How To Fall Asleep Fast – So you say you don’t sleep well and you don’t know why because you feel good and do all the right things in your life to get a decent night’s sleep. What you don’t know is that you actually don’t do the things that are conducive to getting a solid eight hours with those needed spurts of rapid eye movement.
There are things you do that you are not even aware of that affect you getting the requisite hours in deep sleep mode, and today we are going to tell you what you’re doing wrong. So first of all, you’re not alone. Did you know that in the USA it’s reported that a whopping 60 percent of people have trouble sleeping most nights or even every night.
That’s according to the National Sleep Foundation and when it comes to sleeping this organization knows what it’s talking about. The same study tells us that 43 percent of those people rarely or never get a good night’s sleep, well, at least people aged 13 to 64. A lot of those folks say they don’t even get six hours’ sleep a night, and the word on the street is we should get seven to nine hours if we want to feel good.
The sleep deprivation era is here, and there is one big reason why we seem to be sleepingless. The reason is technology, with the National Sleep Foundation reporting that 95 percent of people use an electronic gadget of some kind right before bed. Hmm, are you watching this show just before you intend to sleep? But we are not just talking about phones, TVs are included in the list of gadgets.
This is what one expert said about gadget use before bed, “Artificial light exposure between dusk and the time we go to bed at night suppresses release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, enhances alertness and shifts circadian rhythms to a later hour—making it more difficult to fall asleep”.
We are not saying don’t use gadgets, but perhaps if you want to get your eight hours and drift off quickly you might think about not looking at a screen for the two hours before you intend to sleep. Around 60 percent of people in one study said they use their laptop or phone right before they go to bed, and some of them play computer games which is really not conducive to making yourself tired.
Another sleep expert said this about that, “Over the last 50 years, we’ve seen how television viewing has grown to be a near constant before bed, and now we are seeing new information technologies such as laptops, cell phones, video games and music devices rapidly gaining the same status. ”You might think it doesn’t affect you at all, but according to those experts it does and there’s data to back that up.
We should add that the artificial light theory about keeping us awake is controversial and so more research needs to be done. According to studies a lot of Americans leave their phone alerts on during the night, and one in ten people interviewed said their phone woke them up during the night at times. Just turn off the alerts, it’s simple to do.
The problem these days is that many people have online friends all over the world, so when you’re trying to sleep in the UK your friends in the USA are sending you photos of kittens on Facebook Messenger. You might have a client in Asia who keeps posting stuff about work to you when you’retrying to sleep in Canada.
You may wake up and not know why, but often it’s because something went down in the phone of yours. Another study said younger folks were terrible at this, saying that 72 percent of American kids aged six to seventeen go to bed with their phone. In the past kids might have slept with a furry bear or a book, and those things don’t make any noise.
Why do people these days feel they need to sleep with their phone? What’s so important that it can’t wait? Are you really that addicted to the thing?Co-founder of the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington, has said in interviews that this tech addiction is a major issue and is affecting the mental health of people.
She said the parents are often as bad as the kids, so they need to start setting a better example. She talks about the dopamine hits we get from technology, and so scrolling through Facebook right before bed is not a good idea. When she sleeps there is no technology in her room at all. You might also get stressed by looking at social media before bedtime.
You really don’t want to get a shot of envy right before you try and fall asleep. “Oh, look, there’s my friend on beach in some country I can’t afford to go to”. This is not what you want in your head before you try and fall asleep. So, technology, this is what’s keeping you awake. Our advice is simple. Do not look at any electronic screens at least two hours before bed time.
You might not believe it, but it’s negatively affecting your sleep cycle. If you’re a parent, don’t allow tech in your kids’ bedrooms. If you’re a kid, wise up and turn that stuff off. Show some self-control . . . and if we are starting to sound like we are giving you a lecture,we should say that we only just started doing this ourselves. We can tell you that we started to sleep better.
Now let’s say you don’t use electronic gadgets but still can’t sleep. You are not depressed or particularly stressed and so don’t know what the problem is. You haven’t just fallen in love or lost a job. You’re fine, but sleeping is hard work for you. You know, it could be those coffees you are having in the evening, or perhaps those cups of tea.
We know those British folks love their tea and quite a few of them will have a “cuppa” in the evening, perhaps with their “supper”. We know this because we’ve seen it firsthand. That cup of the finest Tetley’s tea could actually be keeping those Brits awake. That cappuccino from Starbucks the American had at 7 pm could ruin that person’s sleep.
