Sleeping is an important process that helps both your body and mind stay healthy. It allows you to heal, boost your immune system, increase your productivity, deal with daily stresses, it helps you maintain your overall well being.
But although it’s vital, falling asleep doesn’t come easily to many – billions of people around the world struggle with insomnia, sleep apnea, and other sleep disorders. Just in the USA alone, it’s estimated that around 70 million people suffer from one or more sleep disorders.
Even if you don’t have any sleep disorders, you’ve likely experienced trouble falling asleep or trouble to stay asleep at least a few times in your life.
And while this is relatively normal in today’s busy world, it’s not something that you should just accept. You need to learn how to fall asleep even when you’re having a bad day, when you just can’t seem to get comfortable, or when you’re feeling stressed and anxious.
“Sleep is the best meditation.”– Dalai Lama
Fortunately, there are many sleep techniques that can help you fall asleep fast, and that will all but guarantee you’ll get a good night’s sleep.
30 effective tips for falling asleep fast and easy
Before we move on to the best ways to fall asleep, you need to know that not all the techniques will work on you. Each person is unique, and everyone will react differently to some of the sleep methods we’ll discuss.
Some methods and techniques might be annoying to you, and some might be uncomfortable, so don’t despair if you try a single method and it doesn’t immediately help you go to sleep. You should simply move on to the next method until you find what works best for you.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best tricks to fall asleep and check out the step-by-step instructions on how to follow them properly.
Table of contents
- Things to do before going to sleep
- Counting sheep
- Reverse psychology
- Focus on hypnagogic images
- Visualization, body levitation
- Practice your ABCs
- Get your creative juices flowing
- Visualization, statue transformation
- Visualization, sinking
- Focus on the distance
- Rewind the day
- Relax your muscles
- Linguistic exercises
- Think of your favorite movie
- Go to your happy place
- Turn on some peaceful music
- Ensure your bedroom is nice and cool
- Turn off all the lights
- Meditation exercises
- Get rid of clocks
- Take a warm shower
- Watch what you eat and drink
- Daily exercise is a must
- Give aromatherapy a try
- Get comfortable
- Read a book
- Listen to a podcast
- Keep a journal
- Try easy acupressure
- Spend time outside during the day
1. Things to do before going to sleep
If you want to figure out how to fall asleep fast, you have to start from the beginning, not the end. Sleeping, in this case, would be the end, or the result that you want to achieve. The beginning would be the things you should do before hitting the hay.
There are a few steps that you should follow throughout the day if you want to avoid having trouble sleeping at night.
Don’t nap during the day
A 20-minute power nap can help you get the most out of your day. It can boost your productivity, improve your memory retention, keep you focused, but it can also be the reason why you can’t fall asleep at night.
Even a quick 5-minute nap can result in a restless night. So, do the best you can to stay awake throughout the day.
Avoid coffee before bedtime
Most of us drink coffee to stay awake during the day, so it’s only natural to avoid it when you want to sleep. Caffeine can stay in your system for well over 5 hours and can seriously disrupt your sleep schedule.
It’s generally best to stay off the caffeine for at least 6 hours before bedtime. That means no coffee, tea, energy drinks, soda, shakes, etc.
Exercise during the day
When you’re thinking about things to help you sleep, what’s one of the first things that pop to mind? The answer’s likely physical exertion.
And since we all lead ever more sedentary lifestyles, it can be difficult to feel physically tired at the end of the day. So it’s no wonder that exercise can be so effective at helping us fall asleep.
Just don’t exercise right before bed. This can actually give you even more energy and keep you awake.
Exercise in the early evening, and give yourself enough time to cool off before hitting the hay.
Stretch your body
Although exercising before bedtime is not a very good idea, stretching is. It will help your tense muscles relax, it will make you more flexible, and finding a comfortable position to sleep in will be much easier.
Invest in high-quality pillow and mattress
If you need help falling asleep, sometimes it’s not a special trick or tip that will help you, just a better quality pillow and mattress. While this can be quite an investment, it’s not one that you make every day.
High-quality pillows and mattresses will last you for years to come and will ensure your utmost comfort.
Look for a material that’s a bit softer, like memory foam. Test it out before you buy to see whether it’s comfortable and whether it provides the proper support to your back and neck.
Turn off the lights
Light is the enemy of sleep. Even the faintest of lights, artificial or natural, can be detected by your eyes when they’re closed, and this will signal to your brain that it’s time to be awake.
So, be sure to turn off all the lights in your room, or at least dim them.
Stick to a sleeping routine
If you want your body to learn how to sleep faster, the best thing you can do is develop a bedtime routine and stick to it. It doesn’t matter much exactly what you do, as long as you follow the same steps every night at approximately the same hour.
Your routine to sleep easy could look something like this:
- 10 o’clock: brush your teeth
- 10:05 to 10:30: browse the internet
- 10:30 to 11:00: read a book
- 11:00: get to bed
Develop a routine that’s easy to follow and stick to it every single time before going to bed. This will give your brain enough time to prepare for sleeping and your body enough time to relax.
Following these initial steps before going to bed will eliminate the question of how to fall asleep fast. The more of these steps you follow, the easier it will be for you to fall and stay asleep at night.
If these steps are not working as they should, give some of the sleeping techniques discussed below a try.
2. Counting sheep
When you ask someone how to fall asleep faster, you’ll most likely get a simple answer — count sheep. We’ve seen this sleeping technique in movies, children’s cartoons, books, and you’ve probably tried it yourself a few times.
It probably didn’t work.
According to a 2001 Oxford University study, counting sheep will actually delay sleep. 20 insomnia patients who’ve been asked to count imaginary sheep jumping over a fence one at a time had more trouble falling asleep than before. So, if you’re looking for ways to fall asleep faster, this isn’t it.
But it’s still included in our sleeping methods, why?
Well, it’s not really counting sheep that help, but proper breathing guided by counting.
Focusing on deep breaths will prevent your mind from wandering and will keep you in the present moment. When your thoughts are not preoccupied with daily stresses and anxieties, you’ll be able to relax and fall asleep faster.
And there’s no need to complicate counting by imagining sheep or other farm animals. Simply count slowly, focus on breathing, and relax.
Counting method step-by-step guide
Turn off all the lights, and ensure that your bedroom is nice and quiet, without any distractions.
