How to Fall Asleep  |  32 Min Read

100 Easy Ways to Fall Asleep Fast

Can't sleep? Here are 100 simple tricks that anyone can use to fall asleep quickly.

We all know about the power of a great night’s sleep. We bounce out of bed in the mornings, our energy levels are high, and we feel alert and engaged. Physically, our skin glows, our hair is glossy, and our bodies are strong and healthy. We’re productive at work and our relationships thrive. But in our constantly connected lives, it can be tricky to get the good quality sleep that we need to function effectively.

That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive guide of 100 easy to follow tips that you can incorporate into your life. Some you can do once you’re in bed, some you can do before you get anywhere near your bed – all of them will prepare you and your body for a smooth journey to sleep. We’re covering everything from science-based facts to more alternative techniques with the aim of getting you to sleep faster, and reaping all those positive sleep benefits.

100 Ways to Fall Asleep

1. Use reverse psychology

Rather than worrying about the fact you’re not falling asleep, try to force yourself to stay awake instead. A study at the University of Glasgow found that lying in bed and trying to stay awake with your eyes open results in you falling asleep quicker, thanks to the power of reverse psychology.

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2. Get up rather than lying there

If you can’t sleep, it’s important that you don’t stay lying in bed – you’re likely to get more stressed about being awake, which isn’t very useful when you’re trying to drift off to sleep. Instead, get up and do something that requires your hands and head, like a jigsaw puzzle, colouring-in book, or reorganising your wardrobe. Then once you feel sleepy, you can head back to bed.

3. Avoid blue light

Avoid blue light — by Betterbed

Melatonin is your sleep-inducing hormone, and blue light has been proven to suppress your body’s production of it. Blue light can be found in plenty of your digital items, like your TV, phone, computer, or tablet. Avoid it 2-3 hours before bedtime so it won’t disrupt your body’s melatonin production.

If you can’t avoid digital screens (or can’t give up your night-time Netflix marathon), try turning down the brightness on the screen or using f.lux which will reduce the amount of blue light your screen is producing.

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4. Remove your clock

To fall asleep quickly and easily, you need to feel calm and relaxed. Watching your clock – and the minutes ticking by showing that you’re still awake – increases your stress level. By removing your clock from your bedroom, you’re removing a source of stress, helping to pave the way to a better night’s sleep.

5. Keep your room cool

Although it might seem like a warm room will make you feel cosy and drowsy, a slightly cooler room could actually be more beneficial in helping you fall asleep. That’s because when you’re falling asleep, your body temperature drops slightly, which some experts think may help speed up the falling-asleep-process. You can help your body temperature cool down by keeping your bedroom at The National Sleep Foundation-recommended temperature of 60–67 degrees Fahrenheit / 15–19 degrees Celsius.

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6. Start a bedtime routine

Babies and small children thrive on routine, and so can you. By starting, and sticking to, a bedtime routine, it’ll help your body understand it’s sleep time. Choose whatever works for you – whether that’s a cup of sleepy tea, followed by a short meditation session, or simply washing your face followed by putting on your pyjamas. Just make sure you stick to the same time and routine every night for the best results.

7. Take a warm shower or bath before bed

Take a warm shower or bath before bed — by Betterbed

Not only is a warm shower or bath a relaxing experience, warming your body up and then stepping into cooler air will help your body temperature to drop quickly. This drop is one of your brain’s cues to make you sleepy, resulting in slowing your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and digestion. Try it about an hour before bed, keep the shower or bath short (5–15 minutes) and less than 104 degrees Fahrenheit.  / 40 degrees Celsius. 

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8. Sock it to your feet

Cooling down your body is key to kickstarting the sleep process, and one way to do that is to shift blood flow from your core to your extremities. This is really easy to do – just pop on a pair of lightweight socks.

