How to Fall Asleep Fast

Two Parts:Making Immediate ChangesMaking Lifestyle Changes

When thoughts, worries and ideas whirl around your head at night, it can feel impossible to fall asleep at all, let alone quickly. Yet it is possible to fall asleep fast, it just takes a few changes to your daily habits. Try the following techniques to encourage faster sleeping in your life.

Part 1
Making Immediate Changes

  1. Image titled Get to Sleep and Feel Refreshed in the Morning Step 3
    Turn off all electronics. To fall asleep, your body increases levels of hormones which induce sleepiness as it gets darker outside. This makes you tired and ready to crawl into bed shortly after it has gotten completely dark. If you are on your laptop, cell phone, tablet, or watching TV, and video games, you are inhibiting the creation of these hormones. They keep you vigil. Remove all electronics with bright screens at least an hour before bed so it will be easier for your body to get tired.
    • Some studies show that people who play video and computer games more than seven hours a week sleep more poorly than those who don’t. If you fit that criteria and have chronic poor sleep, try cutting down on your gaming time.
    • Besides the bright light from the screens, social media outlets (like on your phone and computer) can cause stress and raise anxiety levels. Say no to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Email, Texting, and any other social media outlet you participate in at least an hour before sleeping.[1]
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    Take a hot soak. Raising the temperature of your skin increases those feelings of sleepiness and makes your journey to deep sleep happen a bit faster. Take a hot bath or shower for thirty minutes before bedtime and reap the sleepy benefits they provide.
    • Make sure the water is above 100 °F (38 °C) for the best results. Water that is too cool won’t provide the same benefits as hot water.
    • Hot baths are better for inducing relaxation, but regardless of whether you take a hot bath or shower, make sure that you enjoy the water for at least 20 minutes.
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    Cool off your room. Hot skin and a cool room are the perfect combination for falling asleep quickly. Lower your thermostat so that the temperature is 65 degrees or lower. Cold air temperatures induce sleepiness and prevent night sweats. Plus, having a cool room gives you a good excuse to cuddle up close to your significant other, which relieves anxiety and stress.
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    Keep it dark. Bright lights, not just from electronics, can be a big damper on falling asleep. They trick your body into thinking it is too early in the day for sleep, and prevent an increase in hormones responsible for sleepiness. Turn off all overhead lights, night lights, and lamps to fall asleep faster. Don’t forget to close your blinds too! Light-blocking curtains can be extra beneficial when combined with closed blinds for improved sleep speed.
    • If you want to read or write before bed (you can also write your plans for tomorrow), try using a small book light rather than a desktop lamp or overhead light. These are small enough that they won’t affect your hormones too much.
    • If you have a bright clock, use the dimmer option to lower the brightness of the screen. Additionally, turn it away from the bed so that it is not facing you with its brightness, and won’t distract you with checking the time.
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    Read a book. Reading is a wonderful way to reduce stress and help your mind to unwind. Choose a favorite book and read immediately before bed for a bit. Avoid reading horror or action books, as these may have the opposite effect and leave you laying in bed even later than you intended!
    • Pick a very long book, such as Marcel Proust's "Remembrance of Things Past". You will feel sleepy well before getting far through the book.
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    Write in a journal. If you find that your mind simply won’t turn off or you struggle with daily stress as you try to fall asleep, clear your mind by writing in a journal. Make a note of everything that happened to you during the day in addition to the things you are worrying or stressing about. Getting them out of your head and onto paper will ease your transition into sleep and help your dreams to be less anxiety-filled as well.
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    Indulge yourself in a warm drink. Sipping on something warm and calming will relax your body and mind. Avoid drinking anything with caffeine, but drink something small, soft, and sweet shortly before bed. A cup of warm milk with honey, chamomile, or peppermint tea is great for helping you to fall asleep fast. Pair your drink with your reading or writing and you’re set![2]
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    Change your angle. If you sleep on your back, your airways are blocked off and increase your likelihood for snoring. Sleep on your sides to cut down the likelihood of snoring throughout the night, and encourage your partner to do the same if it is a problem for them too.
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    Adjust your pillows. Ideally, you want to sleep so that your neck is in a straight line. If necessary, position a pillow between your knees to keep your hips in a neutral position. Some people use two pillows, one for their arm and one for their head elevation. Others tuck a selection of pillows around them. Whatever works to keep you comfortable and in-line is best.
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    Take a supplement. Many herbs and minerals have been used for centuries to aid in sleeping. Try some of these different supplements every evening before heading to bed and see if they improve the speed at which you fall asleep.
    • Calcium and magnesium work together in harmony to help you fall asleep. Take 600mg of calcium and 200mg of magnesium nightly and wait for the results.
    • Hops don’t only work to create beer, but are also great for creating that lethargic feeling you need for sleep. It helps with insomnia as well as reducing anxiety. Take 30-120mg of a hops supplement each night before bed.
    • Try a wild lettuce supplement. Wild lettuce tablets help with sleep, anxiety, and depression. A knockout! Take 30-120mg nightly.
    • Use an L-theanine supplement nightly to improve your alertness during the day and your quality of sleep at night. You can also drink green tea in the mornings, which contains trace amounts of the amino acid.
    • Take valerian root supplements. This is one of the oldest cures for insomnia; it helps both the speed at which you fall asleep and the quality of your sleep. Take 200-800mg of the supplement every night.[3]
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    Take melatonin. This is the hormone responsible for inducing the feelings of sleep you have when it gets dark outside. A low dosage of the pill works better than a high one when taken nightly. Soon enough, you’ll be slumbering away as a result of this natural hormone’s effects.
    • You don't have to take the supplement though; melatonin can be found naturally in bananas, oats, pineapple, oranges, tomatoes, and cherries, as well as others foods.
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    Make yourself comfortable. Avoid tight or uncomfortable clothes like socks and hair bands. Be sure to use the bathroom just before you go to bed; a constant need to pee will prevent you from going to sleep and thoughts of being too tired or cold to get up and go can simply cause you to stay awake even longer.
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    Adjust your sleeping surface. If your mattress is getting saggy or pokey, flip it over. If it’s too firm, cover it with a foam pad. If you get too hot at night, flip over the pillows. If you have scratchy or uncomfortable sheets or blankets, get new ones. Nothing is more important than getting some rest. If your bed is chronically uncomfortable, consider buying a new one to put your body at ease.
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    Reduce unwanted noise. Turn on a white noise generator or a recording of sounds from nature. The constant, low-level sound drowns out other noises that may prevent you from falling asleep. You could also listen to soft, relaxing music. There are specific pieces of music which are thought to aid sleep––do an online search for the many possible types to find one that suits your needs. Make sure the music you choose is relaxing and peaceful. Experiment with different types of music to get your best sleep tunes. For example, try a bit of classical music such as Mozart or Schubert, or modern ambient pieces such as "Solace" by Tom Day, "A Walk" by Tycho, "Lost in Thought" by KOAN Sound, or "Strobe" by deadmau5. These are merely great starting points for you to get on a sound journey to slumber land.
    • Consider using earplugs to drown out any annoying sounds or loud background noises. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to sleep while a car alarm goes off or your neighbor’s dog barks.
    • Try not to fall asleep with regular headphones in, as these may slip around and become painful or annoying against your ears and face as you sleep. Use a music playing device with a self-timer set to turn off after a certain amount of time.
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    Use aromatherapy. Studies show that using lavender essential oils helps to relax the body and create a comfortable surrounding for sleep. Add a few drops of the oil to your pillow or pillowcase to aid in your journey to the land of nod.
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    Count sheep. Well, don’t really count sheep. But try counting! Doing a mundane, repetitive task in your head will distract your mind and bore you into exhaustion.

