How Can I Fall Asleep Faster?
Many people suffer from an inability to fall asleep right away when they decide to shut down for the night. There are numerous factors that effect our sleep, including where we live, our diet, our habits, technology, our jobs and more.
Beauty sleep is perhaps the single most important activity in your life. When you're well rested your mind, and hence your body, can function at very high levels. But getting there is a severe challenge for society. A good night's rest can burn productive calories, clear up baggy eyes, heal muscle pains, lower stress and make us feel like a morning superman. But how can you achieve it?
Top tips to get your beauty sleep
Make Your Room A Sanctuary
Lighting. This is the first step. Comforting and restful lighting can be achieved through low-wattage lamps that you can place bedside. Lampshades should have soft, natural tones so they feel warm and relaxing. Windows also exude light at night unless you live in a sheltered area. Some people prefer blackout shades to sleep well, while other people may enjoy the gentle moonlight entering through a crack. This is entirely a personal preference.
The truth is, only about half the world gets good rest and it's because they live in a lifestyle that doesn't offer all the distractions that countries like the United States do. We are a sleep-deprived society, which increases our risk to heart attack, stroke, disease and bad attitudes. Making your room a sanctuary is extremely important in today's age. For more advice on how to manage this, read How To Make Your Room A Sanctuary by The Front Roe.
Bed Time. Stick to a regular schedule
"There is nothing worse than finally crawling into bed, feeling so tired that you swear you could sleep for a decade, only to find yourself physically unable to fall asleep. All day long, you looked forward to the moment you could head home and go to sleep, and now that you’re finally in bed with the lights off, you somehow can’t?"
By designing and keeping a bedtime and wake-up schedule, your body (and mind) will be better prepared to fall asleep, stay asleep and be refreshed the next day. Its very important to avoid varying your bedtime hours. Some of the top reason you can't sleep are:
- You don't stick to a regular routine.
- You exercise too late, or not at all.
- You drank a glass of wine or other alcohol to "relax".
- You nap too often.
- You go to bed angry.
- You use your bed for other things than sleep...
- The temperature is too hot or cold.
- You showered right before bedtime.
- You worked until right before bedtime (BIG NO NO).
- Your bed sucks and you need a new one.
If you want to know more, read "10 Reasons Why You Can't Fall Asleep by Byrdie"
Learn and Use Breathing Techniques
Do you practice Yoga or some other physical discipline? Breathing is an important part of our body's health. Your sleep habits are no different. While it may take some getting used to, there's a three-step breathing technique that has been shown to be effective. It will take some practice and patience but you'll appreciate the results. This is also a great stress reliever when needed.
The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise by the Zoe Report
- Breathe in for four seconds.
- Hold breath for seven seconds.
- Slowly breathe out for eight seconds.
"You've heard it a million times, but for those of us who mindlessly surf Instagram or facebook while our heads are on the pillow, here's a million AND one: No screen time an hour before bed. Yes, that does mean your phone. Screens inhibit the production of melatonin, which naturally induces sleep. Your friends' reruns and the political banter on social media can wait until the next day if it doesn't interfere with the important stuff". - Byrdie
And for God's sake, remove the television from your bedroom that gets shut off at 3am when its snaps you out of a deprived sleep cycle.
Make A Hot Drink
I'll know you'll be disappointed but we're not talking about hot toddies here. Many people struggle to fall asleep on a nightly basis. You'll be happy to know that some foods and drink can actually aid in this problem. Our bodies naturally respond to hot drinks late at night. Many people agree it's the warmth of the cup in your hands and liquid in your body that lull you to sleep, but there is some science behind it too.
Chamomile tea has anti-anxiety effects and some research has shown that it will raise your glycine levels. Glycine is a natural sedative.
If you're hungry, have some whole wheat bread or cereal. Whole wheat is known to begin the process of making melatonin, which helps you fall asleep. You want to avoid cereals with sugar of course. Turkey is also a great bedtime snack due it's very high levels of tryptophan. Insomniacs also often suffer due to low levels of magnesium. Eating fish before bed can provide those missing vitamins and help you conk out.
