Falling asleep quickly is a necessity for those who have little free time and must rest as much as possible, without wasting minutes tossing and turning. This would be the case, for example, for a person who works and studies. So it is not convenient to stay too long in bed without being able to close his eyes.
According to medical literature, in order to diagnose insomnia, this difficulty must last at least 1 month. In addition, other symptoms such as fatigue, daytime sleepiness, irritability and concentration problems must be present.
On the other hand, there are those who suffer from sleep disorders and, despite going to bed early, may spend a long time awake. Fortunately, there are several methods for falling asleep quickly that can help us with this problem.
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Why is it hard to fall asleep quickly?
There is no exact figure for what is normal or ideal in terms of the time it takes to fall asleep. Sometimes we can spend half an hour in silence, reviewing what we did during the day, until sleep overcomes us.
However, when wakefulness is prolonged and becomes persistent, we speak of chronic insomnia. However, the time we take to fall asleep is not the only symptom or indicator, since we may also find it difficult to maintain sleep, waking up at midnight.
However, there are several reasons why it is difficult for us to fall asleep quickly. Among them are the following:
- Excessive exposure to electronic devices.
- Changes in schedules when working shifts.
- Anxiety disorders, depression and stress.
- Restless legs syndrome.
- Reaction to medications or drug use.
Methods for falling asleep quickly
If you are dealing with an insomnia problem, you may fall into a cycle where you try hard and, when you see that you are not achieving your goal, you become more stressed. There are methods to fall asleep fast that will help you turn off the mind switch and guide your body to effective rest. Let’s see.
To fall asleep quickly, the first thing we need to do is to relax. But for that we must learn to maintain a controlled and slow breathing.
The name of the 4-7-8 technique refers to the seconds we spend in each of the phases: inhale, hold, exhale. Let’s see how the procedure works:
- Place the tip of the tongue against the roof of the mouth, behind the incisors.
Separate the lips slightly, puckering them a little, as if to whistle.
- Inhale silently through the nose, counting to 4 mentally (slowly).
- Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
- Exhale making a humming sound, also slowly, for 8 seconds.
Once 4 equal cycles are done, tell the body to rest. In case we feel that sleep begins to overcome us, we should sleep, regardless if we do not complete the exercise.
People with respiratory conditions should consult with their doctor if they can use this method.
Progressive muscle relaxation
Progressive or deep muscle relaxation is the complement of breathing. In this case, we try to release the tension of the muscles, although we start by tensing them a little first.
The technique is performed as follows:
- We place ourselves in a comfortable position, lying down or sitting.
- We tighten or tense the muscles of the face, maintaining this tension for a few seconds (5-10).
- Then we relax for a longer period of time (20-30 seconds).
- Repeat with the same muscles 2 times.
- We then move on to other groups: neck, shoulders, back, arms, etc.
The military method
This method owes its name to the fact that it was a routine developed to help US Navy pilots fall asleep quickly. It is claimed to work, even in noisy environments.
Let’s see how the procedure works:
- Start by relaxing the muscles in your face.
- Now move on to the shoulders and arms, letting your hands fall gently to the sides of your body.
- Take a deep breath, exhale and relax the torso.
- Continue with the legs and feet.
- Now imagine a relaxing scene, such as walking along the shore of the beach.
- Mentally repeat: I do not think, I do not think….
Mastering this technique requires some practice. So if the desired effect does not occur immediately, you repeat it.
Other factors that will help
In addition to the techniques explained above to fall asleep quickly, we must consider some other factors that will help these to be more effective. For example, noise, which can be a potential disturber.
So we must try to make our room as quiet and pleasant as possible. We should also invest in ventilation elements and in having pleasant colors on walls and sheets.
On the other hand, before going to bed, if you want to sleep quickly you should turn off all lights, do not exercise in the hours before, avoid going to the bedroom immediately after work or homework, turn off electronic devices at least one hour before.
Y … sweet dreams!