Get to bed, find a comfortable position, and close your eyes.
Start counting. There’s no reason to determine which number you’ll count to. You can count up to a number, down from a number, go from zero to ten every time, from 1,000 to zero. The counting is there just to help you focus.
Now focus on your breathing. It should be deep, slow, and steady, relaxing. Take a deep breath, slowly exhale, then count up (or down) by one.
Breathing and counting will keep your mind in the present moment and make you forget about your worries, but this doesn’t mean that your mind won’t drift off. Your mind will naturally start to wander as you’re counting, and you’ll slowly induce sleep.
3. Reverse psychology
Reverse psychology is so simple, yet so effective. It’s all about forcing someone to believe or do something that’s the opposite of what you want. In this case, you want to be able to get some sleep, so you try and force yourself to stay awake.
Sounds silly and incredible, but it can be one of the fastest ways to become tired and sleepy.
Essentially, the premise behind the idea is to make yourself believe that you have to stay awake and that you want to do anything else but sleep. This should work to trick your brain into making you fall asleep.
Think of it this way — children on Christmas Eve want nothing else but to stay awake and see Santa Claus when he comes to leave their presents. Without fail, this desire to stay awake just makes them fall asleep even faster.
Reverse psychology step-by-step guide
Get ready for bed as usual. Turn off the lights, remove any noise from your room, get comfortable, close your eyes.
Come up with a reason to stay awake. Any reason at all should suffice, as long as you make yourself believe it. Imagine that you’ll have guests over at midnight, or that your online order is finally supposed to arrive. Anything that would require you to stay awake.
The more logical the reason is the better.
Feel the importance of staying awake, and keep repeating to yourself “I must not fall asleep”. Within a few minutes, you should feel yourself drifting off into slumber.
The reverse psychology method doesn’t work on everyone primarily because people don’t commit themselves to it. They don’t try to truly make themselves believe that they need to stay awake. If you can make yourself believe it, you should have no problems with falling asleep by relying on this method.
4. Focus on hypnagogic images
Perhaps you’re not familiar with the term “hypnagogic image”, but you’re likely familiar with the experience. Hypnagogic images, sometimes even known as hallucinations, are the images that you see right before falling asleep – when you’re not yet fully asleep, but you’re not fully awake either.
They usually last for a very short amount of time and are often static, but they evolve into dreams.
Hypnagogic images are very simple, sometimes you see a person’s face, sometimes it’s just a random shape, sometimes the images can even be scary. This sometimes startles a person, and they try to get the image out of their head by focusing on something else.
Instead, focusing on these images and exploring them can be a very effective way to fall asleep.
Hypnagogic images step-by-step guide
As always, start by getting comfortable in your bed, turning off the lights, and eliminating any noise from your bedroom.
Close your eyes and relax. Try not to think about anything, just focus on the darkness you see with your eyes closed.
At first, darkness is the only thing you’ll see, but be patient. As you lay there focusing on the “nothingness” that you see, you’ll eventually start seeing quick flashes of random images.
Instead of disregarding these images and trying to get rid of them, focus on them. Let them come to you and start exploring them, even if they’re scary. Keep on observing them, and eventually, they’ll turn into longer and longer sequences and evolve into dreams.
This isn’t the fastest way to fall asleep, and you need some patience. But with a bit of practice, you’ll start finding it easier to focus on these images and you’ll drift off to sleep.
5. Visualization, body levitation
Unfortunately, none of us can actually levitate (not yet, at least), but we all have imagination, and that’s what you’ll need for this next sleeping technique.
Most people have difficulty falling asleep because their minds are preoccupied with daily stresses and concerns, so visualization can be a useful exercise to get your mind off of such things.
The best and most relaxing visualization exercise is imagining your body is levitating. This will help you calm down, relieve tension, and eventually – fall asleep.
Body levitation step-by-step guide
Start as usual. Turn off your lights, remove distractions, and make your room comfortable and prepped for sleeping.
Find a comfortable position in your bed. Preferably, you should be lying flat on your back because imagining yourself levitating will be much easier this way.
Then simply look up at your ceiling. Focus on your bodily sensations, and relax your muscles. Hang out like this for a few minutes.
Once you feel that there’s no tension in your muscles, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Just breathe normally, no need for deep breaths and exceptionally slow exhales. Stay calm and keep your breathing consistent.
Imagine yourself lying in the middle of a meadow, or any other peaceful and relaxing place. Imagine the sounds and sensations you’d feel if you were really there – the smell of flowers, the light breeze in your hair, etc.
Now start imagining your body slowly becoming lighter and lighter, becoming almost weightless. It’s important to focus on this part, as you’ll want to truly feel like your body is light enough to start floating.
And now it’s time to visualize body levitation. Start small, imagine your body lifting off just a few inches above the ground, then slowly move on to a few feet off the ground. The slower you start, the easier it will become to visualize yourself truly floating.
Continue focusing on this feeling of your body floating, then slowly start imagining yourself becoming heavier and heavier. Allow yourself to float down to the meadow, and back into your original position on your mattress.
Repeat steps five through seven a few times, and be patient. Don’t rush the feeling of levitation, go slow every time, slowly rising through the air, and slowly floating back down.
This should relax both your body and mind and allow you to effortlessly fall asleep.
6. Practice your ABCs
List-making is a simple exercise that requires just a bit of focus, and won’t keep your mind too preoccupied to fall asleep. And the easiest way to make a list is by using the letters of the alphabet.
This will allow your mind to relax and wander, so it will be much easier to snooze off.
This sleeping method is very straightforward. You’ll just have to come up with a category, then start listing the items from that category in alphabetical order.
Practice your ABCs step-by-step guide
As always, you’ll first need to turn off or dim your lights and ensure that your bedroom is nice and quiet.
Get comfortable in your bed, find a position that’s the most relaxing to you, and close your eyes.
Determine which category/ topic you’ll use. This can be almost anything, fruits and vegetables, celebrity names, famous rock bands, movie titles, Harry Potter characters, etc. As long as you think you can assign an item from the category to each letter of the alphabet, you’ll be good to go.
No better letter to start with than A. Let’s say you’ve chosen the category movie titles. You’ll have to think of a movie that starts with the letter A.
For example, the movie “Armageddon” would work here.
