Insomnia and poor quality sleep are one of the main reasons for overstraining the human psyche, which leads to many problems in life: chronic fatigue, diseases of the nervous system, burnout, quarrels with loved ones, poor performance, shortened life expectancy and many other related troubles.
Therefore, it is so important to know how to quickly fall asleep at night and get enough sleep, at the right time and in the right state. Overexertion, in turn, is also the cause of insomnia or long falling asleep, this is a vicious circle, which only in your power to break.
Last Updated: January 20, 2022 (A few hours ago…)
Causes of insomnia
Insomnia is a dangerous condition for a person, especially when it becomes chronic.
Insomnia can be caused by:
- overstrain of the psyche;
- excessive time on the screen of a computer, phone and other gadgets;
- daytime sleep;
- frequent use of stimulating substances: coffee, energy drinks, alcohol, tobacco, sugar;
- overwork, lack of sleep patterns, stress;
- distance from nature, life in an apartment without leaving the city;
- a difficult situation in life when a person does not know how to solve a particular problem.
What can you do to sleep better?
Sleep is a physiological process, and, like any process in the body, it requires harmony in the body itself and in a person’s lifestyle, that is, complex measures are needed. There are no life hacks on how to fall asleep quickly: it is not enough just to drink sleeping pills or “magic” soothing herbs, although in some cases they will also have to be used.
For a harmonious, high-quality, restorative sleep, a number of actions are required over time, because sleep is a rather deep process associated with the nervous system, the deep sides of the psyche; it’s not just that a third of our lives are allotted to sleep.
Ways to Improve Your Night’s Sleep
There are many ways to fall asleep quickly for insomnia, but their use should not be taken as “magic” pills that will once and for all help you live the old way and sleep like a baby. These are helpers on the way to naturally return a harmonious and high-quality sleep to your life and further preserve it as such.
What to do to quickly fall asleep?
It is very important to sleep in complete darkness since in this mode the hormones necessary for the functioning and restoration of the body will be released:
- Melatonin, a hormone synthesized mainly by the pineal gland in the dark, is an effective antioxidant, is responsible for many of the most important processes in the body: sleep regulation, strengthening immunity, repairing damaged tissues (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ 16817850 /);
- Testosterone is the main male sex hormone responsible for sexual activity, the development of bone and muscle tissue, mood;
- Growth hormone – growth hormone – is released 1-2 hours after falling asleep, reduces the deposition of subcutaneous fat, enhances the burning of body fat, increases the ratio of muscle mass to fat, strengthens the immune system, enhances the absorption of calcium by bone tissue and much more;
- Cortisol is a stress hormone that regulates carbohydrate metabolism, a normal level of cortisol contributes to good performance, but in excess, it introduces a person to stress.
Sleeping not in complete darkness causes stress, breathing problems and is an example of poor sleep hygiene (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24522288/), that is, it is one of the causes of insomnia. If you are unable to sleep in complete darkness, you can wear a special eye mask.
Avoiding gadgets and TV before bed
Using gadgets without measure, especially before bedtime, has a bad effect on the quality and duration of sleep, viewing any screens increases intraocular pressure, this creates tension in the head and eyes, which also does not contribute to good sleep. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32083446/).
Before going to bed, do not watch any dynamic scenes. Ideally, two hours before bedtime, you don’t need to watch or listen to anything at all, the maximum is light relaxing music at low volume. Surely you had such that right before bedtime you watched a blockbuster, remember what you dreamed later, if, of course, you were able to fall asleep, and did you sleep well afterward.
But a good sleep greatly affects the next day, that is, just watching a movie you ruined a whole day of your life. Think, was it worth it?
Nowadays it is very common to watch short videos one after another, for several hours a day, especially among adolescents and young people, this creates confusion of thoughts, an overload of images, a complete lack of concentration on which vital activity depends. This behavior is contraindicated if you want to fall asleep quickly.
The brain does not distinguish between what is on the screen and what is happening in life. Hormones of joy – dopamine and endorphin – or stress hormones, if you look at frightening images, are released; that is, due to the constant filling with content, the consciousness is overloaded with images and impressions and real life seems dull and uninteresting, which makes us immerse ourselves in these images again and again, and this is a vicious circle. It looks like an addiction, only digital.
There are several ways to help you fall asleep quickly: static activity, stretching, and regular aerobic exercise. They have a beneficial effect on the quality of sleep and the autonomic function of the heart. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32394890/) Aerobic exercise is light running, walking, swimming, rowing, dancing, basketball, tennis and other non-intense activities.
A light practice of yoga with stretching and static loads is very well suited before bed.
