How To Fall Asleep When We Needed It Most

Getting enough sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your mental and physical health. Everyone has trouble falling asleep sometimes, and up to 15 percent of the population has chronic insomnia. If you are counting lambs before bedtime here are some tips for you to help you fall asleep.

Teach your body to fall asleep by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Sticking to a regular schedule helps you fall asleep by keeping you in sync with your own circadian rhythm, a kind of internal 24-hour body clock that is affected by light and dark. Getting some natural light every afternoon will also help you keep your rhythm and help you fall asleep.

Exercise regularly and at the right time. Regular exercise can reduce tension and anxiety, which will help you fall asleep and improve the quality of your sleep, but be sure to finish exercising at least three hours before your bedtime.

Watch what you eat and drink. Drinking caffeinated or alcoholic beverages late in the day are likely to make it harder to fall asleep when you’re ready. If you like a snack before bed, try a warm drink (without alcohol or caffeine) and a few crackers. Remember that hot chocolate has caffeine, too. According to the Mayo Clinic, what you eat especially what you have for dinner and as a late-night snack can help you catch the sleep you need. But it's not as simple as drinking a warm glass of milk which has no evidence of helping you drift off. But the experts there do think that having a small snack a few hours before bed time can help you get to sleep and make it through the night. Doctors there suggest a small bowl of oatmeal or cereal, or yogurt with granola. The Mayo Clinic says that a large meal or spicy foods too close to bed time can make it too uncomfortable to get too sleep. More than anything, it says to stop drinking caffeine eight hours before you plan to go to sleep. says that one thing you should look for in an evening snack is food with tryptophan. The site says that amino acid helps calm the brain, and high-carb foods help clear other acids that compete with tryptophan. Good foods, according to the site, include dairy products such as cottage cheese, cheese and milk. It also suggests, among many others, almonds, bananas, whole grains, beans, otalmeal, hazel nuts, avocado and eggs.

If you're planning your dinner with an eye toward getting to bed on time later, says you need meals that are high in carbs and low in protein. Those help you relax through the evening and set you up for slumber. Some balanced meals include pasta with parmesan cheese, scrambled eggs with cheese, tofu stirfy, hummus with whole-wheat pita. But if you don't plan ahead, you can try warm milk despite what the Mayo Clinic says. WCCO-TV reported that since the milk is a dairy product with high tryptophan, it could encourage melatonin and serotonin in your brain, helping you to fall asleep.

Create a safe and comfortable sleeping environment. To help you fall asleep, your bedroom should be dark, with good ventilation, and as quiet as you can make it. Do the same things every night before you go to bed. Following a bedtime routine sends a silent signal to your brain and body that it is time to wind down and fall asleep. Avoid any distractions that make it harder to fall asleep. If you’re still awake 15 minutes after you turn out the light, get up and do something that will make you drowsy. After 20 minutes go back to bed and try again.

To help yourself fall asleep faster, try not to let yourself worry or replay your day at bedtime. And don’t panic if you can't fall asleep, because any kind of mental fretting will only make it harder to fall asleep. Instead, do something, like reading that will refocus your thoughts and make drowsy.

Teach yourself to fall asleep, sleep well, have sweet dreams, and wake up with a healthy new morning.