Sleep: Rules For How To Fall Asleep Fast

And I’m not alone. According to Mental Health UK, almost one in five people in the UK aren’t getting enough sleep. With that in mind, we’ve gathered together the best sleep tips according to experts and research – with the help of NEOM’s sleep coach Nick Witton and more. You’re welcome:

Exercise (even when you don’t want to)

Exercise is one of the best ways for people looking at how to fall asleep fast – it’s even scientifically proven to do so. One study found that exercising regularly can halve the amount of time it takes for you to get to sleep, and can help you get up to 41 minutes more sleep every night. Cheers to that.

Put down your phone an hour before bed

Blue light, i.e. the light that emits from our phones, can deeply hinder out sleep as it tricks our brains into still thinking its day time and reduces the hormone melatonin which can help you relax and sleep faster. So, consider putting your phone down an hour before bed so your brain and body can full relax and by the time you’re ready to hit the hay, you’ll be asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow.

Be consistent with your sleep routine

Your circadian rhythm is the name for the natural mental and behavioural cycles that humans go through every 24 hours – a big part of this is going to sleep and waking up. Studies have found that going to bed and waking up at different times during the week can put your circadian rhythm out of whack, which makes it harder to sleep. Another study found that people who have different bed times on weekends compared to weekdays also reported poorer sleep than those who have the same bedtime every night of the week.

Sleep in 90-minute cycles

The 8-hour sleep rule is in fact a myth! Instead, we should look to sleep for 7.5, 9 or 10.5 hours. If you’re off to bed at 11pm, your ideal wake time would be 6:30am or 8am. Everyone is different with some needing more sleep than others, so find what works for you.

Pay attention to what works to you, and shift your routine accordingly

In the same way we are all different heights, the amount of sleep we need also differs from person to person and is dependent on our own unique circadian rhythm (our internal body clock) which is dependent on our DNA. We can now accurately measure a persons exact circadian rhythm by their saliva and fine tune their routine to maximise their daytime physical and mental performance and sleep timings. However, you can start to recognise what works best for you, and see how much sleep you need by seeing how tired you are when you wake up or try to fall asleep or how alert and energetic you feel at certain times of the day. You can also take note of whether you are a morning or evening person and start to shift your sleep routine to be aligned with that.

Get at least 1 hour of direct daylight (outside or sitting by a window) before midday

There’s a strong and undeniable link between natural light and sleep. Daylight and darkness are cues in your brain that naturally link your internal body clock (circadian rhythm) to the outside or ‘sun clock’. So the later in the day you get sunlight, the more your body clock becomes delayed. Do a quick morning walk to kickstart your day or have your coffee or breakfast outside. If you’re short on time, try adding this walk to your commute by getting off a stop earlier or parking your car a little further away than usual.

Eat three regular meals evenly spread throughout the day

Sticking with regular meals throughout your day helps to support your circadian rhythm which boosts your chances of better sleep. Skipping meals in favour of then eating a bigger dinner isn’t great for sleep as it means your digestive system is working double time. Instead, look to eat smaller, more manageable meals.

Don’t psych yourself out

We never really think about our sleep until we lose it. However, studies have suggested that one of the main causes of poor sleep is actually worrying about sleep itself. When we sleep, we don’t just sleep in one single block, we now know that we sleep cycles which transition us between REM and deep sleep. But as we transition between the cycles, we usually wake up for microseconds but then immediately fall back to sleep without any recollection of theses awakenings. However sometimes, in times of high stress, or noisy or uncomfortable environments we fully wake up – and therefore waking up at nighttime for those who do not have sleep disorders, can often just be a natural but inconvenient part of sleep. The best thing we can do is to prepare for these awakenings and by having a plan, and acknowledge that waking up is just a part of the sleep process, we can take the stress out of waking up at night.

The foot rub hack that helps you nod off

If you love a quirky hack, a post shared by Viola Levy shows a super simple ‘foot rub’ hack inspired by the ancient art of acupressure. She wrote: “Thanks to @pointspace_ for sending me this acupressure diagram for insomnia. Normally see her for acupuncture when I can’t sleep but obviously that’s not allowed. Anyone struggling to sleep she advises the following:

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