How to fall asleep fast, tips and methods

How To Fall Asleep Fast: Strategies, Methods, And Proven Tips

Written by: Alec Tremaine



Time to read 14 min

Falling asleep each night can be a journey. Suppose you toss and turn for hours before finally drifting off to sleep. In that case, it can be a discouraging experience that can lead to fatigue, low energy, or other effects of sleep deprivation. It can also be a leading indicator that your sleep habits and an active lifestyle must be prioritized. Below, we delve into several practical strategies designed to help you fall asleep faster, offering relief from those restless nights. While these methods are meant to improve your ability to fall asleep, individual results can vary. The most important thing related to sleep habits or tips for falling asleep is to remain consistent and disciplined in prioritizing healthy sleep.

Key Takeaways

  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule, especially on weekends. This helps your body know when it's time for bed.
  • Use relaxation techniques like the military method, progressive muscle relaxation, or the 4-7-8 breathing technique to calm your mind and body before sleeping.

  • Keep your bedroom dark and at a comfortable temperature to encourage relaxation and comfort. 

  • Turn off electronic devices an hour before bed to avoid blue light disturbance. You might even try the Red Light trick on your iPhone.

  • Try reverse psychology if you can't sleep. Imagine staying awake instead of trying hard to fall asleep; sometimes, this can make you feel sleepy.

The Science of Falling Asleep Quickly

In understanding the science of falling asleep quickly, it is essential to recognize the influence of our circadian rhythm, which dictates our sleep-wake patterns and is deeply entwined with the earth's 24-hour cycle. Physically experiencing early morning light to begin your circadian rhythm and shutting down into a dark, comfortable, and cozy sleep environment helps the body begin its sleep cycles.

Understanding Your Circadian Rhythm

Your circadian rhythm is like an internal clock for your body. It tells you when to feel sleepy and when to wake up. This rhythm runs on a 24-hour cycle and responds mostly to light and darkness in your environment.

Having a regular sleep pattern helps keep this rhythm steady.

Getting good sleep starts with knowing how your circadian rhythm works. Most people have a natural time when they start feeling tired at night. Sticking close to that schedule can make falling asleep easier.

It might mess with your rhythm if you stay up too late or go to bed too early.

Light can change how your circadian rhythm acts. Bright lights at night can trick it into thinking it's daytime, so turn off those screens before bed! Letting in sunlight during the day keeps your rhythm healthy, which means better sleep at night.

The Role of Sleep Hygiene

Sleep hygiene, a collection of practices and habits that pave the way for restful sleep, also plays a critical role in your ability to fall asleep. This includes a consistent bedtime schedule, a comfortable bedroom environment, and avoiding stimulants before hitting the pillow. By aligning our behavior with these biological and environmental factors, we can enhance our ability to fall asleep swiftly and enjoy higher-quality rest. On the other hand, sporadic and irregular behavior before bedtime can lead to poor sleep quality. Regularity and consistency of bedtime behaviors will lead to better results

Another important factor to consider is what you eat and drink before bedtime and throughout your day. Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol can negatively impact your sleep, causing REM sleep to be very limited. 

It's also smart to stop using phones and computers before bedtime because their light can trick your brain into staying awake. The blue light emitted from cell phones negatively correlates with the natural production of melatonin, which is a critical process for falling asleep.

Lastly, make your bedroom just right for sleeping. Keep it quiet and dark and highly optimized for relaxation. That can mean incorporating comfortable bedding, using aromatherapy, installing blackout curtains, or lighting a candle before bedtime. With consistency in a bedtime routine, the body responds accordingly.

Proven Methods to Fall Asleep Fast

In the pursuit of a swift transition to slumber, several proven methods emerge as effective and viable options to be considered. The following section will explore Progressive Muscle Relaxation, The Military Method, 4-7-8 breathing technique, and other methods for falling asleep fast. These techniques have garnered recognition for their simplicity and efficacy in reducing sleep latency and enhancing overall sleep quality. Discover some of the best ways to get that full night’s rest we all need! 