Move on to the letter B. “Batman” is a good choice for this category. Continue listing your movies until you’ve reached the letter Z.
In case you’ve reached the letter Z and you’re still wide awake, start the listing game from the beginning, just select a new category.
It’s best to have a new category every time you play this game to avoid just memorizing the answers. Or, if you’d prefer to use the same category, make sure you’re coming up with different items from that category.
If you memorize the answers, you’ll just fly through the alphabet and the method won’t be any closer to getting you to sleep.
You’ll need to be a bit creative and get your brain to work if you want this method to work.
7. Get your creative juices flowing
Human beings are creative by nature, and you can use this innate creativity to get some help sleeping. All you’ll have to do is come up with a story in your head.
It doesn’t matter how good or bad you are at storytelling. This exercise is just there to take your mind off of stressful things and help you to relax.
You can use some of your favorite books as an inspiration, rely on your favorite movie to get your creative juices flowing, or come up with a story that’s completely unique.
Storytelling step-by-step guide
You’ll need to turn off the lights in your bedroom, eliminate noise distractions, and get comfortable. Close your eyes and relax.
Imagine a simple scene, a meadow, a cozy farmhouse, a modern apartment, whatever comes to mind. Focus on your scene, examine its details, and wander through it.
Once you’ve set your scene, come up with a character or two. You’re essentially creating your own movie right now, so play around here. Your main character can be a person, a giraffe, an elf, be creative here.
Give your character(s) a role to play. Imagine them doing something in the scene, maybe talking, maybe preparing for battle against the aliens. Your imagination is your only limit.
Continue developing your story for as long as it’s necessary. Introduce new characters, new locations, and let the story take its own course.
After a while, you’ll notice that it’s hard to keep track of your story and continue developing it, so you’ll slowly start to fall asleep.
If the story’s intrigued you, you could even write it down in the morning. Who knows, maybe someday you can turn it into a book.
8. Visualization, statue transformation
This sleeping technique is very similar to the one we’ve discussed above: body levitation. The only difference is that this time, instead of imagining your body becoming lighter and starting to float, you’ll imagine your body slowly turning into stone or even metal.
This should help you relieve tension, relax your muscles, and keep your mind in the present moment, allowing you to finally get some sleep.
Statue transformation step-by-step guide
Lights off, distracting sounds eliminated. Get to bed and try to relax.
Start from your feet. Focus on them, feel the blood circulating through them, feel the pressure from your blanket weighing your feet down.
Imagine your feet slowly becoming stiffer and heavier, like they’re turning into stone. Feel their weight and how they’re pressing down on the mattress.
Let this sensation slowly crawl up your legs. Each part of your body getting heavier and heavier, turning into stone one inch at a time, until your whole body starts feeling like a heavy statue.
You’ll likely fall asleep before you even make it to your neck and head. But, if you’re still awake by the time you’ve imagined your entire body turning into stone, just lay there focusing on this feeling. You should have no trouble falling asleep after a while in this state.
9. Visualization, sinking
Visualizing that you’re sinking into your mattress is very similar to visualizing your body becoming a statue, but it’s often much easier.
When you’re lying flat on your back, you already feel the pressure that your body is putting on the mattress. If your mattress is really soft, this sensation is even more obvious. You’ll use this natural sensation and take it a step further.
Sinking step-by-step guide
Get ready for sleep as usual. No lights in your bedroom, no noise, and no distractions. Lay down, close your eyes, and get comfy. You’ll want to lie flat on your back when you’re following this sleeping method.
Start from your feet. Curl your toes and stretch out your feet for a few seconds, then relax them.
Move up your body, tensing the muscles of your legs, thighs, glutes, torso, etc., then relieving the tension shortly after. Go one body part at a time.
Every time you tense up your muscles and then relax them, you’ll feel your body naturally put more pressure on your mattress. Focus on this pressure, feel how your body is sinking into the mattress, and feel it sink some more. This should serve to relax your entire body, and once you’re in this relaxed state, you’ll find it much easier to fall asleep faster.
10. Focus on the distance
A very easy and relaxing sleeping technique is focusing on looking into the distance with your eyes closed. It sounds complicated (if not impossible), but it’s actually really simple.
When you close your eyes, you may think you’re only seeing the darkness, but your eyes are really just looking at the back of your eyelids. Just think of what you see when you’re in direct sunlight and you close your eyes – a reddish/yellowish glow.
So, when you close your eyes while laying in your bed, at first, you’ll only see black. But after you’ve laid there for a while, you’ll notice that you can focus your eyes on different points.
You can look directly at the back of your eyelids, but you can also focus on the distance. And that’s what this sleeping method is all about.
Focus on the distance step-by-step guide
As always, turn off or dim the lights, remove any noise distractions, lay down, and get comfy.
Close your eyes, and focus on what you’re seeing. Start by examining the immediate blackness of the back of your eyelids.
Allow yourself to look past your eyelids. You’ll realize that you can focus on different points in your vision, even though it’s almost complete darkness that you see.
Continue focusing on the distance. You’ll start seeing different shapes appear in the darkness, and maybe even flashes of light – an experience very similar to hypnagogic images.
You’ll eventually find it difficult to focus, and you’ll slowly drift off to dreamland.
11. Rewind the day
This technique to fall asleep is not only great as a sleep help, but it can actually help to improve your memory.
Basically, all you’ll need to do is rewind your day in chronological order. Go through your day step by step, from the very early morning, to just moments ago. Remember every single detail from your day, who you talked to, what you did, what you ate for lunch, etc.
By being focused on what you did, you’ll have no time to think about your problems and concerns. You’ll make sure that your mind is relaxed and ready for sleep.
Rewind the day step-by-step guide
As always, turning off the lights, removing noise distractions, and getting into bed are the first few things that you should do.
Get comfortable in your bed. This method doesn’t require any specific position, you can lay on your back, on your side, even on your stomach if that’s what you prefer.
Remember your early morning, from the moment you opened your eyes. Were you woken up by your alarm clock? Maybe your dog started licking your face, or a ray of sunshine hit you directly on your eyes? Remember as many details as you can.
Go through your entire day, step by step. Visualize what you had for breakfast, the taste of your morning coffee, the people at your lunch meeting, the movie you watched after dinner.
You probably won’t be able to make it to the end of the day because your mind will quickly start to wander and put you to sleep.
