When you’re well-rested, you can show up as your best self — and your body needs ample rest. The trick is learning how to fall asleep fast, to make the most of your time in bed.
With only 24 hours in every day, devoting seven or more of them to sleep might feel like a waste of time.
But sleep is important!
Plenty of things influence how long it takes to fall asleep: eating too late, a bad mood, a negative mindset, a big decision, etc.
Our modern lives (and 24/7 access to screens and light) don’t do our circadian rhythm any favors.
That’s our sleep-wake cycle, which tells us to stay awake when it’s light out and get sleepy after dark.
If you’re taking longer than 10 to 20 minutes to fall asleep (“normal” sleep latency), it can impact your life.
A poor night’s sleep can leave you cranky, with low energy.
Read on to learn 10 science-backed life hacks to help you fall asleep faster, plus a few supplements that could offer support.*
1. Turn Off Your Devices Two Hours Before Bed
Your bedtime habit of watching streaming TV until you doze off negatively impacts your sleep cycle.
Blue light emitted by your cell phone screen or TV can suppress the production of the hormone melatonin, telling your brain it’s time to stay awake.
2. Relax With Meditation and Deep Breathing Exercises
The same habits that help you calm down and focus during the day can also invite rest at night.
Meditation has been shown to increase natural melatonin levels to help with more restful sleep.
Studies show that mindful breathing before bedtime can even help sleep quality.
Try one of these seven breathing exercises tonight.
3. Play Some “White Noise”
Live in a big busy city or have noisy neighbors? Try white noise to block out them out for better sleep.
White noise creates a masking effect, covering up those sudden changes that frustrate light sleepers, or people trying to fall asleep.
A small 2021 study found that white noise significantly improved sleep for people whose sleep was disrupted by loud “environmental noise.”
4. Turn to Aromatherapy
Certain smells can be calming, especially if you associate them with a positive memory.
Diffusing lavender oil showed short-term promise in helping women with insomnia sleep better in a 2011 study.
If you opt for a candle instead of a diffuser, make sure you put it out before bed!
5. Take a Hot Shower or Bath Before Bed
Taking a hot shower before bed helps destress the body and relax your muscles.
A 2019 research review found that a warm bath or shower an hour or two before bed helped people fall asleep faster.
6. Read a Book (a Real One)
Strong cognitive functions like reading a book can help reduce mental chatter, which in turn, helps us drop into a quiet state of relaxation.
If you can only manage a few pages before drifting off, you’re not alone: Research published in 2021 found reading in bed improved sleep quality (compared to not reading).
7. Write Before Bed to Let Things Go
Instead of fretting over the next day’s tasks or things you forgot to do, write them down and forget about them for the night.
Spending five minutes writing a detailed list for the next day helped people fall asleep faster, per a 2018 study.
8. Avoid Caffeine Before Bedtime
Caffeine blocks sleep-promoting receptors in your brain called adenosine receptors.
Since caffeine’s effects can last 5 hours (or more!), make sure you time your last cup of tea or coffee accordingly.
9. Make Sure Your Bedroom Is Dark
Darkness also promotes relaxation, which helps you fall asleep quickly and promotes melatonin production.
Even a tiny bit of light can impact sleep — and your health — so wear a sleep mask and use blackout shades.
10. Sleep at the Same Time Every Day
Go to sleep at the same time each night, and get up at the same time each morning, even on the weekends.
This maintains the timing of the body’s internal clock — and has benefits for overall health, too.
Supplements to Help You Sleep Faster and Longer
Falling asleep fast doesn’t always come easy, so if you’ve tried all the tips above without success, a supplement may help you get to the Land of Nod.
LAST THING is a supplement that uses key clinically tested ingredients to help you drift asleep faster and stay asleep longer.*
Each three-capsule serving of LAST THING delivers two blends: a sleep support blend and a blend for stress defense.*
“The sleep blend helps you drift asleep faster and stay asleep longer, while the stress blend helps promote feelings of calm and relaxation,” says Paul Falcone, M.S., senior scientist at Beachbody.
The sleep support blend — a unique combination of botanicals and sleep-supporting ingredients, according to Falcone — includes melatonin, hops, L-tryptophan, GABA, and marigold extract.
“While some ingredients are quite familiar in sleep products, such as melatonin and hops, others are not as common, such as marigold extract,” explains Falcone. “Marigold extract is high in lutein and zeaxanthin, and is normally found in formulations for eye health and cognition, but it has also been studied for its potential benefits on sleep quality.”
The stress defense blend in LAST THING includes L-theanine, ashwagandha, lemon balm, and magnesium glycinate.
This combination supports sleep by helping a person “unwind” before sleep,” Falcone explains.
“Stress from the day may cause someone to have trouble quieting their mind,” he says. “The stress blend of L-theanine, ashwagandha, lemon balm, and magnesium glycinate helps promote alpha brain waves, which can lead to increased feelings of calm and relaxation.”
Found in some green teas, this phytochemical has been shown to help improve “relaxation, tension, and calmness,” in a review of human studies.*
Melatonin signals to the brain that it’s time to go to sleep and helps maintain a healthy sleep cycle (circadian rhythm).*
This essential amino acid helps the body make protein – and can be used to make 5-HTP, which in turn makes both serotonin and melatonin.
Consuming it has been linked to higher melatonin levels.*
The same hops used to flavor beer and other beverages have a long history of use across Europe to support sleep.*
Modern research, including a study in 2012 that examined the impact of drinking a non-alcoholic beverage with hops, supports those traditional soporific uses.*
Also known as calendula, marigold extract has been studied for its ability to help increase overall sleep quality.
You deserve a good night’s sleep every night. Cut back on screen time before bed, dim the lights and minimize noise.
Paired with the support of LAST THING, you can get the help you need to learn how to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
The post 10 Science-Backed Tips to Fall Asleep Faster appeared first on The Beachbody Blog.