The Military Method

The military method is a relaxation technique soldiers use to sleep quickly and easily, even in tough places. Here is a detailed breakdown of how the Military Method works:

  • Find a comfy spot to lie down. Close your eyes and take a deep breath to start relaxing.
  • Relax every part of your face. Let your forehead, cheeks, jaw, and even tongue loosen up.
  • Drop your shoulders as low as they can go. Then let your upper and lower arms go limp on both sides.
  • Breathe out slowly and relax your chest. Feel it becomes light as the air leaves.
  • Next, relax your legs. Start with your thighs, then let go of any tightness in your calves.
  • Imagine a warm wave from your head down to your toes, removing all tension.
  • Clear out all thoughts from your mind for 10 seconds. Picture yourself in a calm place or think of nothing – just blackness.
  • Keep doing these steps until you drift off to sleep.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a method to ease stress and get ready for sleep. It makes your muscles loose and calm before bed.

  • Find a quiet place where you can sit or lie down comfortably. Make sure there are no distractions.

  • Close your eyes and take some deep breaths. Inhale slowly through your nose, then exhale through your mouth.

  • Start with your feet. Tighten the muscles as much as you can, then let them relax. Feel the tension leave your body.

  • Move up to your legs. Do the same thing—tighten, then release. Notice how different it feels when you let go of the tightness.

  • Keep going with each muscle group—your stomach, chest, arms, hands, neck, and face. Focus on one area at a time.

  • Hold each tension for about five seconds before letting go. This short wait helps increase relaxation afterward.

  • Pay attention to how your body starts to feel heavy and relaxed after each muscle group is done.

  • Breathe deeply and evenly throughout the exercise. This will help you stay calm and focused.

  • If thoughts come into your mind during this, gently acknowledge them and return focus to relaxing muscles.

4-7-8 Breathing Technique

Moving from muscle relaxation, another powerful method to quickly drift into sleep is the  4-7-8 breathing technique. This simple exercise calms your mind and prepares your body for rest.

  • Start by finding a comfortable place to sit or lie down.

  • Touch the tip of your tongue to the tissue right behind your top front teeth, and keep it there throughout the whole exercise.

  • Let all the air out through your mouth with a whoosh sound.

  • Close your mouth and quietly inhale through your nose for 4 seconds.

  • Now hold that breath in for 7 seconds.

  • Make another whoosh sound and exhale completely through your mouth for 8 seconds.

  • Repeat this cycle at least three more times.

Nightly Routines to Encourage Fast Sleep

Establishing a  consistent bedtime routine is essential for signaling to your body that it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep. This includes engaging in calming activities like reading or taking a warm bath and ensuring your bedroom environment promotes restfulness, with dim lighting and a cool temperature setting conducive to slumber. A consistent bedtime routine can also include taking sleep gummies to help fall asleep. No matter your routine, you must maintain consistency and discipline within your evening practices. It will result in better sleep, and you, at least that’s our theory!

It's also critical to avoid using electronic devices before bed, as the blue light emitted can interfere with melatonin production and disrupt your natural sleep cycle.

Pre-Bedtime Habits for Better Sleep

Creating a good bedtime routine can make it easier to fall asleep quickly. Here are some bedtime habits that can help:

  • Set a regular time to go to bed and wake up, even on weekends. This helps your body understand when it's time to rest.

  • Keep your room dark and cool. Dark curtains or an eye mask can block light, and setting the thermostat between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit may improve sleep quality.

  • Listen to soft music or sounds from nature before bed. These can calm your mind and get you ready for sleep.

  • Put away phones, tablets, or computers at least one hour before bed. The blue light from screens can confuse your brain about the time of day.

  • Read a book or do some gentle stretches. Both activities can relax your body and prepare you for sleep.

  • Write down worries or a to-do list for the next day. This practice might stop stressful thoughts from keeping you awake.

  • Take a warm bath or shower. The drop in body temperature after you get out may help signal your body it's time for bed.