9. Dunk your face in icy water

It may not sound very restful, but submerging your face in a bowl of cold water is a good way to reset your nervous system and help you calm down before bed. By putting your face in cold water, you’ll trigger an involuntary phenomenon called the Mammalian Dive Reflex – our bodies’ in-built response to water. This will immediately lower your heart rate and blood pressure to soothe your nervous system, helping you get into a more restful state.

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10. Try the 4-7-8 breathing technique

According to Dr Andrew Weil, the 4-7-8 breathing technique will help you fall asleep in under a minute. That’s because it’s meant to relax you by increasing oxygen in your blood stream, while slowing your heart rate and releasing carbon dioxide from your lungs. Try it for yourself: inhale for 4 seconds. Hold your breath for 7 seconds. Exhale forcefully for 8 seconds. Then repeat 3 times.

11. Stock up on lavender

Not only does it smell lovely, lavender has long been known for its relaxation-inducing properties. You could use lavender essential oil in a diffuser to scent your bedroom, put it on your pillow, sniff it, use it in a massage oil, or add it to your pulse points (after putting it in a carrier oil first).

12. Use visualisation

Visualising a place in your head that makes you feel calm and happy, like a beach or waterfall, can help distract you from thoughts and worries, smoothing the way to sleep. An Oxford University study backs this up. It found that people who were asked to imagine a relaxing scene fell asleep 20 minutes faster than people who were told to count sheep, or not do anything.

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13. Listen to music

Music can help lull you to sleep, especially if you listen to classical music or any music that has a slow rhythm of 60–80 beats a minute.

14. Lower the lights

Lower the lights — by Betterbed

We once lived by the light of the day – we woke up when the sun came up, and slept when it went down. It’s what our bodies’ biological clocks (or circadian rhythms) are built on. Bright artificial light at night throws our bodies out of whack, and the biggest offender is blue light. It doesn’t just come from electronics, it can also be from fluorescent lightbulbs and LED lights. When the sun goes down, switch artificial lights off and enjoy candlelight instead. Think of it as a great opportunity to listen to music or catch up on podcasts.

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15. Blow some bubbles

Grab a bottle of bubbles and get blowing – it can calm your body and mind. Bubble blowing is hypnotic to watch and requires deep breathing, both of which can relax your nervous system and prepare you for a good night’s sleep.

16. Prioritise exercise in the evening

An intense workout 90 minutes before bed could reduce your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, helping you fall asleep faster. Not only that, it can help you feel more tired and less hungry overnight (a well-known sleep-stealer).

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17. Write it down

As your brain tries to process stressful thoughts, it can’t shut down, preventing you from sleeping. One of the best ways to deal with these thoughts is to release them, by writing them down. The act of writing your thoughts and worries down helps you feel more in control, meaning your brain can finally relax and allow you to drift off.

18. Give relaxation exercises a go

Relaxation exercises are simple to master and are a good way to quiet your mind and release any tension in your body before sleep. Try this body scan exercise: lie down in bed with your eyes closed. Focus on the sensations in each part of your body, starting at your toes and moving up from there. You may even fall asleep before you reach your head…

19. Apply some acupressure

Acupressure can help you fall asleep quicker, for longer and enjoy a better-quality night’s sleep too. Techniques you can try include applying gentle pressure for a minute to a small depression on the level of your brows, between your eyebrows, or massaging both of your ears for a minute. You could also invest in a sleep induction mat which uses acupressure points to relax you.

20. Schedule your sleep

Schedule your sleep — by Betterbed

Help your internal clock keep a regular schedule by waking up and going to bed at the same time every day (including weekends). Once your body adjusts, it’ll be easier to fall asleep (and wake up) at the same time every day.

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21. Take time to wind down

Hopping straight into bed from whatever you’re doing won’t help your body slow down for sleep. You need to prepare your body for sleep, allowing it to wind down and relax slowly. 30 – 60 minutes before bed, devote time to winding down – preferably activities that don’t use blue light. Think reading, doing a puzzle, listening to music, or taking a quiet stroll around the block.

