Here’s the truth.
If you don’t give your sleep right, it’s almost impossible to lose weight even if I give you the best workouts and the best diet advice on the planet. It’s that important. If that’s news to you then check out this article.
The next logical question then becomes, how do you actually get better sleep?
I could easily tell you to just close your eyes but that won’t really help much, would it? So let’s get into more specifics here. There are seven key areas that we’re gonna focus on. Don’t worry about being perfect. Just be good. You can’t just change everything overnight.
Here are my 7 sleep tips on how to fall asleep faster at night:
7 tips on how to fall asleep faster at night
1. All Black Everything
The more light you remove from your room, the better. Put simply, you need to sleep in a pitch-black room every night.
Your eyes sense any light in the room, even when they’re closed. This disrupts the release of melatonin from your body and greatly affects the quality of sleep you get. That’s why it’s way harder to fall asleep during the day. You know all about this if you do shift work.
The indicator light on the laptop charger next to your bed, that bright display on your alarm clock, the lights on the cable box, your phone and your TV, and the light coming from your bedroom windows all contribute to disrupting your sleep pattern.
You want to eliminate as much light as possible if you want your room to be more conducive to providing you better sleep.
Quick Fix Tips
Get a different alarm clock. You can go old school on this and get an analog alarm clock. Or get rid of your alarm clock completely and just use your phone.
Speaking of phones, set it on do not disturb or sleep mode when you sleep. The fewer notifications you get, the better. No, you don’t need to watch that cat video for the 100th time.
Unplug any gadgets that have indicator lights, or at the very least, try to hide it in plain sight. Again, it’s all about making your room as dark as possible.
Invest in blackout curtains or blinds. Notice how you always get the best sleep when you’re in a nice hotel room with fancy curtains? That’s their secret.
If you’re on a budget, you can invest in a sleep mask. Who cares if it looks dorky. No one else will see you (other than your significant other) anyway.
2. Be Consistent
The consistency of your sleep is just as crucial as the amount and quality of sleep you get.
According to one study , graveyard shifts, also known as shift work, are so destructive to your health that it’s been categorized by the World Health Organization as a possible carcinogen—yup, the stuff that could potentially cause cancer.
Unfortunately, a lot of people have imposed graveyard shifts on themselves, especially on weekends, when sleep basically becomes just an afterthought.
Your body doesn’t act like a rechargeable battery in that you can’t just say “I only got five hours of sleep the previous night so I’ll just sleep an extra three tonight and call it even.” Sometimes it could take you a few days or even the rest of the week to recover from one night of bad sleep.
Here’s what to do: avoid sleeping in even on weekends. Try to go to bed at a consistent time every night. I know this might be difficult depending on your circumstances, but at this point you should realize just how crucial this is.
3. What You Put in Your Body Before Bed Matters
We’ve been conditioned by today’s society to eat, drink, and socialize at night. That’s fair because most people have jobs during the day. Plus, it’s fun!
But what you put in your body, specifically right before you go to bed, has a huge correlation with the type of sleep you’re going to get.
This should be pretty obvious, but don’t order an almond milk, nonfat, triple shot, skinny, vanilla, extra hot, no foam latte right before you go to bed. Basically, don’t drink anything that has any caffeine in it. Don’t order that drink. Period.
Caffeine, if you didn’t know, is a type of stimulant. It’s a drug. What do stimulants do? You guessed it! They stimulate, which is the exact opposite of what you want if you plan on getting a good night’s rest. You don’t need more energy; you need to relax and calm your mind.
4. Sleep Hacks If You Study/Work From Home
If you are somebody who has to spend time on your computer at night, consider installing an app like F.lux .
What does it do? It syncs with the sunrise and sunset in your time zone, gradually shifting your screen’s hue from blue and bright to red and dim.
Your screen is going to look a little weird at first, but you get used to it pretty fast. It’s definitely a game changer in terms of being able to use your computer at night without it affecting your sleep.
Also, if you find yourself getting lost on Facebook or Twitter at some ungodly hour every night, you can use apps that block you from those sites at certain times, like the self-control app .
Something I’ve found very useful is installing an app on my phone called Sleep Cycle. It’s available for both Android and iPhone users. You simply put the time when you want to wake up and put your phone on your bed or your nightstand. The app will wake you up from the lightest phase of sleep, which is your natural waking point. Because it also tracks your sleep incredibly accurately, it’s the best 99 cents I’ve ever spent—next to all the five-cent candies I used to buy when I was a kid.
In a perfect world, you want to avoid electronic screens for at least an hour before going to bed. I know most of us use social media as a way to kill time before we go to sleep, but there are plenty of other things you can do that don’t involve sticking your phone to your face.
You can read a book. When was the last time you started and finished one? You can journal about your day or you can meditate.
5. Practice Mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness through meditation is one of the best things you can do if you’re one of those people with endless thoughts running through your head at night. It’s the best way to bring you back to the moment, and it forces you to be as present as humanly possible.
If you’re one of those people with some resistance to practicing meditation, it’s nothing more than just finding a small window of your time when you simply focus on your breathing and just be in the moment.
It sounds so stupidly simple, but it’s one of the most effective things you can do for yourself. You can download free apps like Calm, Headspace, and Insight Timer if you want to get started on guided meditation.
6. Set Yourself Up for Success
Do you ever get good sleep in an uncomfortable bed? Me neither.
You want to make sure you sleep in a comfortable bed. It blows my mind when people overlook this part.
If you often wake up with a sore back or an aching neck, you might want to think about investing in a new mattress, a new pillow, or both.
According to the trusty Sleep Country website, if your mattress is seven or more years old, a new mattress will likely improve your sleep.
If you’re still using the same mattress from back when you were in high school, then it might be time to start thinking about buying a new one.
7. Time Your Workouts
Quick note on working out. I love it. I’m all for it. There’s gonna be a separate chapter later on dedicated solely to this topic.
Working out during the day or doing something physically active can help you fall asleep faster at night because your body needs to recover from the stress you just put it through.
Just make sure you’re not doing sprints minutes before you have to go to bed. Your heart rate is increased every time you work out, and you have to give your body a chance to cool down a little bit.
Remember, sleep is not an option. Don’t worry about getting everything perfect right away. I’m not expecting a complete overnight bedroom makeover here. Change one or two things about your current sleeping strategy and go from there.
Again, this can all be done very quickly. If you mess up, just try to do better the next day. It might not seem like much, but this is the part you want to get right first and foremost.
Ignore it and it’s going to be an uphill battle moving forward.
As always, if this was helpful, share it with a friend who could benefit from it as well!