Sleeping hacks to sleep faster and better

29 sleeping hacks

How to fall asleep fast when you can't sleep

It is hard for me to fall asleep sometimes because I simply don’t feel tired and sleepy.

Other times there’s a lot of things going on in my life so a lot of thoughts going on in my head, so I am anxious and stressed.

I waste a lot of time thinking about the things I shouldn’t be thinking about, freaking myself out.

During those nights it is just impossible to get a good night’s sleep.

So if you have ever experienced something like this, I hope my post is going to help you. I am going through life hacks to help you relax well and sleep.

Whether you try just one of these sleeping hacks or dozens, you will probably find that your sleep improves. Most importantly, you should develop healthier habits and develop a schedule that works for you.

The quality of sleeping affects our mental and physical health and also the quality of our waking life. Productivity, emotional balance, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, and even our weight.

What to do if you can't sleep? - How can I sleep better hacks

Sleeping Hacks - Create the perfect environment for sleeping

Sleeping Hack #1 - Perfect temperature to fall asleep

65 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 degrees Celsius helps you fell asleep the fastest.

Your body’s core temperature drops while you are sleeping so setting a cooler room temperature will help your body could down faster.

Of course, everybody is different so find the perfect temperature for yourself by experimenting.

Sleeping Hack #2 - Wear socks

sleeping monsters meme

If you feel that your feet get cold at night and it causes sleeplessness, wear socks. Cold feet inhibit blood flow, so wearing socks increases blood flow by causing blood cells to widen, helping you fall asleep faster.

Of course, when it’s too warm, you can skip socks and try to regulate your body temperature by sticking your feet out of the duvet.

Sleeping Hack #3 - Dark room

To understand how darkness is our best nighttime friend, we should understand circadian rhythm, our “inner smart watch”.

Circadian Rhythm

Circadian rhythm is our built-in clock that is constantly running in our brain and body, guiding us when to feel sleepy or energized.

It works best if you have a schedule and habits like waking up in the morning and going to bed at night at the same time every day.

Because our circadian rhythms linked to our outside environment, especially to the amount of light,  any light that we let into our bedroom can disrupt our sleep and negatively affect its quality.

Also, our body produces melatonin and serotonin in darkness. These hormones regulate our mood, prevent depression… and enhance sleep quality.

So even if you need to go to the bathroom it is a good idea to do it with the light off. No worries, your little toe will find the furniture in front of you. 😉

If you’re unable to get rid of all lights in the bedroom, try using a sleeping mask to block out all light.

If you are interested in improving your morning routine, check out my post! 

Sleeping Hack #4 - Set up your bed for a quality sleep

Use your bed only as a place to sleep, try not to do anything else in bed like watching movies or any other exciting activities like video games.

Try to sleep on the best quality mattress that is affordable to you and use a comfy pillow – it is a highly personal choice and also depends on your favorite sleeping position(s).

Sleeping Hack #5 - Wash your bedsheets often

It is much better to sleep in a freshly washed, great smelling, cool bedsheet than in a worn and dirty one.

Sleeping Hack #6 - Use cotton bedding and sleepwear

The other great option is  silk and satin bed sheets but they tend to be pricey.

A comfy PJ or just loose-fitting t-shirt with a pair of shorts are perfect sleepwear.

Sleeping Hack #7 - Weighted blanket

The weighted blanket pressures you with its evenly distributed weight across your body, and it can ease you anxiety and stress, helping you with sleep problems.

Sleeping Hack #8 - Use the lights wisely

The popular LED bulbs are efficient and have a beautiful quality of light but unfortunately, they can make harder to fall asleep. The old-fashioned light bulbs with soft, warm light are better.

If you have lightning that can be dimmed, even better.

If you don’t have anything like these, the cheapest option is a yellowish fairy light.

Sleeping Hack #9 - Paint your bedroom in calming colors

Colors of nature are great calming colors. The best are the hues of the sky and the ocean or earth tones like greens, browns, beige.

