Are you still having trouble getting a better sleep every night?
What is bothering you and preventing you from falling asleep so difficult?
Have you ever tried to find any solution to these concerns?
What are the 9 great ways to fall asleep instantly? What food can you eat to sleep better?
Keep on reading here.
What Could Affect Your Sleep Quality?
Many factors are contributing to your nightly sleep quality(1).
The most common factors related to poor sleep are:
1. Feeling stress or mental health disorders. Kept worrying about problems (work or personal), having lots of thoughts in mind can prevent you from falling asleep easily.
Besides, anxiety or depression mental issue is a very common cause of insomnia disorder which will lead to sleeping difficulty. A study(2) has shown if a person takes more than 30 minutes to fall asleep, this is an indication of poor sleep in insomnia patients.
2. Sleeping environment play an important role in how well you can fall asleep. Most people are sensitive to artificial lights when they are in the bed. A dark, quiet, and calm environment cue in the bedroom gets you into sleeping mode faster.
A good quality pillow (to properly support the neck) and mattress made of latex, hybrid, innerspring, or memory foam can put you to better sleep.
As for myself, thank God, I’m easy to fall asleep when bedtime is reaching. I just don’t need a super comfortable mattress or a dark cooling environment to fall asleep, lol. How about you?
3. Snoring badly not only disrupts and is distressing to your partner or roommate’s sleep but could be a sign of your airways being obstructed (WARNING: This can be an alarm sign of sleeping disorder breathing syndrome such as obstructive sleep apnea).
4. Sleeping disorders like the common insomnia syndrome can cause a person’s poor quality of good sleep due to bad or scary dreams every night, indicating symptoms of narcolepsy chronic.
5. Beverages such as alcohol or caffeine are known to obstruct you from falling asleep easily. You will stay awake longer and decrease the quality of sleep.
6. Drug prescriptions such as diuretics can wake you up in the middle of the night and visit the bathroom frequently.
7. Relationships with families, friends, or partners can affect your sleep quality. A study published by the NCBI, Journal of Health and Social Behavior(3) has found that feelings of frustration, anger, or sadness with your loved ones can affect your sleep quality.
Try These 9 Nine Great Ways To Fall Asleep Instantly
Follow these few guidelines of good sleep hygiene to enhance your sleep quality. This can eliminate insomnia syndrome.
1. Never keep watching the clock ticking when you cannot sleep. This will make you feel more stressed and anxious to try to get to sleep. It’s making the situation harder to fall asleep.
2. Exercise regularly. This has proved to improve a person’s quality of sleep. However, depending on the type of exercise you are doing, a super intense or vigorous exercise in the evening or night right before sleep, will give you a harder time falling asleep.
3. If possible, avoid taking nap during the day. However, if you must, taking a short nap of around 20 minutes is still fine but try not to do it in the evening as this might affect your sleeping cycle.
4. Try sleeping and waking up at the same time every day is good practice as your body is used to this sleep pattern and wake-up cycle. Follow your usual sleeping schedule all the time!
5. Watch out for what is going into your stomach before sleep. Too heavy meals, alcohol, or caffeine may disrupt your sleep easily. Although some people may sleep easily after having a few sips of alcoholic drinks, they may wake up during the night due to the alcohol content reaction inside the body.
6. Try relaxing your mind and body with some chilling easy-to-listen music, and do a simple stretching workout to reduce all the tension and stress after a hard day working. Don’t hit the bed unless you are feeling sleepy!
7. Your room environment should be quiet, light dim or dark, cooling, and with good air ventilation. A room temperature that is too hot and warm will prevent you to fall asleep faster.
8. If you are into yoga or meditation exercises, that is great! Yoga and meditation help in mind relax and bring calmness to the mind and body. For example, yoga poses like legs up the wall, supine spinal twist, corpse, or reclined butterfly pose are great yoga movements to help you fall asleep easily.
9. Avoid smoking before sleep. If you do smoke, not at least an hour or more before sleep. Nicotine can affect a person’s ability to fall asleep by prolonging the time to sleep (4).
If you want to track an overall insight of your sleep, try getting tracking sleeping apps:
* Sleep Bot is a motion tracker that tracks your sleeping cycles and records sound levels.
* MotionX 24/7- monitoring the quality of your sleep, stats on an overview of your total sleep time.
