Falling asleep is very important to the quality and amount of sleep you get.  Sleep is such an important factor in our overall health and it is often overlooked. When we sleep our bodies go into a recover mode, where basic body maintenance is performed. You may have noticed that you sweat when you sleep, that because the body is working overtime. We should be getting between 6-8 hours of sleep each night, which to some of us sounds impossible. In our hectic lives, it seems like we have less time in the day and getting the required sleep is tough.

It seems to be getting harder for some of us to fall asleep and stay asleep. Here are some helpful techniques and practices you should try to get to sleep faster and easier.

 

Avoid afternoon caffeine –

Drinking coffee or tea can mess with your sleep even if it’s many hours before your bedtime. We each react differently to caffeine and it obviously affects some of us more than others. If you enjoy a coffee or tea in the afternoon and also have issues falling asleep at night, maybe cut that out. That added caffeine kick-start is affecting your sleep, hours after you drink it. Instead, try drinking some warm water with lemon in it, the vitamin C and warm water combined has an effect similar to caffeine.

 

Take a pre bed bath-  

Turn on the hot water, light a candle and poor yourself a nice glass of wine. A hot bath not only relaxes you but afterwards the rapid cool down of your body temperature after getting out helps your body fall asleep faster. It is focusing so much energy to keep you warm that your body quickly gets tired and you can just slip away to dream town. Pretty cool huh? You get a nice bath and you fall asleep faster, sounds like a winner to me.

 

Lower your lights –

Try turning the TV off at least an hour before bed and stay off your phone; the bright lights mess with your circadian rhythm. The lights affect our brain and it signals it to be alert and awake, the opposite of what you want to happen.  Turn your lights down low, turn off the TV and try reading a book or just relax with your thoughts. The lowered lights and not having screen lights signals to your brain that its bed time.

 

Cooler room –

Colder rooms make you bundle up and your body exerts energy to stay warm, making it tired and you fall asleep faster. Try cranking the thermostat to 65 degrees Fahrenheit or colder. This chilly temp makes your body more tired and you fall right to sleep. Who doesn’t like getting all bundled up in bed? Our bodies have a much harder time falling asleep in warmer temperatures.

 

Wear socks –

Wearing socks to bed improves your circulation and makes you feel warm and cozy. The improved circulation helps your body relax and calm down. Just make sure the socks aren’t too tight, you don’t want to cut off circulation completely. Wear a nice loose pair of socks and you are ready for bed.

 

Relaxing music or white noise –

A white noise machine or soothing smooth jazz can put you right to sleep. The science on this is the white noise allows your brain to stop focusing and finally zone out.

 

Hopefully these tips help you get the sleep your body needs.

 

Photos courtesy of City Girl Likes,  Zen Smarts, Harvard, Philadelphia Magazine