- 1 12 simple ways to fall asleep as fast as possible
- 1.1 Keep aside your devices
- 1.2 Take a shower or warm bath
- 1.3 Try to sleep rather than going to bed
- 1.4 Utilize relaxation and meditation
- 1.5 Ensure your limbs are cozy
- 1.6 Expose yourself to light during daytime
- 1.7 Avoid caffeinated drinks
- 1.8 Don’t think about worries
- 1.9 Read a book
- 1.10 Follow a bedtime
- 1.11 Rearrange your sleeping arrangement
- 1.12 Make the temperature low
- 2 How do you fall asleep in 5 minutes?
- 3 Why can’t I sleep even though I’m tired?
- 4 Can you catch up on sleep?
- 5 Conclusion
What makes you sleepy? While people don’t think much about why they fall asleep, but most of them acknowledge that sleep makes them feel better. People feel more energetic, happier, more alert, and perform better after a good nights’ sleep.
Even scientists don’t know why everybody needs to sleep. They are pretty much clueless about the fact that it determines when the body needs to sleep. However, sometimes it may feel worse and miserable to feel sleepy. This lays the beginning of the explanation of why you need to sleep in the first place.
Why do we get sleepy?
Scientists have tried to answer this question from various angles. They have researched about the sleeping patterns of both humans and animals to find out what happens if they are deprived of sleep. Yet, after decades of discoveries and researches, they aren’t able to answer why people get sleepy.
However, the lack of a clear answer doesn’t mean all their efforts have been a waste of time. Scientists have developed promising theories to explain why people sleep. From all the evidence they have gathered, it appears that no single theory can be proven right. Sleep can be explained better by combining more than one explanation.
Inactivity theory – It is one of the earliest theories that suggest inactivity at night serves as a survival function to keep away from being vulnerable to other species. The theory reflects that species who remain quiet and still during this period, have an advantage over other species that remains active.
Energy conservation theory – It may appear less apparent to people living in communities where food supplies are abundant but needs effective utilization for these natural resources. This theory puts emphasis on the fact that feeling sleepy reduces the demand for energy during part of the night and day when it is least important to look out for food.
Restorative theories – This is another popular theory where it explains about the age-old belief that sleep serves to restore whatever the body lost while it was awake. Sleep provides your body with the opportunity to repair and revitalize itself. Other rejuvenating aspects of feeling sleepy is that it improves the cognitive functions of your brain.
Brain plasticity theory – It is the most compelling and recent findings that sleep correlate to the changing structure of an organization of your brain. Known as brain plasticity, this phenomenon is yet to be understood entirely.
What foods make you sleepy?
You tend to feel sleepy or have difficulty in concentrating soon after a meal. Feeling sleepy is very common after consuming some specific foods. Sleepiness also depends on what type of food, how, and when you eat. That’s the reason why some people feel tired and sleepy after a meal.
The foods that are rich in carbohydrates and proteins will make you feel sleepy than any other type of food. Some researchers are of the opinion that a person’s body tends to produce more serotonin soon after eating. And, this is what makes them feel sleepy.
Serotonin plays an important role in regulating sleep cycles and regulating mood. Tryptophan helps your body to produce serotonin. It is an amino acid which is present in foods rich in protein. Carbohydrates help your body to absorb tryptophan.
Hence, when you eat a meal rich in carbohydrates and protein, it will make you feel sleepy. Tryptophan is found in foods that have an abundant supply of protein. This includes poultry, spinach, salmon, eggs, soy products, milk, cheese, and seeds.
Foods that have higher levels of carbohydrates include rice, milk, pasta, white bread, corn cobs, sugar, candy, muffins, donuts, cookies, and cake. People tend to eat meals that contain both carbohydrates and proteins before bedtimes such as milk and cereals.
A person may experience postprandial somnolence soon after a heavy meal. There are also people who eat larger lunches during the afternoon. Such people may feel sleepy than those who eat very less at midday. There is an increase in the blood sugar levels and your energy may fall after eating.
There are some other factors that may influence sleepiness after eating. This includes lack of sleep at night, which leads to tiredness the following day and drinking alcohol with foods, especially during the daytime.