Bedtime yoga complex:
- knead all the joints in stages, starting from the neck and ending with the ankles; stretch up with your arms and whole body, then bend over to your legs and completely relax your body, neck, head and arms, hang along your straight legs; then gently rise, raise your head last and go into the back bend: put your hands on your lower back, close your elbows closer to each other, tighten your gluteal muscles, pull your head and neck back;
- return to starting position;
- sit on the mat, legs straight, stretch your arms and head upwards, then bend over to your legs, reach the discomfort zone and gradually relax tense places;
- stay in this position for as long as possible, for a few minutes, it is important to relax and feel the whole body;
- then gradually move to the table position : pull the pelvis up, leaning on the palms and feet, fingers pointing forward, head thrown back, stand in this position as long as possible: this is compensation after the fold;
- move your legs back, stand in the upper plank, then go to the head-down dog pose , return to the plank, go to the head-up dog pose ;
- lie in a hare pose , stretch your back and relax;
- go to inverted asanas, put your feet in khalasana ;
- stretch in this position for a while, try to relax and work out all tense places;
- go to the “birch” pose , stay in this position for a while, then return to the khalasana;
- gradually move to the “bridge” , stay in this position for a comfortable time;
- lie down in savasana , rest;
- Savasana can be used just before bedtime, already in bed, it helps to relax and fall asleep when done correctly.
Hatha yoga helps not only to relax the body and prepare it for sleep, but also to change the energy accumulated during the day in a more positive way.
Breathing and Relaxing
There are breathing and meditation techniques that help you fall asleep quickly, that can refresh and relax the mind for a later blissful sleep.
The simplest and most accessible technique for everyone is concentration on the breath:
- find a convenient place and time so that you are not disturbed or distracted from the practice, all things must already be done, the practice must be done before bedtime or immediately after bedtime, in the morning;
- it is permissible to engage in meditation after the hatha yoga complex;
- sit in a comfortable cross- legged position: sukhasana , siddhasana , half lotus , lotus position ;
- you can cover yourself with a blanket so that you feel comfortable during the entire practice;
- straighten your back, stretch your head up, place your hands on your hips, preferably in jnana mudra ;
- relax tense places, but keep your back and head straight;
- bring your attention to the tip of the nose, watch how the air goes in and out of the nose;
- breathing gradually slows down, try not to move: the longer you manage not to move and concentrate on breathing, the deeper the effect will be;
- in the process of practice, thoughts, images, problems for the day, memories will emerge, there will be a lot of them, this is normal; you will periodically forget about concentration, but this is part of the practice, this is how the mind is purified; when you remember concentration, return to the breath and the tip of the nose;
- there will definitely be difficult moments, you will want to finish the practice, but you need to wait out such moments and finish the practice with a light feeling;
- set yourself some minimum in time, this will help you sit still and not interrupt the lesson.
Mantras and prayers
Spiritual practices help to fall asleep well. Everyone has their own faith or their own direction of development, but there are basic rules for any spiritual practice, almost any school or religion.
In spiritual practice, the altar will help you, it is not difficult to make it, images of deities or symbols of your faith should be present on it, it is desirable that there should be the attributes of the five elements:
- earth – salt, crystal, stone;
- water – water can be put in a beautiful dish;
- air – aroma lamp, incense, incense;
- fire is a candle;
- ether – your benevolent thoughts and spiritual images.
How exactly prayer is performed, you can ask a competent person in your faith whom you trust. Regularity and a benevolent attitude towards this process are important here.
There are practices that are not related to any religion, for example, the OM mantra , it does not refer to any deity or a specific trend. You can try this practice, it helps to relax the mind before going to bed and fall asleep much faster, of course, with other conditions of sleep hygiene.
Cool and fresh air
One of the most important factors in quality sleep and overall health is regular interaction with nature, trees, water, fresh air, etc.
Walking in nature cannot be replaced by anything like that in an apartment or office. Ideally, a walk in the park or forest for at least one hour is required every day.
A person is “discharged” in the city, business, family, and only nature can fill him with the necessary vital energy.
When you go to bed, the temperature in the room should be a few degrees cooler than during the day, and the window should be open, at least for micro-ventilation. If you are cold, you can open a window in another room with an open door so that the air has time to warm up before it reaches you.
The more you breathe in fresh air, the healthier and better you will feel.
Day regimen and sleep
The daily routine is what helps to fall asleep quickly, sleep deeply and efficiently, and restore vitality. Research confirms that a clear, regular daily routine improves sleep. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25187987/)
Getting up early, going to bed early, eating by the clock, eating light meals in the evening and not overeating at night are fundamental principles for normal sleep, vitality and performance.
According to one version, sleep, in addition to its physiological restorative functions, is a kind of meditation for everyone. Spiritually advanced people, whose practice of meditation or prayer takes a long time during the day, usually sleeps very little: 2-5 hours naturally, without experiencing the side effects of insomnia.
Of course, most people are far from such heights, but these are examples that show that sleep is directly related to the deeper part of a person and, in a sense, sleep is a “reset to factory settings”, a kind of calibration the next day.
Be healthy and healthy!