How to Fall Asleep Faster Every Night - NJlifehacks
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How to Fall Asleep Faster Every Night

Tossing and turning and thinking every night?

Then this article is for you. Its sole purpose is to help you fall asleep faster at night.

Why would I know how to fall asleep faster?

Because I was the master of tossing and turning… And, as you know, this sucked a ton. So I decided to do something about it and I started to learn about how to fall asleep faster, how to get better sleep, and how to wake up refreshed. I experimented a lot and found many ways that help me fall asleep super quickly, sleep through the night, and wake up actually feeling awake.

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Long story short, I’m positive the strategies laid out in this article will help you fall asleep faster at night (if implemented).

First, we’ll look at some more reasons why you definitively want to fall asleep faster (some extra motivation). Then we’ll get down to business and look at strategies that’ll help you fall asleep faster.

Let’s get to it.

Why Tossing and Turning Is the Catalyst for Evil

I mean, tossing and turning and thinking in bed just plain sucks (even if you have the best mattress). You want to sleep but just can’t get to it, right? Who wants that? (This is called the Paradox of Insomnia: You want to sleep so badly that you can’t get it.)

In short, tossing and turning sucks:

  • You waste precious time doing nothing
  • You stress yourself out for not falling asleep
  • You don’t get enough sleep

If we think about this, it’s just completely nuts. We punish ourselves.

We don’t fall asleep quickly, so we stress out, and worst of all we feel tired and moody in the morning. And hang on, it gets even worse. Being tired and moody affects your relationships, your concentration skills, your productivity, your sexiness, your overall happiness and health, and and and… Last but not least, you'll have trouble falling asleep the next night again.

Not falling asleep quickly initiates a vicious cycle. I call it the cycle of despair:

Cycle of Despair. You can't fall asleep.

Cycle of Despair: If you have trouble falling asleep one night you might end up having trouble falling asleep the next night, too. It's a vicious cycle.

Ok, we get it. Not falling asleep quickly at night is just downright annoying. So, let’s upgrade your life and see how you can fall asleep faster tonight.

22 Tips to Fall Asleep Faster

Guess what.

Falling asleep faster at night already starts in the morning.

So first, we’ll look at what you can do during the day to fall asleep faster in the evening.

Preparation throughout the Day:

1. Move your body: First thing in the morning, move your body. Personally, I do a few exercises such as pushups that help me start the day right. Physical activity (preferably early in the day) helps you fall asleep at night.

2. Get some fresh air and sun exposure: Also early in the morning you want to get some fresh air and sunlight exposure. You can go for a morning walk or you can read outside. Being outdoors and getting some fresh air and sun exposure throughout the day will help you fall asleep at night.

3. No coffee after 2 p.m.: I love coffee. But I stop drinking it in the afternoon as the caffeine keeps me awake at night. The same holds true for you. Even if you think that isn’t the case: Caffeine interferes with a good night’s sleep. So, stop drinking coffee or other caffeinated drinks such as green tea and Red Bull approximately 8 hours before bedtime.

4. Eat dinner preferably 2 hours or more before bedtime: This is the most disputed one. Personally, I’m okay with eating before bedtime. However, for you it might be different. I suggest you try out different strategies concerning your last main meal of the day.

5. Don’t go to bed hungry: Being hungry in bed certainly does not help you fall asleep. If you’re really hungry suck a teaspoon of raw honey or have a small protein shake. What if you’re fasting? Well then, being hungry will probably slow you down falling asleep, but thanks to other strategies you’ll still fall asleep fast.

6. Dim your lights after sunset: Sunset might be a bit early depending on where you’re living. But definitely start doing it 3 hours before bedtime, because bright lights will interfere with your body’s melatonin release (your “sleep well hormone”).