22. Soak up sunshine during the day

Our circadian rhythms (our in-built body system that tells us when to sleep and when to be awake) can be disrupted by irregular light exposure, making it harder to fall asleep and to stay awake. By getting out into the natural light during the day, it’ll help keep your body awake. Then once the natural light disappears at night, your body will know it’s bedtime.

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23. Make your bedroom really dark

At night, darkness promotes feelings of sleepiness. Research backs this up, showing that darkness boosts the production of melatonin, an essential hormone for sleep. To create the optimum dark sleeping environment, use blackout curtains or blinds, or invest in a good eye mask.

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24. Give yoga a go

The benefits of yoga to our health and wellbeing (both the mental and physical) is well-known. But did you know yoga could also help fix those sleepless nights? That’s because yoga makes you focus on your breathing, and deep breathing is one of your body’s sleep triggers. It also involves movements that release stress and tension in your body, leaving your body relaxed and ready for sleep. Try stretching with the lights off for maximum effect.

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25. Meditate, not medicate

Meditate, not medicate — by Betterbed

Meditation can enhance your melatonin levels, helping your brain reach a state where sleep is easily achieved. Thanks to its ability to calm a busy mind, meditation can help relax the body and improve your sleep. There are plenty of great, free apps out there to help you learn how to meditate effectively – look at Calm, Headspace or 1 Giant Mind.

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26. Embrace mindfulness

Trying mindfulness may help you to sleep better. That’s because mindfulness teaches us to focus on the present, and worry less, which means less thoughts racing around your head and a calmer mind which is prepared to switch off and sleep.

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27. Give up your daily nap

It’s a vicious cycle: you can’t sleep at night, so you feel sleepy during the day, so you try a nap - which then means you can’t sleep at night. To break the cycle, try eliminating naps or limiting yourself to a short nap (30 minutes or less) early in the day.

28. Time when you eat

High carb meals may impact on your ability to sleep because they take your body longer to digest. If you can’t give up carbs at dinner time, make sure you eat them at least 4 hours before going to bed.

29. Stock up on sleep-inducing foods

A balanced diet full of fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean protein, like fish and meat, is great for a healthy body and mind – and a well-functioning body will naturally produce melatonin, our sleep-inducing hormone. But there are additional foods you can try that’ll help boost melatonin production, including foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (like mackerel, walnuts, chia seeds and wild salmon) and fruits such as kiwis and Montmorency tart cherries (which already contain melatonin).

30. Enjoy a glass of tart cherry juice

Enjoy a glass of tart cherry juice

Tart cherries are a natural source of melatonin so enjoying a glass of tart cherry juice in the morning and evening may help you sleep better at night. It does need to be tart cherry juice though, as sweet cherries have 50 times less melatonin than their tart counterparts.

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31. Eat breakfast

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that’s transformed into serotonin in the brain before being converted to melatonin. The transformation of tryptophan to melatonin is higher in the light rather than darkness. So, to maximise melatonin production and help you sleep better at night, it makes sense to combine tryptophan with plenty of natural light – in other words, eat tryptophan-rich foods for breakfast.

Try to incorporate milk, cheese, eggs, meat, oat bran, nuts and seeds into your breakfast, they’re all great sources of tryptophan.

32. Consider a more comfortable mattress

A saggy, worn out mattress with springs poking through is likely to be pretty uncomfortable, and this discomfort is probably stopping you from dropping off peacefully at bedtime. It’s been suggested that a medium-firm mattress can positively affect your sleep quality by preventing sleep disturbances and muscular discomfort. As well as falling asleep quicker in your far more comfortable bed, an additional bonus is no longer waking up with aches and pains. See our picks for the best mattress in a box.

33. Invest in a decent pillow

A good quality pillow is crucial to a good night’s sleep. It’ll support your neck correctly and help you maintain a comfortable sleeping temperature for whole body happiness. Orthopaedic pillows may be a better option for you than feather or memory foam pillows.