If you are awake by the end of this method, you can simply start again, just focus on yesterday.
12. Relax your muscles
Muscle relaxation is a part of many sleeping techniques, such as sinking visualization, but it can also be used as a technique all on its own.
Here, you’ll be focusing on your muscles, one by one, tensing them up, then relaxing them. This will get you in tune with your body, and help you stay focused and calm.
Relax your muscles step-by-step guide
You get the drill. You’ll first have to start off by prepping your bedroom and priming it for sleeping. Turn off the lights, remove any noise from your bedroom, and get comfortable in your bed.
While this sleeping technique can be done in any sleeping position, it’s easiest when you’re flat on your back with your arms by your side.
Start from your feet. Focus on the sensation in your feet, then start tensing them up, and slowly relaxing them. Do this a few times until you feel your feet become completely relaxed.
Move up your legs. Tense up your calves, then relax them. Once you’ve done this a few times, move on to your thighs, torso, arms, etc.
When you’ve completed this exercise, you should feel relaxed, stress-free, and comfortable. Focus on the sensations of your body.
You’ll fall asleep in a matter of minutes, and you’ll be much more likely to stay asleep through the whole night.
13. Linguistic exercises
Linguistic exercises and word games are always fun, and can help you get your mind off of negative things.
When done right, word games can be an excellent sleeping method, challenging enough to get you to focus, but easy enough to keep you from overthinking and becoming annoyed.
The best linguistic exercise you can do to fall asleep faster is word scramble.
The way this works is – you come up with a word, such as “take”, then you have to switch up one letter to get a new word, for example, “cake”. You play around with the words until you fall asleep, simple as that.
Linguistic exercises step-by-step guide
Get ready for bed. Turn off the lights, remove noise distractions, and get comfortable.
Choose a word you’ll start with. It’s best when it’s a shorter word, four or five letters long. If you have a really great vocabulary, you can choose longer words. However, the game will require greater mental effort then, and can actually prevent you from sleeping if it’s too complicated.
Start playing. Take a word, switch up a single letter to create a new word, then do the same thing again and again. It should go something like this:
“TAKE” – “CAKE” – “MAKE” – “LAKE” – “LANE” – “SANE” – “SALE”
If you’ve run out of ideas, start over with a new word.
Do this over and over until you feel your mind drifting off into sleep.
14. Think of your favorite movie
One of the things that help you sleep is thinking of your favorite movie, but in reverse. It’s very similar to other visualization techniques in that it requires your mind to stay focused, but keeps it from overthinking.
The premise behind the idea is quite simple, you’ll just have to choose a movie you know very well, then play it back in your mind, one scene at a time.
Favorite movie method step-by-step guide
Turn off the lights, remove any noise from your bedroom.
Get comfortable. Any sleeping position works for this technique, so you can lay any way you like.
Start thinking about a movie from its last scene, just before the credits. Remember as many details as possible. The characters’ clothing, hairstyles, the location of the scene, remember everything.
Once you’ve remembered the entire final scene, go back to the one before. Again, be as detailed as you can.
Continue rewinding the movie until you’ve reached the opening credits. You should be completely asleep long before you reach the opening credits, however.
In case the technique didn’t help immediately, and you’ve rewound the entire movie, you can start anew. Just be sure to choose a different movie.
15. Go to your happy place
Everyone has a happy place that they think of in times of need, whether the place is imaginary or real doesn’t matter. When you’re angry and need to calm down, when you’re sad and need to cheer up, when you just need some peace and quiet – you go to your happy place in your mind to remove any negativity from your life.
Your happy place can be anything, a single memory, a beautiful cottage you’ve only seen in a movie, or the castle you’d created in your head when you were a child.
Whatever it is, it should fill you with calm energy. And thinking about your happy place is an ideal visualization technique that will make you fall asleep.
Go to your happy place step-by-step guide
You know by now – your room should be nice and quiet, no lights, no distracting noise.
Close your eyes and try to calm your mind. Don’t think about anything at this moment, just focus on your breathing.
Visualize your happy place. What does it look like? Are there any people there, animals, plants? What sounds would you expect to hear there? Is there any specific scent you’d smell if you were actually there?
Explore the place. If it’s a house, go through the front door, and wander through the rooms. What kind of furniture is there? Is there plenty of sunlight, or is the house lit up by the moonlight?
If your happy place is somewhere outdoors, take a look at the grass and flowers on the ground. Take in the view of the surrounding nature.
Continue exploring your happy place, and allow it to fill you with peace and serenity.
This visualization should help your mind feel at ease, and it should make you forget about your daily struggles. As you explore your happy place, you’ll slowly feel yourself drifting off into slumber, and you’ll fall asleep before you know it.
16. Turn on some peaceful music
While it’s normally required for your room to be quiet if you want to get a good night’s sleep, some people feel uncomfortable with silence, and that’s completely normal.
Sometimes, you do need distractions to fall asleep so that your mind doesn’t focus on your problems. And the best noise distraction that will make you forget about your worries while slowly lulling you to sleep is peaceful music.
Peaceful music step-by-step guide
Just turn off the lights this time. Eliminate any other noise from your bedroom such as the sound of your instant messenger, even the sound of your ticking clock.
Get comfortable in your bed, close your eyes and relax.
Turn on the music. Make sure it’s peaceful and pleasant, no hard rock, heavy metal, drum and bass, etc. Classical is the best, but if you’re not a fan of it, you can play any other peaceful music. Vocals can be too distracting, so instrumental music would be the best.
Turn the volume down so that you can just barely hear it. While slightly louder music can be a good distraction to make you fall asleep, it will be more difficult staying asleep with the volume up.
Focus on the music. Don’t just hear it, listen to it. Let it act as a lullaby.
Peaceful music is the perfect distraction that will help calm you down and prep you for sleep, but it doesn’t work on everyone. Some people need it to relax, others are just too distracted by any noise when they try to fall asleep.
If this sleeping method doesn’t work for you, don’t force it upon yourself. Try another method that suits you better.
17. Ensure your bedroom is nice and cool
You likely have many more restless nights in the middle of summer when you just can’t get comfortable in your bed, and when it’s just too hot to sleep. The same is probably true in the middle of winter when your blankets are just not warm enough to let you sleep.