12 simple ways to fall asleep as fast as possible
Keep aside your devices
You may like to scroll through social networking sites or even read an article. But, when you expose your eyes to the blue light, it prompts you to feel awake.
Take a shower or warm bath
Research studies have shown that when you take a shower or warm bath 1 to 2 hours before bedtime, it will help you to fall asleep fast by about 36%.
Try to sleep rather than going to bed
Make your goal to unwind and relax as soon as you move to the bed, knowing that you will fall fast asleep. This puts less pressure on falling asleep.
Utilize relaxation and meditation
Take time to relax and meditate before bedtime. It will help your body to unwind. You may consider using a device or an app.
Ensure your limbs are cozy
Cold feet and hands will make it difficult for you to fall fast asleep. Warm hands and feet serve best for rapid sleep onset.
Expose yourself to light during daytime
Direct sunlight on your body can cure many things. It helps your body to reset the system clock. As such, there won’t be trouble in falling asleep fast.
Avoid caffeinated drinks
Everybody loves these drinks. But when it comes to fall fast asleep, it’s imperative not to take them at least six hours before going to bed.
Don’t think about worries
Once you have hit the comfortable mattress and a pillow, keep away all your worries and try to relax. The bedroom is not a place to analyze your anxiety.
Read a book
One of the best ways of falling fast asleep is to make a habit of reading books before bedtime. Reading any kind of book will help you to get a great sleep.
Follow a bedtime
Make a bedtime routine and follow it accordingly. You can add soft music, yoga, reading, etc. to your routine. It will signal you that it’s time to sleep.
Rearrange your sleeping arrangement
Sometimes your body acts subconsciously that your bed is not comfortable. Hence, it is a very good thing to add cozy sheets, fluffy pillows, or a mattress topper.
Make the temperature low
Sound sleep is associated with having an optimal room temperature. That’s because you can easily fall asleep in cooler rooms.
How do you fall asleep in 5 minutes?
Falling fast asleep on some nights is really hard to come by. You may probably know some of the basic tips suck as turning off the TV or reading books, but they don’t seem to work all the time. Here are some simple strategies that will help you to fall asleep in 5 minutes.
Get a firm mattress – There is no mattress that seems perfect for everybody. It depends on sleep position, body mechanics, age, activity level, and other factors. When you want to fall fast asleep, the softness or firmness of a mattress is what you should look for. Select a mattress that matches your sleep style and body type.
Trick your mind – It happens all the time that whenever you want to do something, your brain makes you do the opposite. Hence, high intention to fall quick asleep often results in poor quality sleep. Instead of that, try thinking to stay awake for some time. You can visualize things in your mind, or listen to music on low volume.
Eat carbs – In one study, it has been found out that when you eat carbs at least 4 hours before bedtime, it may help you to fall fast asleep and sleep better. These include simple carbs that can be easily digested, such as potatoes, sugary foods, white rice, and white bread with pasta. Remember to eat in a moderate portion.
Make use of hi-tech – Customizable beds and hi-tech materials can improve the comfort level and help you to get a quick sleep within minutes. Adjustable beds allow you to alter the angle of your legs and upper torso. If you are having a lower back problem, these adjustments will improve blood circulation and back tension. As such, it will improve comfort and make you fall asleep.
Create a dark and cool atmosphere – Before the introduction of modern technologies, nights use to be cold and dark. More surprisingly, modern science agrees to the fact that complete darkness and cold temperature are ideal for sound sleep. Hence, make your bedroom like a cave and have a good nights’ sleep.
What drinks make you sleepy?
Here are some drinks that will make you sleepy.
Almond butter smoothie – Take a banana, almond butter, soymilk, and blend them together to make a smoothie. They are rich in magnesium. Research shows that magnesium calms down the nervous system and makes you sleepy.
Warm milk – If you like the taste, then you need to try warm milk. The sleeping effects of warm milk will transport you back to your childhood days.
Chamomile-lavender tea – The combination of both lavender and chamomile serves as the perfect sleep-promoting brew. The elements present in the works on your nervous system and help to calm, de-stress, and settle nervous tension.
A glass of cool milk – Not interested in warm milk? Fine, you can drink it cold. It has been found out in a study that people who drank milk tend to fall asleep within a few minutes.