34. Use a weighted blanket to reduce body stress

Use a weighted blanket to reduce body stress — by Betterbed

Newborn babies tend to sleep better when they’re swaddled, as it holds them tight and mimics their living conditions in the womb. Adults can benefit from the same sensation by using a weighted blanket. It uses deep pressure stimulation to relax the nervous system which, in turn, increases serotonin and melatonin levels. By activating pressure points across the body, it can help reduce stress and increase feelings of relaxation and sleepiness. Check out Gravity Blankets if you’re interested.

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35. Reduce your caffeine intake

Before you even hop into bed, there are things you can do earlier in the day to make your slip into snoozing easier – like reducing your caffeine intake. Because it’s a stimulant, caffeine makes it harder to fall asleep, which can lead to shorter and poorer sleep. Avoid caffeine at least 6 hours before bedtime, although this timeframe will depend on your individual tolerance to caffeine. It’s not just coffee, tea and energy drinks you’ll find caffeine in; be aware of chocolate and coffee-flavoured ice cream too.

36. Try a non-caffeinated tea before bed

Tea is known for its relaxing properties, due to its high content of L-theanine which has been shown to reduce stress. Try a cup before bed - avoid caffeine-containing green and black tea and opt for caffeine-free tea instead. You can find sleepy tea in a supermarket, and it’s usually full of soothing ingredients like chamomile, passionflower and valerian.

37. Change your sleeping position

It’s thought that sleeping on your side could be the best position for a good night’s rest. Use a pillow between your legs for more back support. If side sleeping doesn’t work for you, tweak your sleeping position for maximum sleep-time benefit. If you’re a back sleeper, use a good quality pillow to support your neck. If you’re a stomach sleeper, don’t use a pillow at all to avoid straining your neck.

38. Switch off by reading a book

Switch off by reading a book — by Betterbed

Reach for a paper book, not an e-book (due to the blue light they emit), to help you fall asleep faster. Reading helps you relax and distract you from any worries. A clear, untroubled mind will make it easier to fall asleep. It’s best to attempt something light, rather than any heart-pounding horrors or thrillers.

39. Block out noise

Noise is not our friend when we’re trying to fall asleep – it can be a stressful distraction. Luckily, it’s an easy fix. Try earplugs, soft sleep headphones which are more padded and comfortable than normal headphones, or a white noise machine.

40. Savour a sleepy-time snack

A light snack before bed containing a low glycaemic index carb may help our brains to produce serotonin, signalling it’s time to go to sleep. Try a small banana, handful of berries, or a small slice of sourdough toast. Be careful to only enjoy a light snack, as too much food late at night will strain your digestive system. Or you could try foods rich in magnesium combined with carbs. Magnesium-rich foods act as muscle relaxants, while carbs boost your blood sugar, kick-starting your body’s insulin production and helping you ‘crash’ into sleepiness. This makes the ultimate pre-bed snack banana with peanut butter on toast.

41. Sleep in comfortable clothing

There is a strong link between sleep and core body temperature so choose comfortable sleepwear that your body can breathe in, such as cotton or merino. This will help regulate your body temperature better and get you to sleep quicker. Opt for loose clothing that won’t restrict your movements and with no annoying zips or laces that could catch as you move during the night.

42. Sleep naked

The best way to regulate your body temperature is to wear nothing to bed. By shunning sleepwear, nothing will get in the way of a distraction-free sleep.

43. Avoid alcohol in the afternoons

Alcohol is a stimulant which revs your body up, not winds it down. If you indulge in the afternoon or evening, your body won’t have time to process it before bed, meaning it’ll be harder to fall asleep.

44. Consider a supplement

There are natural supplements that could support you to fall asleep faster, beginning with the calming properties of chamomile tea. You could also consider melatonin, the normal hormone that regulates circadian rhythms, or valerian, a sedative and anti-anxiety treatment that has been used for over 2,000 years. There is also kava which helps relieve anxiety. Before starting a supplement, always check with your doctor first, don’t use long term, and start with small doses.