All this shows just how important room temperature is for a proper night of sleep.
To fall asleep and stay asleep, you need slightly cooler temperatures. Your body naturally cools down by a degree or two when it’s trying to sleep, and keeping your bedroom cooler can help your body reach the most comfortable temperature for sleeping.
Cooldown your bedroom step-by-step guide
Get ready for bed as usual. Turn off the lights and remove noise distractions (or play some peaceful music).
Turn on your AC if it’s summer, or your heater if it’s winter. The best temperature for sleeping is between 60℉ and 67℉ (~15℃ and 20℃). Make sure that your room reaches this temperature before you get into bed.
Since the room temperature will be primed for sleeping, you don’t need to have thick blankets, and you won’t need a blanket at all if it’s summertime. So, just get comfortable in your bed and get ready for sleeping.
If you were wondering how to fall asleep and stay asleep, keeping your room temperature slightly lower will help. But if your mind is preoccupied with worries and anxieties, you’ll likely need to combine this sleeping method with some of the other ones mentioned on this list.
18. Turn off all the lights
Every single method we’ve mentioned here has a crucial first step – turning off the lights. There’s a reason why this step isn’t just implied, but repeated every single time. It’s truly important if you want to fall and stay asleep.
As mentioned, your eyes sense even the faintest of lights whether they’re opened or closed, and this light will impact the quality of your sleep.
Turn off the lights step-by-step guide
Turn off the main lights in your room and any adjacent room. If any light is going through the door it will make it more difficult for you to fall asleep.
Unplug your TVs, monitors, and all devices. Most devices have a small (sometimes blinking) light when they’re plugged in, and even this can be a big distraction.
Invest in high-quality blinds or heavy curtains if there’s too much light from the street getting into your room.
If it’s not possible for your bedroom to be in total darkness, get a sleep mask. Make sure it’s soft and comfortable, fitting snugly around your nose and over your eyes. If it’s too tight, it can be a distraction, if it’s too loose, it can fall off and disrupt your sleep.
Getting rid of all the lights in your room is truly a crucial step you need to take so you can fall asleep faster. It’s a simple thing, but can be very effective when you’re struggling to go to sleep.
19. Meditation exercises
Meditation and mindfulness are ancient techniques that can be used to improve your overall quality of life. They can help you be more in tune with your body and mind, easing your stresses and anxieties, keeping you relaxed, and helping you fall asleep.
Practicing meditation and mindfulness isn’t just a quick fix – you need to do it routinely and stay committed. Dedicate at least a few minutes of your day to meditation and mindfulness, and you’ll see lasting results.
Meditation step-by-step guide
This sleeping technique is done before you actually go to bed, so start with it about half an hour before.
Find a cozy place and get comfortable. Most people would sit down on the floor with their legs crossed and back straight, but this isn’t necessary, especially if it’s your first time practicing meditation and mindfulness.
You can sit on your bed, on a chair, lean against the wall if you want to.
Relax. It’s best to keep your eyes closed, but this again is just an option. Breathe, and feel your surroundings. Notice the sounds that you hear, the temperature of the room, and let it all just happen. Don’t think about your surroundings, just be aware of them.
Breathe slowly. In and out, feel the cool air as you breathe in, and the warm air as you breathe out. Focus on your chest and stomach, expanding and contracting with each breath.
If you want, you can count your breaths, one to ten, then start again.
Your mind will start to wander after a few moments, trying to focus on your problems and concerns. Let it wander, but don’t give in to the thoughts. Let them come and go as they please, take notice of them, but don’t let them carry you away.
If you see yourself focusing on them more and more, divert your attention to your breathing again.
Mindfulness is about being aware of your thoughts, not about actually thinking. Don’t allow your thoughts to consume you, just let them happen.
Commit to meditation and mindfulness for at least 5 to 10 minutes if you’re just starting out. There’s no need to set an alarm, do this for as long as it feels comfortable.
After this exercise, you should feel much more at ease. You’ll leave your worries behind and find it much easier to fall asleep faster.
20. Get rid of clocks
Having clocks and watches in your bedroom can induce stress and anxiety, preventing you from falling asleep. How many times have you checked your watch on a restless night to see what time it is and calculate how much sleep you’ll get if you fall asleep right now? Did it help you fall asleep? It probably made your insomnia even worse.
Besides, if you have a clock on your wall, just the sound of it ticking can make you stressed out, so it’s best to just remove it from your bedroom. This includes your phone, too.
Of course, you likely need your alarm clock, but at least keep it on the other side of the room. That will make it more difficult to hit the snooze button in the morning, so you’ll find it easier to get out of bed.
Get rid of clocks a step-by-step guide
Follow your normal bedtime routine. Take a shower, brush your teeth, ensure your bedroom is nice and cozy.
Set your alarm if you have to. It’s usually best to set just one alarm. Let’s say you have to wake up at 8 o’clock, don’t set the alarm at 7:30, 7:45, and 8:00. This will just disrupt your sleep, and you’ll find it even more difficult to get up.
Set your alarm for just 8:00, and don’t hit the snooze button in the morning. Those 5 extra minutes of sleep will actually make you even more tired, so get up as soon as the alarm starts ringing.
Put your phone away, either somewhere on the other side of the room, or outside the bedroom altogether. This way, you won’t be able to check what time it is – this information will just stress you out – and, you’ll have to get out from your bed in the morning to turn off the alarm, ensuring that you get up on time.
Learn not to pay attention to the time when you’re in bed. Calculating how many hours of sleep you have left won’t help you in any way. Allow yourself to relax and fall asleep. You cannot change the time, so pay no attention to it when you’re trying to get some Zs.
21. Take a warm shower
There’s nothing as relaxing as a nice warm shower at the end of a hard day. It will help you relieve tension from your muscles, it will calm you down, and help you fall asleep faster. So, adding it to your bedtime routine is a must.
Just remember a warm shower, not a hot shower.
You don’t want to raise your body temperature too much before bed. As mentioned, when you sleep your body temperature drops by a degree or two, so it’s better not to warm yourself up too much, as it can delay your sleep.
Warm shower step-by-step guide
Take a warm shower about half an hour to an hour before you go to bed. This will be just as relaxing, but will give you enough time to cool off if you set the water temperature a bit too high.
