How To Go To Bed Early & How To Fall Asleep Fast | 25 Ideas & Tips

How To Go To Bed Early & How To Fall Asleep Fast Ideas & Tips
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Quick Answer

Training yourself how to go to bed early requires determination and perseverance to change your overall routine and habits in order to reset your body clock. It is important to make gradual changes to both your daytime schedule and bedtime routine that will assist with this process. Being able to fall asleep fast can depend on the conditions and positions you sleep in and also your ability to unwind before bedtime. Since the ideal sleep conditions and methods for relaxing are unique to each individual, you will need to experiment to discover what works best for you.

Whether you’re learning how to fix your sleep schedule, interested in how to go to bed early or want to know how to fall asleep fast, you need to find a sustainable and effective way to achieve your goal. This is the second blog in my three-part series on sleep.

If you want to know more about the best time to wake up and the benefits of waking up early, use this link. If you want to know more about how to wake up early and the first thing you do in the morning, this link is the one.

How To Go To Bed Early - Reset Your Body Clock

Creating The Best Sleep Schedule: Start Slow

Before we jump in, remember you’re trying to make a long-term lifestyle change. You have likely spent years waking up at a similar time, so try to avoid drastic changes. When trying to fix your sleep schedule, you need to allow your body time to adjust.

Trying to reset your body clock is not too dissimilar to adapting your sleep schedule to daylight savings. The initial changes will be a little difficult, but your body will get used to it and it will become the norm after a while.

Reset Your Body Clock

We discussed how many hours of sleep you need in a recent post. In this article, we look at methods to learn how to go to bed early and how to fall asleep fast. How to go to bed early focuses on what you can do to facilitate tiredness during the day and techniques to motivate yourself to go to bed on time. How to fall asleep fast covers topics to assist your mind, body and environment when trying to fall asleep fast.

How to go to bed early: Daytime Tips

Training yourself how to go to bed early can often have more to do with what you’re not doing during the day, rather than what you are doing at night.

1. There's a trade off

The fact is; you can’t go to sleep late, wake up early and be well rested, it simply doesn’t work that way. Sooner or later, one is going to give. If you go to sleep early and wake up early you will feel refreshed. You may be asking yourself what time should I go to bed? Like all things in life, it depends. A good rule is to subtract your required sleeping hours per night from the time you would like to wake up.

2. Tire You Body

If you’re searching for things that will make you sleepy, you might want to consider a little extra exercise. If you are sitting at a desk all day without breaks, you will not be physically tiring your body. The excessive amount of screen time and lack of physical exertion will most likely lead to overstimulation, leaving you feeling energetic instead of sleepy at night.

3. Tire Your Mind

Wondering what to do when you can’t sleep, but your body is tired? Perhaps you work a heavy job that takes a physical toll on your body, but still, struggle to fall asleep fast enough. If your mind is racing and you are unable to get some shuteye, try exercising your mind more during the day. Training yourself how to go to bed early can be as simple as aiming to learn something new or solve a relatively difficult problem that will tire your mind and encourage you to go to bed early and fall asleep quickly.

4. Get Enough Natural Light

Since light has an influence on circadian rhythms, it works in your favor to experience as much natural light as possible. In isolation, this may not be one of the things that make you sleepy, however, in conjunction with other tactics, it can help maintain or fix your sleep schedule.

5. Nap Early or Skip it Altogether

The idea of napping during the day might make you worry about how to make yourself fall asleep at night. If you are experiencing daytime drowsiness, which may be common within your circadian schedule, a good nap could be the remedy. Want to know how to go to bed early and still enjoy an afternoon nap? Try following the points below:

Nap for 20-30 minutes

Quick power naps can be energizing without preventing you from falling asleep at night. Maintaining naps within this time frame can avoid grogginess (sleep inertia) when waking from a nap.

Nap Early

Napping may not lead to difficulty falling asleep at night, but consider spacing it well before bed time.

Nap on Time

If you need to nap, do so when you start to feel tired, not when you’re already exhausted.

Caveat

A caveat to the previous two points, it might be wise to ride out tiredness if it is relatively close to your bedtime, as it may reset your body clock and interrupt your healthy sleep schedule

Nap in a dark and quiet spot

Find a space that won’t overload your senses, with minimal or no light and noise.

How to go to bed early - Lead Up

6. Finish All Your Tasks Early

Complete necessary tasks and allow yourself sufficient wind-down time before entering your bedroom. Aim to do what you can to reduce the chances of being wired if you’re trying to fall asleep. Set a cut-off time for housework and leave unfinished tasks until the following day.

7. Avoid working late

How To Go To Bed Early Avoid Working Late

If possible, avoid continuing to work late into the night. You will find you’re much more productive in the morning! Focusing on work late at night will increase your stress levels and keep your mind ticking once you’re in bed. You may even convince yourself to stay up later to “just finish one last thing.” Embrace your morning productivity as motivation to get out of bed early and complete tasks when you wake so you can maintain your healthy morning routine.

