If you’re one of the lucky ones, you have no issue falling asleep. However, if you’re like 70 million other Americans, you have some type of chronic sleep issue. While many sleep-related issues require treatment, others can be alleviated by making sure you get enough sleep. These science-based methods have been shown to answer the question “How do I fall asleep fast?” Try one of these tonight to see if it helps you fall asleep in 5 minutes or less.
How Do I Fall Asleep Fast?
The Military Method
The US Navy Pre-Flight School developed a routine to help their pilots fall asleep in two minutes or less. After about six weeks of practice, it seemed to work for these pilots. In fact, it’s been reported that 96% of the people who’ve tried this for six weeks have had success.
- Tighten your face then relax all your facial muscles, including your tongue.
- Drop your shoulders and let your hands hang loose by the side of your body.
- Exhale at a normal pace and relax your chest.
- Relax your legs, thighs and calves.
- Try to clear your mind for 10 seconds, letting your thoughts pass through.
- Imagine a relaxing scene in your mind. If this doesn’t work repeat the mantra “don’t think” to yourself.
- You should fall asleep within 10 seconds of repeating step 6.
The 4-7-8 Breathing Method
Dr. Andrew Weil developed this method based on an ancient yogic technique that helps you gain control of your breath. Breathing techniques like the 4-7-8 method are designed to help bring your body into a deep state of relaxation. This method not only helps with sleep, but with anxiety and stress as well.
- Start by placing the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a “whoosh” sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale through your nose, while counting to 4 in your head.
- Hold your breath and mentally count to 7.
- Exhale through your mouth completely, making the “whoosh” sound, and mentally count to 8.
- Repeat the process at least 3 more times.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Many people practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) to help cope with their anxiety. PMR has also been shown to help people get to sleep faster and get better quality sleep. Furthermore, it’s recommended for helping with insomnia.
- Breathe in and tense your facial muscles for four to 10 seconds.
- Breathe out, and suddenly and completely relax your face.
- Relax for 10 seconds, then tense your shoulders and neck for 10 seconds. Now relax them. Notice the difference between how your muscles feel when they are tense and how they feel when they are relaxed.
- Continue to tense then relax each muscle group, down to your toes.
- When you’re done with all of your muscle groups, count backward from five to one to bring your focus back to the present.
Other Brain Tricks To Fall Asleep
There are other helpful tips to try in terms of learning how to sleep in 5 minutes or less. These techniques require less steps but still may involve some practice.
Try To Stay Awake
No, we’re not joking. Telling yourself to stay awake, also known as paradoxical intention, may actually help you fall asleep faster. In fact, research has found that people who practiced this technique fell asleep faster than those who didn’t. This is because telling yourself to stay awake reduces your performance anxiety of trying to fall asleep. If you tend to stress out about falling asleep, paradoxical intention may be the most effective option for you.
Use Your Imagination
Imagine a place so calm and peaceful you can’t but help relax. Doesn’t that sound nice? Well, this technique asks you to do just that. Visualizing a calm place, also known as imagery distraction, can help prevent you from overthinking. As a result, your mind will be at ease, allowing you to more readily welcome sleep. Your calm place can be somewhere you’ve been or a place you’ve made up. The key is to make sure it puts you at ease. Let this place take up space in your mind so you won’t have room for your thoughts, worries or stress.
Meditation has been gaining popularity these past few years, and for good reason. There are so many benefits to practicing mindful meditation, especially when it comes to sleep. For starters, mindfulness helps you relax. Furthermore, it improves control of your autonomic nervous system. As a result, you won’t wake up as easily. In addition, meditating can increase your melatonin (your sleep hormone) and decrease your cortisol levels (your stress hormone).
Invest In The Right Mattress
While getting in the right headspace is absolutely vital, so is the rest of your body’s comfort. That’s why investing in the right mattress is another huge component to falling asleep fast. Call or visit your local Sit ‘n Sleep to speak with one of our expert Sleep Consultants. We can help you find the perfect mattress that’s just right for you and your sleep position. If you’re asking “How do I fall asleep fast?” the answer is to call Sit ‘n Sleep.