How to Fall Asleep Faster
The average adult requires between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night in order to function properly throughout the day. But, many nights, you may find it hard to fall asleep, or you stir through the night, both of which can rob you of precious zzz’s and adversely affect the following day.
Following are some top tips on how to beat the wide-eye and fall to sleep faster.
Regular Exercise – Participating in regular exercise is well known to improve sleep quality. You should get the heart pumping at least 3-4 times per week for between 30-45 minutes by participating in running, bicycling, aerobics classes, or high intensity weight training. However, reserve your workouts for the morning or afternoon hours as performing aerobic exercises 4 hours or sooner before bed can keep you from dozing.
Eat “Sleep” Foods – Just as some foods help with burning fat or raising HGHs (human growth hormones), others can make you sleepy. The bedtime snack you want to devour is a combination of protein and carbohydrates. Protein helps your body produce the amino acid tryptophan. Carbs help your brain to use the tryptophan, converting it into drowsiness. About 30 minutes before turning in, munch on some whole wheat toast and low-fat cheese or peanut butter spread. A casein protein shake with some milk is also a great alternative.
Cut Off the Caffeine – The suggested time to stop drinking coffee, sodas and other caffeinated products is 2 p.m. The reason is that caffeine can stimulate your system for up to 8 hours. Of course, stimulants have a way of counteracting the effects of sleep, so give up the afternoon coffee when you get groggy and take a walk instead.
De-Stress – Stress creates worry and worried minds don’t want to shut off. According to research, one of the best ways to de-stress before bed is to soak in a hot bath prior to slipping between the sheets. The time in the tub helps to relax the mind and raise your body temperature. Then, when you shed the suds, your mind is quiet and the cooling down of your core temperature causes the brain to release the sleepy hormone melatonin. To increase the calm, encircle your tub time with lavender candles or add lavender oil to the water, a scent which is accredited with calming effects.
Stay Cool – Another way to sleep faster is to keep your bedroom cool. A cool room lowers your core body temperature which initiates sleep. The comfort zone for sleeping varies among people, but cooler is better when it comes to sleeping soundly (try 65ºF and adjust from there).
Regular Habits – Both going to bed and getting up in the morning at the same time will help you sleep faster and better. Train yourself to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, especially during the week. If something should pop up to interrupt your schedule, don’t fret. Simply make up for the loss of sleep by sleeping in on the weekend.
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