If it not possible to paint your walls, no problem. Use calming colored bed sheets and pillows.

Sleeping Hacks - Create a calming, relaxing ritual before bedtime

Sleeping Hack #10 - Create a nighttime schedule

Have a schedule for nighttime that you follow every evening.

Sleeping Hack #11 Set an alarm to tell you when to go start getting ready to go to sleep

It will prevent you from going to bed way too late.

Sleeping at the same time every day will regulate your circadian rhythm which helps your body know when it is time to go to sleep.

If you have a regular bedtime, your mind will recognize when that time is coming which will help you to relax. It also helps your brain adjust its levels of serotonin and melatonin.

Sleeping Hack #12 - Put away all your electronics

Do not watch TV and do not use your phone to browse the web or social media before going to sleep.

Put away your gadgets at least 30 minutes before bedtime. The blue light from electronic devices disturbs your ability to relax and sleep as it suppresses the production of melatonin.

If you must use your phone or laptop late, dim your screen as much as you can without straining your eyes.

Sleeping Hack #13 - Take a hot bath or shower

Hot baths or shower make your body temperature rise. After you hopped out, your temperature will drop slightly just like before you fall asleep. It mimics this temperature change so efficiently that it not only helps you sleep faster but also increases sleep quality.

Sleeping Hack #14 - Try Meditation

There are several guided meditation workflows on Youtube, it worth finding the one that suits you the best.

You can also try muscle relaxation: from head to toe tense your muscles and then consciously relax them.  When you finish your whole body should be relaxed. You might realize that your muscles are much tenser than you thought.

Sleeping Hack #15 - List your problems and how you might solve them

Use this hack only if you are having trouble sleeping because you are constantly worrying about your problems. Listing the possible problem-solving methods will give you a positive experience.

You can also try a daily gratitude exercise. Give yourself 5 minutes to write down three to five things you are grateful for right before bed. You can also reflect on your day, what was great in it, what could be improved next time.

Sleeping Hack #16 - Try a meditation breathing technique that was developed to help soldiers

During World War II the fatigue and stress caused sleep deprivation. A new technique was developed that combines physical and mental relaxation in 7 simple steps:

When in bed,

  1. Relax your face, muscle by muscle
  2. Release the tension in your shoulders
  3. Place your hands to the side of your body, relax them
  4. Exhale, inhale deeply, calmingly while relaxing your chest
  5. Relax your legs, thighs, and calves.
  6. Clear your mind
  7. Repeat “Don’t think” over and over while staying relaxed

If you feel stressed, read my post about stress relief.

Sleeping Hack #17 - The 4-7-8 breathing method

Another breathing method that you can try:

Breath in for 4 seconds, hold it in for 7 seconds and breathe out for 8 seconds.

It is this simple! Try to make a whooshing sound when you exhale, and close your lips when you inhale through your nose.

Repeat it 4 times.

Sleeping Hack #18 - Listen to calming, relaxing music or sounds

When you try to sleep or even when you are asleep your brain is listening to the sounds of your surroundings, trying to protect you from danger.

Turn on white noise, a calming music track to ensure that outside noise won’t disrupt you.

During a rainy day, I just want to crawl into my bed and sleep, raindrop sounds are my favorite relaxing sounds.

You can also try listening to “the world’s most relaxing music”.

Psychologist Dave Elliot discovered what makes some pieces of music especially relaxing. Based on his findings the most relaxing music has been created, scientifically designed to help us fall asleep. You can listen to it here:

Sleeping Hack #19 - Massage a pressure point

There is a pressure point right between our eyes, eyebrows. It is called the ‘third eye’ and massaging it helps to relieve anxiety, depression, fear and also helps with insomnia.

Sleeping Hack #20 - Aromatherapy: scents can improve your sleep

Our sense of smell is triggered through a nerve that sends signals to our brain. These signals can trigger a response from either our autonomic nervous system (fight or flight) or our parasympathetic nervous system (calming and relaxation).

