11 Ways to Fall Asleep Faster

If I go to sleep right now, I will get four hours. The more you calculate, the more awake you are. You've done it. You know you have. There are ways though to shush your monkey brain and trick your body into letting go of the day. 1. Start early. Really early. Appalachian State published research showing that morning exercise is one of the best ways to keep blood pressure down and your body tuned in to early, restful sleep. 2. Stretch and Relax. Toe touches or yoga, spend a few minutes releasing the day from your muscles. Think of it as warm milk for your soft tissue. 3. Try tryptophan. Speaking of warm milk, many believe the tryptophan in it encourages falling asleep. The delicious classic Ayurvedic recipe involves heating up milk (dairy or non-dairy) with fruit and spices. 4. Unplug. Yes, there's a new season on Netflix of a show you didn't even know existed a week ago and it's calling your name. Been there. But screen time steals from the cycles of sleep and you wake up more tired the next day. 5. Keep it dark. Our ancestors slept when the sun went down, and only woke to deal with threats. Our brains still operate that way on a metabolic level. Bright light bonus: we hold on to fat and wake up hungrier. Make your sleep space as dark as possible. 6. Lullabies. Easy listening and atmospheric sounds set a transitional period to sleep with some sounds that block out the noise around you and quiet your thoughts. 7. Get cozy. If your feet are the right temperature, you're more likely to sleep better. Make sure you've got socks, different blankets, and the right pillows to choose from. Make your bed a vacation from the rest of your life. 8. Soak. The Japanese have known it for centuries. A warm bath spikes your body temperature just before the dip into sleep, and those who soak regularly report higher levels of waking rested. 9. Take notes. Keep a notebook by your bed so that you can jot down all the details that spring to mind just when you're nearly asleep. Get a little Scarlett O'Hara. Tomorrow is another day. Deal with it then. 10. Keep your diet clean. That cocktail that makes you sleepy actually inhibits deep sleep. Heavy meals keep your digestive system working all night. Even if caffeine doesn't inhibit you falling asleep, it can jolt you awake during the night and leave you sleep-deprived the next day. 11. Get it on. In a survey of 400 British doctors, sex is cited as one of the best sleep aids available. The hormonal push after tucks you in nicely for the night.  

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