You are probably reading this because you have been lying in bed, for what seems like forever, unable to fall asleep. You want relief because tomorrow is fast approaching and you need the energy sleeping will give you.
Falling asleep in under a minute can seem like an improbable goal, but with these tips, it will become second-nature to your body. The tips fall under three categories, depending upon your relief plan. The three categories include:
- Short-Term Solutions – Falling Asleep (< 1 Minute) Right Now
- Mid-Term Planning – Falling Asleep (< 1 Minute) Tonight
- Long-Term Relief – Falling Asleep (< 1 Minute) Tomorrow Night
Solutions for Falling Asleep (< 1 Minute) Right Now
These solutions are for those suffering from an inability to sleep at this exact moment, looking for immediate relief from their problem. These may not work for everyone, but if you are truly in a pickle then they might be worth a shot.
Deep breathing exercises help you to relieve stress and anxiety as it tells your brain that it’s okay to relax. You might find yourself trying a few before landing on one that fits your needs, but they have been proven to help people fall asleep in under a minute.
A list of exercises you can try includes:
- 4-7-8 Method
- Diaphragmatic Breath
- Visualizing Breath
- Extended Breath
- Bhramari Pranayama
- Three-Part Method
This is the most popular of all of the breathing methods and is highly recommended as the first method for you to try if you are attempting to successfully fall asleep in under a minute.
- Place your tongue on the tissue just above your top front teeth.
- Breathe in through your nose for a count of four, keeping your lips pressed tightly together.
- Hold the breath in for a count of seven.
- Exhale through your mouth for a total of eight seconds and make a wooshing sound as you do so.
- Repeat this process four to eight times, dependent upon your preference or until you fall asleep.
This actually works to strengthen your diaphragm, which makes breathing easier as it takes the strain off of other muscles. It reduces the amount of oxygen you crave and slows your breathing to a level conducive to sleeping.
- While you are lying down, bend your knees so they are sticking up into the air.
- Take one hand and place it on your stomach and the other hand you want to place on your chest.
- Take deep breaths in through your nose and release the air through your mouth.
When performing this exercise you want to ensure only the hand on your stomach is moving. If the hand on your chest is moving it means other muscles are being used to support your breathing, which is not what you want.
If you find the hand on your chest is moving, turn your focus on filling your belly with air, and continue to work at it until only the hand on your stomach is moving.
Visualizing Your Breath
This is relatively simple, but it does require you have the ability to imagine scenarios and create images in your brain. This slows your heart rate, as you journey through your body, relaxing the tension along the way.
- Close your eyes and take breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Picture the path your breath is taking as it travels through your nose and into your lungs.
- You should imagine relaxation entering your body, as it pushes the tension out, decreasing your anxiety and stress.
- Continue this until you fall asleep.
Stress can elevate your breathing rate, which is unhelpful when it comes to falling asleep. This method will trick your body into thinking it’s breathing quickly when in reality, you have actually slowed the rate you take in breaths.
- Inhale through your nose for three seconds.
- Exhale through your mouth for six seconds.
- Continue until you reach desired results.
It is okay to change up the timing, as long as you’re exhaling longer than you’re inhaling.
Bhramari Pranayama Method (Brôm-rē Pry-äm)
This method has been proven to reduce heart and breathing rates by causing a vibration on the inside of your nose. You might feel a bit silly when doing it, but the effects will help you fall asleep faster than you ever have before.
- Gently push the tabs of your ears down with your thumbs to prevent sound from entering your ear canals.
- Place your index fingers directly above your eyebrows.
- Put your middle fingers over your closed eyelids.
- Your ring fingers rest against the outer edge of your nostrils.
- Breathe in through your nose, and then press on the outer edge of your nostrils to slightly close the opening
- Instead of breathing out you want to hum, sounding like a bee, to release the breath you have been holding.
This deep breathing exercise is commonly practiced in yoga and asks you to form a connection with your body. This connection helps you to relax and dip into the part of you prepared to sleep the night away.
- Place your hands on your stomach and inhale through the nose and out through the mouth.
- Move your hands up to the ribs, focusing on your body, expanding your ribs as you take another breath in and out.