Scents have a great impact on sleep quality.

Using essential oils have a variety of benefits, and in the form of aromatherapy, they can be powerful aids to help you fall asleep.

One of the most popular essential oils to aid in sleep is lavender. It calms the nervous system by lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature. It also changes brain waves to a more relaxed state.

If you don’t like the scent of lavender of you don’t have some at home, don’t worry, almost any scent that you find pleasant will likely help you relax and therefore sleep better.  

Here are some more examples:

Scents that can help you sleep better and how to use them

  • Rose: the scent of roses can lower blood pressure and also the number of breaths you take per minute, which makes falling asleep easier.
  • Geranium: its aroma has a relaxing effect on the mood and is often named as a natural antidepressant.
  • Clary sage: its has an antidepressant effect and helps to sleep
  • Sweet marjoram: it also has calming qualities
  • Jasmine: Its sweet scent reduces anxiety levels and ensures good sleep.
  • Chamomile: might prevent snoring

Use these essential oils as pillow mist or put them in a humidifier. You can also buy jasmine, lavender and rose as plants so you can simply put them on your nightstand.

You can also take a bath with a few drops of your favorite essential oil before bedtime.

There are numerous pillow sprays available that were produced especially to have maximum effect on sleep.

Caution: always read about possible side effects to see if you can use essential oils. For example, pregnant women should avoid using lavender.

Sleeping Hacks - Things to do during the daytime for quality sleep at night

Sleeping Hack #21 - Wake up at the same time every day

Use the Sleep Cycle alarm clock to wake up, as it wakes you up when you are in light sleep, which is the best possible sleep phase to wake up in.

Don’t let snooze mess up your natural sleep cycles. Instead, get up as soon as that alarm rings and trust that the app has your back. 

You can also use a bright light alarm that mimics the way the sun rises, gradually.

Sleeping Hack #22 - Napping

If you want to nap, do it between 1pm and 3pm.

Your circadian rhythm makes you feel alert in the morning, but after 11am your alertness levels start to drop, reaching its lowest between 1 and 3pm.

Also, you are probably right after lunch so this mid-afternoon lethargy can seem almost non-avoidable.

Sleeping Hack #23 - Exercise

Just don’t do it directly before going to sleep, do it at least 2 hours before bed.

Sleeping Hack #24 - Stretch your muscles or practice yoga

Here is a great stretching workout.

If you are not in the mood to workout, put your legs up against your wall while laying on your back in your bed. Do it at least for a few minutes before sleeping. It helps to relax your lower back muscles, release stress and cools your feet.

Sleeping Hack #25 - Fresh air

Make sure that the air quality is as good as it can be before going to bed.

Open your windows for as long as you can – depending on the circumstances such as the weather.

You can also use an air purifier but letting fresh air in is the best option.

Adding air-purifying plants can also help and they make the air in your bedroom more humid, too.

Sleeping Hack #26 - Write Down a To-Do list for Tomorrow

Write down your to-do list for your next day the night before.

Once it’s on paper, you can let it out of your head, and you can rest easy knowing that everything for the next day is planned out.

It doesn’t matter where you put your thoughts, here is a sheet for you – I like to list mine in my digital planner.

daily to do list

Sleeping Hack #27 - Monitor your sleeping patterns in a sleep log

Collect information about your sleep schedule, sleep patterns, and anything you think might help such as:

  • The time you went to bed
  • How long it took to fall asleep
  • If you got out of bed or woke up in the middle of the night
  • If you took a nap that day and how long it lasted
  • Whether you consumed caffeine or alcohol
  • If you exercised
  • What you ate a few hours before going to sleep
  • Your sleep quality that night
  • How you felt in the morning
  • If you felt hot, cold or comfortable that night
  • What time you woke up
  • How many times you hit snooze in the morning

You can also use a fitness and wellness planner, this way you can monitor every part of your habits.

