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When you’re tossing and turning into the late hours, getting a good night’s rest can feel impossible. However, small tweaks to your routine and environment can help you fall asleep faster when insomnia strikes. From natural relaxation techniques to lifestyle adjustments, a few simple changes may be all you need to drift off peacefully. Here are 17 effective ways to improve sleep quality quickly when you’re struggling to get some shut-eye.
Rule Out Underlying Issues
If you frequently struggle to sleep, it’s a good idea to get examined by a doctor. They can check for underlying health issues that could be affecting your sleep. Don’t just assume it’s normal insomnia.
Adjust Your Sleeping Position
Switching up your sleeping position, such as elevating your head or sleeping on your side versus back, can make a big difference in comfort. Find the pose that helps you feel most relaxed.
Establish a Routine
Consistency is key. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends, can regulate your body’s internal clock.
Limit Screen Time
The blue light emitted by phones, tablets, and computers can interfere with melatonin production. Try to avoid screens at least an hour before bedtime.
Create a Sleep Sanctuary
Ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. Consider using blackout curtains, earplugs, or a white noise machine.
Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Tense and then relax each muscle group in your body, starting from your toes and working up to your head.
Sip on Herbal Tea
Chamomile or valerian root tea can have a calming effect, preparing your body for sleep.
Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
Limit these, especially in the evening, as they can disrupt your sleep cycle.
Practice Deep Breathing
Deep, slow breaths can activate the body’s relaxation response, helping you wind down.
Read a Book
Choose a calming book, avoiding intense thrillers or action-packed stories, to help distract your mind.
Listen to Calming Music
Soft, soothing tunes can lower heart rate and blood pressure, setting the stage for sleep.
Keep a Sleep Diary
Jot down thoughts or worries that might be keeping you awake. This act can help clear your mind.
Use Lavender Essential Oil
Studies suggest that the scent of lavender can promote relaxation and improve sleep quality.
Try the “4-7-8” Breathing Technique
Inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. This pattern can help calm the nervous system.
If you nap during the day, keep it short (20-30 minutes) and avoid napping late in the afternoon.
Regular physical activity can help regulate sleep patterns. However, avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime.
Visualize a Calm Place
Imagine a peaceful setting, like a beach or forest, to divert your mind from anxious thoughts.
Stay Away from Heavy Meals
Eating a large or spicy meal before bed can cause discomfort and indigestion, making it harder to sleep.
Consider Over-the-Counter Aids
While it’s best to consult with a doctor first, some people find relief with over-the-counter sleep aids or melatonin supplements.
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Michelle Harler is the founder of Guide2Free, a website dedicated to finding and sharing freebies, product testing opportunities, and other ways to save money. With over a decade of experience in the industry, her expertise in finding quality offers makes Guide2Free an invaluable resource for anyone looking to try new products and save money.