Continue with your normal bedtime routine. Brush your teeth, watch a YouTube video or two, read a few pages of your favorite book.
Make sure that the temperature in your bedroom is between 60℉ and 67℉ (~15℃ and 20℃).
Turn off the lights, remove any noise that could be distracting, and get in your bed. Get comfortable and prepare for a good night’s sleep.
This sleeping method can, of course, be combined with any of the other methods mentioned here.
22. Watch what you eat and drink
Everyone’s aware that beverages such as coffee can prevent you from falling asleep, but there are many other drinks and foods that you should avoid before bedtime.
Alcohol, for example, is a big no-no. A glass of wine can make you drowsy and sleepy, and if you consume a bit too much alcohol – sure – you’ll likely be able to fall asleep, but not stay asleep. Your sleep quality will be seriously affected, and you’ll wake up feeling even more tired.
If you want to fall asleep faster, you need to pay attention to your diet.
Watch what you eat and drink step-by-step guide
Avoid caffeinated drinks for at least six hours before bed. As mentioned, caffeine can stay in your system for quite some time and should be avoided if you’re hoping to get some Zs.
Have an early dinner, especially if you’ll have a hearty meal. High-fat foods take longer to digest, so if you eat just before bedtime, your sleep will be disrupted. Either you won’t be able to fall asleep, or you’ll continue waking up throughout the night.
Some foods that you should avoid before bed include:
- Fast food (tacos, burgers, pizza, etc.)
- Spicy foods
Have a healthy snack before you go to bed. Just like it’s not a good idea to go to sleep on a full stomach, it’s not a good idea to go on an empty stomach either.
Opt for snacks that are easy to digest, such as:
- Nuts and seeds
Give yourself about an hour to digest the snacks, then get ready for bed as normal.
What we eat and drink can seriously affect how much sleep we’ll get, and whether we’ll get good quality sleep. Pay attention to your diet if you’re having trouble sleeping, and make the necessary changes for quality sleep.
23. Daily exercise is a must
We’ve touched upon this topic in the “Things to do before going to sleep” section, but it’s important to divulge into it. Exercising can clear your mind, relieve stress, make you feel better, and make you tired enough that you start sleeping as soon as you get in bed.
It’s one of the best natural ways to fall asleep, and it doesn’t even have to take too much of your time.
Devote at least half an hour every day to exercising. The more the better, but if you’re on a tight schedule even a few minutes can help.
Daily exercise step-by-step guide
Exercise earlier in the day, in the morning if you can, or at least in the early evening. Exercising raises your body temperature and you’ll feel much more energetic right after it, so you’ll have trouble dozing off.
You need to give yourself enough time to cool off before bed, so exercising about three or four hours before bedtime is usually the best.
Do some cardio if you don’t have enough time to devote to exercising. Just a few minutes of high intensity cardio can work wonders for helping you feel tired and sleepy later in the evening.
Strength training usually requires a bit more time than cardio, but is the perfect solution for tiring you out. Lift some weights, do squats, bench presses, etc. to engage your muscles and fight off insomnia.
Exercising is crucial for the health of your body and mind, so don’t neglect it. Once you’ve fallen into a routine with exercising, sleep will come much easier, and you’ll feel well-rested every time you get up in the morning.
24. Give aromatherapy a try
Aromatherapy is an ancient technique to fall asleep, and it’s proven to be effective time and time again.
It refers to the use of essential oils to promote peace and tranquility by stimulating the smell receptors in the nose.
You can enjoy aromatherapy by lighting scented candles, using bath salts, lotions, having an essential oil massage, or simply putting essential oils into your diffuser or humidifier.
Using a diffuser is the most common way, you can leave it on during the night, and enjoy the benefits for as long as it’s turned on. This will ensure that you can fall asleep easily, and stay asleep.
Aromatherapy step-by-step guide
Start aromatherapy just before you get into bed. If you’re using a diffuser, just turn it on as soon as you start your bedtime routine.
During your aromatherapy, focus only on the scents and sensations that you’re feeling. Try to leave your worries behind, and concentrate on your current experience.
If you’re using a diffuser or humidifier for your aromatherapy, remember to turn it off during the day. You can become desensitized to the scents, and the effects of aromatherapy can be diminished. At least you should keep specific scents (such as lavender) solely for your bedtime routine, and use other scents throughout the day.
Aromatherapy can be a powerful treatment for insomnia and can easily be combined with other sleep techniques to help you fall asleep faster.
25. Get comfortable
Getting comfortable in the bed is often more difficult than it may appear. At one point you’re too hot, at another, you’re too cold, when you move to the side your arm starts getting numb, and when you’re on your back, you can’t breathe easily.
This is why it’s so important to invest in a high-quality mattress. You’ll find a comfortable position much faster.
Comfortable position step-by-step guide
No sleeping position will be comfortable if your mattress is essentially a rock. You’ll need to invest in a firm yet soft mattress, one that will offer support without causing any discomfort.
Don’t go to sleep in tight clothing. Your underwear, socks, and PJs need to be loose and comfy, otherwise, you can even start to experience pain, which will prevent you from sleeping and negatively affect your blood circulation.
Find a comfortable position. Laying on your back can be comfortable and can help you fall asleep, but you might have trouble staying asleep. You’re much more likely to snore and have difficulty breathing when you sleep on your back.
Sleeping face down isn’t a good idea either. You’ll be more likely to experience digestion issues, and not to mention that you’ll likely wake up with neck pain.
The best sleeping position is on the side, preferably your left side. It won’t affect your circulation, it will keep your back and neck in the proper positions, and it will minimize the chances of you waking up in the middle of the night.
Finding a comfortable position can be difficult, but as long as you have a good quality mattress and a suitable pillow, you shouldn’t have any trouble falling asleep.
26. Read a book
This sleeping technique is classic. Nothing can make you forget all about your worries quite like a good book. Reading before sleep is an excellent distraction for your mind, and your eyes will get tired pretty quickly, making falling asleep much easier.
Read a book step-by-step guide
Follow your normal bedtime routine, shower, brush your teeth, get your room nice and cool, and get ready for bed. Remove any noise distractions.
Choose a book. It’s best if the book is not really your favorite so you don’t get too immersed in the story. You’ll want a story that’s distracting, that way you won’t focus on your concerns and problems, but not so distracting that it prevents you from putting it down and going to sleep.
