Knowing how to fall asleep in 5 minutes sounds hard, right? Try these strategies - all you need is your mind and your smartphone.
Some nights falling asleep quickly isn't easy, and tossing and turning and thinking about not sleeping just makes it worse. You probably know the basic ideas like reading a book and turning off your electronics, but when those ideas don't work, what can you do?
In fact, there are some unconventional tactics that sleep experts have stumbled upon that rely on your own biology and psychology to induce relaxation.
Here are some strategies creative yet simple that you can try virtually anywhere to sleep better in 5 minutes. Of course, they are not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor, and you should always consult a medical professional if you have serious sleep problems. But bookmark this page and try these tips, and you might be surprised they can make a big difference between a restless night and sweet dreams.
How to fall asleep in 5 minutes? The 8 methods
1. Breathe slowly
Breathing patterns play a role in the functioning of our autonomic nervous system, which regulates heart rate, muscle tension, motivation, and other aspects of relaxation or excitement. While rapid, shallow breaths can create feelings of anxiety, deep, slow breaths can be calming.
One technique to try is 4-7-8 method developed by Dr. Andrew Weil. The process is also quite simple. Here's how:
- Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge behind your upper teeth throughout the exercise (inhale and exhale).
- Exhale completely through your mouth making a “whooshing” sound.
- 4: Now close your mouth and inhale through your nose for up to four seconds
- 7: Hold your breath for seven seconds
- 8: Slowly exhale out of your mouth for a count of eight seconds, making the sound of "whooshing" (pucker your lips if that feels awkward).
Dr. Weil recommends practicing the technique by sitting with your back straight before trying it lying down and repeating the cycle four times to begin with until you get used to it.
2. Take a mattress that suits you
There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to mattress firmness. Different people, depending on sleeping position, activity level, body mechanics, age, and other factors, will sleep better on different levels of firmness or softness of a mattress. If you want to get the best night's sleep, the best mattress is the one that matches your body type and sleeping style.
3. Avoid modern habits
At one time, before the advent of smartphones, the nights were dark and cold. And surprise, modern science finds that cool temperatures and total darkness are ideal for sleeping. According to circadian researcher and sleep specialist Dr. Jade Wu, Ph.D. of Duke University, artificial lighting can disrupt our biological clocks and falsifying our quality of sleep.
Keeping your bedroom free of artificial light and noise will not only ensure a pleasant, dark sleeping environment, but will also teach your brain that it's time to sleep. It trains your brain to relax automatically when you go to bed and you can fall asleep within 5 minutes.
No televisions, laptops, tablets or smartphones should be turned on when it's time to sleep. Use blackout blinds or an eye mask if your room can't achieve total darkness, or if your waking time is well after sunrise.
Start to dim the lights at least 30 minutes before sleep to tell your body it's bedtime. Even better, change lamps to dimmers, warmer colored bulbs and use apps like f.lux on computers to minimize the impact of light.
Researchers have found that cooler temperatures seem to help us sleep deeper and fall asleep faster. Moreover, nothing is as pleasant as wrapping yourself in warm blankets in a cold room.
Why does it work? Well, as our circadian rhythms approach the sleep phase, our body temperature naturally drops slightly and stays lower until a few hours before you normally wake up.
An Australian study revealed that insomniacs generally have a higher body temperature. People with sleepy insomnia (difficulty falling asleep in the first place) tend to stay warm later in the evening, which may play a role in their inability to fall asleep. The good news is that by shifting their body clocks earlier using bright light exposure in the morning, they may be able to return to a normal body temperature pattern and fall asleep faster.
There is no single temperature for ideal sleep, so be open to trial and error. If you want a reference number to sleep in quickly in five minutes or less, try 19 degrees ideal temperature to sleep in 5 minutes.
Another way to help this process is to take a hot bath 20 minutes before sleeping, which further amplifies the temperature drop and potentially stimulates deep sleep. You can also try sleeping in the nude as clothing can inhibit the natural process of releasing body temperature while you are resting.
5. Use high technology
While lights and technological devices can be sleep robbers, modern advancements also offer sleep benefits. High-tech materials and customizable beds can help improve comfort, helping you fall asleep faster.
adjustable beds also allow you to change the angle of your upper body and legs. This can be especially helpful for people who suffer from conditions such as lower back pain or swelling, as these adjustments can reduce back strain and promote circulation to improve comfort. Acid reflux also keeps many people on their feet, and raising your upper body can make a significant difference.
6. Trick your brain
Do you know how sometimes when you try to do something, your stubborn brain turns on you and does the opposite? It turns out that the principle of paradoxical intention (similar to reverse psychology, without the deception) might also be helpful for sleep.
A Scottish study found that the clinical use of paradoxical intention (i.e. not deliberately trying to fall asleep while lying in bed) resulted in reduced sleep effort and insomniacs' anxiety about doing nothing. Similarly, another study found that a strong intention to fall asleep actually leads to poor sleep quality.
Instead of thinking about trying to fall asleep, tell yourself that you are trying to stay awake for a few minutes. If a dark, quiet bedroom is making your head spin, you can also try listening to an audiobook or podcast at low volume, or visualizing relaxing activities in your mind, to distract from sleep itself. .
7. Dream with purpose
For many people who have trouble falling asleep, rumination or unwanted thoughts can play a big role. Instead of drifting away peacefully, your mind skims over the day's events, embarrassing moments from years past, or tomorrow's to-do list.
One way to break the cycle of rumination or disperse unwanted thoughts before bedtime is to practice visualization or imagery, such as daydreaming. There are a few ways to do this:
- Simply visualize a calming scene in your mind, imagine it and explore it in detail - it could be a serene beach, a calm forest or anywhere else.
- Alternatively, you can visualize doing something positive but repetitive, like shooting free throws.
It may sound hippie, but if you focus on it effectively, dreaming of relaxing scenes can really help you relax. During the visualization, know that all is well if your mind wanders. Just stay focused on the scene, gently and without judgment. Try different methods and audio tracks to see what works best for you. Visualization can also be a useful mid-day stress reliever to keep in mind.
It also allows you to let go of future and past worries and live in the present, which can sometimes be just what people need to reassure themselves and finally fall asleep in 5 minutes.
8. Eat carbs at night
This trick will take some planning beforehand, but one study found that eating carbs four hours before bedtime helped people fall asleep faster and sleep better. Research has focused on simple carbohydrates, which are quickly and easily digested. These include things like white rice, white bread and pasta, and potatoes (as well as sugary foods). Interestingly, a Japanese study only found benefits for sleep with rice and not with bread or noodles. Even if you're trying to minimize carbs, it may be better for your sleep to eat at least one serving for dinner.
The key here is to keep dinners simple and moderate, so you won't be bothered by indigestion later. Eating carbs four hours before sleep was more effective than one hour before in the study, which means planning your evening meals might help. Spicy foods can negatively affect your ability to fall asleep quickly, so keep that in mind as well.
If you regularly have difficulty sleeping, it may also be helpful to read the basics of good sleep hygiene and how to prepare your bedroom for success. Better yet, see a behavioral sleep medicine specialist, if your sleep problem doesn't seem to be changing despite these lifestyle changes.
But already start applying its solutions to find out how to fall asleep in 5 minutes.