If you’ve ever spent pointless hours trying to get to sleep, chances are you’ve been part of the 30% of the population has dealt with secondary insomnia. The good news is that next time you can fix it in seconds. This type of insomnia is usually the effect of anxiety which keeps you up thinking about things that worry you and making it difficult to relax and fall asleep. As long as you can manage to relax, you’ll be able to fall asleep in no time.
Bright Side has prepared a list of the fastest methods you can use to relax and fall asleep, so that next time, falling asleep is the least of your worries. And, don’t miss the bonus at the end of our article for a good night’s sleep!
10 seconds: With this military technique, you’ll treasure the last 10 seconds of your day.
Unless a psychologist or magician hypnotizes you, it’s impossible to lay on your bed and fall asleep that fast, but we promise that the last 10 seconds of this proven military method is all it takes to do the trick. Try it consistently and, with practice, you’ll be convinced:
- Close your eyes, let your eyes rest into your sockets and relax your entire face while taking deep and slow breaths.
- Relax and drop one shoulder and arm to the side of your body. Start with the dominant side, if you’re left-handed, begin with your left shoulder. Then, do the same with the opposite shoulder and arm.
- Relax your chest by taking deep breaths and taking your time to exhale.
- Relax your legs, thighs, and feet. Start with your dominant side.
- Keep your mind clear and still for 10 seconds,
- No luck? Try repeating “don’t think” for 10 seconds.
- Within 10 seconds, you should be out... zzz...
The whole exercise usually takes no more than 120 seconds, but it’s said that the last 10 seconds are the key to falling asleep.
60 seconds: The 4-7-8 technique
This technique is a breathing exercise designed by Dr. Andrew Weil. This method was developed according to an early yogic pranayama (breathing technique), which helps people control their breathing and reactions.
If you practice this exercise every day, it will help you relax in no time — making it easier for you to fall asleep, even in only 60 seconds. Here’s how to do it:
- First, separate your lips and exhale completely through your mouth.
- Then close your lips and inhale silently through your nose. While doing this, count to 4.
- Hold that breath for 7 seconds and relax.
- Then exhale completely making a whooshing sound for 8 seconds.
60 seconds: Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Some people also call it deep muscle relaxation, but the benefits are the same: you fall asleep quickly. It consists of repeatedly tensing and relaxing the muscles. The technique was developed by Edmund Jacobson in the 1930s. He believed that physical relaxation leads to a calm mind. Let us guide you.
- Tense your arms for 5 seconds. Then relax for 10 seconds.
- Tense your forehead. Relax.
- Tense your eyes and cheeks. Relax.
- Tense your mouth and jaw. Relax.
- Tense your neck. Relax.
Repeat this tightening-relaxing technique with the rest of your body until even your toes are relaxed, that is, if you’re not already asleep yet!
120 seconds: Try to stay awake
It’s called Paradoxical Intention for Insomnia, in plain English, reverse psychology for the exhausted who can’t sleep. This method advises you to continually think and order yourself to stay awake. This reduces the anxiety produced by insomnia and the frustration of staying awake, helping you to fall asleep faster.
120 seconds: Picture a calm place.
A common reason for having trouble sleeping is anxiety. According to research, picturing a peaceful and happy environment can distract you from your thoughts and concerns, helping you relax, and fall asleep in just a couple of minutes.
120 seconds: Try cooling it down.
Melatonin reduces your body temperature slightly when you’re falling asleep. During the summer or even in winter, if your body isn’t cool enough, it may be hard for you to fall asleep. Try opening a window, changing into lighter pajamas, and drinking half a glass of cold water.
Sleep deprivation can lead to numerous problems, like the risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, and even coronary heart disease, where your arteries retain fat and restrict blood circulation, as shown in the picture above. This is why making sure you sleep fast and well is a good habit. Here are some tips to help you fall asleep faster and better:
- Stay away from screens at least half an hour before going to bed.
- Shower at night, it’ll help you relax and fall asleep faster.
- Keep your room cool, your body needs to lower its temperature for you to be able to sleep well.
- Read before going to bed, it’ll help you feel tired.
- If you wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble going back to sleep, don’t stay in your bed. Get up, go to another room, and read a little bit. You’ll soon be longing for your bed.
Which one will you be trying tonight? Share it with us in the comments below!
Illustrated by Daniil Shubin for BrightSide.me