  • Practice deep breathing or meditation. These relaxation techniques can reduce stress and make falling asleep easier.

The Importance of a Darkened Environment

Having good pre-bedtime habits helps you get ready for sleep. Adding a darkened environment is another key step. Sleeping in the dark tells your body it's time to rest. Your brain makes a hormone called melatonin when it's dark, so optimizing your environment for darkness can contribute to quality sleep. The more light exposure we encounter closer to bedtime, especially blue light, the less likely our brain is to naturally produce melatonin for sleep. Lights can trick your brain into thinking it's still daytime. Even small lights from phones or clocks can make sleeping hard. Keeping your room as dark as possible is part of good sleep hygiene.

Optimal Bedroom Temperature for Sleep

Keeping your bedroom cool can help you sleep better. Cleveland Clinic reports that the best temperature for sleep is between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. This range makes it easier for your body to relax and fall asleep. A cool room can also improve sleep quality and help you stay asleep during the night. Think about using a thermostat that adjusts by itself so that your room always has the right temperature for sleeping. Or open a window. Getting the temperature right helps create a restful sleep environment where your body feels suitable for dozing off quickly. These small changes can significantly impact how well you sleep each night.

Additional Tips for Speedy Slumber

Reverse Psychology for Sleep

Reverse psychology can be a clever way to trick your brain into sleep. One method is the military method, which uses mental tricks to make soldiers sleep quickly. To do it, you relax your whole body, clear your mind for 10 seconds, then imagine a relaxing scene.

If thoughts pop up, repeatedly say "don't think" for 10 seconds.

After trying to reverse psychology, consider acupressure points that may help restore restfulness. These spots on your body can calm you down when pressed gently. It's like getting a soothing massage without having to leave your bed!

Acupressure Points for Relaxation

Acupressure can help your body relax and make it easier for you to fall asleep. It works on certain spots on your body to release tension.

  • Spirit Gate: Find this spot on the crease of your wrist, just below your pinky finger. Gently press or massage this area for a few minutes before bed.

  • Inner Frontier Gate: Turn your palm up and look three finger widths down from your wrist crease. This point is between two tendons. Pressing here can ease anxiety.

  • Wind Pool: Feel the back of your head where your neck muscles attach to the skull. This spot is often used to reduce stress headaches, which can also help you sleep.

Avoiding Stimulants Before Bedtime

Relaxing your body through acupressure can help prepare you for sleep, but what you put into your body is just as important. Drinks like coffee and soda have caffeine, which can keep you awake. It's best to stop drinking these at least six hours before bedtime. Alcohol might seem to help you feel sleepy, but it actually makes the quality of your sleep worse as it increases blood pressure during a point in your day when you should feel the most relaxed. While alcohol may help you fall asleep, it lacks in its ability to keep you asleep. REM sleep is impacted by the ingestion of alcohol.

Eating big or spicy meals late in the evening can also affect how well you sleep. They might cause heartburn or stomach trouble when you lie down, making it tough to get comfortable and drift off to dreamland quickly. These foods stimulate your body and cause difficulty with relaxation. 

Keeping an eye on what foods and drinks you have before bed will go a long way in helping you snooze more soundly.

Addressing Common Sleep Obstacles

Many individuals face challenges when falling asleep, such as intrusive thoughts and an overactive mind. Others may experience physical restlessness or find that their lifestyle choices, like late-night exercise or certain dietary habits, interfere with their ability to drift off quickly.

To improve sleep efficiency and overcome these hurdles, targeted strategies must be implemented to address mental and physical barriers to a good night's rest. Identifying and managing these common sleep obstacles can pave the way for faster slumber and more rejuvenating sleep cycles.

Dealing with Mind Chatter

Mind chatter can keep you awake at night. Thoughts about the day, worries, or plans for tomorrow often buzz when you try to sleep. To calm this noise, try mindfulness meditation. This practice helps quiet your thoughts and makes it easier to relax into sleep. Focus on slow breaths and let go of each thought as it comes. Essentially, focus only on your breath. When inhaling, think, “I know I am breathing in.” On your out-breath or exhale, think, “I know I am breathing out.” Continuously focusing on your breath and nothing else is the essence of meditation. 

