Get to Bed!
This is not always as easy as you want it to be. It can be a real challenge and is often the pathway to insomnia. We know sleep is a basic biologic need and it is essential for our body and mind to function properly. During wake hours, the pressure to fall asleep continues to build until sleep time. This pressure to fall asleep also called ‘sleep debt‘, is decreased or ‘paid off’ while sleeping. When the sleep debt, or sleep pressure, is not reduced sleep deprivation occurs.
How to fall asleep
Although there is much that we know about sleep, there are many more mysteries that exist about sleep. Here are some things that will keep you awake, and that you should probably avoid after 8 pm
- Caffeine including coffee, dark tea, soda
- Nicotine – cigarettes and chewing tobacco
- A more complex sleep disorder
Every person has a specific amount of sleep that they need. For most, it is eight hours. Some need more, and some need less. If you feel sleepy during the daytime, you probably are not getting enough quantity or quality of sleep. With so many individuals searching for the secret of how to fall asleep, we felt it beneficial to review a few key recommendations for helping people to fall asleep more easily.
Get to sleep faster
Have a ritual – go to bed at the same time. Wake up at the same time.
Calm yourself before bedtime – Many enjoy yoga, a hot shower or bath, or listening to soothing music. 3 Do something that relaxes you as part of your nightly ritual.
Avoid things that will keep you awake – this includes avoiding alcohol and caffeine before bedtime. Don’t exercise right before bedtime.
Don’t watch TV or read in bed – you only want to associate your bed and bedroom with sleep.
While in bed, if you find yourself awake for more than 10 minutes, get out of bed and sit on a chair until you are sleepy.
Realize that daytime naps will subtract some of the sleep pressure that you will have at night. Use them with caution if having difficulty sleeping at nighttime.
If you have difficulty falling asleep for more than a few days, you may have insomnia. There are several causes of insomnia. There are several treatment options for insomnia. Most treatment plans involve cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-i), and following sleep hygiene recommendations. Over-the-counter supplements, like melatonin, are sometimes used for the treatment of insomnia.
Realize that falling asleep is a natural, biologic process. You do not need a special substance or ‘trick’ to fall asleep. The need to sleep is ingrained in your DNA. Every person has a specific special amount of sleep that they require. You cannot force yourself to sleep if you have already slept enough. Similarly, you cannot sleep less than what your body requires. Trying to sleep more than what you need can actually lead to insomnia. Always remember: Don’t stress out about not falling asleep. If you have a bad night or find yourself awake for longer than expected, don’t be upset yourself. It will just keep you up longer.