We have all been there when the clock chimes an unbearable hour and you roll over to find that, once again, you’ve twiddled hours away counting sheep without any luck. Unfortunately, when it comes to falling asleep quickly, a lot of us struggle in this area as common sleep disorders like insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and poor lifestyle habits keep our minds racing well into the night.
Chances are though that the cause of not falling asleep quickly can be attributed to something you are doing or are not doing right before bedtime. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the common reasons why people are not falling asleep quickly and what you can do about it. We will provide science-backed techniques for you to use, lifestyle changes, and tips on how to train your brain to say goodnight within mere-minutes.
7 Reasons Why You Are Not Falling Asleep Faster
1. You Are Choosing to Exercise Too Late At Night.
If you are an avid nighttime exerciser, you are probably impairing your ability to fall asleep fast. Why? A heart-pumping and sweaty workout is going to raise your core body temperature and rev your body into overdrive, causing a ton of physical stress. Since your body needs to cool down before sleep, you are inhibiting it’s ability to do so, as it will stay in a raised state from your workout.
2. You Have an Inconsistent Sleep Schedule.
If you do not have a consistent sleep schedule, your body’s internal clock isn’t being synced which means you will not feel sleepy at the same time every night. This makes it difficult to fall asleep fast if you are still wide awake from the inconsistency of sleep during the previous day.
3. Your Room Temperature Isn’t Right.
In order for you to have a refreshing sleep, your body needs to be able to cool down by a couple of degrees. If you have an unbearably hot bedroom or one that is too cold, you’re not going to be able to fall asleep fast or peacefully. You can combat this by using a fan, sleeping in less clothes, or turning down the heat.
4. You Are Too Stressed Out From the Day.
This is one of the major non-medical reasons for why people have trouble falling asleep as your brain can get into a worry cycle when you lay down because there is nothing to distract you. When our minds wander, it is often to the negatives thoughts, which can cause stress and prevent one from getting to sleep.
5. You’ve Consumed Caffeine Too Late Into the Night.
Although caffeine late at night doesn’t affect everyone, it does have a major impact on the majority of individuals. The half-life of caffeine ranges anywhere from three to five hours, meaning that the remaining amount will stay within your body and keep you awake. This is why a lot of people who drink coffee in the evening have issues getting to sleep at night. Either stop consuming caffeine in the late afternoon or keep your milligram count to under four hundred.
6. Too Much Light Exposure.
Whether you like to sleep with the television on at night, keep a small nightlight on in the hallway, or live in the city where the light shines through your windows, too much of it will impair your quality of sleep and stop you from getting to sleep.
To find out if too much light is the issue, turn off your electronics an hour before bed so that your melatonin production isn’t inhibited (it’s the hormone that makes you sleepy), use blackout shades on the windows, and eliminate all sources of light. This may include closing your bedroom door at night, donning a sleeping mask, or breaking the habit of late night television.
7. Your Digestion System Is In Overdrive.
When it comes to a snack right before bedtime, what do you choose to consume? If you are biting into a few slices of pizza or a bowl of chips or other junk food item, chances are you are laying awake because your digestion system is in overdrive trying to whittle the food down into the blocks of nutrition it needs.
On the flip side, if you are too hungry right before bed, those hunger pains are going to keep you awake for longer, causing you to take the long route to sleeping soundly. Before hitting the bed, choose to eat a small snack filled with complex carbohydrates, as this will keep the hunger pains at bay but won’t overload your system.
6 Solutions You Can Use to Fall Asleep Quicker!
1. Consider Concealing Your Alarm Clock.
If you are the type of person to toss and turn while watching the minutes tick away, it would be pertinent to conceal your clock. When you constantly check on the time, you are inadvertently, causing your stress levels to spike. This will make your nervous system rev up, making it much harder to fall asleep fast. So hide it away instead!
2. Remodel Your Bedroom to Remove Sleep Interrupters.
Prior to the invention of smartphones and the auto-play on Netflix, people would sleep in the cool darkness without any artificial light or sound. The light from electronic devices and the sound from the distractions they play are major melatonin disruptors, causing you to fall asleep slower. To fall asleep quicker, remove these from your room completely and dim the lights thirty minutes before bed.
3. Use Visualization to Remove Rumination.
A lot of individuals struggle with unwanted thoughts before bedtime, to combat this, use visualization (similar to daydreaming) to keep them at bay and paint a scene that is calming, serene, and relaxing. You could visualize yourself in a calm forest, in a field of flowers, or doing something repetitive and boring.
4. Consider Using Binaural Beats to Alter Your Brain Waves.
There is preliminary evidence that suggests specific sound patterns and frequencies can sync with our brainwave patterns and alter them. You can use this to your advantage and improve your drowsiness by using them. If you find that these do not work, you could always try out white noise, which has been proven to induce sleep.
5. Force Your Body Temperature to Drop.
One way to get to sleep faster is by taking a warm bath or shower right before bed and then letting the cold air hit you full force as you get out. Not only will you be relaxing your muscles with the warm temperature of the water but the cold temperature will force your body to drop its temperature, mimicking what happens right before sleep.
6. Use Relaxation Aids Like Music and Aromas.
If you are the type of person who responds well to scents, purchasing some lavender and using it before bed can help you get to sleep faster. Simply smell it for two minutes at three, ten-minute intervals before bed and enjoy a deeper sleep. Other than this, put on music that has a slow rhythm of 60-80 beats per minute, as this can lull you to sleep.