Part 2
Making Lifestyle Changes

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    Keep your bedroom as a sanctuary. This means keeping it clean, free from junk and distractions, and fresh. Change the sheets weekly, fluff up the pillows daily and try to get at least a little fresh air circulating through it each day. Having your room as a sleep-only area helps enormously. Yes, it is nice having a quiet den where you can do whatever, but having cool and distracting stuff around as you desperately try to catch some 'Z's is disruptive.
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    Eat dinner earlier. Your body needs time to digest, and does it best when you’re sitting or standing. Laying down as your body processes all the food you’ve eaten will make it difficult to fall asleep quickly. Try eating dinner at least three hours before you go to bed; this will prevent digestion from interfering with your need to sleep.
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    Don’t workout at night. Switch any workout routine to the morning; evening workouts can keep you buzzing into the hours when you ought to be soundly asleep. Avoid working out within 4 hours of heading for bed. However, if you don't have a workout routine, make one! Working out does have a huge impact on speed and quality of sleep. It simply must be done at the right times.
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    Avoid caffeine late in the day. Drinking caffeine later than 8 hours before you go to bed means that the energizing effects are still in-play on your hormones. Stop drinking caffeine by around 2:00 in the afternoon so that your body has plenty of time to process the chemical.
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    Try not to nap. When you’re totally exhausted and its been a long day, the most appealing thing to do is to take a nap. However, doing so can alter your sleep cycle and make it harder for you to fall asleep at your true bedtime. If you absolutely must take a nap, try to limit it to 20 minutes or less to keep your hormones in line.
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    Regulate your sleep cycle. Going to bed and waking up at the same times every day helps your body to know when it should get tired. With a busy work schedule and social life this task can seem difficult, but regulating your sleep schedule will be incredibly beneficial to you and your health in the long run. Make a point to be in bed by the same time every night and set an alarm for the same time every morning. Eventually, you won’t have to keep track of these times anymore and your body will regulate your sleep for you.[4]
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    Keep your partner on track. If you have difficulty falling asleep because of a sleeping partner that you share a bed with, talk to them about your difficulties. If they snore, touch you too much, don’t touch you enough, or any other variety of reasons, try to come up with a reasonable solution so that you can fall asleep fast.
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    Visit a doctor. If you have chronic difficulties falling asleep, you may have clinical insomnia or sleep apnea. If you are concerned about your health as a result of your sleep, visit your doctor or a psychologist and discuss possible tests and options.

