How long does it take you to fall asleep? The average time is about 10 to 20 minutes. If you fall asleep much faster, you may be sleep deprived. If you take much longer, you may find it difficult to get the recommended 7 to 8 hours of slumber.

The scientific name for trouble falling asleep is sleep onset latency, and it affects the efficiency of your sleep. Falling asleep on schedule helps you to enjoy adequate amounts of the later stages of deep sleep. Otherwise, your sleep may be less refreshing as well as too brief.

 Your specific remedy may depend on what’s keeping you up at night. Experiment with these natural methods for falling asleep faster.

Changing Your Lifestyle

Your daily habits can have a big impact on what you experience at night. Adjusting your lifestyle could shorten sleep onset latency.

These strategies make it easier to fall asleep quickly:

Synchronize your schedule.

Go to bed and wake up at regular times, even on weekends and holidays. You’ll be training your body and mind to develop a rhythm for when to become drowsy.

Use relaxation exercises.

Deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation are two popular methods for hastening sleep. It also helps to manage stress during the day and visualize pleasant images at bedtime.

Work out.

Along with many other benefits, an active lifestyle enhances sleep.   Choose an activity you enjoy and aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week.

Get outside early.

If you can, go outside to get some natural sunlight and fresh air as early in the day as possible.  This activity can help establish the body’s natural circadian wake/sleep rhythm.

Forget the clock.

Worrying about falling asleep can keep you awake longer. Resist the urge to keep checking what time it is.

Leave the room.

If you’re unable to relax, you may want to get out of bed. Go to another room and do something boring.

Limit alcohol and caffeine.

Cut back on cocktails and coffee, especially in the later hours. Alcohol will interfere with the quality of your sleep. Coffee after about 2 pm may keep you alert hours later.

Do a “brain dump” before going to bed.

Write down everything that is on your mind in a notebook.  No one else will read this, so don’t take time to think about spelling or  grammar.  Just get those thoughts or stressors from the day out of your head and onto paper.  Write – don’t type.  The activity of writing helps release it so your brain won’t need to keep working on it when you want to fall asleep.There are no rules and you don’t need to go back and read this if you don’t want to.  You can even destroy it.  

Keep a journal.

Sleep issues can have many different causes. Recording your habits in a journal (not part of the “brain dump”) could enable you to spot patterns and help you talk with your doctor if you need to explore medical reasons.

Changing Your Surroundings

Your environment can work for you or against you. A few simple changes could make your nights more restful and your days more productive.

Try these techniques:

Dim the lights.

Darkness prepares your brain for sleep. Hang heavy curtains in your bedroom or wear a sleep mask. On the other hand, morning light will help you wake up and feel drowsy later in the day.

Block out noise.

Keep your bedroom quiet. Turn on a fan or a pink noise recording to block out loud neighbors and car alarms.

Adjust your temperature.

Setting your bedroom thermostat to 60 to 67 degrees overnight is optimum for most adults. You may also feel sleepier after a warm bath or shower as your body cools down.

Turn off your devices.

Set a curfew on watching TV and browsing online. Shutting off electronic devices at least two hours before bed will minimize your exposure to bright screens and excess stimulation.

Check your bedding.

How old is your mattress? Visit a sleep store for the latest in memory foam mattresses, weighted blankets, and other products that might work for you.  Also, change your sheets often.  Clean sheets can help improve the quality of sleep, too. 

Try lavender essential oil.

Lavender aromatherapy has a calming effect and can help you fall asleep.  Using a blend that is safe to use on your skin, dab a drop behind each ear, use in a diffuser, use it in a bath, or place a drop on your pillow.

Falling asleep quicker can increase the quantity and quality of your sleep. Try natural home remedies for reducing the time you spend tossing and turning and talk with your doctor if you need more assistance.

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Hi!  I'm Tammy!  I was a busy, stressed, and unhealthy teacher until I decided to take control of my health.  I did not become an athlete until I was in my 50's!

I earned personal training and fitness nutrition certifications, then retired from teaching to dedicate my work life to fitness education for other busy women over 40.

My results are obviously not typical because most people don't train to compete as a bodybuilder.

But I believe everyone can make positive changes with healthy habits!  Each of us has a unique combination of strengths and challenges that need to be considered to customize a program that will work for us.  Science-based principles, flexibility, and consistency make all the difference.

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