We’ve heard it before: turn devices off, enforce a no work from bed policy, go to bed at the same time every night, so on and so forth.
Yet you still find yourself suffering from sleepless nights, feeling constantly tired and mentally exhausted during the day, and looking up ways to fall asleep in 5 minutes.
If you can relate, these standard methods might be insufficient due to a bigger cause. A 2021 study reveals 70% of Malaysian adults have experienced a ‘new norm’ trait: trouble sleeping due to pandemic-related worries.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Rather than sticking to the old methods, try some of these creative ways to fall asleep quickly at night.
- White noise goes a long way
And no, we don’t mean your work meetings.
‘White noise’ refers to audible frequencies played in random order at the same amplitude. Basically, it’s a blanket of sound medically proven to help you sleep better. The question is, how?
Picture this: you’ve finally found a comfortable sleeping position and you feel yourself drifting slowly into unconsciousness, just on the verge of falling asleep. Suddenly, a door slams outside your room, jerking you out of your drowsiness, so you’re wide awake all over again.
If this sounds familiar, white noise apps or machines come in super handy by playing over these startling changes in volume. They’re not just limited to those sensitive to noise, since their soothing sounds are great for those who can’t sleep in silence. And really, they’re way less distracting than an episode on your currently-watching list.
- Go to Bed by Staying Awake
Yes, you read that right.
Insomnia from overthinking can lead to feeling anxious about or dreading going to bed, as you’ll spend more hours stressing about sleep rather than actually sleeping. So what better way to introduce a method to the madness than by focusing on not sleeping?
Known as ‘paradoxical intention’, Psychology Today emphasises that the goal is less about staying awake and more about preventing those anxiety-ridden sleepless nights.
In summary: it takes the pressure off trying to sleep by rechannelling your attention to how easy it is to stay awake, helping you ease that stressful train of thought straight into slumberland.
- When in Doubt, Journal it Out
We get that after a long day of work and errands, it might sound more like a chore than a way to help you sleep at night.
But journaling has not only been medically shown to help with mental health, a Healthgrades study also showed how 15 minutes of journaling before bed helped participants fall asleep faster and improve their sleeping habits.
Do away with detailing your day, or forced introductions and endings. Your journal should be a private safe space to clear up mental ‘clutter’ before you sleep, so you can write whatever comes to mind to release any pent-up emotions you might have.
And really, at the end of a long day of work and errands, it might be exactly what you need.
- Take a Deep Breath – or 4-7-8 of Them
Linked to better body circulation and oxygen supply, deep breathing has even been promoted as a way to help fall asleep on WebMD, calming your central nervous system down and relaxing your heart rate to help you fall asleep quickly at night.
The problem here might be with finding out which technique is right for you, particularly if your mind still roams freely while you’re doing these exercises.
To combat that mental marathon, try the 4-7-8 breathing technique: inhale for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and exhale for eight seconds in an upright sitting position. The specificity of the breathing intervals keep your mind from wandering too far, so you can finally get the breather you need.
- Make the bed the best place to be
You know the mornings you can’t resist those extra five minutes in your warm, soft bed? That’s what every night should feel like.
With scientific research to back up how we spend a third of our lives sleeping, it’s safe to say your bed is the biggest priority in getting a good night’s sleep. So whether you’re fitting a bed into a studio, or want that extra snooze space, you still need to invest in a firm, high-quality mattress that’s tailored to your sleeping specifications.
If you’re still craving something extra to make you feel like you’re sinking into the clouds as you sleep, bring new life to your bed with a mattress topper, an added layer of protective comfort to guarantee good mattress protection and some sweet, sweet dreams.