How To Trick Your Body Into Going To Sleep
If you regularly lie awake in bed thinking about unanswered emails, the shoes you need to return before the 30-day window expires, veganism, politics and whatever else that’s so heavily weighing on your mind, you’re not alone.
Sometimes, sleep disturbances are a sign of underlying issues like anxiety or insomnia, but at one point or another, every single one of us have had nights where we can’t seem to power down and catch those ZZZs.
Tossing and turning can be frustrating, but don’t give up. There are many ways you can make drifting off to dreamland easier – we’ve pulled together 20 scientifically proven ways to trick your body into a better night’s rest.
Create a sleep schedule… and stick with it!
Getting to bed at the same time every night is a classic sleep hygiene tip, so this idea probably isn’t anything new to you. But if you’re struggling to catch your ZZZs, a consistent bedtime and wake-up time—yes, even on the weekends—might actually be your remedy.
Keeping a consistent schedule helps regulate your biological clock so you feel sleepy at night and awake during the day.
Exercise (but time it carefully)
In general, most scientific evidence supports the idea that exercise improves sleep quality. However, if you exercise too close to bedtime, it could disturb your sleep cycle. That’s because exercise elevates body temperature, which interferes with your ability to fall asleep.
Keep your sweat session at least four hours before bed, and you should be able to fall asleep quickly.
Avoid consuming caffeine after 2 pm
Drinking caffeine can be an extremely effective way to instantly boost your productivity and mood, but if you’re sipping on a cup of joe too late it in the afternoon, it could be doing more harm than good. That’s because caffeine is a stimulant and can reside in your system for up to 8 hours. You can discover more about the performance-boosting benefits of our 2-in-1 caffeine and CLA formula here. As a general rule, try to get your caffeine fix before 2 p.m. At the very least, try to cut out that after-dinner cappuccino.
Consider magnesium supplements
Magnesium is an essential mineral, and research has shown its ability to support a healthy sleep cycle.
Give melatonin a shot
Similar to magnesium, melatonin can also improve your sleep quality by relaxing you from the inside out. This supplement can be particularly useful when traveling to a new time zone throws your body’s internal clock out of whack.
What’s more? Melatonin shows no withdrawal symptoms so you can stop taking it whenever you’d like.
Try out L-Tyrosine
L-Tyrosine is another supplement that can be your savior on restless nights. A type of amino acid, L-Tyrosine helps reduce stress and soothe your mind so you can spend less time counting sheep and more time getting your beauty sleep.
Keep the bedroom cool and dark
Our bodies do their best to fall asleep when our thermostat is set within a narrow range of temperature: between 65 and 75 degrees. Snuggling up in a cool room helps your body trigger the production of melatonin, which as you already know, induces sleep.
Additionally, making sure the room is dark can help you avoid any unnecessary brain stimulation.
Try a sleep-inducing scent
Certain essential oils and scents like ylang-ylang, lavender and chamomile help induce sleep and relaxation by boosting alpha wave activity in the brain.
To use these sleep scents, simply add a few drops of essential oil in a water bottle, spray on your pillowcase, and tuck in for a restful night.
Turn on some white noise
If you often tend to wake up during the night due to sudden sounds or barking dogs, a white noise app could be a huge blessing.
By working to mask out annoying sounds (we’re talking about you, loud neighbours), white noise helps your brain stay focused on what’s most important—those ZZZs.
Take a relaxing bath before bed
Taking hot, relaxing bath before bed helps temporarily raise your body temperature. Since your body’s temperature naturally drops as you fall asleep, leaving a hot bath and coming in contact with the comparatively cooler air in your bedroom will help signal that sleep time is now.
Wind down slowly
As much as you probably wish you could, you can’t go from running a hundred miles an hour to nothing. You need something to prepare your system for tucking in and getting some rest. Hence the importance of a bedtime routine.
Give your body proper time to transition from an active day to bedtime drowsiness by listening to relaxing music, reading a book, or doing a bedtime meditation.
Limit your nightcaps
To help yourself drift off to dreamland, you might like to treat yourself to a nightcap. Which is understandable because, yes, drinking will make you sleepy to start with. But once the drinks catch up to you at, say, 1 a.m., you may find yourself tossing and turning. That’s because after a few hours, the alcohol levels in your blood begin to rapidly drop, signaling your body to wake up.
On average, it takes two hours to metabolize one drink. This means for a better night’s rest you should try to drink moderately (ideally no more than a glass of wine in the evening) and avoid drinking too late (at least two hours before bedtime).
Make sure your pillow, bed, and mattress are comfortable
When it comes to sleep, a comfortable pillow is crucial. A good pillow not only provides spine and neck support, but it also helps you get a good night’s rest.
In addition to a good pillow, make sure you feel comfortable and cozy in your bed. One study found that new bedding has the ability to enhance sleep, so we recommend changing your bedding every 5 to 8 years.
Digitally detox before bed
You’ve probably already heard that basking in the glow of blue light (the kind of light emitted by laptops, TVs, and phones) makes it harder for you to fall asleep, but the problem might be even more serious than you realize.
Staring into your glowing screens before bed keeps your brain active and inhibits the production of melatonin, making it difficult for you to both fall asleep and stay asleep.
Keep a sleep diary
If you’re having trouble sleeping and can’t identify why, a sleep diary could be very useful in determining what’s keeping you awake.
For at least two weeks, plan to record data related to your sleep and lifestyle habits. For example, how long did it take you to fall asleep? How well did you sleep? What did you eat and drink throughout the day? How stressed out did you feel?
Keeping track of this information will help you find patterns and pinpoint unexpected things that might be keeping you up (like that extra glass of wine before bed).
Talk it out with a therapist
Studies show 70% of people experiencing sleep problems are able to improve their sleep quality with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In some cases, even just one CBT session can help people drastically improve their time spent beneath the sheets!
You may feel reluctant to visit a doctor or therapist at first, but getting your ZZZs is important, so it’s worth fighting for ‘em.
Avoid long daytime naps
While short power naps during the day can provide a much-needed energy boost, long daytime naps have the potential to seriously hurt your sleep cycle. This is because the longer you stay asleep, the more your body’s internal clock gets out of rhythm.
If you want to take a nap, make it quick and plan it early.
Know when to see a doctor
If you’re someone who suffers from chronic insomnia and nothing seems to help, it’s worth talking to a doctor who can suggest treatments that may help.
Not getting enough shuteye not only makes you wish you could nap at your desk, but it also has detrimental effects on your mind, body, and overall health.
Give up smoking
Smoking is never recommended, but that goes double if you’re already experiencing trouble falling asleep.
Nicotine is a stimulant that increases your heart rate and alertness, keeping you awake at night. To boot, many smokers experience withdrawal pains at night, further disrupting their slumber.
Review your medication
Certain medications can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. For example, beta-blockers, which are often prescribed to patients with high blood pressure, are known to lead to insomnia.
Additionally, various antidepressants like Zoloft and Prozac have also been seen to interrupt the sleep cycle.
If you’re really having a tough time with your sleep, talk with your doctor to see if any of your medication might be to blame.
Curious to discover which of our high-quality vitamins can help you sleep better? Start now with our 5-minute consultation quiz.
Lucid Dream Society. (2019). 20 Odd But Proven Tips To Help You To Sleep Better- Lucid Dream Society. [online].
Healthline. (2019). Tyrosine: Benefits, Side Effects and Dosage. [online].
Netdoctor. (2019). 10 ways to sleep better every night. [online].