* Sleep Cycle – record the percentage of your sleep quality time, track your sleep phases, and wake you up when in light sleep.
* Sleep Time – analyze your sleeping cycles (light or deep sleep) using efficiency percentage to measure.
* Smart Alarm Clock – record noises like snoring or talking while you sleep.
How Can You Sleep Better If Have Anxiety?
Regardless of whether you are struggling to sleep better with anxiety, stress, or insomnia, these three syndromes are closely related(5).
For example, lacking sleep causes stress and depression, while overall good sleep help to manage anxiety better. This means to say that treating one condition is indirectly helping each other.
If you are having anxiety, try these tips to help you fall asleep better.
1. Try to practice mindfulness meditation regularly. Why?
Mindfulness meditation has already been well studied and teaches you to be more aware of your surroundings at this moment. For example, when you know if the anxiety will hit you each time when going to sleep, you are aware and find ways to manage it properly.
3. Always practice good sleep hygiene. Not easy if you are a late-night owl, but if this can gradually help to sleep better with anxiety, it is worth adjusting now. Try to sleep and wake up at about the same time every day.
Relax your mind and body an hour before sleep, take a hot shower, read a book, listening to calm music. Just avoid doing anything that could stress you more.
4. Getting involved with any exercises or physical activity during the day can give you better sleep quality. This has been studied(7) for years and results had shown any exercise regardless of intensity or mode can help increase sleep quality.
Why can’t we sleep well when under stress?
This is partly due to insomnia as a result of tremendous stress related to jobs, relationship conflicts, financial matters, or any difficult situations in life.
Almost one-third of adults may experience insomnia-related symptoms like difficulty getting to sleep or being unable to have longer sleep. This can be severe in the long term as it can disrupt a person’s daily activities due to a lower mentality and strong emotions which could elevate the stress levels.
Having stress-induced insomnia as a result of being too tired or overstressed all the time can easily make a person have sleepless nights.
How to prevent stress to sleep better?
If you are experiencing stress or anxiety that is disrupting your good sleep every night, John Hopkins Medicine recommended this two simple stress relief techniques to follow:
1. Relaxing the muscles of the tense area by sitting or lying down comfortably in a quiet place. Any areas of the body feeling tense like the head, neck, shoulders, backs, hands, or legs, do a few gentle breaths by inhaling (hold tension) and exhaling (release tension).
2. Do gentle breathing by sitting or lying down comfortably in a quiet place. Close your eyes would be good. Inhale and exhale slowly for about five minutes. Noting when you breathe in, inhaling down through the stomach. Practice this before sleeping.
How to train yourself to sleep fast in 2 minutes?
Don’t be surprised, this is could be possible.
No harm in trying, isn’t it?
You just need to train your mind and brain to follow a few simple tricks.
Heard of the ‘military technique’ widely practiced by the US military for years? If not, follow these few steps,
* Lying on the bed, start breathing deeply slowly.
* Relax the face muscles by releasing stress from around the eyes, jaw, and forehead.
* Drop your shoulders as low as possible to relax your body (upper arms and neck).
* Now deeply inhale and exhale slowly, relaxing the body from the upper body slowly to the lower body (starting from the thighs up to the legs).
* After you have your body fully relaxed, give it about 10 seconds to clear all the thoughts in your mind by visualizing something calming such as a picturesque mountain, beach, or lake; thinking of a good happy memory during childhood days or memorable holidays; or telling your mind to stop thinking, sleep sleep sleep now.
Try it tonight, it may help!
Can A Person With Sleep Apnea Cause Depression?
Sleep apnea disorder can likely cause depression if not treated properly.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition where the airways got obstructed while a person is sleeping. This causes breathing pauses for a few seconds each time and can last throughout the nighttime. As a result, lesser oxygen is getting into the brain and body.
In long term, it can cause health complications such as depression, tiredness, high blood pressure, headache, and heart complications.
When your sleep gets disrupted often with sleep apnea, there is lacking good quality of sleeping time, and over time can lead to developing symptoms of mild depression.
What are the treatments for sleep apnea disorder?
Unfortunately, there is NO exact treatment to ‘cure’ obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) disorder. You can’t cure sleep apnea.
