woman sleeping peacefully

How to fall asleep fast: 20 simple tips and tricks

Whether you suffer from insomnia or not, there are nights we all lie there wondering: how can I fall asleep fast? Summer heat, the neighbor’s party, an important meeting the next day… sometimes it’s tough to shut off and rest. So, you want to know how to fall asleep fast? Here are 20 tips to help you drift off in no time!

Sleep faster at the right room temperature…

To fall asleep fast, it should be neither too hot nor too cold in your bedroom. Ideally, the room temperature should be 18-19°C. But how to control this? In the summer, open the windows after the sun goes down. If it’s really baking, get a breeze flowing with air-con or a fan!

In winter, it’s tempting to whack the heater on full blast. But to avoid dehydration, waking up in a puddle of sweat, or an enormous bill at the end of the month – turn it off just before bedtime.

With the right body temperature!

Your body temperature drops as bedtime approaches, which gets you ready to drift off peacefully. To make it easier to fall asleep, you can lower your body temperature by taking a lukewarm shower or bath. If the water’s too hot, your body will take longer to cool down, which can delay falling asleep.

There are tons of techniques to cool down if a warm bath or shower isn’t enough. Put a wet cloth on your forehead or dampen your hair, sheets, or PJs. Refreshing your body gives it the green light to sleep faster!

Use your breath to help you fall asleep

Square breathing, cardiac coherence, wave breathing… These calming exercises take only a few minutes and prepare you for a good night’s sleep. The Moonoa app offers guided audios to get you familiarized with these techniques.

Generally, it’s best to avoid anything other than sleeping in your bed. But this is an exception! Doing breathing exercises in bed induces relaxation, which can help you fall asleep. It’s a great way to associate your bed with something positive and inspiring!

Embrace natural light (and darkness!)

Your biological clock regulates your sleep timings, and it’s controlled by a part of the brain that responds to light and dark signals. Exposure to natural light during the day and natural darkness in the evening improves your chances of sleeping well. Moreover, following this natural rhythm increases regularity and encourages more restful sleep.

During the day, the vitamin D we get from the sun reinforces wakefulness, while in the evening, the secretion of melatonin (the sleep hormone) rises. So, to sleep fast, respect this rhythm by soaking up the sunshine in the day and limiting artificial lighting in the evening.

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Drift off fast with a good sleep routine

Your brain and body love regularity. In fact, it goes a long way in stabilizing your biological clock. Regular bedtime and wake-up times, plus an evening (and morning) routine can help you fall asleep faster.

If you follow a regular schedule, you form a habit that will make sleep somewhat automatic. Fill your evening routine with calming activities, and soon your brain will associate this sequence with relaxation and bedtime. 

Meditate to sleep well

Several studies have proven that meditation, yoga, or stretching can induce a state of relaxation favorable for sleep. Yoga, for example, is said to benefit both the quality and duration of sleep. 

Such activities can reduce the causes of your insomnia, whether physical or mental. Both yoga and meditation release muscular tensions while reducing anxiety or stressful thoughts. Check our article on how to de-stress at bedtime for a meditation that gets you ready to rest.

Switch off with soothing music

Studies show that music is effective in treating sleep disorders, such as insomnia. Just like calming activities and breathing exercises, soft music helps you relax and let go. Why? Because brain activity slows down when we focus on something soothing. Check the Moonoa app for tons of tracks made for sleep!

Journal your way to better sleep

Is overthinking at bedtime making it hard to fall asleep? Clear your mind by writing your thoughts down in the evening. Studies show that this reduces anxiety and stress, which leads to greater relaxation and better quality sleep. 

Keep a journal and jot down your emotions, questions, doubts, ideas… It is a great way to externalize negative thoughts, but don’t forget to share positive ones too! Why not make journaling one of the calming activities for your evening routine?

Make lists to sleep easy

Before going to sleep, we often take stock of our day, thinking about what we did and what we need to do tomorrow. That’s a lot to remember! So rather than fretting trying to recall all your tasks, write a to-do list to help organize your thoughts and fall asleep with peace of mind.

Read and nod off in no time

Reading is another evening activity that can help you fall asleep fast. It directs your attention away from negative thoughts and anxiety about sleeping too late. 

