another thing to try is lowering the room temperature. Since your body’s internal temperature changes as you fall asleep, a warmer room often makes it difficult to enter the dreamland (unless it’s snowing outside of course!)
Set your thermostat to 60-67*F to help your body cool down and enter a resting phase.
Some other things you can try out are:
- Yoga or meditating before bed.
- Drizzling some aromatherapy oils on your pajamas and pillow covers (we recommend lavender, pepper mind, and damask rose).
- Playing soft, relaxing music.
- Doing a basic skincare routine to feel clean and relaxed.
Avoid Stimulants Before Bed
A lot of us make the mistake of taking in stimulants a few hours before bedtime. These stimulants can come in the form of a drink like caffeine and soda or even a good work out.
They help people fight off their tiredness and become more alert – which can be disastrous for someone trying to fall asleep earlier. Health experts recommend staying off of caffeine and other stimulants at least 4-6 hours before bedtime to ensure their effects have been worn off and you can sleep peacefully.
Replace your coffee with chamomile tea and the work out session with some mindful yoga. Problem solved!
Try Sleep-improving Pills
If all else fails, you could try supplements that encourage sleep by increasing the production of melatonin and relaxing your brain.
Some of these supplements include:
Gives the body an additional boost to fall sleep faster
Activates the neurotransmitters which help you sleep.
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid)
Relaxes the brain and central nervous system.
Important notice: It is always recommended to consult your primary healthcare provider before taking any supplements or pills. They are best-suited to guide you on the right ones for you.
Before you Doze Off
Our bodies are each unique with their abilities and reactions. Different things work for different people and have differing effects. It is important to first understand what practices work best for your body and then give it time to adjust to the new sleep time routine for the best rest of your life. If you’d like some more information, reach out to our healthcare experts here.