Read for about half an hour to an hour. If you’re worried that you might lose track of time, you can set a reminder or an alarm on your phone. After reading, get comfortable in your bed, close your eyes, and relax.
Reading can be a very effective sleep method, after all, there’s a reason why bedtime stories exist. If you want to guarantee that you’ll fall asleep while reading, perhaps you can choose to read an old textbook from school or find some more serious reading material.
27. Listen to a podcast
Listening to a podcast can be just as effective as listening to peaceful music while you sleep. It will distract your thoughts, help you relax, and alleviate some stress.
Just choose a podcast that’s relaxing, maybe even somewhat boring. If you’re too interested in the topic of the discussion it might distract you too much.
Listen to a podcast step-by-step guide
Turn off the lights in your bedroom and remove any other noise distractions.
Get comfortable in your bed, and play the podcast. If you’re listening to a podcast that has video, turn off the monitor to make sure that there’s no distracting light.
Turn the volume down so that you can barely hear the podcast. You don’t want to be wearing headphones as they can become very uncomfortable.
Focus on the discussion that you’re hearing. Keep your eyes closed and just listen.
After a while, your thoughts will start wandering and you’ll slowly drift off to dreamland. You’ll fall asleep fast and wake up feeling refreshed.
28. Keep a journal
There are many things that can prevent you from falling asleep, but most of us have difficulty sleeping because we’re preoccupied with our issues and anxieties.
It’s very difficult to force yourself to stop worrying, even when you’re aware that worrying will solve nothing. But there’s a very simple thing you can do to calm your mind – write your worries down.
By writing down the things that stress you out, you’ll have a clear overview of everything that’s bothering you, and you’ll be able to let it all go, and return to it the next day if you need to.
Keep a journal step-by-step guide
Get ready for bed, turn off the lights, remove noise distractions, and lay down. Close your eyes.
If you notice that you’re focused on specific things that are worrying you, take out a pen and a piece of paper, and write it all down.
If possible, write down the solutions to your worries as well. The more solutions you come up with, the better.
Once you’ve written all of this down, you can also decide to write down the positive things that you think about. Just a few nice experiences from your day, a cute dog you saw on the street, or a helpful stranger who gave you directions. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s positive.
This exercise can help you in two ways. First, by having your worries written down, you’ll find it easier to let them go for the night, and return to them the next day.
Second, by writing down the positive experiences from your day, you’ll divert your attention to more pleasant things.
This will help you calm down your mind, and you’ll fall asleep more quickly.
29. Try easy acupressure
While there are many people that get stressed out just from the thought of acupuncture, acupressure causes a different reaction. Most people find it relaxing and pleasant.
Acupressure involves putting slight pressure on certain points on your body to alleviate pain and discomfort and relieve stress.
Easy acupressure can be used as a sleep technique in a few simple steps. Let’s take a look.
Acupressure step-by-step guide
Turn off the lights, remove noise distractions. Get ready for sleep as you normally would.
Get to bed and find a comfortable position.
With your finger, put slight pressure on the point just above your nose, in between your eyebrows. Apply pressure, and make small circular motions with your finger.
Focus on your breathing and on the sensation of acupressure.
Next, apply pressure on your feet, on the point where your big toe connects to the next toe. You can againg make circular motions with your finger.
Relax and keep focusing on your breathing and on the sensation on these pressure points.
Applying pressure to these acupressure points is considered to be effective for fighting insomnia and stress. Repeat steps three to six for a few minutes, and you should feel yourself become more relaxed and more sleepy by the second.
30. Spend time outside during the day
Lastly, the best technique to fall asleep at night is to simply spend more time in the sunlight during your day.
Your body has an internal clock that’s in charge of regulating your sleep. This internal clock is extremely sensitive to light and will signal to your body to stay awake and active during the daylight and rest during the night.
By exposing yourself to daylight, you’ll feel more energized and active, and you’ll drain more energy, making you more tired and sleepy at night.
Spend time outside during the day step-by-step guide
Try to wake up early in the morning and have your first-morning coffee on your balcony, soaking up the early morning sun.
If possible, try to exercise outside. Go for a jog, ride your bike, or walk your dog, even if it’s cloudy outside.
Try to spend as much time outside, eating lunch at a nearby park, or going for a short walk during your break. If this isn’t possible, just open the curtains and soak up the sunlight through the window.
By bedtime, you should feel tired and sleepy, ready to hit the hay and travel to dreamland.
The more time you spend in the sunlight, the easier it will be for you to fall asleep at night. So, take every chance you get to spend some time outside, you’ll fight off insomnia and boost your mood and overall wellbeing.
Why you’re having trouble falling asleep
Although sleep is a crucial process that helps us all maintain our physical and mental wellbeing, there are many interior and exterior influences that can affect our sleep.
Below are some of the most common reasons why you might be having difficulty falling asleep, so let’s take a look.
We’re all creatures of habit, so having an established sleeping routine is of utmost importance. Your circadian rhythm regulates your sleep-wake cycle, and if you constantly go against it, you’ll only be creating problems for yourself.
While you don’t have to go to bed at exactly the same minute every day, you should try and be as consistent as possible with your bedtime.
Poor bedtime hygiene
You might be experiencing trouble sleeping due to poor bedtime hygiene. This includes an inconsistent routine and poor habits and practices that can impact your sleep.
Taking sleeping pills regularly, napping, too much screen time before bed, all these constitute poor bedtime hygiene and can disrupt your sleep.
There’s no question about how much stress can impact your overall wellbeing, so it’s not surprising that it can easily disrupt your sleep.
The biggest problem here is that it’s a vicious cycle, you feel stressed so you can’t fall asleep, and this makes you feel even more stressed.
If this is the case with you, it’s important to find ways to deal with stress. Talk with your doctor or therapist to find the best solution for yourself.
Feeling too hot
As we previously discussed, temperature plays an important role in helping you fall asleep. Since the body temperature naturally drops when you sleep, if you’re feeling too hot, you’ll have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep.
Lower the temperature in your bedroom a bit, and you should notice the difference immediately.
While you’ll want to feel slightly cooler when you go to sleep, if your feet are too cold, you’re likely to experience problems sleeping. Blood cannot circulate normally when your feet are too cold, and your body will have trouble redistributing temperature necessary for sleeping.
