7 Basic Ways To Get To Sleep Faster TonightApril 1, 2022
Improve Your Sleep Tonight
Did you know that as adults, we need a sleep routine just like children?
Many adults have trouble either getting to sleep or staying asleep through the night. This is a problem because of how important sleep is for our body and especially our brain.
Why Do We Need Sleep?
While we sleep our body rests, recovers and regenerates. Our brain, through the G-lymph system, gets ‘cleaned’ and toxins are removed and flushed away. Without sleep, this process doesn’t happen.
For us to fall asleep quickly when we go to bed, we need to have a good bedtime routine developed so that we aren’t over-stimulated when we try and sleep. Follow these simple steps to improve your time to fall asleep.
Steps to Fall Asleep Faster
- Avoid screens 1 hr before bedtime
- Avoid stimulants 4 hrs before bedtime (i.e., caffeine, sugar, chocolate)
- Stop eating 2 hrs before bedtime
- In the last 30 mins before going to bed, do something calming (i.e., have a bath, read a book, do a puzzle, journal, meditate, stretch, gentle yoga, talk to a friend/loved one)
- Make your room as dark and quiet as possible
- Keep your phone across the room from your bed so you’re forced out of bed to turn off your alarm
- Do a Brain Dump when you get into bed – write everything down that you are thinking about or need to do the following day in a notebook. This signals your brain that you will remember to do it since it is written down.
What Affects Negatively Affects Sleep?
- Hormone balance
- Low progesterone can cause increased anxiety and time to fall asleep, as well as sleep interruptions or nighttime waking
- Low melatonin can cause an increased time to fall asleep
- Elevated cortisol at night can cause an increase time to fall asleep or interrupted sleep
- Blood sugar
- Unbalanced blood sugar can cause waking during the night, and increased time to fall asleep
- Nighttime routine
- Screen time in bed negatively affects sleep. The blue light from screens tricks the brain into thinking that it is daytime and suppresses melatonin production, leaving you feeling awake for longer. You should avoid screens in the last hour before going to bed.
- Exercise too close to bed time. Exercising is great for your body and mind but exercising in the evening or at night can cause disruption in your sleep cycle. Typically after exercising your adrenaline remains high 1-2 hrs, so you will not feel tired. Try to exercise in the morning or early afternoon to avoid this. You can also try a gentle stretching or yoga routine in the evening for a calming routine rather than a stimulating one.
- Alcohol. Alcohol intake affects your ability to stay asleep, and also affects your blood sugar. Avoid alcohol 4 hrs before going to bed to protect your sleep cycles.
- Stimulants. Stimulants such as caffeine, sugar and B vitamins should be avoided 4 hrs before bed as well.
- Temperature. Your body temperature naturally reduces slightly when you sleep, so sleeping in a hot room can affect your ability to fall asleep. The ideal temperature to fall asleep in is slightly colder than room temperature.
Improve Your Bedtime Routine To Improve Your Sleep
Your nighttime routine should begin 1-2 hours before your planned bedtime so that you can calm your mind and your body to prep for sleep. Ideal activities before sleep are:
- Reading (a real book, not a screen)
- Writing – journaling, free writing, brain dump
- Yoga or stretching
- Drinking tea or a warm drink
- Having a bath or shower
- Sitting with a friend or loved one and chatting
Do you think you’re experiencing any of this? We’d love to help. Testing can be done to determine the specific cause of disrupted sleep so that we can treat the cause, while avoiding band-aid solutions.
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