Tart cherry juice – Cherry juice is one of the few fruit drinks that will make you sleepy. Cherries have anti-inflammatory properties and they help to regulate sleep. Make sure not to add sugar in the drink.
Passionflower tea – This American herb increases the levels of neurotransmitters. Mix a teaspoon of passionflower (dried) in a cup of boiling and keep it for 10 minutes. You will feel sleepy in no time.
Lemon balm tea – Lemon balm-based supplement is found out to have a remarkable effect on people suffering from insomnia. It has the ability to increase the levels of neurotransmitters in your brain. The soothing warmth of the tea will calm you and make you feel sleepy.
What to do if you can’t sleep?
People who are having trouble falling asleep tend to suffer from insomnia. They can’t sleep throughout the night and wake up early in the morning. Deprivation in sleep can lead to other serious diseases if not treated well. However, there are some ways that can be helpful if you can’t sleep.
- Carve out a minimum of 30 minutes before bedtime and do some relaxing activities like reading a book. Dim all the lights in your house for one hour or so before going to bed
- Detach yourself from all the close-range devices such as smartphones, tablets, or laptops. The light that comes from these devices may alert your brain to keep awake. As such, it will be harder for you to sleep
- If you feel the need to calm your mind before sleep, you can do a relaxation or a breathing exercise
- When you go to bed and couldn’t fall asleep in 20 minutes, get up from the bed. Go to another room in the house and do some relaxing activities. Listening to music on low volume or reading books could be helpful.
- Try to wake up in the morning at the same time daily. Even if you are feeling tired in the morning or didn’t have a clear sleep the previous night. It can help your body to adjust your system clock and help in falling fast asleep in the night
Why can’t I sleep even though I’m tired?
In general, people tend to relate to tiredness and sleep. But, in reality, these are two different things. As you may have felt sometimes, feeling tired doesn’t make you fall fast asleep. On the other hand, feeling sleepy means that sleep is about to happen. So, how can you find out if you are sleepy-tired?
There are few signs and you need to watch out for them. These include lack of energy, itchy eyes, aching muscles, and yawning. When you head towards the bed without experiencing these signs, it is very likely that you won’t sleep quickly. You will lie awake and thinking about sleeping.
A very common thing for poor sleep is your active mind. It is considered as the main cause of sleeplessness. When you are holding on to past or future events of lesser importance, they will keep you away from sleep even if you are tired.
It isn’t only the thoughts that keep you away from falling asleep, but ingesting stimulants or exercising shortly before bedtime can deter sleep from settling in. Exercise boosts your energy levels and makes it hard for you to sleep.
Most types of stimulants such as nicotine and caffeine can cause similar effects. Stimulant drugs make it difficult to lower arousal and ignite sleep. When you consume caffeine, it takes a longer time for you to fall asleep.
When you are tired but can’t sleep, the only solution is to follow habits and activities that make you relax. They will help you to reduce over-arousal and allow sleep to take over wakefulness. Different people will find activities that will help them to relax. Therefore, find out exactly what will work best for you.
Can you catch up on sleep?
No, you can’t do that. If you are thinking to get an extra shot of sleep so that you can overcome your sleep deprivation, it may seem like the best choice for you. However, a recent study by Harvard Medical School has found that it is not an easy task.
Their study lays emphasis on the impact of loss because of chronic sleep on performance. The study further reveals that it is not possible to catch-up on lost sleep for improving performance. According to the research, even if you sleep for about 10 hours for compensating your 6-hour sleep per night for about 2 weeks, your ability to focus and reaction time becomes worse.
Whereas, an all-nighter might be useful. Now, that’s not a piece of good news for truckers, doctors, or law enforcement officers. The finish line is that there are no real ways to compensate for your lost sleep. Whatever is lost can’t be recovered by adding few hours of sleep.
However, there are some ways that shift workers may pull off if they want to get good quality sleep during their recess hours. For instance, maintaining the same wake-up and bedtime schedule even on weekends, wearing dark-colored glasses on their way home, and eliminating light and noise from the sleeping area.
Excessive sleep can attract severe consequences like dozing off at red lights while waiting. And, not getting enough sleep gives rises to heart diseases, high blood pressure, weight gain, and diabetes. The overall quality of life gets compromised by poor sleep.