Personally, I consider myself a bit of a sleeping professional - on average these days I'd like to think I can fall asleep in about five minutes. It wasn't always that way though my friend, about two or three years ago it would take me somewhere in the ballpark of 30-45 minutes of painstaking nothingness to fully doze off. Over the years though, I've refined my falling asleep skills down to an art, and nowadays I'm quite proud of the various tips, tricks, and techniques I've developed or picked up.
Having a Night Time RoutineI can't even begin to stress the importance and value of developing your own night time routine. Above everything else it'll do for you, it gives your body the certainty that every evening you will be doing the exact same things, which is vital in helping you to be relaxed leading up to bed time.
- Take a shower
- Brush your teeth
- Wash your face
- Use the toilet
- Get out tomorrow's clothes
- Read for 30 minutes
- Lights out
As you can see, a good routine won't be super long, but it'll be a solid sequence of tasks that don't put any strain on you physically or mentally.
Develop a Regular Sleep ScheduleBy going to bed and waking up at the same time everyday, your body will begin to prepare for sleep without you even having to think. I would suggest you sit down with yourself and have a think about both how erratic your bed times are and how much sleep you are getting presently. You should be trying to get to sleep within the same 30 minute window every day, and you should then be sleeping for 7-9 hours if you are between 18 and 65 years old (for other ages see this link). Personally, I would highly recommend becoming an early riser.
Trust me when I say that having a solid sleep schedule will exponentially improve both your quality of sleep, and how long it takes to get to sleep.
Fix the Little ThingsWhen we're trying to get to sleep, it's not uncommon to find that there will be a bunch of silly little things keeping us awake. What's important is that although it might seem like something you can just ignore, you take the time to make your sleeping conditions as good as possible.
For me, some of the following things are great to do:
- Cover or turn off all electronic lights like little flashing LED lights or keyboard back lighting
- Keep at a comfortable temperature by either finding some more blankets, using a hot water bottle or wheat bag, or (at the other end of the spectrum) turning a fan (or air conditioning) on
- Use the bathroom if you even remotely feel like you need to go
- Get up for a glass of water - it's better to need to use the bathroom in the morning and not be dehydrated than to go to bed super thirsty
- Take your watch or bracelets off
In short, there are a heap of ways which can help you fall asleep faster and I'm confident that if you give these tips, tricks, and techniques a go you'll see at least a little bit of success when it comes to getting some quicker and higher quality rest!