When it comes to catching the ZZZs, it's all about setting the mood. Here's how to fall asleep so you can rest your mind and body.
If sleep is for the weak, then we never want to be strong. Getting good sleep is of utmost importance because we all secretly want to be morning people (plus, a good breakfast is a nice incentive). But there’s the science-y part too, like how good sleep results in increased energy and productivity, improved heart and immune system health, a better mood, and clearer skin. Heck yeah, we want all that! If you’re constantly battling insomnia and wondering how to fall asleep fast, try these tips to cut down on your tired mornings.
How to fall asleep and have a good night’s rest
1. Bed, bedsheets and beyond
First things first, you have to get the setting right. A comfortable bed, a mattress with the perfect soft-firm balance, and cool, crisp bedsheets will get you snoozing in no time. Time to go shopping!
2. Stick to a schedule
Hate routines? Well, this is the only one you really need to have. If you do just one thing to improve your sleep, going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning (even on weekends!) will help your body stay in sync. The science behind it is that a regular sleep routine keeps your biological clock steady so you rest better.
3. Scent up your space
Let the power of aromatherapy work its wonders, we say. Whether it’s a scented candle or a diffuser for essential oils, we’re true believers that smells can affect moods. Take lavender, for example. It slows the activity of the nervous system, improves sleep quality, creates a more stable mood and better concentration, and reduces anxiety. Oh, and bergamot is known to be a powerful mood booster. Psst: we’re particularly into the Nightshade Sleep Mode Roll-On by Mmerci Encore. Try this dreamy concoction loaded with lavender and patchouli – just take a deep breath to get into wind-down mode.
4. Find your zen
Stress is not your friend when you’re desperately trying to get a good night’s rest. To loosen up and find inner calm, look to yoga or meditation. Yoga helps with breathing practices and body movements that release tension in your body, while meditation can aid in increasing natural body melatonin levels.
5. Turn down the light
Light at night (especially before sleeping) is bad for your health and blue light has particularly adverse effects, from poor sleep quality to more serious illnesses. So stash all your phones and laptops far from your bed to avoid the bad habit of using your devices right before you snooze off. Tip: try using an actual alarm clock instead of your phone to wake you up!
6. Keep a sleep journal
If you lie awake at night wondering how to fall asleep, keeping a sleep journal is a good way to track your sleeping habits. Apparently, sleep doctors make their insomniac patients keep a sleep log. Although it’s a subjective tool, it does help find objective problems. Whether it’s a hard-to-kick caffeine habit or a late-night exercise routine, you might find something helpful that’ll show you why you’re awake at an ungodly hour every night.
7. Slather on lotions and potions
Can’t seem to unwind after a long, tiring day? This cult product has magically managed to prove sceptics wrong. The Lush Sleepy body lotion smells like a dream – it’s made with a gentle oatmeal infusion, soothing lavender flower and sweet tonka absolute. You’ll be well-moisturised and all snuggled up in no time.
8. What’s the tea?
Chamomile tea is a natural remedy to reduce inflammation, decrease anxiety and treat insomnia. While it’s an acquired taste, there are a lot more options for sleepy time tea out there, including valerian root and lemon balm brews. Just remember to keep it caffeine-free! And while you’re at it, avoid drinking too much alcohol before bed as it can cause restlessness and sleep disruption.
9. App attack!
Yes, tech can be your friend at night. Just check out A Soft Murmur: it plays ambient sounds to help you focus or relax, whichever mood you’re going for. Our tip? The ‘birds + wave + wind’ combo is rather conducive for naps, and we appreciate the white noise and singing bowl options when we want to clock in a solid eight hours of rest.
10. Fluff up your pillows
Calling all fluffy pillow lovers! Plump them up, switch off the lights in your room and make sure it is very, very dark. If you’re feeling a little extra, make sure you have additional pillows (fluffed up, of course) around you so you can drift off into the clouds.
11. Spritz the mist
To reach maximum levels of chill with soothing pillow mists, add a dose of tranquil calm to your room and pillows with your choice of fragrance. Our favourites include This Works’ Deep Sleep Pillow Spray with patchouli, wild chamomile and lavender, and Utama Spice’s Lavender Pillow Spray. Now sleep your way to Nirvana.
12. Shut out all noise
Noise plays a huge role, especially during the early stages of sleep. Pop on a pair of handy earbuds, or even better, invest in a pair of noise-cancelling earphones. QuietOn’s earbuds are great for blocking out snoring and other ambient sounds that stop you from getting enough shut-eye.
13. Get lost in a good book
No, we’re not talking about e-books or book apps. Put down your digital devices and go old school with paper. Electronic books and their blue light will cause lower melatonin levels, which you don’t want. So pick up a good read at your nearest library or bookstore and enjoy the relaxing journey to dreamland.
14. Take a chill pill
On sleepless nights when you genuinely can’t figure out how to make your body fall asleep, try Swisse Sleep supplements. These contain valerian root, which is known for its ability to help you relax and enter la-la land…
15. Breathe in, breathe out
If you’ve set the mood but nothing seems to work, practise deep breathing exercises to help you release any anxiety or stress and find peace. The 4-7-8 breathing technique is a popular one, and it’s simple. Just breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds. The rhythm is meant to be relaxing and can lull you to sleep.
For more tricks on how to fall asleep and give your body the rest it deserves, check out our list of sleep gifts for you (or a fellow insomniac friend).