7. Use blue light blocking glasses and apps: This is MASSIVE! It has to do with your body’s melatonin release again. Bright lights in the evening will keep you from falling asleep. Use blue light blocking glasses and apps. Personally, I use such glasses every day (except when I go out) and they do me a huge favor. You can get them cheaply on amazon. That’s the pair I use, not very stylish but they do their job, which is to filter the blue light. I also use the apps f.lux for my laptop and twilight for my phone. (I wrote an article about why you want to block blue light before bed, because it’s so damn important.)

8. Minimize screen time in the evening: Using your cell phone while lying in bed will keep you from falling asleep. Even if you’re using the mentioned apps that filter the blue light. So minimize screen and phone time before you go to bed. If you must watch TV before your bedtime, just make sure you wear the mentioned glasses. Nobody gives a shit how you look wearing them.

Cool. That’s the daytime strategies that help you fall asleep faster at night.

Now, we’ll look at the strategies I suggest you integrate in your bedtime routine. That’s the things you do before you go to bed. You should give yourself at least 30 minutes of sacred time before you go to bed. That’s the time for your bedtime routine. As the name says, it should become a routine, so things you do every night. Your body will get accustomed and know that after those things you’ll get to sleep. This will happen automatically if you stick to your routine every night (or most nights… who wants to go through a 30 minute routine after a crazy party night, right?).

And don’t worry, you don’t need to do all of the following strategies. The more the better though.

Preparation in the Evening: 30 Minutes of Sacred Time for Your Bedtime Routine

Having a bedtime routine is important

9. Drink some tea with collagen: This is awesome. First of all, collagen is super healthy (it promotes joint and bone strength), it’s a great protein source, and it helps you fall asleep faster because of the amino acid glycine. I put 10-20 grams of collagen in my good night tea (except when I’m fasting). (I use this collagen.)

10. Let some fresh air in (keep the bedroom cool): This depends on where you’re living… Where I live, in Switzerland, it’s always quite cool at night. So I can just open the windows and let some fresh air in. This cools down the room. A cool bedroom helps you fall asleep faster and sleep better.

11. Relax your body: You can do some stretching exercises, take a hot shower/bath, or just breathe deeply for a minute. Personally, I foam roll my back before I go to bed. It helps me get relaxed. I also use health expert Dave Asprey’s Sleep Induction Mat that really helps me get relaxed (I read on that mat).

12. Say your affirmations: This is a fantastic way to develop the right mindset in order to fall asleep fast. If you tell yourself for example that you’re the person who always falls asleep very quickly, your subconscious mind will help you actually do this.

13. Keep a night journal: Writing down things helps you free your mind and reflect on the day. You can write down whatever comes to your mind, or 3 things you’ve accomplished today, or 3 things you’re grateful for, or whatever. Personally, I used to write down all the things that could have had an effect on my sleep (food, supplements, physical activity, problems, some situations I’m thinking about etc.). I used to do that in order to hack my sleep for a better sleep quality. Today, I just write down what comes to my mind and 2-4 things I’ve accomplished that day.

14. Relax your mind: Keeping a journal is already great. But you can do much more to relax your mind. You can read. This is what I do. I read biographies at night. This calms me down and inspires me. At the moment I read Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance. I don’t recommend reading a book that makes you think too much. Alternatively you can try meditation, relaxation music, stretching, deep breathing, or heart rate variability training. Find out what works best for you. And whatever you do, turn off the lights or keep on wearing your blue light filtering glasses.

15. Use a sleep tracking device (on airplane mode): Track your sleep. Turn on your sleep tracking devices just before you actually want to sleep. I use the Sleep Cycle app (it’s completely worth a dollar). The app tracks your sleep and wakes you up in light sleep phase. It works when the phone’s on airplane mode. Trust me, you definitely want to try it. “But you just said not to use electronic devices before bed.” Right! You only set the alarm and that’s it. Plus, your cell phone’s on airplane mode so that no messages come in, and you minimize the rays of your phone.

16. Black it out: For the best possible sleep, shut the blinds and switch off all electronic devices. Sleep in a pitch-black room. Even the tiny blinking lights from electronic devices will interrupt with your sleep. This tip alone will have an immense effect on your sleep quality.

