I think we can all relate to having had some experience with difficulty falling asleep. You lay in bed just wishing you could fall asleep quickly. But the more you obsess about it, the harder it becomes!
To help those struggling with falling asleep at night, I sought out some expert advice from Sam Sadighi, a sleep expert and founder of Easy Sleep Solutions.
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Difficulty Falling Asleep
We would all love to know how to fall asleep fast. After all, no-one enjoys staring at the ceiling worrying about how early you have to wake up in the morning.
Not being able to fall asleep can take a toll on our health and wellbeing. In fact, science tells us that proper sleep is just as important to our health as exercise and nutrition. Not to mention, being frustrated and too tired to tackle the next day’s activities.
Sleep affects every single aspect of our lives. When we aren’t getting enough sleep we can’t take care of families, do our work properly, or even take care of ourselves. Getting a good night’s sleep is the ultimate form of self-care!
Problems falling asleep may be due to insomnia, illness, lifestyle choices, or even stress. If you have persistent difficulty getting to sleep, then it’s worth checking with our doctor or a qualifed sleep consultant, like Easy Sleep Solutions.
Getting Help To Fall Asleep
There are so many different ways to fall asleep quickly. There isn’t just one single method that works for everyone. Take it from me, I have tried so many different ways. Some would help a little, but some just didn’t help at all!
I struggled for many years with bad sleep patterns. Not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep, not feeling refreshed in the morning, or just feeling tired ALL DAY!
After working with Sam at Easy Sleep Solutions, she helped me identify the ways I was sabotaging my sleep (just like we sabotage our diets without realizing it!) and she taught me the tools I needed to sleep better and longer (without having to go to bed at 8 pm!).
I went from a walking zombie to having more energy and focus during the day. I no longer feel that heavy tiredness in the evenings, I can actually enjoy the time with my family.
With so many methods to help us fall asleep quickly, it’s important that we find a method that works best for us and use it to our advantage, and I am not talking about taking sleeping pills.
Fall Asleep Fast Techniques
The methods below are proven sleep-inducing practices that will help you fall asleep quickly and stay asleep longer.
Sam from Easy Sleep Solutions suggests “trying one of the methods for at least 3 nights and see how it works for you. Make a note in the morning about how quickly you fell asleep and also how easy you found it. If that method isn’t working for you, then try the next one.”
Once you’ve tried the different methods you’ll then be able to pick your favorite and you’ll have your go-to exercise to do when you are having trouble falling asleep.
The 4-7-8 Method
The 4-7-8 method was developed by Dr. Andrew Weil. In my opinion, this is a wonderful method because it combines both visualization and meditation. With practice, it will become more effective. I advise those who have a respiratory condition such as COPD, asthma, or any others to check with the doctor prior to using this technique since it can make symptoms worse.
One word that Sam at Easy Sleep Solutions uses to describe the 4-7-8 breathing technique is “simple.” It can be done anywhere and requires nothing but concentration. And best of all this exercise can be done in any position (like trying to fall asleep on a plane, bus, or in a passenger in a car).
Throughout the entire exercise, it is best if you keep the tip of your tongue just behind your upper front teeth. You will be inhaling quietly through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. 4:7:8 is a ratio, and that is all that matters during this exercise. It goes a little something like this:
- You will begin first by simply exhaling as deeply as you can.
- You will then breathe in through your nose quietly for a count of 4 seconds. (Note the magic number is 4!)
- Next, you will hold your breath for 7 seconds.
- For 8 seconds, you will forcefully exhale through your mouth (not the nose). While you’re exhaling try to purse your lips and make a “whoosh” sound!
- And repeat…!
The Military Method
Yes, the military method is for people in the navy. It is popular among the U.S. military and was first introduced by a woman named Sharon Ackerman, originating from a book titled “Relax and Win: Championship Performance.”
If we could all imagine just how stressful the Navy can be. This is why the U.S. Navy Pre-Flight School designed a sleep routine that would help pilots fall asleep in no more than 2 minutes. Yes… 2 MINUTES!
While it took about 6 weeks of practice to master the technique, it definitely paid off, even if combined with drinking caffeine and loud noises in the background.
This is how this method works:
- You begin by first relaxing all of the muscles within the face. This also includes the muscles inside of the mouth. Relax the tongue. Make sure it is not resting on the roof of the mouth. Relax the eyebrows, jaw bones, and cheekbones.
- Drop the shoulders and release any tension felt there. The hands should also be dropped at the side of the body, letting go of all tension.
- Exhale deeply and relax the muscles in the chest.
- You can then let go further tension and relax our legs, thighs, and calves.
- Imagine a relaxing scene to help clear the mind for about 10 seconds. This can be anything! How about laying on the beach listening to the waves in the ocean?
- If the above does not work, for about 10 seconds, try saying “don’t think” over and over again.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation is beneficial for those dealing with anxiety. I can relate to this one since anxiety is what keeps me awake during the night. (This is my personal favorite method!)
This is the perfect technique for unwinding. It will help get us asleep quickly and also get better quality sleep.
This exercise is performed by tensing all muscles in the body, group by group, and then relaxing them again. It’s very simple and gives your mind something to focus on, instead of worrying about things.
This is how the progressive muscle relaxation technique is done:
- Begin by first tensing up the muscles in the face. This includes clenching the teeth and jaws. After tensing them, go ahead and relax them one at a time.
- Next, move down to the neck and shoulders. Tense those muscles as tight as you can and then release them.
- Moving down your body continue to relax the different groups of the muscles in the body. Do not forget the toes… if you make it that far before falling asleep!
So there you have it! Three proven methods to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Which one are you going to try tonight?
If you are having difficulty sleeping – you are not alone!
Find out how a certified sleep consultant like Easy Sleep Solutions can help you sleep better at night, so you have more energy and can be more focused during the day.