Falling asleep can be difficult; particularly at this time when our minds are hijacked by the thoughts of presents, food, worry, anxiety, and excitement. While our bodies and minds tend to crave sleep during the day, when we finally hit the pillow it’s as if our bodies refuse to relax and sleep; and our bodies enter a kind of sleep-grievance.
There’s denial (ah, just a couple more minutes of scrolling and I’ll be asleep), anger (WHY can’t I get to sleep!!!), then comes bargaining (okay, if I fall asleep now I’ll get at least 5 hours of sleep), depression (tomorrow is going to be so difficult without sleep), and finally acceptance (*goes to get coffee*).
It takes roughly 10-20 minutes for the average person to fall asleep; known as “sleep latency“. There are plenty of things that extend this period, but here are a few simple sleep hacks to help you minimise the time between climbing into bed and dozing off to sleep.
Put the phone down
We know that excessive screen time can seriously mess with your circadian rhythms (our response to light and dark in a 24 hour period), and in short, the blue light that your phone emits suppresses the production of melatonin, the hormone that makes you feel sleepy. It isn’t rocket science. Why not try putting your phone on ‘do not disturb’ mode an hour before going to sleep to keep your scrolling cravings at bay.
Your body naturally cools down as it begins to doze off, but you can speed up the process by drinking cold water (not too much though or you’ll be making trips to the bathroom all night), or soaking in a hot bath before bed helps to lower your internal temperature. Keeping your feet outside the covers is also a fool-proof way of keeping cool, and is a surprisingly simple and quick sleep hack.
Kick your caffeine in the early afternoon
We know you have a high octane life and rely on caffeine to keep your energy levels at their peak, but have you ever thought about what the caffeine is doing to your sleep pattern? It’s recommended that you cut your caffeine by 2 pm in the afternoon to rid your body of any stimulants. If you really need a quick energy fix try a hot Matcha tea, hot Maca, or lemon water; which are all healthy coffee alternatives that will give you a boost without the adrenal crash.