First of all, try to identify if you have this sleeping disorder or not. If your breathing pauses (due to physical airway having been blocked) while sleeping, snoring at night, or feeling sleepy always in the daytime, the chances of having sleep apnea are there.
Get advice from a doctor with expertise in sleeping disorders. They will conduct a thorough sleeping check-up on you before diagnosing it with treatment options.
Another alternative way is using oral appliances like a CPAP device. This device has a hose and mask allowing you to sleep better without disrupting the airway. It may or may not work for some people using a CPAP mask.
A CPAP device does not cure sleep apnea. You do need to adopt a healthier lifestyle (like losing weight through exercising regularly) to reduce or at least manage sleep apnea more effectively.
Is it safe to sleep face down for people with sleep apnea?
It doesn’t matter what sleeping position, sleep apnea can occur in any position.
However, people with sleep apnea tend to sleep face down (sleeping on their stomach) to reduce airway blockage. This can also be a bad idea as it will affect overall spine alignment resulting in back or neck pain for some people.
Is a side sleeping (on the left or right side) position helps to decrease sleep apnea? Yes, provided if that person is having this Positional obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, and is going for this Positional Therapy (using a tennis ball in the back).
It is also not advisable to sleep on your back if you have a sleep apnea problem due to airways being obstructed by the tongue and the back tissue on the throat. Speak with your doctor again for further advice.
What Food Can You Eat To Sleep Better?
Eating the right food may help and get you to sleep better.
Try to eat this food more:
* Leafy green like kale which is high in calcium help the sleeping hormone melatonin to work better.
* Fruits such as oranges, kiwis, bananas, pineapples, or tart cherries help to boost the sleeping hormones and reduce oxidative stress in the body.
* Nuts like walnuts or almonds contain natural melatonin will ensure you sleep better.
* Natural honey mix with a glass of warm water, chamomile tea, passionflower tea, or peppermint tea. Drink it before sleep. Natural honey, besides soothing the throat, helps to lower the ‘alertness’ chemical compound orexin inside the body.
* Fatty fishes like salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel are very healthy sources of omega 3 & 6 fatty acids – the EPA & DHA fats. Combined with vitamin D, a few studies (8), (9), and (10) have shown these fatty acids can help to enhance sleeping quality and increase serotonin production.
How To Sleep Better When You Are Traveling Frequently?
For me, that depends on the journey’s time of course!
If I travel halfway across the world by air, I try not to sleep throughout the entire journey, I can be quite moody or feel grumpy once reaching the destination.
Geez, I recalled how can this dude seated next to me had slept all the way the moment the plane took off. He literally had slept for an entire 14-hour flight from Guangzhou, China to New York! Clap clap clap to him!
What I’ll do is watch as many movies during the flight, take a very quick short nap, read a book or listen to music, and do simple body stretching exercises every few hours at my seat or the galley. Stretching often on long-haul flights or by land helps a lot to stay awake and fresh!
However, if you wish to sleep better, especially during long hours of traveling, then try to listen to calm and soothing meditation music, have a travel pillow with you, and if necessary, get sleeping pills or melatonin supplements prescribed by the doctor.
Melatonin controls your sleep and wake-up cycles by resetting the effects of the circadian rhythms.
My Overall Thoughts: Try These 9 Nine Great Ways To Fall Asleep Instantly
Having a good night’s sleep is a basic foundation for overall healthier and happier lifestyles. It does help in boosting your natural energy levels.
Remember, if your eyes are still wide open in that 20 minutes in bed, just wake up, and don’t force yourself to sleep. This prevents building more stress and anxiety. Find something calm to do to relax your mind. Don’t think about what’s your job task for tomorrow as it makes it even harder to fall asleep.
Good quality of sleep is just as important as your regular workouts and healthy diet. Manage it well so you can sleep soundly every night, thus helping balance overall body and brain function, physical performance, and hormones.
I hope this insight helps you a bit to manage your daily sleep quality more effectively.
As usual, if you have any comments, leave them below and I will speed back within 24 hours.
To your fantastic home exercise and better sleep!
***This post may contain affiliate links or advertisements. I receive a small commission when you make a purchase using the links. Prices are the same for you if your purchase is through an affiliate link or a non-affiliate link. You will not pay more by clicking through the link. Please see my Affiliate Disclaimer for more details.