It’s an irony that even though we might find our beds to be the most comfortable spot on earth, it’s a difficult place to fall asleep early, except, of course, when you pass out from too many drinks. A healthy sleep schedule is something we all struggle to maintain, especially since there are so many other interesting things, like movies, social media, etc., that can be done at night, a time with no work pressure or deadlines to meet.
‘Early’ can be a very subjective term, but research suggests that 10 pm is the ideal time to put that phone or book aside at night and dwell in your world of dreams, so you wake up with a fresh and alert mind the next morning. It might seem hard at first, especially to those who can’t seem to go to sleep before 2 or 3 in the early hours of morning, but even such a small lifestyle change will truly bring a noticeable shift in your life.
Here are 21 ways to go to bed early!
1. Complete dinner on time
The late-night bingeing sessions are extremely satisfying, but they prevent your body and mind from shutting down. Having food just before bed makes digestion more difficult and makes it harder to sleep. It is recommended to finish your dinner at least 3 hours before bed.
2. Take a warm bath before bed
Body temperature plays an essential role in the sleep pattern at night. Not only does it help you sleep faster, but it also improves your sleep quality. What better feeling is there than getting inside your blanket, all warm and cozy, for deep sleep?
3. Skip that nightcap before bed
Consuming alcohol might seem like an excellent and fun way to faster and deeper sleep, but it is not the best way to fix your sleep schedule. Although having a drink or two might help you go to bed early, it creates havoc for the later part of your sleep cycle and does not allow the body to get restored and get the adequate rest that it requires. A blood alcohol concentration of 0.03 is low enough not to interfere with a good sleep cycle.
4. Get your workout in every day
It’s simple science here, the more physical activity you partake in, the more energy you burn, and the more rest your body will require. It’s also a great motivation to maintain a healthy body while working towards a healthier mind!
5. Limit your caffeine
It’s hard to limit our coffee because it’s the one thing in life that makes us happy anymore, but it’s important to limit your caffeine to be able to sleep early at night. Don’t worry; you can still have up to three cups of coffee per day; just make sure it’s before lunchtime.
6. Music to calm your nerves
Having a soothing and calming music playlist to listen to as you try to sleep can speed up the process significantly. Spotify even has a sleep timer feature, which enables you to set your own timer for the music to stop playing after you fall asleep. Music helps in relaxing the body and mind, leading to a deep slumber.
7. Read a boring book before bed
Reading any kind of novel requires concentration and commitment, and for people who don’t like reading, doing the opposite is the best way to get bored easily, which will lead you to feel drowsy and help you fall asleep quickly. I suggest anything by Shakespeare.
Meditation is a well-known relaxing technique that aids in quieting the mind and relieving physical and mental tension and stress. Very often, stress and the worries of life are what prevents one from falling asleep, so meditation is a technique worth giving a try.
9. Maintain a journal
Studies show that journaling every day helps people get better and deeper sleep. It’s a very healthy habit that allows you to be more mindful of your life and write down thoughts that are weighing you down in order to gain clarity. Feeling lighter mentally automatically helps one get faster and better sleep.
10. Keeping a room dark
The lighting of the room has a big impact on the technique and quality of sleep. It’s easier to fall asleep in dim lighting, such as red lights or dark colors, as compared to a bright, glaring light that shines down on your pupils. Darker lights create a feeling of comfort and enable the eyes to rest, which facilitates sleeping easily.
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11. Lower temperature
Remember how in the winter, all we want to do is bury ourselves in our blankets to keep warm? The feeling of being cozy and warm makes one fall asleep faster. The same science is applied here. Your room temperature should be between 60°F and 67°F or 15.6°C and 19.4°C for healthy sleep. When temperatures are cooler, it cools down the brain and makes you sleep faster.
12. Herbal tea
If you’re someone who likes a drink before you sleep, herbal teas are a great option for you. They are very soothing for the body and are made from specific neurotransmitters that help relax the body and reduce stress, allowing you to fall asleep faster. Some delicious herbal tea options to try are chamomile, lavender, and valerian root.
13. Keep aside electronics
Before sleeping seems like the best time to binge-watch TV shows, movies, or reels, but that’s a pattern that’s potentially harming your sleep cycle and keeping you up late at night. It is advised to stop using any electronics at least 30 minutes before you go to bed, as it helps delay sleepiness.
14. Maintain consistency every night
Just like classical conditioning in psychology, conditioning our body to fall asleep around the same time every night automatically sets up a pattern in the internal clock of the body. That makes it easier to sleep as well as wake up at the same time, which contributes to a healthy sleep cycle.
15. Get a sleep study done
If none of these work for you, it could be a sign of serious concern, such as sleep disorders. Getting a sleep study or polysomnography done will help rule out those issues and get down to the real roots of any disorders you may have.
16. The 4-7-8 method
This breathing technique was developed by Dr. Andrew Weil. Place your tongue behind your upper teeth. Close your mouth. Inhale through the nose by counting to 4. Hold your breath; count to 7. Exhale through the mouth with a ‘whoosh’ sound by counting to 8. This will relax you and help you fall asleep.
17. Light exposure
In the daytime, expose yourself to sunshine and brightness; it will keep you alert. While at night, make it a point to dim the lights, as darkness induces sleep.
18. Do not look at the clock
Even if you wake up in the middle of the night, refrain from looking at the clock or your phone. This usually makes people obsess over how many hours they have left to sleep, while all the thinking will keep them awake.
Thus, it’s better not to have a clock in the room, or better yet, turn it around if you keep an alarm.
19. No naps during the day
Yes, power naps are good for your health. But we all know that the power nap can turn into a deep slumber in a matter of seconds. Avoid that. More than 2 hours of sleep during the day can wreak havoc on your night’s sleep.
This is a well-known technique. Keep essential oils or mild scents like lavender or peppermint in your room, as they will help you relax and get quality sleep.
This is a sleep hormone. Our body produces it to induce drowsiness. It can be taken as a supplement.
Getting a good 7 to 8 hours of sleep leaves your body feeling well-rested and makes you more energetic and productive. It can be hard at first to set a definite sleep schedule, especially because it’s so difficult to go to bed early, but it’s possible with just a few lifestyle changes and can slowly influence every aspect of your life, especially the relationship one has with themselves.
So, no more hitting that snooze button on your alarm anymore, because you won’t need to!
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