8. Avoid Eating Late

Late night eaters tend to make poorer food choices, whilst eating late also increases the chances of heartburn and reflux. If focussed on how to fall asleep fast, you will likely need to sacrifice those late night dinners and snacks.

9. Reduce Blue light exposure

Reduce blue light exposure at least 1 – 2 hours before you try to fall asleep. Blue light is beneficial during the day, but not helpful when it comes to preparing you for sleep. It can interfere with your circadian rhythm, the physiological process that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. When exposed to blue light late at night, your body can be tricked into thinking that it is still daytime and you may struggle to fall asleep fast or at all.

10. Perform a Calming Activity

During your wind down, try spending 30 – 45 minutes performing an activity that is both calming and mundane enough that it’s not addictive. The lack of stimulation will mean your brain will not go into overdrive, helping you to relax and fall asleep fast. If you really want to know how to fix your sleep schedule, this is a relatively simple and effective activity. It will force you to stay away from screens and monitors while ensuring you stop yourself from working late. You will be able to easily move into your nighttime ritual and have wound down sufficiently for bed.

11. Plan the day ahead

Take time out during your day to sit down and plan your upcoming day. It is best not to tackle this task in the leadup to your nighttime ritual, instead put aside 5-10 minutes, perhaps the evening before. You’re not creating this list (or calendar) to stress yourself out, the aim is to be organized and clear your head. By doing so, you can shift your focus to the following day and replace potential anxiety with a plan of attack. Part of learning how to go to bed early is being able to dissuade yourself from staying up watching Netflix or scrolling through Instagram. A good approach is to outline the five most important tasks you need to complete tomorrow and tackling those five as soon as you wake.

What to Do When You Can’t Sleep - How To Fall Asleep Fast

This section is all about setting optimal sleep conditions to help minimize the time it takes you to fall asleep. It covers setting the ideal sleep conditions and how to relax your mind and body.

How Long Does it Take to Fall Asleep?

How long should it take to fall asleep? Sleep latency refers to the time it takes a person to go from being awake to being asleep. On average it takes 10 – 20 minutes for a person to transition from wakefulness to sleep. Initially, you fall into a light sleep known as NREM Alpha, a relaxed wakefulness which can be easily broken.

How To Fall Asleep Fast: Setting The Right Conditions

12. Set The Ideal Sleep Temperature

The ideal sleep temperature will vary based on the individual, however, it essentially boils down to 3 components: Room Climate, Covers, and Sleepwear Layers. The ideal combination of these three factors will enable you to set the perfect temperature that will allow you to fall asleep quickly. Throwing a partner into the mix could make things a little more challenging, leaving you to experiment with the quantity and type of covers and layers of sleepwear you use. Creating your ideal sleep climate will decrease the likelihood of waking up in the middle of the night freezing or sweating.

13. Set Optimal Lighting in Your Bedroom

Is there an annoying street light the blinds just won’t block out or do you struggle to fall asleep because your bedroom is too bright? If you want to know how to fall asleep fast and light is the culprit, you could consider using a sleep mask. Sleep masks (or night masks) come in a variety of styles and fabrics, meaning it is possible to source one that you will feel comfortable wearing to bed. You will no longer worry you’re tired, but can’t sleep because all light will be blocked out.

14. Adjust Sound Levels

Learning how to fall asleep fast when surrounded by noise can be challenging, especially if you’re trying to figure out how to go to bed early. Traffic could be louder earlier in the night which you’re not used to, or if you are going to sleep before your partner, they are loud when coming to bed. Perhaps your partner is a noisy sleeper and you keep waking up in the middle of the night wondering how to get back to sleep. Managing sound levels is vital to setting the ideal sleeping conditions. Luckily, there are a few options when trying to fall asleep fast in noise; foam earplugs, nighttime earbuds or even sleep masks with built-in earbuds, are great options for controlling noise levels. Alternatively, you may find you enjoy falling asleep to light music or even white noise.

15. Experiencing Irritation? Use a Vaporizer or Humidifier

Trying to reset your body clock can be challenging if you have irritations or allergies and adding moisture to the air may be able to help. Since dry air can lead to dry skin and worsened respiratory symptoms, sufficient humidity may ease irritations and help you fall asleep quickly. Both vaporizers and humidifiers add moisture to the air, but perform in slightly different ways. There is such a thing as too much humidity, so make sure you research beforehand.

How To Fall Asleep Fast: Relaxing Your Mind

16. Don't focus on tomorrow

In the; how to go to bed early section, it covered planning for the day ahead. If you have planned your upcoming day, don’t focus on what you will do, instead trust you will be able to execute your plan in the morning. Shifting your focus every time you play out work scenarios or think about work-related ideas will help you get to sleep.