- Put your hands on your chest, again breathing in and out, as you focus on your body.
- Repeat this process three times or until you obtain the desired results.
This exercise is also known as “pursed lip breathing” and requires you to do exactly what it says. This method removes the excess carbon dioxide from your system, allowing you to breathe more easily and deepen the span of your breaths.
- Take a deep breath in through your nose.
- Purse your lips, like you are blowing out a candle on your birthday.
- Holding this position, exhale your breath slower than you inhaled at a rate comfortable for you.
- Keep repeating this process until you feel relaxed or you fall asleep.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
This technique created back in the 1930s, has been known to decrease the time it takes for you to fall asleep by eliminating stress and anxiety. It is also known to fight the symptoms of insomnia and chronic pain, which is a health benefit on top of increasing the amount of sleep you will get tonight.
It works by tensing muscle groups and then relieving them of pressure, resulting in your body’s relaxation. If you are unfamiliar with this practice it is best if you listen to an audio recording, but the steps listed below can also help you through the process.
- Inhale in through your nose and contract the muscles in a single muscle group, starting in your lower extremities. You can begin with your calves or thighs.
- Hold this tension for 5 to 10 seconds before releasing. Imagine the stress and anxiety within you flowing out of your body.
- Relax for 10 to 20 seconds, and then move on to the next muscle group, moving up each layer of your body.
- Continue to work your way up the entirety of your body, or until you fall asleep.
This method is used on Navy pilots, to train them how to fall asleep within 120 seconds. It takes time and practice for these brave men and women to master this skill, but eventually, they learn to do it even amidst the sounds of gunfire or bombings.
- Relax your whole body, including your face and mouth.
- You want to allow your shoulders to drop, releasing the tension as you do so, and let your hands lay freely by your side.
- Slowly exhale through your mouth, relaxing your chest.
- Work your way down the rest of your body, focusing on each individual muscle as you release the tension inside of it.
- Imagine your lounging on a beach, or relaxing in a mountainside cabin, visualizing a scene where all of your worries can fall away.
- If you still find yourself awake at the end of all of this, mentally repeat the words “don’t think” for ten seconds and you should fall asleep part way through the countdown.
If this fails to put you out of your misery then you can try again, but remember to focus on your breathing rate and the process for relaxing each muscle. It does take practice, so if you do fail time and time again, don’t give up, but maybe try something else for now and work on it again another night.
If multitasking isn’t your thing, then it might be beneficial to you to focus on the visualization aspect of a few of these exercises. The goal is to place yourself somewhere relaxing, whether it’s a place or a wonderful past memory, but it has to be something that will lower your heart rate.
You should explore the imaginary vision you created in great detail, leaving no stone unturned as you explore each and every crevice. A few ideas to consider using if you are having trouble thinking of one on your own:
- Lush Wildflower Meadow
- Beachside Resort
- Cabin in the Mountains
- Star Gazing
- Sorting a Box of Blocks By Color
There are also audio recordings that exist online if you prefer someone to walk you through your visualization experience, setting you on the path to falling asleep quickly.
Remove Environmental Distractions
Environmental distractions include anything within your space that prevents you from sleeping. They distract your mind, and no matter how hard you try to forget them, they keep crawling right back into the center of your attention.
Set the Temperature
Part of your problem could be the temperature of your bedroom; as anything too hot or too cold can keep you tossing and turning all night. The temperature should rest between 68 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, to keep your body warm as your core temperature drops a few degrees during the night.
You can adjust the thermostat to rest within this range, but if that is not an option you can also use these ideas to regulate the temperature in your room:
- Open a Window
- Use a Space heater
- Turn on an Air Conditioner
- Use a Fan
- Throw on Some Extra Blankets
Lights Should Be Turned Off
It may seem like a given, but your bedroom light isn’t the only one that could be giving you issues. Your devices probably have lights blinking or shining somewhere on their surface, and the desk lamp you left on could also have something to do with it. You should turn off all of your electronics and unplug the lamp, creating an entirely dark space.