17. Say “good night” to yourself and develop a sleep position: Take in your sleep position (if you don’t know yet what’s your preferred sleep position, then try finding out by observing yourself before you fall asleep). I recommend sleeping on the side. This is a quick fix for snoring and improves breathing. Then say “good night” to yourself and fall asleep with a grin on your face. Personally, I’ve conditioned myself using the same position to fall asleep and saying “good night” to myself every night. After I’ve said those words it often only takes seconds and I’m gone. It’s awesome.

Okay. That’s the things you do on a regular basis just before you go to bed. So you develop your very own bedtime routine. Again, you don’t need to do all of this. You will benefit from each of them separately. Don’t worry, you don’t need to keep all those in mind. I created a printable checklist that’ll give you an overview of the things you can do in order to fall asleep faster at night (on page 11 of the download).

5 Additional Strategies to Fall Asleep even Faster

18. Develop a regular sleep pattern: Go to bed at the same time every night. Get up at the same time every morning. This is crucial. Your body will get adapted to those times and automatically start preparing to either fall asleep or to wake up at the right time. Basically, your body clock will help you fall asleep when it’s conditioned to go to bed at the same time every night. (If you go out on weekends: Still try not getting up waaay too late. That’ll help you keep your sleep pattern. And if you need some additional sleep I suggest you tale a power nap during the day.)

19. Develop the right mindset: Know that you’ll fall asleep quickly. Yes, know that you’ll fall asleep quickly. Just know it. Believe it. You can use affirmations. Affirming yourself helps you develop the right mindset. This takes time but it’s immensely important. Most people have the opposite mindset, they think something like “Ugh, I can’t fall asleep” or “It always takes ages for me to fall asleep.”

20. Reserve the bed for sleep and sex: Personally, I also read in bed just before I actually go to bed. It works fine for me but a reading chair might be the better solution. Never work in bed. This conditions you to think in bed – exactly not what you want, right? So, never work in bed. Also, don’t talk on the phone to your friends in bed. Neither text them nor play candy crush or other games in bed. Sex, on the other hand, will help you fall asleep.

21. Develop your own regular bedtime routine: You could ask a hundred people who fall asleep quickly about their tricks to do so. You would probably get a hundred different answers. We’re not machines and we don’t work the same way. There are general strategies that work for most people, such as dimmed lights and blue light filtering devices as this helps you produce melatonin. But what works for me might not necessarily work for you too. I recommend trying different strategies. You’ll find out what works best for you. And then do it every night. Your body will get used to this routine and automatically shut down. This goes hand in hand with a regular sleep pattern. It’s immensely important.

22. Use implementation intentions: This is to make sure you take your bedtime routine seriously. Implementation intentions are if/then statements. "If situation X arises, then I will perform response Y." (Get clear instructions of how to use implementation intentions.) For example:

  • “If the clock strikes 9.30pm, then I’ll start my bedtime routine.”
  • "If the sun goes down, then I put on my orange glasses.”
  • “If I feel more like watching TV instead of doing my bedtime routine, then I either do the routine after watching TV or I decide not to waste my life watching stupid shit and get directly to my bedtime routine.”

Alright. There are many things you can do in order to fall asleep faster.

Now that you’ve read them, you’re one step closer to actually fall asleep faster, however, you need to implement those things in order to get what you want.

How do you use what you’ve learned now? Print out the checklist on page 11 of the guide and see what you want to start with. If you want to fall asleep faster, you can do it.

Start RIGHT NOW!

Why are you still here?

Jump to that checklist now.

Jonas Salzgeber

What's up? My name's Jonas. I'm Swiss (not Swedish). I'm a life enthusiast and I'm curious about everything that gives me an advantage, boost, level upgrade... "That drink will make me unbeatable? I'll down it!" Haha. My motto? Go to bed a little wiser every day & be the best version of yourself.

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