17. Over Awareness

You want to know how to fall asleep fast? avoid sabotaging your efforts by over analyzing or stressing about actually falling asleep! Avoid being so focused on falling asleep that you notice yourself drifting or observe your sleep twitch (hypnic jerks). The point in case is that sleep should be a natural process, so don’t try so hard, simply let yourself go. You may have absolutely no problem falling asleep right now, but find that when trying to set a new sleep schedule, it is difficult to make that transition.

18. Focussing On The Time

If you’re tired, but can’t sleep or a still little wired, focusing on the time will not help you fall asleep faster. It will only serve as further stimulation, as you become frustrated it has been 20 or 30 minutes since you actually went to bed.

How To Fall Asleep Fast: Relaxing Your Body

19. Use Your Best Sleeping Positions

If you want to know how to go to bed early and how to fall asleep fast, I have found that how I position myself while sleeping has a big impact on how long it takes me to fall asleep. A trick to falling asleep quickly is not only to get yourself in a comfortable position, but avoid positions you know you can’t fall asleep with. Perhaps you are a bit restless or getting sore on one side, however, avoid turning into positions that although initially comfortable, will later require another turn.

I cannot sleep on my stomach, but used to turn onto it for prolonged periods when trying to fall asleep. I would get comfortable, drift to the limit my stomach position permits, then get frustrated and have to turn, waking myself up again. Now I avoid the position altogether and believe it has helped me fall asleep quicker. There are also pros and cons of each sleeping position that you may not be aware of:

Sleeping On Your Stomach

Sleeping on your stomach may reduce snoring and the effects of sleep apnea, however, it can contribute to muscle and joint pain, lower back and neck pain, place pressure on your organs and exacerbate acid reflux symptoms.

Sleeping On Your Side

Sleeping on your side is better for your spine, acid reflux and generally a better position to reduce the impact of snoring & sleep apnea. Sleeping on your side may decrease your deep breathing if you sleep with your legs tucked up in the fetal position.

Sleeping On Your Back

Sleeping on your back makes it easier to keep your spine aligned, preventing neck pain, but can increase lower back pain and worsen snoring and sleep apnea.

20. Aim For Optimal Comfort Levels

Is it time for a new mattress? Or perhaps some new pillows? Maintaining comfort while sleeping means being aware of what your body needs to fall asleep and stay asleep. Have you used a weighted blanket or tried to wear pajama shorts instead of long-legged pajamas? Perhaps fixing your sleep schedule could have more to do with the quality of sleep while you are asleep rather than what time you go to bed and the best time to wake up.

21. Drink The Right Amount

Whether you’re trying to go to bed early, fall asleep quickly, or keep yourself from waking up in the middle of the night, moderating fluid intake before sleep is a must. It is important not to drink too much or too little in the leadup to, or just before you go to sleep. You should aim to drink enough to keep you hydrated and stop you waking up in the middle of the night feeling thirsty, but not in excess that you need to go to the bathroom.

22. Sleep Inducing Drinks

How To Fall Asleep Fast Sleep Inducing Drinks

Have you tried tea to help you sleep? Teas such as chamomile, peppermint, and valerian root have long been used to help aid sleeping problems. Conversely, avoid drinking caffeine in the evening, or perhaps even during the afternoon if you aim to fall asleep fast. If you’re struggling with insomnia or consistently experiencing difficulty falling asleep, it could be time to review what not to drink in the lead up to bedtime.

How To Fall Asleep Fast: Ongoing Focus & Concerns

23. Maintain Your Bedtime Ritual

Setting the right cues and consistently following them as part of a bedtime ritual is a way of letting your body know that it’s time to sleep. By following this routine you are setting up a micro-routine that can help you to fall asleep quickly and help maintain your best sleep schedule.

24. Stay Disciplined - Play The Long Game

It is not only about learning how to fix sleep schedules, but you also require determination to see it through over a period of time. We’ve discussed many ways to take immediate actions that will help to fall asleep fast, but establishing and resetting your body clock takes time. Staying disciplined and maintaining your optimal sleep conditions, bedtime rituals and healthy morning routine will reset your body clock, making your new schedule the norm so deviations will not throw you off.

25. Address Any Medical Concerns

I am not a medical expert and the purpose of this article was to provide general information, not specific medical advice. I suggest following your doctor’s advice in treating any sleep-related (or any) medical conditions you may have. If you believe that you cannot sleep and natural sleep remedies have not helped, it is possible that your condition could be medical in nature and you should always consult your doctor.

Final Word

Learning how to go to bed early and understanding how to fall asleep fast covers the importance of maintaining a consistent schedule, balanced daytime activity, healthy nighttime habits and setting the ideal sleep conditions. It is vital to note that the combination of these factors will be unique to each individual. Hopefully, these methods will be helpful for you to routinely have blissful, refreshing sleep!

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