If city lights filtering through your window are lighting up your room like a disco ball you can try wearing an eye mask or laying blankets over your window to further insulate your curtains light filtration rate. If this is a recurring problem you should consider purchasing blackout curtains.
Cut the Noise
You might expect your room to be dead silent when night comes around, but for people who live near transportation hubs, it is probably a different story. Trains, boats, highways, and planes disturb our sleep and their schedules rarely match up with ours.
You can either use a pair of earplugs, or cotton balls if you don’t have a pair on hand. It can also be helpful to, again, pad your window with blankets to create a sound barrier and seriously consider purchasing soundproof blackout curtains. Believe me, they are an absolute godsend!
Sometimes our brains refuse to listen to us, preferring their own independence over our need to sleep. This can be remedied by tricking it into thinking you actually want to stay up. You can try telling yourself you are going to stay up for just a few more minutes, and sometimes the opposite will happen.
Many insomnia patients have anxiety about bedtime, with deep-rooted fears attached to their inability to sleep. Using this method it helps lessen their stress levels, making bedtime an easy task rather than a chore. It may not work for all sleep-deprivation sufferers, but many people have found success.
Planning for Falling ASleep (< 1 Minute) Tonight
These plans are for sleep deprivation sufferers who had a horrible night, waking with minimal sleep under their belt. They require daily time constraints to assist you in your goal, unlike the short-term solutions which were a quick fix to the problem. It should help you obtain the rest you need tonight, by assisting you in falling asleep in under a minute to maximize your amount of rest.
Take a Bath
The processes in your body respond to light as well as temperature when it comes to sleep. Taking a bath is one way to facilitate this reaction, as it raises your body temperature before drastically dropping it as you step out of the bath. You should take it within 60 to 90 minutes of bedtime for maximum effect.
This sends a signal to your body to begin preparing you to go to sleep, but it also relaxes you which makes it easier to fall asleep under a minute once you crawl beneath the covers.
Herbal teas contain properties that aid in our venture to put our body to sleep. It depends upon the type of tea you drink but they can relieve stress and fight the symptoms of insomnia.
Teas you can drink to help make it easier for you to fall asleep in under a minute include:
- Lavender: The scent is calming, allowing its drinker to relax as they breathe in the tea’s soothing aroma.
- Chamomile: It puts you to sleep as it relieves your anxiety.
- Passionflower: The mild sedative it contains helps fight insomnia symptoms.
- Valerian Root: It has the added benefits of relieving nervous tendencies and headaches.
Remember to only drink decaf tea, as caffeine will have the opposite effects on your system.
Listen to Soothing Sounds
The goal is to be completely relaxed before you attempt to sleep, and it will also improve your chances of falling asleep quickly. One way to achieve this outcome is to listen to a soothing soundtrack before attempting sleep.
Your soundtrack should not contain words, as they can trigger memories or stresses you wanted to forget. You can download relaxing symphonies or sounds of the ocean, but Ariana Grande’s album should be saved for another time.
A white noise machine can also decrease the time it takes for you to fall asleep by masking other sounds that could disturb your rest. White noise machines create a sound similar to static, with varying frequencies to blanket your senses. You can either purchase a machine from your local store or download an app instead.
Drinking water is important for your health, as well as a way to make it easier to fall asleep. You should be drinking enough water to keep your urine at a shade of light yellow.
When you don’t drink enough it can cause issues such as leg cramps or an unquenchable thirst, but you want to avoid chugging a liter of water at bedtime as it can lead to multiple trips to the bathroom throughout the night.
The water you drink should be spaced evenly throughout the day, slowing your intake as bedtime draws near. It is recommended you drink a small glass of water as it can help you relax and balances your hormones, making it easier for you to fall asleep in under a minute.
Eat Some Carbs
Carbohydrates contain simple sugars, which work in your favor when it comes to falling asleep. The sugars boost the production of tryptophan, increasing the creation of serotonin, an important hormone when it comes to falling asleep.
Tonight, you should eat your meal four hours before bedtime, giving the carbs time to breakdown and work their magic. You can also pair these with red meats, as the proteins, they supply also aid in the production of sleep-inducing chemicals.
