How To Fall Asleep Fast: Sleep Hacks!
Sleep. It’s a hot topic these days. How much do I need? Is my bed sufficient? Do I have insomnia? Do I oversleep? Will I develop an incurable disease if I don’t get my eight hours?
While we can’t answer every pressing sleep question, we CAN offer you a few simple changes you can make to better your sleep — a “sleep hack,” if you will. Take a look below to see a few of our life hacks for how to fall asleep and stay asleep for better health and wellness!
The Circadian Rhythm is Gonna Get Ya!
We’ll start by describing a key function of the human body: the circadian rhythm. Also known as your wake-sleep cycle, the circadian rhythm is controlled by the amount of light and dark exposure you receive during your day. In short, it is the part of you that’s in charge of your sleep schedule/patterns.
The Dynamic Duo of Sleep Hormones
With the circadian rhythm comes two key hormones you’ve likely heard of: melatonin and cortisol. “Oh, melatonin. I know that stuff. I can buy it at CVS.” True. Melatonin is marketed and sold as a “natural sleep aid.”
This is, simply put, because it already occurs naturally in your body. It is the hormone largely responsible for putting you to sleep at night, and its peak production time is — you guessed it — nighttime.
With a yin usually comes a yang, right? This is where cortisol comes in. It is the lively, more alert brethren of melatonin. Cortisol is known to peak in the morning and keeps you alert. These two hormones help keep you and your sleep in balance.
Find Your Balance
As we have described above, each of the two hormones peaks at a certain and appropriate time of the day. Melatonin is the night owl. Cortisol is the early bird. With this in mind, a simple idea arises: “What if I could get less cortisol at night and more in the morning?”
You’ve hit the nail on the head. How, then, do we accomplish this? It’s simple.
Sunlight is the enemy of melatonin productionand the friend of cortisol. Less light at bedtime = easier, more restful sleep. More sunlight in the morning = easier, more alert mornings.
Before you shut those curtains at night, think to yourself: “Will I get any sunlight in the morning?” While sunlight first thing in the morning, coupled with your iPhone’s alarm clock blaring, sounds like pure torture (and certainly can be), the sunlight is actually a great way to help you rise and feel more alert in the morning and keep you from hitting that snooze button.
A simple thing like ditching the blackout curtains or just leaving your curtains open can have you jumping out of bed alert and ready to face the day. Give it a try and see if your mornings aren’t just a bit brighter. It’s such an easy life hack for sleep that can make a world of difference.
It does more than just help you wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Remember, the sleep hormone system is all about balance. If you have trouble sleeping at night, it might be because you didn’t get enough sunlight and cortisol during the day.
So this simple hack of keeping your curtains open will help to get your hormones all balanced and sorted out. It will align your circadian rhythm with the natural night and day cycle, so your body will release melatonin like it should when it’s time for bed. Best sleep of your life, here we come.
If you’re looking for techniques to fall asleep quicker, we have some suggestions as well! Just learning a quick sleep hack will have you rested and ready to rock in the morning.
Artificial Light Will Keep You Awake
When wondering how to fall asleep fast, light continues to be an issue on the opposite end of the spectrum from the importance of sunlight in the morning. Too much light when you are trying to fall asleep will keep you from doing just that.
Sure, we all kind of know that it’s bad to be on your phone before bed. But there’s a scientific reason for that. Cell phones and tablets produce what is called “blue light,” and studies have shown for years that it can drastically throw off your circadian rhythm.
Put That Phone Down
We suggest putting up your cell phone altogether. Still, if you like to do some reading or browsing to help you relax before going to sleep, the new iPhones offer their Night Shift mode. It will dim the screen for bedtime use and will not trick your brain into thinking it’s time to get up and moving.
If you don’t have this feature on your cell phone, we suggest moving away from bedtime phone use as it may be causing a lack of ability to get that much-needed shut-eye. Those emails, TikToks, and Facebook posts can wait until the morning!
If you want to make sure that you get a good night of sleep, it’s a smart idea to put your phone down for the night about an hour before bed. Take this time to unwind and come down after a long day. Maybe make some chamomile tea, turn on a white noise machine, and breathe in some of your favorite essential oils.
Taking this time to bring your stress levels and your heart rate down will help get your body in the mood for sleep. So when you lie down on your oh-so-lovely mattress, it’ll be lights out, no problem.
Sleep Hacks: Keep Those Lights Dim at Night
Now that we have tackled how to fall asleep, we need to address how to get back to sleep if you are forced to get up in the middle of the night. Whether you are getting up at night for a quick snack, to check on your little ones, or to use the bathroom, turning on your bright lights full force can hinder you from getting back to sleep when you lay back down.
One of the easiest sleep hacks that we have found is finding a way to keep your lights dim if you are forced to get up in the middle of the night. You don’t want to turn your lights on full blast because it will trick your brain into thinking that it is time to get up and move, and that’s the last thing that you want to do.
If you do not have a dimming ability on the lights in your home, try getting some inexpensive nightlights to put around your home. Put one in the kitchen, one in the bathroom, one in your child’s room, and anywhere else where you might be venturing in the middle of the night.
This is one of the easiest and most effective life hacks you should know. If you keep things darker, your brain will let you ease right back into a quality deep sleep when it’s time to lay back down.
While we’re on the subject of light, you should also make sure that your sleep environment is dark to begin with. Again, your body needs darkness to start producing that sweet melatonin and get some sleepiness in your system. Make it one of your sleep habits to turn off every light and sleep in total darkness.
Keep It Cool
It can be tempting to cozy up in some warm pajamas, cuddle under a few of your favorite blankets, and turn on that space heater to get to bed. There’s nothing like feeling snug as a bug in bed. But, believe it or not, this could be making your sleep worse.
About two hours before bedtime approaches, your body temperature is programmed to drop up to two degrees Fahrenheit. So if your body is too hot before bed, your nervous system is not getting the signals that say that it’s time to get to sleep.
On top of that, a hot bedroom can even disrupt you while you’re in deep sleep. Higher body temperatures can decrease those slow sleep waves that restore your brain and body throughout the night.
The solution: keep your bedroom on the cool side at night. The ideal bedroom temperature is about 65 degrees Fahrenheit, but this varies from person to person. If you keep it cool, you’ll be able to get a tight, restful eight hours of sleep with no problem.
So turn down the thermostat, shed a layer or two, and get a mattress pad that helps keep your body temperature cool. All these things can help improve your sleep every night.
Life Hack Yourself Into a Good Night’s Sleep!
We all want to be able to fall asleep fast. Using some of these simple and effective sleep hacks, you should be able to get to sleep quicker, stay asleep longer, have better sleep quality, and wake up refreshed the next day. This will help you be ready to get out there and face the day. Do you have any life hacks for better sleep… or life in general?
Let us know in the comments below. Or, if you have any questions about how to fall asleep fast, comment below as well!
For more information about sleep and for a high-quality selection of bedding products that can help make your sleep more comfortable, check us out at eLuxury.