Test Your Knowledge

Fall Asleep Fast Quiz


  • If you 'look' carefully while your eyes are closed, you might see small blotches of color. These are phosphenes. Passively watching them will help you fall asleep faster and lead to hypnagogic illusions, which are random images that are the 'fabric' of sleep.
  • If you have ADHD, don't count numbers since it will make your brain focus on that activity and it will keep you from sleep. Try to breath slowly and get into comfortable positions.
  • Breathe slowly. It will slow down your thoughts and the pace at which your blood pumps, therefore relaxing you more.
  • Count backwards from 99. If you reach 1, then start over. It's different for everybody so it might take time. This will soon bore you to sleep.
  • Plump up your pillows so they are really soft and comfortable. Remove all distractions on the floor and surrounding room around you and get into the most comfortable sleeping position.
  • Try to not check the clock when you are trying to sleep. It can be distracting, and if you're constantly checking to make sure it's not "too late," it can result in staying up later and being unable to fall asleep.
  • Nice sheets will help, as they make it easier to get comfortable.
  • Don't look at your phone. Instead think of something that makes you happy to ease you, and play your favorite music, but refrain from singing the song.
  • Don't drink a lot while trying to fall asleep. It will keep you wide awake having to use the bathroom. Instead, use the bathroom right before you lay down so you can relax.
  • If you shower last and then go to bed, shower and tip-toe quickly to your bed. When you feel cold and then instantly get warm, it actually may make you drowsy.
  • Feeling too hot or too cold can keep you awake at night. Deal with either situation promptly to lessen its impact.
  • Try not to toss and turn, it will only keep you awake. Before you go to sleep, try to find a comfortable position for your body to sleep.
  • If you don't like the sound of a white noise generator, use a fan instead.
  • It might help to listen to an audiobook in the dark. Set it to turn itself off after 90 minutes. iPad has an app called Sleep Timer that will turn the audio book off for you. You should fall asleep long before it stops.
  • Wear a sleeping mask to shut out everything in sight.
  • Turn on a radio with soothing music or sound machine.
  • If you feel really wide awake read one of your books.
  • If you really must nap, try to do it before 3:00.
  • Close your eyes, then squeeze your toes for about 5 seconds and slowly let go. Then flex your legs for about 4 second and then slowly stop. Then you go up the body to stomach (squeeze for 3 seconds). Then to hands (squeeze for 10 seconds). Then to arms, all the way up to your head. Then flex/squeeze your whole body at once for 3 seconds, then let go. This helps you relax.
  • Don't spray perfume and leave all the windows shut. They tend to keep you awake by the smell they make so don't spray a lot of perfume a day. One lot is fine; eventually the smell will go with one spray.
  • Don't vary your sleeping time, if you change it, you'll find it much harder to sleep and wake up. Try to keep it around a certain time.
  • Try the 4-7-8 method. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold breath 7 seconds and slowly exhale for 8 seconds. Repeat.
  • Try the 4-7-8 trick. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7, exhale for 8. Repeat until you fall asleep. This will slow down your heart rate and allow you to relax. It works best if you breathe through your nose, however, if it is uncomfortable, or if you are unable to, you can breathe through your mouth.
  • Have a fan on (make sure it remains quiet) or open a window on hot summer nights, as heat often can slow down sleep. Dress in very light pajamas or a light tank top/undershirt and shorts and use a light blanket as well. Sweating and irritation at the heat will often prevent you from sleeping.
  • Tense your muscles from your forehead down to your toes holding them each for 5 seconds then letting go. This relaxes your muscles, helping you to sleep.
  • Play beach sounds to relax.
  • Play a realistic crackling fireplace noise in the background; this is comforting and may soothe you to sleep.
  • Don't be on the computer or watch the TV at least 20 minutes before you sleep. This will adjust your eyes from the screens.
  • Blink your eyes quickly. Tired eyes mean less time to fall asleep.
  • Clean your bed with your hand, even if it is not dirty. It will help you in getting the feeling of clean and comfy.
  • If you are going to sleep with earphones, make sure they are comfortable in your ears.
  • Try thinking of black. Black is a boring color, so it will calm you and make you bored, therefore making you sleep faster.
  • Read a book.
  • Try to drink warm or heated milk.
  • Don't count sheep, it keeps you awake. Instead close your eyes and think about your favourite place.
  • Turn off all of your electronic gadgets like the internet, music players, or television. Then just lay on your stomach or your side. Don't wear makeup to bed and never count sheep.
  • Relax and think about something peaceful, loosening your muscles.


  • Long-term sleep deprivation can have a variety of health consequences, including reduced longevity. If you can't fall asleep fast with at-home solutions, talk to your doctor about an over-the-counter or prescription sleep aid.

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