Is my sleep affected by where I live?
YES. As much as you may love the big city lights, you should move for many reasons. Mass populations are a by-product of poorly designed societies when it comes to health and happiness. They fuel poor human habits.
According to Dr. Lisa Wolfe of Northwestern Medicine and the Academy of Sleep Medicine, big cities like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and others are the primary cause of something that much of our society suffers from - environmental sleep disorder. Planes, trains, subways, sirens, people on the street, gunshots, motorcycles, and even low-level constant noise that you think you've tuned out over time are serious factors when it comes to brain function, depression and advanced aging.
Big city living is also associated with much longer commute times to work which lead to longer days, anxiety and frustration. In cities like Chicago and New York, 200 - 300 hours per year can be spent on your commute. These cities, due to their responsive design, make it nearly impossible to come home during the day as well. So a regular sleep schedule, excercise and healthy eating are also common challenges. These problems can cause daytime sleepiness, mood swings and irritability. Over time it may result in severe sleep deprivation. Whether city dwellers want to admit it or not, this increases the risk of problems such as depression, poor job performance and overall aggressive personality traits. Some research also shows it's the driving factor behind divorce and relationship issues. We've all heard the saying that city people are single people...
Urban areas also have some of the poorest air and water quality in the nation. Most city dwellers run very high risks to develop asthma, allergies, dry eye and even cancer. Their young children are almost certain to grow up developing these health problems. Creating an environment to successfully dominate life is hard enough, let alone mixing a cocktail of sleep depriving elements into your life. If you must live in a city, take careful measures to eat properly, stick to a regular sleep schedule, avoid tobacco and alcohol and exercise regularly, to offset the stress of living in populated areas.
The Nation's Fattest Cities
Junk food and poor health choices affect your sleep as much as every other topic we've covered here. Some foods are great for inducing sleep and promoting health, but some are just bad. No matter where you live in the United States, you have endless options to eat poorly - and eat poorly we do.
The 3 fattest American cities
"Could where you live determine if you’re overweight, eating right or even getting enough rest? Check out the 3 fattest cities in the United States and how well their residents sleep, according to WalletHub.
- Memphis, TN – The homeland of Elvis, fried peanut butter sandwiches and BBQ, takes the throne for the fattest city. More than 30% of Memphis adults are considered obese and they have the highest number of “food deserts” (stores that don’t offer healthy or fresh food options).
*** Memphis also ranks #2 for the sleepiest city.
- Shreveport, LA – The 3 rd largest city in Louisiana has loads more problems than being number 2 on this list. Shreveport also ranks in the 99th percentile of obesity, number 5 for diabetes and number 4 for high blood pressure.
***Shreveport also ranks #20 for the sleepiest city.
- Houston, TX – As the famous saying goes, everything’s bigger in Texas. With more than 100 days a year with temperatures over 100 F, residents seem to be opting to stay inside with the AC and binge on snacks and Netflix. Not surprisingly, Houston has 1,034 fast food restaurants, the highest in the nation.
*** Houston also ranks #25 for the sleepiest city.
The 5 fittest American cities – and maybe the most well-rested too!
"On the other side of the spectrum, you’ll find the fittest American cities. All 5 of these cities offer healthy food options, a variety of public transportation options and have easy access to parks and outdoor activities."
- Washington D.C. – also ranks #5 for best-rested city
- Minneapolis, MN – also ranks #6 for best-rested city
- Denver, CO – also ranks # 10 for best-rested city
- Portland, OR – also ranks #7 for best-rested city
- San Francisco, CA – also ranks #3 for best-rested city
For more information on the Fattest & Fittest cities, visit the original source article at Restonic.com.
The moral of the story is that sleep is directly related to mental health, physical health, professional success and physical appearance. You can take steps in every facet of your life to control the quality of sleep that you are getting each night and during what hours you get it. From there, many other areas of your life will become easier to control. Oh... and you'll look AMAZING.
Sleep well my beauties.