To be able to sleep faster and better at night, it is possible to bet on techniques and attitudes that promote relaxation and facilitate sleep, such as having a relaxing breath or improving the temperature and lighting of the environment, for example.
In addition, to improve sleep and prevent drowsiness the next day, it is important for people who suffer from insomnia or difficulty sleeping to follow habits, such as having a routine schedule, exercising, and avoiding caffeinated drinks after 5 pm. To learn more about habits that help improve sleep, see the tips for good sleep.
But, if it is still difficult to sleep, follow these techniques and exercises that help you fall asleep in seconds or minutes:
1. Control your breathing
Deeper and longer breathing makes it easier for the body to relax and slow heart rate, making the brain understand that it is time to slow down, helping to fall asleep faster.
Exercise: Practice the 4-7-8 method, which consists of inhaling through your nose for 4 seconds, holding your breath for 7 seconds, and breathing out through your mouth for 8 seconds.
2. Relax your muscles
Stress and anxiety cause the muscles to contract, without even realizing it. So, a great way to relax and fall asleep more quickly is to practice a muscle relaxation technique.
Exercise: Find a comfortable position, preferably with your stomach up and arms and legs apart, then inhale deeply. When breathing out, one must imagine that the muscles are loosening and relaxing. Repeat 3 times. Next, imagine the muscles in each region of the body and their relaxation, one by one, from the feet to the head.
3. Distract the mind
An important cause of insomnia is the excess of worries and thoughts, which generates more and more anxiety and, as a consequence, the state of alertness. To avoid this, it is possible to find ways to lead the mind to other types of thoughts, and facilitating relaxation and sleep.
Exercise: Spend about 10 to 15 minutes doing a recap of the past day or planning for the next day. Imagine what to do to have a better and perfect day, which helps to distract and calm down. This training is not only recommended if you are going through a stressful situation, but you should also prefer to focus on another type of subject, such as a subject or subject you are studying, for example.
4. Listening to relaxing music
Putting on relaxing music, or calming sounds can be a good alternative to falling asleep faster.
Exercise: Buy a CD or download a Playlist of songs to relax, calm or meditate, which may contain peaceful music or sounds of nature, such as rain, for example. Preferably, do not use headphones, as they may disturb or hurt your ears while sleeping. While listening, try to apply other breathing techniques or muscle relaxation.
5. Focus on something
Focusing on a goal, a place, or some object, and imagining them in detail, are good ways to distract and calm your thoughts, making sleep come faster.
Exercise: Focus on a beautiful landscape, such as a beach or forest, for example, and imagine the details, such as the sound of the water, animal noises, textures and smells. Do this with the help of a deep breath and feel your muscles relaxing whenever you release the air.
6. Try to keep your eyes open
Sometimes, trying too hard causes anxiety and makes sleep difficult, so stopping to insist on sleep can help you fall asleep more quickly.
Exercise: If sleep is slow to arrive, try to keep your eyes open. If this does not work, it is preferable to get up and do some other activity, instead of staying in bed, as the fact of having your eyes closed and unable to sleep, can make insomnia worse.
7. Adjust the environment
Anything that is bothering the body increases stress levels and prevents sleep, so having an environment conducive to sleep is essential to prevent insomnia, which is often overlooked. Having an adequate temperature, reducing lighting, and reducing unwanted noises are essential to allow for fast sleep.
Exercise: Prepare the room and make it ideal for sleeping with these 5 steps:
- Adjust the temperature, especially if it is a place where it is very hot, and invest in a fan or air conditioning;
- Adjust the lighting by turning off lamps and bright lights on devices such as a computer, cell phone or television. If it is necessary to have some kind of lighting during or in the 90 minutes before sleep, light orange light is preferable, which stimulates the production and melatonin, the sleep hormone. Avoid electronic devices as much as possible;
- Remove noise that may be annoying, but if this is not possible, muffle these sounds with a white noise device, purchased at electronics stores, with a fan or with a recording of nature sounds, for example;
- Keep your body comfortable by investing in a mattress and pillows that leave your body neutral and preferably with your neck straight. It is recommended to have a medium pillow to support your neck and another to be between your legs – find out which is the best mattress and pillow to help you sleep better;
- Use aromatherapy, using a few drops of lavender essential oil, on the pillow or pillowcase. Understand what aromatherapy is for and how it works.
In addition, taking a hot bath also helps you relax, preferably in a bathtub, with relaxing flavorings.
8. Have a hot drink
Have a small snack or have a hot or relaxing drink before bed. Some options may be a glass of hot milk with honey or a sweet biscuit, cherry with rice milk, or a chamomile or lemon balm tea, for example, that increase the levels of tryptophan or melatonin, hormones that help regulate the sleep.