How to fall asleep more quickly — the healthy way
Is falling asleep when your head hits the pillow what you’re dreaming of? A fast fall into the land of nod may seem like nirvana, but it’s not a sign of a healthy sleeper.
Don’t conk out, drift away
Dozing off too quickly could be a sign that you are seriously sleep deprived, which can harm your physical and mental health.
During the REM stage of sleep, we dream — and information and experiences are consolidated and stored in memory. In addition to impacting cognitive functioning, a recent study found spending less time in REM sleep is linked to a greater overall risk of death from any cause.
How to fall asleep faster
Get up! “If you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed and go into another room where there is dim light, and do something calming until you feel drowsy again. The same applies when you wake in the night and can’t fall back asleep,” Dasgupta advises.
Ready a routine. Brush your teeth, take a relaxing warm bath or shower and then spend some time in dim light reading a book or listening to soothing music. You can try yoga or light stretches, but nothing that will rev you up. You’re teaching your brain to wind down.
Breathe deeply. “Deep long breaths matched with a mantra like ‘let go’ or ‘I am at peace’ can help you calm a busy mind and slip off into sleep,” Robbins said.