We all have days we get into bed hoping to sleep instantly, have the night of our life and experience unforgettable dreams. But time drags itself and you keep tossing and turning in bed with no hope of falling asleep. Its like you are a night owl roaming around looking for a family to bait with bad omen. Your bed gets uncomfortable and you feel an uncontrollable urge to wee. Time drags on and you can’t wait for morning to come or rather for you to sleep.It's hard to sleep when your heart is at war with your mind.Click To Tweet
If you experience this then it might give you peace to know that I experience insomnia too. In fact it has been happening for many years now. Kidding. Just five years. Insomnia is on the rise. You need to only look at the statistics to know that the world is not getting enough sleep. Check the shocking insomnia statistics by Thegoodbody.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder whereby you have trouble falling or staying asleep. It can be acute which can last 1 night to few weeks or it can be chronic which happens at least 3 times a week for more than three months.
There are two types of insomnia: primary insomnia and secondary insomnia.
Primary insomnia involves sleep problems that aren’t linked to any other health condition or problem while secondary insomnia involves health related conditions like asthma,depression,cancer,pain,medication or substances like alcohol.
If you are experiencing secondary insomnia, I recommend that you get proper advice from your doctor. This post will only focus on simple hacks that you can start practicing today to help you fall asleep faster. However, the results will vary from one person to another. What works for me might not work for you. Be free to only take advice that suits you. Read my disclaimer for more information. If you like more information about insomnia, click here.
Here are a few related posts you might want to read, too:
- Morning Routine Ideas that Will Make You Want to Wake Up Early.
- How To wake up early without an alarm
- 12 reasons you wake up feeling tired everyday
- How to wake up early and not feel tired.
- 8 things you should never do in the morning
- 7 healthy self care habits to maximize your morning routine
- 5 best essential oil blends to diffuse for deep sleep.
With that said,lets dive into the juicy hacks to help you sleep instantly at night.
Declutter you mind before sleeping
According to research. a person has 60,000 thoughts throughout the day. Imagine how many thoughts you think before sleeping. Its like your life becomes a cinema before your eyes.
That’s when you remember the yogurt you left on the kitchen island before going to work or the dog that looked at you with sad eyes or the ex you are trying your best to remember. Its like everything hits you hard when you enter your bed. Sometimes those thoughts can keep you tossing and turning in your bed for hours. That’s why its so important to declutter before bed. If stress is causing you to have sleepless nights, you should check out this 10 best ways to manage stress when life is hard.
Here are tips to help you spring clean your brain and rid yourself of the thinking patterns that keep you from sleeping.
- Keep a journal. You do not have to be prolific writer to keep a journal. In fact you can write it the way that best suits you from making sketches to lists. The most important thing is to put down your thoughts. It is a great way to relax your mind by analyzing and organizing your thoughts. The best part is, its a form of self-love. [Read: How to love yourself no matter what]
- Limit the number of media intake at least one hour before sleeping. We consume so much media especially at night which can have a toil on your mental health. We love reading blogs and checking what’s new in our friends life before sleeping.This abundance of information can clog your mind and cause anxiety or depression. Limit the amount of information you consume and if possible switch your media off to give yourself ample time for sleep.
- Breathe. Take a deep breathe,pause and repeat. How does it feel? Lightheaded right. Deep breathing is a simple yet effective technique to clear your mind and help you sleep. Other than being a stress-reliever,breathing exercises also promote concentration which we are obviously focusing on in order to get sleep.
Just like our cabinets and cupboards ,our minds too need tidying up from time to time.
Drink milk or soy milk
Milk contains tryptophan which when released in the brain produces serotonin which is a serenity boosting neurotransmitter. Tryptophan is an amino acid that can help the human body produce serotonin , a brain chemical that can induce deeper and more restful sleep by creating melatonin which is responsible for a person’s sleep-wake cycle. Milk also contains calcium which when maintained in the body can help a person sleep.
However, engaging in multiple sleep inducing activities could help improve sleep quality. Therefore, solely relaying on milk to help you sleep could be limiting you to experience better sleep.
Warm milk can help you sleep too. A study that appeared in the British Medical Journal in 1972 examined how people slept after drinking warm milk. The study discovered that people who drank warm milk made less movements during sleep compare to people who drank warm water. If warm milk can help you stay asleep and with minimal movements then its worth giving a shot.
I also have to acknowledge that some people are lactose intolerant. Don’t worry. There is an option for you. Soy milk is a great substitute to milk and is guaranteed to give you the same results as milk. Soy milk is also rich in tryptophan. A 2010 study by the Universidade Federal de Sao Paolo found that soy, in general,may help ease sleep problems for older postmenopausal women. This is due to isoflavones present in soy products.
You might want to give milk or soy milk a try if you have been struggling to sleep/stay asleep.