Another way to deal with mind chatter is Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR). It's a method where you tense up muscles and then let them relax individually. As your body calms down, so does your mind, making room for peaceful sleep.

Managing Evening Exercise

After calming your thoughts, consider when you exercise. Working out is great for sleep, but do it at the right time. Evening workouts might keep you awake if they're too close to bedtime.

To avoid trouble sleeping, finish exercising at least a few hours before bed. This gives your body time to cool down and relax. Activities like yoga or gentle stretching in the evening can help prepare you for sleep instead of vigorous exercises that wake up your body.

Ensure your workout doesn't make it hard to fall asleep. Regular exercise helps a lot, but try it earlier in the day. Doing this may lead to faster sleep and a more restful night.

Eating Habits That Promote Sleep

Eating habits can really help you sleep better. Having your last big meal 2-3 hours before bedtime is smart. This lets your body digest the food well. Try eating foods that make you sleepy, like almonds, cherries, and turkey.

They have nutrients that help your brain tell your body it’s time for sleep.

Stay away from big or spicy meals late at night. They can upset your stomach and make it hard to fall asleep. Also, drinking lots of water is good during the day but slow down before bed so you don't wake up all night.


Sleep is key to a happy, healthy life. Quick sleep methods like the military and breathing exercises can help you nod off faster. Keep your bedroom dark, cool, and quiet to make falling asleep easier.

Use tips like acupressure or avoiding caffeine to improve your sleep tonight. Try new routines and find what helps you rest best!


1. What are some strategies to fall asleep fast?

Some proven tips to help you sleep faster include using relaxation techniques like guided imagery, where you picture a peaceful place, and paradoxical intention, where you try not to sleep on purpose.

2. Why is it hard for me to fall asleep?

You might find it hard to sleep due to reasons like stress, health problems like asthma or COPD, or even because of bad sleeping habits. If the problem lasts a long time, it could be chronic insomnia.

3. Can thinking about my breathing help me fall asleep?

Yes! Focusing on your breathing can relax your mind and body. Try inhaling slowly through your nose and exhaling out of your mouth while counting down from 100 with each breath.

4. Should I talk to a healthcare professional if I can't sleep?

Talking with a doctor is important if you have trouble sleeping often and it's affecting your daily life. They understand sleep disorders well and can give advice or suggest clinical decision supports like CPAP machines for better rest.

5. How do I know the information about sleeping tips is correct?

Look for "medically reviewed" articles checked by doctors or experts in healthcare research studies mentioned in peer-reviewed journals. These are good signs, too! Always fact-check what you read by looking at multiple sources.

6. How long should it take to fall asleep?

Falling asleep usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes in bed. This time is known as "sleep latency." A healthy sleep pattern includes this natural period for your brain and body to shift into sleep mode.

If it's taking less than five minutes, this could mean you are sleep-deprived.

If it takes more than 20 minutes to fall asleep, there may be issues with your sleep hygiene or other factors that disturb your rest. It's essential to have a consistent bedtime routine and a comfortable bedroom environment to help signal your body it's time to wind down and get the right amount of sleep each night.

6. Why can’t I sleep even though I’m tired?

Sometimes your body is tired but your mind keeps running. This can make it tough to fall asleep. It might be stress, worry, or thinking too much about problems that keep your brain awake.

These thoughts can stop you from sleeping well, even if you feel tired.

Your sleep cycle could also cause trouble. Your body has a natural circadian rhythm tells you when to wake up and sleep. If this rhythm is off, maybe because of travel or bad habits like using screens before bed, it can be hard to fall asleep even if you're worn out.

Good habits during the day and right before bedtime are important for quick sleep. Regular exercise and warm baths help prepare your body for rest. Writing down what's on your mind can calm your thoughts so they don't keep you awake at night.

Next up, we talk about how certain routines each night can lead to faster sleep.