45. Exercise regularly

Enough regular exercise during the day can reduce stress hormones and strengthen your circadian rhythms, promoting daytime alertness and night-time sleepiness. Three to four 30-minute sessions per week of moderate aerobic exercise (such as walking, swimming, biking or jogging) should do the trick.

46. Keep pets outside your bedroom

Keep pets outside your bedroom — by Betterbed

Having a pet as your bedfellow may be making it harder for you to get a good night’s sleep, from their snoring and moving around to acting out their dreams and needing to go to the toilet. Research shows that co-sleeping can result in you waking up more often throughout the night. This choppy, interrupted sleep could soon contribute to sleep deprivation. Try to avoid having a pet in your bed and you may enjoy deeper, better sleep.

✔ Backed by Science

47. Learn a progressive relaxation technique

Prep your body for sleeping using progressive relaxation. This simple and quick exercise involves curling your toes tightly for a count of seven and then relaxing them. Repeat through each muscle group, working up from your toes to your neck. This will help to relieve any tension in your body, calming it down for a good night’s sleep.

48. Go camping

Camping resets your circadian rhythms – you’ll wake naturally with the sun (early!) and feel sleepy when the sun goes down. Being outside, with plenty of exposure to daylight and fresh air, will also help tire you out.

49. Do a headstand

A headstand forces fresh blood to the master glands in our brain (the hypothalamus and pituitary) which control the other glands in our body. This blood cleanses and detoxifies the glands, making us think positively and making worries and anxieties fade away. Aim for holding a headstand for 1-5 minutes before bed and you should find it easier to fall asleep.  

50. Inhale through your left nostril

Breathing solely through your left nostril activates your parasympathetic response, switching off the racing, fight-or-flight-mode of your mind that’s a barrier to restful sleep. To do this, put a finger on your right nostril and breathe through the left nostril, taking slow and deep breaths.

51. Mentally rewind your day

Allowing your brain to process your day calmly and methodically will help ease it into a restful state. Go through all the events of your day, from the last one at night back to the first one in the morning.

52. Curl your toes

A monotonous exercise, with no effort required, helps relax your body and mind. Curl your toes, hold for a few seconds and then release. Repeat 2-3 times to feel calm.

53. Roll your eyes

When you’re sleeping, you unconsciously roll your eyes in small movements. By making these movements deliberately, you can trigger your brain to release the natural sleep hormone, melatonin. Close your eyes. Roll your eyes down, paying attention to your breathing. Then roll your eyes up, paying attention to your breathing. Repeat 2-3 times until you feel relaxed and ready to sleep.

54. Use your breath

Ideally, when you’re ready to sleep your breath should be relaxed – slow and deep. Achieve this with controlled breathing for 10-15 minutes before bed. Sit straight and exhale, releasing all the air inside. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, down to the diaphragm. Inhale for 4 counts. Hold your breath for 4 counts. Exhale for 4 counts, emptying out all the air. Hold again for 4 counts. Repeat the exercise at least 4 times.

55. Visit your doctor

If you’ve tried lifestyle changes and relaxation strategies but it’s not helping you fall, and stay, asleep, it may be time to visit your doctor. It could be that your sleeplessness is a symptom of a health issue. They’ll be able to investigate and help you find the best treatment.

56. Make your bedroom comfortable

Help your mind and body to switch off for sleep by creating the optimum, restful sleeping environment. Treat yourself to new pillows, turn your mattress and change your pillowcases every week, and invest in low lighting next to your bedside.

57. Tire yourself out during the day

When you’re on holiday, you usually find that all the fun, excitement and activity results in you falling into bed and going straight to sleep. So, when you’re not on holiday make an effort to mentally and physically exhaust yourself (get in plenty of exercise, do a puzzle or sudoku) rather than just sitting on the couch watching TV.

58. Get a massage

Persuade your partner to give you a short massage before bed. It doesn’t need to be anything too technical – just small, circular motions on the areas that carry the most tension, such as the neck, back and shoulders. Boost the massage benefits by using sleep-inducing lavender oil, diluted in a carrier oil.