The use of oils has been associated with stress relief and holistic medicine, but they can also be used to help you fall asleep faster. Your sense of smell has the ability to persuade your mind and bend your emotions to your will, which is why they are such a great sleep aid.
They each have their own individual properties, but they all have the same goal in mind. Some essential oils you can use to promote sleep are as follows:
- Valerian Root
You can use them in a variety of ways, giving your nose the chance to breathe in their properties with each intake of air. The ways you can use essential oils are:
- Sniffed from a tissue
- Applied to the skin (Not Directly)
- Pillow sprays
- Added to a bath
You should never apply them directly to the skin, but rather, dilute it in a carrier oil. You should look for cold-pressed oils and many of them have other added benefits, such as curing eczema or acting as skin moisturizers.
Some carrier oils you should consider using are:
- Apricot Kernel
Solution for Falling Asleep (< 1 Minute) Tomorrow Night
The tips listed in this category provide you with healthy sleep habits, which in addition to the other tips, is the best way to fall asleep in under a minute. These tips are for people looking to make a lifelong habit of this, rather than those looking for an immediate solution. You can start these tomorrow night, creating a lasting routine of finding unconsciousness quickly without any hiccups along the way.
Purchase a New Mattress
This is possibly one of the biggest reasons people have a hard time falling asleep. If your mattress is uncomfortable it can be difficult for you to relax, on top of straining your back and increasing your stress levels.
It is recommended you replace your mattress every five to eight years, or if you happen to lose or gain a lot of weight. Cheaper mattresses can degrade early, causing them to cave in, leading to a misalignment of your spine.
The firmness you need in a mattress is dependent upon your sleeping position:
- Back: medium-firm mattress to support your spinal cord
- Side: softer mattress to support the curvature of your hips and shoulders
- Stomach: firm mattress to keep your spine aligned
- Combination: softer mattress as these sleepers tend to sleep on their side at some point during the night
Mattress Materials for Maximum Comfort
Mattresses may be labeled as soft or firm, but not all are created equal. They are each made with different materials, some being better than others, as they work with you to help you fall asleep in under a minute.
Mattress materials you should consider looking for when you make your purchase tomorrow include:
- Celliant: a newer mattress technology that converts heat into infrared rays to regulate your body temperature
- Latex: perfect for side sleepers as it keeps its shape for maximum support, but it also circulates air to keep you cool
- Gel-Infused Foam: useful in hotter climates because it works to cool the body down, but is also known for quickly regaining its shape
- Memory Foam: a good choice for anyone suffering from joint pain as it reduces the amount of pressure on these areas
Additional Products to Consider
Your new mattress can be made even better with the purchase of a few items. The extra items you should consider buying include:
- Adjustable Bed Frame: Helps those suffering from a post-nasal drip or acid reflux, providing them comfort to sleep despite their condition.
- Dust Mite Covers: Prevents the spread of dust mite colonies, saving your allergies from worsening the second your head hits your pillow.
- Temperature Regulated Pillow: Keeps your pillow nice and cool throughout the night, holding at the perfect temperature for your sleep.
- Weighted Blanket: This recreates the feeling of a warm embrace, which increases the release of serotonin and melatonin.
- Memory Foam Mattress Topper: When buying a new mattress is too expensive this can be a budget-friendly option, as it provides you with the support you need to fall asleep.
Sunshine is Good For You
Your body reacts to light, especially the light produced by the sun in the great outdoors. When you are exposed to this natural light your body corresponds this with your sleeping pattern.
You should aim to see the sun first thing in the morning, as it will help you solidify your sleeping pattern, making it easier for you to fall asleep at night.
If the sun is not up by the time you have to crawl out of bed tomorrow, consider downloading an app which simulates dawn, tricking your brain into thinking it’s actually been exposed to sunlight.
Set a Sleep Schedule
A sleep schedule keeps your body accustomed to going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. It can increase the likelihood of falling asleep in under a minute as your body has already signaled to your systems to begin shutting down.
Overall, falling asleep under a minute can seem like a daunting task at first but if you use some or all of the methods mentioned above you should be able to get to sleep in no time!