Trouble Catching Z’s? Here are 6 Simple Techniques to Help You Fall Asleep Faster

Trouble Catching Z’s? Here are 6 Simple Techniques to Help You Fall Asleep Faster - Double Stitch By Bedsure

We get it—falling asleep can sometimes feel like the last great challenge after a long day. If you struggle with drifting off, know that you’re not alone—according to the CDC, nearly 15% of adults in the United States report having trouble falling asleep.

But there are techniques you can try that may help. That’s why we’ve gathered some of our favorite sleep techniques that may do the trick and have you drifting off to dreamland in no time. 

The Dream Team: Quality Sleep and You

Getting good rest isn’t just a luxury we hope for…it’s a necessity for a happy life and healthy living.

A lack of quality sleep can lead to a host of problems, from grumpy mornings to more serious health issues. Studies link poor sleep to increased stress, impaired cognitive function, and even a higher risk of chronic conditions.

As we sleep, our bodies work to repair themselves and prepare our brains for the next day’s learning. And, while each body is different, experts recommend the average adult shoot for 7 – 9 hours of sleep every night.

Techniques to Help You Fall Asleep

If you struggle to fall asleep at night, try one of the following techniques:

  1. Pillow Breath

You’ll notice many of the techniques shared here use the power of the breath to help you enter a state of relaxation. If you’ve never practiced regulating your breath, it can feel…well, weird.  But you might be surprised how effective these exercises can be.

The Pillow Breath technique is great for both beginners and visual learners:

  • Lie flat on your back in bed with your knees bent and feet flat on your mattress.
  • Place a small pillow over your stomach.
  • As you inhale, focus on moving the pillow upward.
  • When you exhale, the pillow should lower. Fully empty your lungs.
  • Repeat the process 5 – 10 times. You should feel a reduction in stress and increased relaxation.
  • As you get more comfortable with the routine, you can ditch the pillow and use your hand as a guide.
  1. 4-7-8 Breathing 

This is a simple yet powerful method championed by Dr. Andrew Weil. Here's how it works:

  • Inhale quietly through your nose for a count of 4.
  • Hold your breath for a count of 7.
  • Exhale completely through your mouth for a count of 8.

This type of breath regulation is effective for reducing anxiety, slowing the heart rate and clearing the mind. 

  1. Meditation 

Mindfulness meditation is like a lullaby for the soul. Find a quiet spot, sit or lie down comfortably, and focus your attention on your breath. Your thoughts will likely wander, but gently bring your focus back to your breath. Meditation not only helps quiet the mind but also reduces stress and anxiety, paving the way for a restful night.

If you’re new to meditation, consider using a guided meditation video to help. A quick Google or YouTube search will provide a bevy of options.

  1. Muscle Relaxation

As you become more comfortable with breathing exercises, you can try incorporating progressive muscle relaxation to help you fall asleep faster. 

  • Lay in bed and take 10 slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  • Begin by tightening the muscles of your face and scalp. Hold the tension for 10 seconds then release, breathing in and out deeply.
  • Move on to the muscles of your neck, shoulders, arms, torso, legs, and feet.

Tensing and relaxing muscles releases stress and triggers the body’s natural relaxation response, allowing you to drift off to sleep.

  1. Soothing Sounds

Gentle music can help block out distracting noise and induce relaxation. Create a 15 – 20 minute playlist of music you find relaxing.

If you find music keeps you awake, consider using a sound app. Whether it's the rhythmic patter of rain, the gentle hum of ocean waves, or a steady white noise, the right sounds can clear your mind and usher you into dreamland. 

  1. Bedtime Yoga

There’s a reason 55% of people who practice yoga report an improvement in sleep. This ancient practice stretches muscles and releases pent-up tension, leaving your body relaxed and ready for a good night’s sleep.

Poses that can help the body prepare for rest include:

  • Child’s pose
  • Standing forward fold
  • Bridge
  • Happy baby
  • Corpse pose

There you have it—six techniques that can help transform your sleep woes into sweet dreams. Remember, the journey to a restful night may require some experimentation. Try mixing and matching these techniques until you find your winning combination—your well-rested self will thank you. Happy dreaming!

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