59. Have sex

Research agrees that sex can decrease stress and help promote feelings of tiredness, helping you drop off quickly to sleep.

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60. Stop snoring

Whether it’s you or your partner snoring, it’s disruptive to sleep. There are a range of snoring aids available that can help.  

61. Try natural sleep remedies

There are plenty of natural sleep remedies that could help you easily fall asleep. They also don’t rely on harsh chemicals or ingredients and don’t have addictive properties. Options include Bach Rescue Sleep or Sleep Drops.

62. Drink enough water throughout the day

To avoid feeling thirsty at night – which will lead to you reaching for your water bottle, needing the toilet and disrupting your sleep – make sure you drink enough water during the day. Aim for about 2 litres.

63. Keep your bed for sleep and sex only

Help your body and mind to associate your bed with only 2 things: sleep and sex. Then when you slip beneath the covers, your body and mind can prepare to sleep (or have sex!). If you frequently work, game, or watch TV in bed, your body and mind will associate bed with that, making it harder to switch off when you want to be sleeping.  

64. Make a dream pillow

Turn a pillow into sleep-inducing dream pillow by stuffing your pillowcase with natural herbs that will relax and calm you before bed, such as lavender and passionflower. If you can’t get your hands on them in their natural form, you could spray your pillow with their scent instead.

65. Stop smoking

Smokers are 4 times more likely to feel exhausted and unrested in the morning than non-smokers. That’s because nicotine has a stimulating effect (like caffeine), stopping smokers from staying in deep sleep as their bodies go through withdrawal overnight. Try quitting and see what impact it has on your sleep.

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66. Avoid spicy, fatty or fried foods before bed

They can upset your stomach and cause acid reflux, both of which are likely to stop you having a good night’s sleep.

67. Don’t press the snooze button

Snooze-button sleep isn’t restorative, deep sleep. Which means hitting the snooze button can leave you feeling more tired than if you’d just gotten up when your alarm went off. Rather than starting your day feeling sluggish, get up when your alarm goes off. You’ll feel more awake and rested which will help you wind down better at the end of the day.

68. Steer clear of deep conversations in bed

When you want to fall asleep, you need a calm and rested mind. Which means bedtime is not the time for deep and meaningful conversations with your partner, mum or best friend as they’re likely to get your mind racing in a way that’s not helpful to falling sleep. Schedule the serious talks for during the day.

69. Stay out of bed until you feel sleepy

If you aren’t sleepy, don’t head to bed as your body won’t settle. If you’ve had a bad night, it’s tempting to hit the hay the next night a lot earlier but trying to trick your body into sleep by getting into bed at 8pm when you’re still wide awake won’t help. Wait until you feel tired.

70. Remove the electronics

Your bedroom should be an electronics-free zone. That means no TV, computers, phones or tablets. Not only do they emit sleep-killing blue light, but they tempt you into non-restful activities that’ll keep you awake.

71. Do something mindless

The more bored you are, the less likely you are to be able to think about anything else – and the faster you’ll fall asleep. Experts recommend a mathematically challenging exercise, like counting backwards from 100 in multiples of 3.

72. Make a to-do list

When your mind is focused on tomorrow, it makes you feel uneasy, which can send adrenaline coursing through your body, keeping you alert and awake. Take control by making a short to-do list before bed each night. It’ll decrease your anxiety about what needs to be done tomorrow as you’ve turned it into a short, easily accomplishable step-by-step task list. Handwrite it rather than using a blue-light emitting phone or laptop.

73. Devote time during the day to your worries

If your mind races as you’re trying to fall asleep, think about scheduling a dedicated ‘worry time’ during the day. Stick to the same 15-minute slot every day and give your brain free reign to consider every single thing that’s worrying you. You can share with a loved one or write them down, but it’s the act of releasing your worries during the day that’ll help you switch off at bedtime.

74. Keep a pen and notebook by your bed

If you can’t sleep because of your worrying mind, make it easy on yourself to unleash them from their head by keeping a pen and notebook close by. Write them down, then drift off quicker.

