It is becoming increasingly clear that the answer to improving sleep lies in identifying vulnerabilities in our genetic makeup and understanding how our poor sleep habits exacerbate them. How is it that some people can jump into bed and fall asleep completely in a few minutes? This ability to fall asleep quickly (along with the need for a few hours of sleep to feel rested) is, unsurprisingly, a mix of genetics and sleep habits.

Tips to be able to fall asleep in minutes

This article will provide some useful, scientifically proven ways to speed up your path to falling asleep if you are someone with insomnia problems. It is important to remember that sleeping habits are exactly that, habits. As such, the more you practice these techniques, the faster you will get rid of adverse sleeping habits and have practical results.

1. Turn off the lights

Has the power ever gone out in your house or apartment? If so, chances are you slept better that night. The reason is that despite all the incandescent, fluorescent, and LED lighting, your body’s internal clock still syncs with the sun.

Of course, in a typical home, one does not care much about the times of sunrise and sunset. Instead, we are inundated with artificial lights, gadgets, and other innovations that have disrupted our natural sleep / wake cycles.

The solution: dim the lights and avoid emitting blue light for at least 60 minutes before going to bed. Also, get rid of any electronic gadgets that emit light in your sleeping space.

2. Breathe

In an article published in The Journal of the American Medical Association , researchers concluded:

“Participants within a group of conscious awareness practices (MAPs) showed a significant improvement over those in other groups. (The) MAP also showed significant improvement in secondary health outcomes for insomnia symptoms, depression symptoms, fatigue and fatigue severity.

The ability to calm your mind can be irreplaceable in inducing sleep.

3. Forget trying

Not being able to fall asleep can be incredibly frustrating. Like hunger or thirst, sleep is a function of the body. We can (and should) make adjustments to our habits, but there will still be times when we are not ready to fall asleep.

Good sleep hygiene practices can help, according to the National Sleep Foundation . Regular exercise, regulation of stimulants, a well-balanced diet, and limiting daytime naps can make sleep more accessible.

4. Take a hot shower or bath

Not only is a hot bath or shower a blissful experience, it also induces a sharp decrease in both cortisol (a stress hormone) and body temperature (a cool body temperature helps you sleep). The sleep-inducing effects of a hot shower or bath may be one of the most underrated methods of aiding sleep.

For bath lovers, one recommendation is to increase the heat in your home to around 27 degrees Celsius. Then soak in the bathtub for about half an hour.

5. Warm up your feet

In a study by German researchers, the team discovered a link between hot feet and faster onset of sleep: A hot water bottle on your feet can quickly induce vasodilation.

Vasodilation is defined as “enlargement of the blood vessels resulting from the relaxation of the muscular walls of the vessels.”

Pharmaceutical and over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aids are known to increase vasodilation to varying degrees. As it turns out, a warm pair of socks (or a hot water bottle) can help do the trick, too.

6. Let your mind wander

As mentioned, reflecting on how bad it is to get your sleep is counterproductive. Redirecting your brain’s attention to sleep as a tedious task will only increase stress levels.

If your mind and body feel restless, just let your mind wander for a while. Imagine your dream vacation on some tropical island, or envision some goal or aspiration that you have yet to achieve. If you are a dreamer, this is a perfect time to participate in one of your favorite diversions. Call it “daydreaming” if you wish.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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