How to get to sleep quickly!
People often ask for ways to help you go to sleep quickly. I want to unpack this request a bit... Firstly, by saying “how to get to sleep quickly” you are already putting yourself under quite a bit of pressure which will subconsciously cause you to feel anxious around bedtime. This is setting you up for failure before you’ve begun. Second, by saying “get to sleep quick” suggests you are in a rush and so feel like you have limited time to designate to sleep. You want to be highly effective with the sleep process and fall asleep quickly in order to keep to a tight schedule. There are many things wrong if you resonate with this second explanation. Sleeping should not be an afterthought or something you have to squeeze into your busy schedule. It should not be the thing that gets cut or shortened in order to make more time to juggle all the things in your schedule.
We should all be sleeping between 7 - 8 hours per night. This is the amount of time our body and mind needs to perform all of its restorative tasks and functions each night. When we give it this optimal time, we are more likely to wake up feeling fresher with a clear head and most importantly reduce other long term risks that come with consistently sub 7 hour sleeps.
In this post, we will still try to respond to this get to sleep quick request and try to provide some helpful tips and tricks for things to consider during the day to help you get ready for bed and hopefully fall asleep quickly. The reality is, if you prioritise the right amount of time for sleep and improve your sleep hygiene, you will hopefully find that you end up falling asleep much more quickly as your body will get into a better, more structured routine that will become habitual.
So here are some ideas to better set you up for bed and hopefully send you off to sleep more quickly:
- Take time to unwind down before bed: The important thing is we have to shift our brain and bodies into sleep mode. If we are highly engaged and active during the day and then immediately leap into bed, it will be very hard to switch off and lull ourselves into sleep. if you are on your laptop working late or using various apps on your mobile (scrolling through Instagram or swiping your way through Hinge) you're cognitively and emotionally engaged. This mental stimulation keeps your brain awake and makes it hard to switch off. So try not to engage yourself in any emotionally charged or potentially stressful activities just before bed, it will undoubtedly leave your mind switched on.
- Keep your bed and office separate: If you can (and I am well aware this is not always possible), try not to work in your bed or bedroom. If you do, you may find it hard to disconnect from the day gone by, what needs to be done for tomorrow.
- Reduce / limit light exposure: as we’ve discussed before, melatonin production is influenced by light and so our bodies begin to produce melatonin when day turns into night. This means we should all try to emulate what is going on outside and darken down before bed time. By this we mean, reduce screen time or if you have to use your phone switch to nighttime mode to reduce screen brightness. Another tip - switch from overhead lights to lamps to tone down the mood.
- Don’t feast right before bed: try to avoid having a large meal riddled with booze too close to bedtime. Leave a good gap after you’ve eaten for your body to digest.
- Avoid caffeine for a minimum of 6 hours before bed: having caffeine too late in the day can have an impact on your body’s ability to switch off. I’ve been trying to limit myself to my main coffee run in the mornings and weaning off the afternoon one, but it really is a good distraction from the day so if I must, I try to have it before 2.30 / 3pm.
- Regulate your bedtime: we’ve discussed this in more detail here, but going to bed and waking up around the same time everyday helps your body to acclimate and instinctively learn when it should be winding down for bed. This is why jet lag really messes with our sleep!
So, as promised, there’s a few quick tips that will help you be more ready for bed and hopefully help you get to sleep more quickly. We also would encourage you to try taking our natural sleeping tablets nightly for extra support. Even if you don’t have sleeping problems (which is likely you do if you are reading this article) they will help enhance your natural sleep processes. For example, Motmorency Cherry, Groffonia Seed Extract and L-Tryptophan all help with melatonin production. We like to say, it's like a vitamin, but for your sleep! Let us know what you think after a couple of weeks of trying as they take a bit of time to acclimatise to your body’s natural processes.