75. Watch out for a full moon

Perhaps the reason you can’t get to sleep inside your room is because of something outside your room – a full moon. A small study found that participants took longer to fall asleep on nights when there was a full moon. Research the lunar cycle where you live and be prepared for the full moon, perhaps by taking some natural supplements.

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76. Don’t go to bed angry

Couples who have been together decades normally have one piece of marriage advice to share – don’t go to bed angry. It turns out, this may actually have some truth. That’s because if you’re angry, wound up and annoyed, you’ll flood your nervous system with sleep-sapping chemicals, like adrenaline. Try to resolve any arguments before hitting your bed, otherwise you’ll have a poor night’s sleep - and probably feel even angrier in the morning.

77. Simulate the sunset

Reducing light inside your house during the evening will help your brain realise it’s night time, and help it switch into sleep-mode. You could try turning off the lights in your house and only use the moonlight that comes through your window to see. Dim the brightness on your electronic devices as much as you can. You could even wear sunglasses while you watch TV to reduce the glow.

78. Try a rocking chair or hammock

Most babies fall asleep when rocked, so there’s no reason adults can’t too. Rocking could be one of the best ways to fast asleep fast and naturally. When we were all still in the womb, we were used to a comforting, gentle and repetitious rocking sensation – that of our mothers moving around. Which means our enjoyment of a rocking movement has been hardwired into our brains before we were even born.

79. Try humming

Humming can help your body feel less stressed and more relaxed and calm, meaning slipping into sleep will be easier and faster. Lie down on your bed with your eyes closed. Breathe in and then gently out of your mouth, lips together so you hum. Try to hum for the whole out-breath. It should vibrate in your chest. Focus on this sensation as you repeat 6 times.

80. Narrate your own story in your mind

Distract a busy mind by creating a story in your head. The idea is that (unless you’re a creative genius) the story will be dull which will make the task feel like boring homework, forcing your brain to give up on it. That should be the time you start to feel drowsy.

81. Develop a sleep trigger

A sleep trigger helps your mind associate a unique action with falling asleep. Choose something that you don’t do at any other time during the day and use it every night as you’re falling asleep – try stroking your cheek. Do it every single night so your mind associates the action with falling asleep, and you’ll be able to use it as a trigger to fall asleep faster.

82. Keep a sleep diary

Help yourself to understand anything that may be interfering with your sleep by identifying your sleep habits. Start a sleep diary and write down every time you wake up and fall asleep and anything you’ve noticed that may relate to the quality of your sleep. For example, did you have a later than normal night then notice you couldn’t fall asleep easily that night? Did you indulge in a carb-laden bowl of pasta before bed and struggle to sleep? All this information will help you determine what your actual sleep schedule is – what time you naturally rise in the morning and feel sleepy at night – and any activities that negatively impact on your sleep. You can then use that information to work out the best sleep schedule for you.   

83. Keep your bedroom tidy

Your bedroom needs to be a restful, tranquil spot to help your mind switch off after a busy night. Clutter isn’t restful. Make sure your bedroom is tidy and clean with no clothes on the floor, piles of work, or exercise equipment. 

84. Pick a soothing colour scheme for your bedroom

Calming hues help to trigger sleep because they help you relax. So, decorate your bedroom in natural and muted tones rather than loud and vibrant shades – a mellow blue as opposed to bright pink.

85. Keep your nasal passage clear

When most of us fall asleep, we get less oxygen than when we’re awake which results in more disturbed sleep. Maintaining an open airflow helps keep plenty of oxygen flowing. There are products around that can help keep your nasal passage open from the inside, such as a Mute.

86. Put a pillow under your knees

Prevent tossing and turning by putting a pillow under your knees. It’ll help support your body, by allowing your lower back to assume its natural curve and sink into the mattress for a restful sleep.