Take a hot bath before bed
A hot bath may be just what you need to help you fall asleep faster. We all could appreciate some relaxing time after a long and stressful day to just help you calm down at the same time helping you sleep. Research shows that taking a hot bath about 90 minutes before bed could help you fall asleep more quickly.The hot water aids in changing your temperature so that you can go to bed with a lower temperature which signals your body that it’s time for bed.
When the core body temperature is lowered, it signals the pineal gland to produce melatonin which aids in sleeping. However, some people may prefer taking a cold bath. The disadvantage of doing this is that,it causes the body temperature to drop lower which leads it to go into a fight or flight response which is alarming.
Also, avoid bathing close to bedtime as it does not give enough time for your body temperature to cool which may have reverse effects other than the desired results.
Baths have a different effect on the body than showers. It changes your body temperature more quickly since it is a stimulus that surrounds the body. It is also a lower risk intervention and reasonable way to get yourself to sleep faster. Using bubble bath forms a layer of insulation around the body , keeping it warmer for longer and since you are lying down, your body can relax in a different way.
Even though you are not a fan of taking baths, the relaxing sleep you experience afterwards is worth it.
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Try sleeping on your left side
This is a new concept for many but guess what, it works. Not only does it help you sleep faster, but also allows bowel movement which is important.It prevents hurt burn and allows gravity to move waste through your colon which encourages you to go to the bathroom after waking up.
If you usually eat immediately before bed, sleeping on your left side will aid in digestion of the food which is later transferred to the large intestine. Not only will it aid in digestion but also to prevent you from getting a heartburn. Research theorize that sleeping on your left side , the stomach and gastric juices remain lower than the esophagus which means that there will be no influx of acid to the esophagus. It also stimulates the drainage of toxins from your lymph nodes ,improves blood circulation and helps your brain filter out waste.
Snoring and sleep apnea is also reduced when you sleep on the left side. It keeps the tongue falling backwards into the throat which partially blocks the airway causing one to snore. However, If sleeping on the left side doesn’t help you to stop snoring then you need to contact your doctor.
How to get the most from sleeping on your left side
- Find a pillow that fits your collarbone and supports your height so that your head and neck stay aligned with your spine.
- Place a pillow between your knees to support your lower back and hips. Make sure that its firm enough so that you don’t fall.
- Hug a pillow from your front to support your top arm.
- Keep your arms parallel.
If you are a side sleeper, you should consider sleeping on the left side.
Only use your bed for sleep
Am I the only one who is usually tempted to read a book or write my journal on my bed before I sleep? Well, it might be hindering you from sleeping immediately you enter your sheets.
Your bedroom should be a sacred space that should only be used to sleep. This helps your brain to know that being in the bedroom means it’s time to fall asleep. Having multiple distractions in your room interferes in your transaction into sleep. As I earlier stated, avoid or switch off your phone before sleeping. Its a distraction that keeps you awake instead of helping you sleep. Working on your laptop or watching your favorite movie on your bed is still a distraction. Keep all form of technology away from your bed. Unfortunately, research shows that the blue light emitted by these gadgets hinder us from getting sleep.
I wouldn’t do you any justice if I do not remind you not to eat on your bed. First of all, how do you invite unwelcome guests such as bugs and cockroaches on your bed just because you want to eat on it. The cramps you leave on your bedding brings in all type of unwanted situations and it doesn’t do your mental health any good. Untidiness is a sign of poor mental health. You should check on that.
Teat your bed like a sacred place whereby you don’t just do anything on it. Use it only for sleep and sex .
Use white noise to help you sleep
Of all the tips that I have given you today, this has to be my favorite. A good friend of mine suggested this idea to me to listen to white noise after expressing to him that I had insomnia and it works. White noise is a random signal having equal intensity at different frequencies giving it a constant power spectral density. Okay, I do not want to complicate your life by giving you hard terminologies. In simple terms, white noise is produced by combining sounds of all different frequencies together. Because it contains all frequencies, it is frequently used to mask other noises.
Its like being in a noisy room and turning on the fan or television to drown out the other noise. So how is it going to make you sleep? If you have trouble sleeping or staying asleep, creating a constant ambient sound could help mask activity from inside and outside your house. It should be anything that creates a consistent and soothing backdrop throughout the night.
The kind of white noise I listen to when sleeping is rain sounds. Have you ever asked yourself why you sleep like a baby when its raining? Well its because it is a form of white noise. It masks noise from in an out of your house. but the fact is it won’t rain every single day. What you can do is to stream rain sounds from a white noise machine, Soundcloud or Spotify.They are accessible in those platforms. Personally, I stream the rain sounds from Soundcloud.
It helps you relax and mask out noise .
Sleeping is very important. If you use the steps that I have highlighted, You will start sleeping instantly when you get in bed at night.
Now its up to you to go and start sleeping instantly. If you have enjoyed reading this blog, go ahead and share with your friends and family.