So, try wearing socks or placing a heating pad at the foot of your bed when you go to sleep.
Coffee and alcohol
Both of these beverages strongly affect your sleep. Coffee can prevent you from falling asleep, while alcohol can impact your sleep quality.
Although it’s generally recommended not to drink coffee about six hours before bedtime, if you’re struggling with insomnia for unknown reasons, try to cut down on the amount of coffee you drink throughout the day.
Avoid alcohol before bedtime if you’re having trouble staying asleep.
Millions of people around the world suffer from sleep disorders. Around 30% of adults report suffering from insomnia, in the US over 25 million adults suffer from sleep apnea, 48% of people report problems with snoring.
There are many sleep disorders, medical conditions, and even prescription drugs that could be impacting your ability to fall asleep. Consult with your doctor if you’ve suddenly started experiencing trouble sleeping for no obvious reason.
Scientific methods: How to fall asleep instantly
If you need to learn how to fall asleep instantly, and none of the aforementioned methods seem to be working, there are a few scientifically proven methods that you can try. Let’s check them out.
The military method
You’d imagine that those in the military have a lot of trouble falling asleep – with all the noise, too much caffeine during the day, and all that jazz. However, most of them can fall asleep quite easily, by following the military method for sleep.
It’s reported that this method can put you to sleep in under two minutes.
The military method step-by-step guide
Lay down and try to relax. Focus on your face and all the muscles in it, and relieve tension from them completely.
Next, relieve tension from your shoulders and relax your arms.
Relax your torso, legs, and feet, and focus on breathing.
Visualize a relaxing scene, a meadow, a field of flowers, anything that you find to be tranquil.
Clear your mind completely and keep all your muscles relaxed.
You should fall asleep within seconds. If it doesn’t work immediately, you’ll need to practice relaxing your muscles completely.
4-7-8 breathing method
You’ll likely need some practice with this sleeping method, but it can be very effective once you’re used to it.
It’s all about proper breathing and learning how to keep your mind empty.
4-7-8 breathing method step-by-step guide
Lay down, lights off, no noise.
Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth, just behind your teeth, and open your lips slightly.
Exhale through the mouth, keeping your tongue in the same position throughout this exercise.
Close your lips, and inhale through your nose while counting to four seconds.
Hold your breath for seven seconds.
Part your lips and exhale through the mouth (again, not moving your tongue from its position behind the teeth). Count eight seconds while you’re exhaling.
Continue breathing like this for a few minutes. Inhale through the nose slowly, counting four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, then exhale through the mouth for eight seconds.
Keep your mind clear and empty, and you should be able to fall asleep almost immediately.
Progressive muscle relaxation
This technique is supposed to help you relax and forget your worries by encouraging you to focus on your body and the present moment. You’ll need to tense up your muscles, then slowly relax them which will help you to feel at ease.
Progressive muscle relaxation step-by-step guide
Turn off the lights, remove noise distractions, and go to bed. This technique is best done while lying flat on your back.
Start from your forehead. Raise your eyebrows as much as you can, and hold them like this for five seconds.
After five seconds, relax your eyebrows and feel the tension leave your body. Once you’ve done this, just lay there relaxed for ten seconds.
Now smile as widely as you can. Keep the smile for five seconds, then relax. Wait ten seconds.
Keep your eyes closed, but squint them. Keep squinting for five seconds, then relax. Wait ten seconds.
Continue doing the same exercise with the rest of your body, one muscle at a time. Move on to your arms, tightening your muscles, then relaxing them. Do the same with your torso, tights, calves, feet, etc.
This exercise is very effective, and you’ll likely fall asleep before you’ve tensed up and relaxed all the muscles in your body.
What causes you to fall asleep quickly?
Falling asleep quickly is possible if you’re feeling physically or mentally tired, or if you’re feeling almost completely relaxed, both in your body and your mind.
However, it’s important to know that there are certain sleep disorders that can make you fall asleep quickly, such as narcolepsy.
How long does it take to fall asleep?
It’s difficult to determine exactly how much time it takes a person to fall asleep, as this depends on many factors. If you’re not suffering from sleep deprivation, sleep disorders, and if you’re not excessively tired, it should take you on average between 10 and 20 minutes to fall asleep from the moment you climb into bed.
How many hours of sleep do I need?
How many hours of sleep you need depends mostly on your age. Adults aged between 18 and 64 are recommended to have between 7 and 9 hours of sleep. Those over 65 will need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep.
Keep in mind, however, that if you’re highly physically active or if you’re sick, you’ll need more hours of sleep than this because your body uses sleep to heal and restore.
Why can’t I sleep?
In most cases, people can’t sleep because they’re dealing with stress or anxiety, but there are many factors that can affect sleep.
You might be having trouble sleeping because of physical or mental illness, sleep disorders, your daily activity level, diet, coffee and alcohol consumption, and more. It’s best to consult your doctor if you cannot find out the cause of your insomnia.
Can I function on 4 hours of sleep?
Technically, you can function on 4 hours of sleep. You’ll find, however, that your productivity, energy levels, and motivation have taken a hit.
If you’re consistently getting 4 hours of sleep, this can impact your physical and mental wellbeing. Those struggling with sleep deprivation are often more susceptible to getting sick and having health issues.
Can CBD really help you sleep better?
Studies have suggested that CBD, a hemp-derived extract without psychoactive properties, can be an effective treatment for insomnia, among other things. It directly affects the natural endocannabinoid system which is responsible for regulating sleep and has numerous properties that can improve sleep quality.
It’s best to consult with your doctor about using CBD for insomnia, as they can help you determine whether this is the right treatment for you, and if so, which dosage would suit your condition best.
When do I need to see a sleep doctor?
There’s no reason to go to a sleep specialist if you struggle with falling asleep only on occasion. As a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended that you go to a sleep doctor if you haven’t slept well for over 3 weeks.
There are numerous sleep techniques and methods that you can try out if you’re having problems with falling or staying asleep. The ones mentioned above have so far proven to be the most effective.
If any of them is not working well for you, you can try combining different methods, or you can just move on to the next method from the list. Either way, we’re sure you’ll find a method that will help you deal with your sleeping difficulties. We hope you learned something useful from this “How to fall asleep fast” in-depth guide.