87. Drink warm milk

It’s long been thought that warm milk before bed can help you fall asleep. Experts aren’t sure why – it could be that it contains 2 substances which are related to sleep and relaxation (melatonin and tryptophan) or simply that it’s comforting and reminds us of our childhoods. Try a warm glass as part of your bedtime routine and see if it helps you.

88. Listen to sleep podcasts

There is an entire market for sleep-related podcasts with plenty of options that will feed sleep-inducing audio directly into your ear while you’re in bed. Sleep With Me features a monotonous voice that’s so boring, your brain will switch off, allowing you to fall asleep. Or Calm has random sleep stories that’ll distract a busy brain.

89. Try sleep hypnosis

YouTube is crammed full of sleep hypnosis videos for you to try when you’re in bed. Avoid the blue light from your electronic device by only listening to them, not watching them. There may also be sleep hypnosis practitioners near you.

90. Rub your belly

Rubbing your belly can help your body relax, soothing you and allowing you to fall asleep. Starting at your navel, rub your belly in bigger and bigger circles clockwise and then smaller and smaller circles counter-clockwise. Repeat until you feel sleepy.

91. Discover ASMR

Put ‘ASMR’ (autonomous sensory meridian response) into YouTube and you’ll find thousands of results. The videos feature seemingly random noises – such as whispering, tapping sounds and crinkling paper – to create an incredibly relaxing sensation throughout the body, helping you to fall asleep.

92. Rub on some Vicks VapoRub

The decongestants in VapoRub can help you breathe more easily, deeply and steadily, helping to relax your body. Try rubbing it onto your chest (a soothing sensation to boot), around the outside of your nostrils, or add it to humidifiers to circulate it around your bedroom.

93. Synchronise your breathing

Your breathing naturally slows as you fall asleep. Mimic this sensation by helping your breath to slow down. The NightWave Sleep Assistant projects a soft light which slowly rises and falls on the ceiling, allowing you to synchronise your breathing with the slowing wave and helping you fall asleep, fast.

94. Invest in a heated eye mask

Heated eye masks are common in Japan for quick at-work naps. They’re steam eye masks that gradually warm up to 40 degrees for 10 minutes. The steam produced helps to ease tension, making you feel more relaxed. They also feature sleep-inducing scents, including lavender-sage.

95. Sing yourself to sleep

Another trick of parents, singing lullabies to babies makes them drowsy. Try singing one softly to yourself when you’re in bed. You may find it soothes and relaxes you, helping you fall asleep quicker.

96. Rub on soothing oils

An ancient treatment called Shirodhara involves dripping warm oil onto the forehead, and studies suggest it may help with insomnia. You could try using sesame or coconut oil to oil your feet, the top of your head and the back of your ears before sleeping. Use a towel in bed to prevent any mess and warm the container of oil in a bowl of hot water first to reduce the stimulating effects of cold oil. You could even have a quick warm shower afterwards to really boost the sleepy benefits.

✔ Backed by Science

97. Make yourself a cup of banana tea

Bananas contain a lot of magnesium, which helps promote relaxation. Make a relaxing caffeine-free tea to enjoy before bed: wash a banana, cut off the tip and stem, and cut it in half leaving the fruit in and the skin on. Put it in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, discard the banana and then drink the water with a little honey. The honey helps regulate blood sugar throughout the night – a common cause of middle-of-the-night wakings.

98. Keep your gut happy

The balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut can impact the quality of your sleep. Keep them happy with a balanced, fibre-rich diet and supplement your diet with probiotics.

99. Be grateful

Consider an attitude adjustment if you’d like a better night’s sleep. Grateful people have more positive thoughts when falling asleep, perhaps because they’re not fretting about having a bad night or being unable to sleep. Try to go to bed with a positive mindset to pave the way to an easier time falling asleep.

100. Have some quiet time

Chatting or socialising keeps us alert and engaged, making it trickier to unwind and fall asleep. Build some quiet downtime into the hour before bed, where you avoid social stimulation, including online interactions.

By Sarah Idle
Last Updated — March 2nd, 2018