Falling asleep faster
Falling asleep faster
It may be stress, jet lag, or a new living situation – at some point in our life we all struggle to fall asleep. If you didn’t sleep very well last night, you’re not alone. According to a recent study by the UK’s national health service, one in three people have difficulty falling asleep at some point in the year.
When we worry, we have trouble falling asleep, and when we can’t sleep we worry about not sleeping, and this further impairs our ability to fall asleep. Our relationship with sleep is probably one of the most intrinsic factor to our physical, emotional, and mental health.
There are many factors that can influence our sleep, both internal and external. Some internal factors that can affect our sleep, and keep us up at night range from – body pain such as aching, muscle or joint pain, or even headaches. As well as this, anxiety and stress strongly affect our sleep, as our body responds to stressful or dangerous situations and feelings by remaining awake.
Apart from internal factors, there are also external factors such as lifestyle or surrounding environment that can affect on sleep. For example, lighting is an important factor that affects our sleep, as our body clocks itself by adjusting to the changes in our environment. As such, bright lights, in your room, or in front of your phone and laptop can trick the body into assuming it is still daytime, delaying sleep.
So what are some tips to fall asleep quicker?
First, examine your routine, from the moment you wake up to when you go to bed at night. Look at what you are consuming throughout your day, from what you drink – like coffees – to what you eat. Look at how much you exercise and when you exercise, how much movement in general does your day hold, and how much screen time are you getting.
These are all important questions as they give you clues into why you might not be sleeping very well. For example, research Take a note of your habits, and the ways you could improve or change them, then try to see if you observe a difference in your sleep quality.
Second, think of what you usually do when you can’t fall asleep. It goes without saying that going on instagram, twitter, messenger, etc, will not help you fall asleep. Generally going back on screen only excites our eyes more, which makes it harder for our body to want to sleep, and especially our mind, which becomes active with the inflow of information. Instead, what you can do is read a book, listen to a meditation podcast to help you relax, or even listen to Meeriad’s sleep sounds. You want to remain in bed, it is the environment most fruitful to falling asleep.
Third, which might be hard, is to try to drop your phone before going to sleep. The blue light from your screens delays melatonin, which delays our internal clocks and tricks it into thinking it’s still day. Try to resist the temptation of being on your laptop or phone, perhaps start slowly, for example dropping your phone 30 minutes before you go to sleep, and progressively dropping it an hour before you go to sleep. Our screens are an addiction, we create our habits around it, this is why we can use simple tricks to get out of these traps! For example, if you struggle to wake up in the morning and always hit ‘snooze’, place your phone away from your bed, that way in the morning you have to get up to go snooze it!
Falling asleep can be easy, or hard, the point is to understand why and how our daily life and our habits affect our sleep. By bringing into question our daily routine, we can improve our sleep quality by pointing at factors that negatively influence melatonin, and our natural clock.
Close your phone, grab your book, make yourself a herbal infusion, and get to sleep!
And don’t forget you have your Meeriad app to help you out!