Establishing sleep routines and sticking to the schedule can be tough. Then you have the struggle of falling asleep, especially when you know you have an early morning ahead of you. ADDitude Magazine reports that about half of all children with ADHD struggle to fall asleep by the time they reach age 12. This number goes up to 70%-80% by the time they turn 30 years old. Here are the most popular tricks I found to help you fall asleep faster:
- ·Write down all your thoughts before bedtime to help free your mind. It doesn’t have to be neat or structured, this just gives your brain a receptacle for unfinished thoughts, worries, or ideas before bedtime.
- ·4-7-8 breathing exercise. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. This helps you to relax by increasing the oxygen in your blood stream, slowing your heart rate, and releasing more carbon dioxide from the lungs. This method was developed by best-selling author, Dr. Andrew Weil.
- ·Keep your room at a cool temperature. Cooler temperatures help to slow your heart rate and digestion. The National Sleep Foundation states that 65 degrees is the optimal temperature to help you fall asleep faster.
- ·Control your exposure to light. Light of any kind can suppress your body’s production of melatonin, especially blue light waves. Blue light waves are emitted most from electronic devices, florescent lightbulbs, and LED lights.
- ·Drown out distracting noises with a white noise machine, music, or audio book. Your own mind can be distracting enough and it’s important to minimize external distractions as you’re falling asleep.
- ·Visualize a peaceful environment. Oxford University published a study showing that insomniacs who practice visualization, like a relaxing scene, fell asleep 20 minutes faster than those counting sheep or doing nothing as they were trying to fall asleep.
If one strategy doesn’t seem to be working, try combining these techniques. There are many ideas out there. It’s all about finding what works best for you and your environment.