This is the lowdown on the drug caffeine. Once you’ve had your hit you’ll peak around 30 to 60 minutes later. That buzz will then plateau, but caffeine has a half-life of five to six hours, meaning this is the time it takes for your body to get rid of half of the drug. You’ll still have some caffeine in your system for hours after that.
Now, as you know, it’s not as if caffeine can be compared to a substance such as ice,the illegal kind, but it is a stimulant. And we should say that Americans love the stuff, perhaps just as much as those Britslove their tea. One study we found said this, “The average daily consumption of caffeine by adults in the U.S. is about 300 mg per person. This is about three times higher than the world average. But it is still only half of the caffeine consumption in heavy tea-drinking countries such as England and Sweden”.
Some people like coffee too much, and while there are many positive effects to having that shot of espresso, you can go overboard. In extreme cases, believe it or not, people have died from overdosing on caffeine. In less extreme cases people just feel wired. That might not be so bad in the morning, but at nighttime it can be a nightmare.
You can look at coffee charts from Starbucks or other outlets and see how much caffeine there is in one cup. It depends on the size of the cup, but your instant stuff might just have 50 mgs of caffeine in it which isn’t going to make you fire up some techno music and start dancing. But many outlets sell cups of coffee with 200 or even 400 mg of caffeine in the cup.
The Starbucks Blonde Roast has a massive 475 mg of caffeine in it. Some experts say when you get a hit of 500 to 600 mg it’s like a small dose of amphetamine. Tea drinkers will fare better as a regular cup might only contain 50 mg of caffeine,but given some folks drink tea as if they were addicted to it, it’s possible to get a tea high.
The long and short of all this is you really shouldn’t be consuming caffeine in the evening at all. We suggest you have your last hit in the afternoon. We found one study that told us that having caffeine 6 hours before bedtime reduced people’s sleep time by one hour. Energy drinks also contain caffeine, and so those 10 vodka Red Bulls you had at the party might not only just make you act like an idiot but will likely cut down your sleep time.
A can of Coke will have caffeine in it if it’s not the non-caffeine variety, so remember that some soft drinks before bed might not be a good thing. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration tells us that caffeine is for the most part a safe substance, but it says you should probably not consume more than 400 mg a day.
That’s easy to do when your chugging tea and coffee all day and then having your Cokes for lunch and dinner. What about eating late at night? Some studies tell us that late eaters might gain weight because you’re hardly active when you’re sleeping. Another study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania in 2017 said eating late at night gives people a higher chance of getting type 2 diabetes.
The study said late eating can raise cholesterol levels and so give you a better chance of having a heart attack. In fact, there isn’t much happy information concerning eating late, but lots of people do it. Imagine this, some kid munching on a bag of Doritos while drinking a Coke and scrolling through envy-inducing Facebook right before that kid wants to sleep.
That makes about as much sense as someone going to a nightclub to meditate or heading to the shooting range to study for their calculus exam. It makes no sense at all, but people do it. We imagine a few of you are doing something like that right now, but you can admit to that later. At nighttime give your digestive system a break.
There is evidence that it’s not only bad for your health, but food in you full stomach can affect how much quality sleep you get. If you watched our other sleep show you’ll know that the good kind of sleep is when you go into deep sleep, and these are called rapid eye movement cycles. You should be getting about five of these a night. The other sleep is called non rapid eye movement.
Studies have shown that food before bed can reduce these deep sleep cycles and prevent you from having those dreams that are so important to your mental well-being. Sugar, carbs and fats are the worst things to eat late, so perhaps we’ll forgive you for having one small bite of a banana. This is the conclusion of one article we found, “Eating during bedtime hours, whether it’s a large dinner or a small snack while watching your favorite TV show, while it may seem to help you fall asleep, may actually harm your overall health and metabolism, creating added stress inside the body”.
So, there you go. If you are healthy and not suffering from some physical or mental disease this might be the reason you are not sleeping well. It’s really simple advice to follow. Just turn off your gadgets two hours before bed. Don’t consume caffeine at least six hours before bed and don’t eat before you sleep. If indeed you are watching this show at midnight with your mouth full of chocolate being cement-mixed with Coca-Cola you are basically creating a perfect storm of bad sleep. Or do you disagree? Tell us what you think in the comments.