Sleep Before Midnight: 13 Healthy Ways To Fall Asleep Earlier
Nothing good happens after midnight.
I first heard this phrase while in the military.
It was true then; it is true now.
All sorts of shenanigans happen to those who are out on the town past midnight.
Even in a more sedentary, “stay at home” lifestyle, nothing good happens after midnight.
Think of the common reasons to stay up to the wee hours of the night:
- Video Games
- Watching the paint dry…
To those night owls who want to increase productivity and have a happier lifestyle, a “Sleep Before Midnight" habit may be the perfect remedy. In this post, we shall discuss ten tips for getting to sleep early.
Fall Asleep Fast: The Video
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So sit back, press the play button, and enjoy the content! (And if you'd like to enjoy more actionable, habit-related videos, then be sure to subscribe to our brand new YouTube Channel. )
Sleeping Our Lives Away: How Much Sleep Do We Need?
One of the things many people wonder is how much sleep we actually need. Chance are you've heard that people need 8 hours. That means that 1/3 of your life is spent sleeping.
The infographic below shows the new recommendations from NSF, and you may be in for a surprise with the recommended number of hours for teenagers and older adults.
Moreover, sleep experts have found out that it is not only the quantity of sleep (the number of hours) that’s important. How well we’ve slept is also a factor to gauge if we’re getting the full benefits of our slumber.
A majority of American adults wake up between 6:00 AM and 7:30 AM. Being asleep before midnight ensures that you are having just about the right amount of recommended hours of sleep for your age group.
The Perfect Morning Routine can help you sleep better at night!
Discover the 11 good habits that are part of every great day. Learn more by downloading the checklist and free report:
13 Healthy Ways To Fall Asleep Earlier
Like all habits, if you get to sleep before midnight for 30 days straight, it will become part of your routine. Over time, you will find that you won't need to “force yourself" to do this every day.
Here are 13 healthy ways for you to fall asleep early:
1. Use soothing sounds.
There is a reason why lullabies put babies to sleep. The mind and body desire rest when they hear restful and peaceful sounds. Soft soothing music, a white noise generator (here is one I recommend) or even simple earplugs will provide the soothing sounds we need to fall asleep.
Moreover, the reason most people are able to sleep when listening to white noise is that our brains tend to categorize these sounds as non-threatening. It lulls us to a sense of security pretty much like the effect of a lullaby on a baby.
2. Go to sleep earlier.
If your goal is to be asleep by midnight, this doesn’t mean you MUST stay up to midnight. Going to sleep as early as 10PM directly leads to being relaxed and fast asleep by midnight.
Going to bed earlier has been acknowledged for its positive benefits to health. Primarily, you experience less stress, you’ll tend to be in a better mood throughout the day, and your skin has a definite glow to it and makes you look better. Furthermore, you will have a safer commute.
Sometimes, we fail to overlook how sleep deprived we are. We are cranky and we go about our day under a cloud of gloom. This 3-minute video from The School Of Life reveals that many of life’s issues could be resolved with a good night’s sleep.
3. Expend energy during the day.
This one is simple. If you are exhausted from physical exercise it is far easier to sleep at night. A workout JUST before your sleep, however is counterproductive.
Studies have shown that workouts done at any time of the day can help give you a better quality of sleep.
However, there are people who find it hard to sleep if they work out close to their bedtime. High adrenaline levels are to blame. If you have trouble sleeping after some nighttime exercise, schedule your workout at least 3 hours before your regular sleeping time.
4. Cut out caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes before sleep.
All of these interfere with getting to sleep and can make feel "wired" throughout the evening.
Consuming any or all of these three can adversely affect the quality of your sleep, as a study published in the Journal of Caffeine Research has shown.
5. Imagine a relaxing scene.
Picture yourself walking along a beach, garden path or getting a relaxing massage. This visualization makes falling to sleep far easier than worrying about what's going on in your life. Leave the heavy thinking for the daytime.
Visualization is a powerful tool to help you get rid of anxious thoughts. It encourages you to relax, thereby creating the ideal state of mind for a peaceful slumber.
6. Do not go from TV/PC directly to bed.
Studies have shown that back-lit screen use (TV, PC, cell phones) at night can lead to sleep disorders. It is far better to do a bit of paperwork, read a book or just unwind with your loved ones before going to sleep.
Dr. Charles A. Czeisler enumerates the different ways that sleep can affect our health in the 6 ½-minute video below. Dr. Czeisler also discusses the numerous negative effects to our body when we are deprived of sleep. He also talks about disrupted sleep cycles and insomnia.
7. Make your bedroom for sleeping.
Keep the modern distractions out. Get rid of the TV, PC and stereo in your bedroom. Make it a place to get your full night’s rest.
Unplug one hour before sleep. Backlit screens (TV, PC, Mobile Devices) can lead to sleep issues
Instead of keeping gadgets and appliances inside your bedroom, transform it into a haven for sleep. Invest in lighting that can be dimmed to promote sleep. By making your bed the moment you wake up ensures that it’s ready to be a place of relaxation at the end of the day.
The color scheme of your bedroom can also contribute to a more restful slumber. Your walls, sheets, pillows, and decor should be done in soothing colors.
8. Fix the temperature.
Like Goldilocks, you want your bedroom temp to be, “just right.” Your bedroom should be cool, but not cold, to help promote sleep.
Based on the recommendation of UK’s Sleep Council, the ideal temperature in the bedroom to promote sleep is the coolness from 60 °F to 65 °F (16 °C to 18 °C).
9. Get a comfortable sleep environment.
Keep your sheets fresh and laundered. Make sure your pillow is comfortable. You spend nearly 1/3 of your life in bed, so do it in style and comfort.
Pamper yourself as you get ready for bed by wearing cozy pajamas or having sheets that are made of natural materials.
10. Deep Breathing.
Take long, slow deep breaths. Inhale slowly. Exhale slowly. Think of the relaxing scene from tip #5.
Another way to fall asleep quickly is to apply the 4-7-8 technique. Practice this technique until it becomes a pre-bedtime habit to help you achieve a more peaceful slumber.
11. Try aromatherapy.
To promote a more peaceful slumber, use essential oils to help you get the rest that you need. Diffusing the scent that encourages your body to relax helps your mind prepare for sleep. There are many fragrances to choose from. The most popular oils associated with sleep are lavender and jasmine, which promote deep relaxation.
Check out this post for recommendations of the best oils that encourage a restorative slumber.
12. Read a book.
Take a real book to bed instead of an electronic reader that emits blue light. Reading is considered one of the most relaxing activities you can do. When you read before going to sleep, chances are you will sleep very well. Aside from a deeper slumber, reading in bed has other positive effects on your well-being.
13. Play soft music.
Playing soft music to encourage sleepiness has a similar premise as in Tip #1.
Choose music that has 60 beats per minute. It encourages your heart to “tune in” to sleep mode. Listen for at least 45 minutes and see the positive effects it has on your sleeping habits.
If you follow these tips you should have no problems with getting to sleep before midnight. It may take some time for your body to get used to this new routine. But you can also try a 30 day challenge, to turn it into a permanent activity.
Start your day right to end your day right!
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