If even after a long, exhausting day of cleaning up after the kids and being unappreciated at work, you're still having trouble sleeping, don't fret! Sure, you could turn to a nice glass of red wine or a good book, but not many of us have the time for that in our busy schedules. Luckily, there are plenty of natural remedies for sleep problems that can help — many of which are backed by science. So why not trust the experts and see if you don't drift off to la la land more quickly than ever? Check out the list below of five tricks for falling asleep faster.
How to Fall Asleep Faster: Exercise.
For those who struggle with insomnia and don't want to turn to medications, why not try exercising? In 2010, researchers studied the effects of exercise on insomnia in seventeen sedentary adults aged 55 or older. They found that participants in the active group — these individuals worked out three to four afternoons per week for about 30 minutes, usually, a stationary bike or treadmill — slept about 45 minutes longer on average, woke up less frequently, and reported more vigor and less sleepiness than their counterparts who did not exercise.
How to Fall Asleep Faster: Invest in comfortable bedding.
An uncomfortable mattress or itchy, scratchy sheets can make it hard to catch some zzzs, so it's worth investing in bedding that makes you comfortable. It could be as simple as splurging on 1500-count Egyptian cotton sheets ($31.36, Amazon) or saving for a memory foam mattress topper.
How to Fall Asleep Faster: Buy plants.
Not only are plants beautiful home decor, but they're also great for purifying the air. There's nothing worse than trying to sleep when you can barely breathe (thanks a lot, allergies!), so why not invest in NASA-approved greenery that's guaranteed to clean up the air in your home for free?
How to Fall Asleep Faster: Meditate.
If there are a million things running through your head the moment it touches the pillow, mindfulness meditations may be the thing for you. Mindfulness meditation is, "a mind-calming practice that focuses on breathing and awareness of the present moment" that has proven benefits for those who have trouble sleeping. A 2015 study in JAMA Internal Medicine of 49 middle-aged and older adults with sleeping problems found that participants had reduced insomnia, depression, and fatigue after just six mindfulness meditations.
How to Fall Asleep Faster: Control your body's temperature/
Your body uses its temperature as a marker to know when it's time to start feeling sleepy, so those who shower in the morning should think about reversing their routines. In an interview with Time, Shelby Harris, the director of behavioral sleep medicine at New York’s Montefiore Medical Center, said that "showering earlier in the evening gives your body a chance to cool off and can even trigger sleep." Studies also show that if you bathe before bed and give your body time to cool off, you'll have a better time falling asleep.
So skip the sheep tonight, and try one of these tips. Now you'll fall asleep as fast as your husband!