What to drink to sleep faster? - Best drinks for better sleep What drinks help you sleep?

Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated, as it helps your body naturally regulate its temperature.

Just make sure you don’t drink too much right before bed.

Sleeping Hack #28 - Best drinks for better sleep

Warm milk with honey – it contains tryptophan, a natural calming agent that can relax you

Tart cherry juice – it contains natural melatonin, the highest amount that can be found in food.

Herbal teas can also help you to relax, so try these:

  • chamomile tea
  • peppermint tea
  • lemon balm tea

Sleeping Hacks - What to eat when you can't sleep?

Are bananas good for sleep?

Do apples help you sleep?

Is it true that oatmeal helps you sleep?

Let’s find out!

Sleeping Hack #29 - Best foods to eat for a good night sleep aka foods that make you sleepy

It’s generally not recommended to eat right before bed, but if you’re hungry, you will not be able to fall asleep either.

Eat something light that keeps you satisfied during the night, some healthy, whole and unprocessed food, as raw foods require less energy for absorption and digestion.

Carbohydrate-rich snacks increase the level of tryptophan in your blood.

You can try:

  • toast
  • small muffin
  • a small amount of cereal with milk
  • oatmeal contains magnesium and calcium, two minerals that are both important for restful nights.

Tryptophan

Tryptophan not only helps you sleep but it also lifts your mood, reduces depression and also reduces headaches and migraines.

Foods that contain tryptophan:

  • salmon
  • turkey
  • beef
  • whole grain oats, brown rice
  • bananas, potatoes, and beans

Veggies and fruits

Green leafy vegetables are top sources of magnesium and calcium

Legumes are rich in magnesium, folic acid, potassium, and B vitamins, all of which help regulate your circadian rhythm

Banana is a good source of potassium and magnesium, which helps to relax muscles. It also contains Vitamin B6, which may improve sleep, and tryptophan.

Tart cherries are natural sources of melatonin, potassium, serotonin and tryptophan

Kiwis are rich in magnesium, melatonin, calcium, and a variety of other elements that make them a great bed-time snack.

Protein

Chicken, turkey, fish, eggs and other proteins – as you have read already – tryptophan.

Proteins are the group of foods that contain amino acids, necessary for building muscle, hormones, and neurotransmitters in the body. Some of these hormones – for example, melatonin and cortisol – are also involved in the sleep-wake cycle.

Another great thing about protein is that it is digested slowly so it doesn’t spike up your blood sugar. It means that your blood glucose level will not spike up and dip down, interrupting your sleep.  

You can also try protein powders: about 30–40 g of casein protein before sleep can increase metabolism and muscle synthesis throughout the night.

Yogurt contains calcium, which helps produce tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin and melatonin, but it also is rich in calcium and magnesium.

Yogurt also contains probiotics, which contribute to a healthy microbiome.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts are an excellent source of selenium, a mineral that helps you get a restful sleep.

They also contain magnesium that has a calming effect on the body and is also an important building block for melatonin. One of the possible causes of insomnia is magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium containing food:

  • leafy veggies (spinach and kale)
  • broccoli, cabbage
  • avocado
  • nuts
  • salmon, mackrel, tuna
  • dark chocolate (but it contains caffeine so it is not the best option, unfortunately)

Some examples of great snacks before bed:

  • Peanut butter with banana and yogurt
  • Rice and beans
  • Banana with almonds

What no to eat before bedtime

Avoid the caffeine found in coffee, soda, caffeinated tea, and chocolate.

But avoid high-fat cheeses and deep-fried chicken or fish

Cheese pizza and other highly processed foods

+ Simply eating large amounts of food before in bed is a recipe for indigestion and heartburn.

Making a lifestyle change can be difficult. Just know that you are not alone. But trying to improve your bedtime habits is a crucial component of your overall health, and the better you sleep, the healthier you’ll be.

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