A little tip: choose an interesting book, but avoid one that’s too compelling. The idea is to induce sleep, not to stay up all night reading chapter after chapter!

Don’t obsess over the time

While you should strive for a regular schedule, try not to become too obsessive. The priority is to listen to yourself and follow your needs. If you can’t fall asleep as fast as usual or as quickly as you’d like, don’t dwell on the time or how many hours are left before you need to get up.

Watching the minutes tick by and worrying is counterproductive and will not help you fall asleep any faster. The stress it brings stimulates your nervous system, making you more alert. To keep your mind off the clock, don’t stay in bed tossing and turning. Instead, try one of the calming activities suggested in this list.

Want to fall asleep fast? Avoid naps!

A nap might boost your concentration and promote productivity, but it will make it harder to fall asleep at night.

Daytime naps can confuse your biological clock by delaying the time your sleepy signals appear in the evening. So if you’re looking to fall asleep faster, this isn’t a great option. If you really need to, don’t exceed 20 minutes and avoid napping after 3 pm.

Take a look at your diet…

Yes, what you eat and when you eat affect your sleep. To fall asleep faster, eat light and early. Ideally, have dinner 3 hours before bedtime to give yourself enough time to digest.

Make sure you don’t skip dinner altogether though; going to bed with a rumbling tummy is no fun! In terms of food types, protein is the hardest to digest. So limit meat and fish in the evening, but don’t overdo the carbs either: balance is the key!

Do exercise during the day

Did you know that, aside from staying in shape, sport helps you fall asleep faster at night? Studies show that physical activity promotes the production of serotonin, a hormone linked to well-being. It also reduces the production of cortisol, the stress hormone.

On the other hand, working out becomes counterproductive if you do it too close to bedtime. Sport increases your body temperature, and you remember what that means – right?

Make yourself comfortable 

It may seem obvious, but being comfortable promotes better sleep. Clean sheets, comfy PJs (or no PJs!), a supportive pillow and mattress… all these little details can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. 

Just a heads-up: Linen, silk, and cotton are breathable materials that are particularly pleasant for your skin.

Kiss goodbye to screens

At least one hour before going to bed, stop using screens. Why? Because the blue light they give off tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime and keeps it alert. Naturally, this makes it take longer to fall asleep.

If possible, leave screens outside the room to avoid any temptation to respond to messages, watch videos, or scroll through your newsfeed.

Sleep soundly with aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is the use of plant extracts to promote health and well-being, some of which are beneficial for sleep!

Fall asleep faster with herbal teas made from linden, chamomile, or lemon balm. Or try diffusing essential oils, such as lavender, damask rose, or peppermint.

Watch your caffeine intake

It’s a well-known fact: caffeine is a stimulant. So a big cup of joe might be your friend in the morning, but it certainly isn’t in the evening! Too much caffeine, especially when consumed late in the day, makes it harder to fall asleep at night.

Caffeine promotes wakefulness by blocking the adenosine receptors. And the effects can last up to 12 hours! So, to fall asleep quickly, avoid caffeine after 2 pm. 

Use imagery to fall asleep fast

To help you drift off at night, visualize a scene that makes you feel happy and calm. Not only is it comforting, but it gets your brain to focus on a simple task that’s not too demanding.

Your ideal “zen” place has no limits as long as it makes you feel good. Beach, mountains, fields… you decide! The more details you imagine, the more likely it is to be effective. Many studies have proven that visualization techniques reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, so give it a shot!

Avoid short-term solutions, like sleeping pills

Sleeping pills may reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, but they are destructive to your sleep quality in the long-run. Not only are they addictive, but they make you dependent on an artificial type of sleep. In other words, they might help you fall asleep, but that does not mean you sleep well!

Why not try natural supplements instead?

  • Magnesium: regulates the neurotransmitter that helps you switch off at night.
  • 5-HTP: produces serotonin, which can be converted into…
  • Melatonin: the sleep hormone naturally produced in the body.
  • L-theanine and GABA: both have been proven to reduce stress and promote relaxation.  

18… 19… 20 tips later… now you know exactly how to fall asleep fast!

If you haven’t done so already, take our free quiz today. You’ll get a personalized program, your own sleep coach, and tons of relaxing audios to help overcome your sleeping problems once and for all.